Family support is often the most important way to help.
Having a spouse or other family member with?generalized anxiety disorder?(GAD) or another form of anxiety is not easy to handle. In addition to the usual challenges that marriage brings, this disorder often piles more responsibility on the partner who does not suffer from anxiety.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), marriages in which one of the partners suffers from GAD “were at least two times more likely to experience at least one relationship problem.” Other problems in the marriage were common as well, such as avoiding intimacy with their partner.
Partners often suffer as much as the person with GAD.
Controlling anxiety?is especially important for someone who is married since their spouse may suffer significantly as well. Partners often need to take over many of the responsibilities on their own without the help of the person with GAD.
The partner of someone with anxiety often has to do most of the household chores and is usually the one to take children to their activities, do the shopping, and other necessary chores and facets of family life. If the person with anxiety is not able to work, this puts more financial stress on the partner without the disorder, causing even more stress.
The family’s social life may be disrupted and social activities or children’s school activities may be missed due to the GAD of one of the partners. This also adds to the stress of living with someone who suffers from?anxiety. Partners of those with GAD often suffer from a range of emotional disturbances themselves that range from being angry, sad, or resentful to feeling guilty for feeling that way.
Ways to support your partner
Being supportive of your partner can help in recovery and improvement in GAD. Encouraging treatment and keeping appointments with therapists and doctors is one way of doing this. Family therapy is usually part of the treatment plan, and the partner’s participation in this is very important to the patient.
Reading and learning about GAD can help the partner understand more about the disorder and how to respond to their spouse. There are times when being patient is best and other times when it is better to challenge the person with GAD. Communication with your partner is important so that you are able to work together to improve your marriage and improve your life together.