Anxiety Disorder

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Gentry, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Gentry

    Gentry Active Member

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    Hey :)

    I met my girl 9 months ago, she's everything I wanted. Or so I think. She was with me in the darkest days of my life and helped me get over my depression. We've been dating for a couple months now.

    But last Wednesday, we had an argument and I said certain words that got distorted/exaggerated in her mind. I tried to explain it to her and even apologized but she thinks I was saying these things to take away her hurt. She thinks she's worthless and I dont want her anymore. She's self-blaming and tortures herself. :( She keeps on pushing me away because she thinks she doesn't deserve me and I would eventually leave her. She was breaking up with me via facebook chat! I told her not to make any decision until her mind is clear.

    She told me she has GAD before (accdg to her own diagnosis) and I didn't take it seriously thinking that it's as normal as any other emotions. But this one is different. Though a similar thing happened before, but it was with her mom. And she did the same thing, she wasn't eating and sleeping. I want to help her. She's saying and doing a lot of things I dont understand but I know she's going through a hard time. I love her and I dont want to leave her but she's hurting me too.

    Anyone with similar experience? What should I do? I'll see her on Monday, we work in the same company.
     
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  2. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Anxiety Disorders are highly treatable. She should get professional help to deal with her issues, not just self diagnosis and suffering needlessly.

    Feelings of self blame come from somewhere different from GAD. A professional can help her with that, too.

    It's hard when someone you love is suffering. Harder still when that suffering makes them do irrational or self defeating things. It is her choice to get help (or not) and take control of her anxiety and low sense of worth. You can't force her to, no matter how bad you wish you could.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    I have chronic depression and anxiety, though have not been diagnosed with a specific disorder. For me, it manifests as sleeplessness, exhaustion, apathy, disordered eating, and lots of crying. If it's prolonged, I get cranky and aggressive. It's unpleasant for me, and I imagine for my wife, but we have been together for 5+ years and these occasional episodes no longer threaten our stability.

    Bluenote is right; you can't do anything to help her unless she decides that she wants and accepts help. I know that's really hard, and we want to believe that if we just say and do the perfect thing, somehow the people we love will hear, understand, and be cured. If she wants help, anxiety is highly treatable through cognitive behavior therapy (where she will learn how to hack her stress response and calm her poor overworked lizard brain back down). She can even take online classes or self-guided seminars as a first step, before seeking professional help (though if she's self-diagnosing, I would really encourage her to see a professional, because that's kind of like asking the internet what's wrong with you - the answer's always "cancer").

    For you, I think the most important thing is patience. My wife responds to my self-deprecating tirades with a calm "Please don't say that about the person I love," "Did I say that, or did you just hear that?", and "I'm going to remind you all the reasons that I love you." (Sometimes she laughs and says, "Do you have balloons at this pity party?") She sits with me and reads a book while I cry, holds my hand, offers me tea, breathes with me when I can't sleep. She makes me dinner so I eat. When I am mean to her, she calls me on it, with love and patience. And when I start to come back to myself, we talk about what she could have done differently, what I could have done differently, and what we will do next time.

    Since your relationship is so young, you also have to accept that she might not know how or want to learn how to face this right now, and that you are not obligated to fix it for her. Sometimes, things like this cause relationships to end - not because they are unsolvable, but because the will and skill to solve them is not there.
     
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  4. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Your wife and your marriage sound pretty amazing.
     
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  5. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    She is; it is. But mostly because I've spent a lot of my life and relationships doing it wrong - pushing people away, provoking them into walking away, being absurdly needy, and earning the treatment I thought I deserved. It's luck and good timing and a lot of work that gets me something different, this time around. I decided to be better so I could give her something better than I had given in the past, and she was just stubborn and patient enough to stick around while I did it (and continue to do it).
     
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  6. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I really was depressive (i'm not well informed about this), but I think I was close to that some weeks ago or it was really depression and I might have not realized. Couldn't eat, sleep and I was so weak, that I couldn't even talk, I was not feeling any fear nor anger. Is like I stayed in solitary confinement for weeks. I thought it would take me a long time to recover, because I never felt that way, was the worst of all worst and had no one to communicate with. So all I did was listening to Portishead - Roads over and over again and trying to figure out how to recover fast.
    Roads is not even the kind of song that I would listen to normally, it doesn't sound melodic to my ear, I'm not dying to listen to it, but somehow, it was therapeutic for me because of the lyrics; simple lyrics in which I profoundly found myself in them and made me question new things about me.
    This might sound ridiculous but I'm taking advantage of it since I'm an anonymous here, I'm also into martial arts. I don't have proper training but I train myself whenever I feel like or when I'm angry. Sometimes I look like a rag doll kung fu, because I don't have a master who can correct my moves. But it makes me feel strong and I ask myself "why should I be weak when I can be strong?". I haven't been born to be weak nor strong by faith, I have been born with a choice to become one of them. I tell myself these things when the room gets occupied of too much self pity :))
     
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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  7. Gentry

    Gentry Active Member

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    Hey guys! Thank you so much!

    @lorienczhiu i got really inspired by what you shared. I thought I couldn't do this, but your story gave me courage and hope that maybe this could work. Apparently, she has the same manifestations too, especially the cranky and aggressive part. Plus thoughts of suicide. I did a research about anxiety and it made me understand some things about her situation. I actually borrowed some of your awesome wife's lines :"dont say that to the person i love" "i will remind you the reasons why i love you". And i think it worked. :)

    Last monday. I left her favorite flower, a stuffed toy and a poem on her desk. It's an excerpt from Clementine Von Radics' "Mouthful of Forevers". I would like to share it here :)

    "And I will not be afraid
    of your scars.
    I know sometimes
    it’s still hard to let me see you
    in all your cracked perfection,
    but please know:
    whether it’s the days you burn
    more brilliant than the sun
    or the nights you collapse into my lap
    your body broken into a thousand questions,
    you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
    I will love you when you are a still day.
    I will love you when you are a hurricane."

    It's corny and i felt really shy doing this kind of stuff. Haha. And it didn't help. Maybe a little bit but she was still crying from time to time. But I just stayed by her side and talked to her calmly. I thought it won't stop and that would be the end of us. It hurts a lot. But the patience paid off. She somehow came back to herself today, and it felt so good. Finally, the storm has gone. *sighs* i missed her. She's worth it. :) the next time it happens, i will know what to do. We talked a little about getting help from a proffessional. I hope things will get better.

    Thanks again! :)
     
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  8. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Me too! I'm glad that you found some strength and ideas in what I said.

    The thing about relationships is that the people in them are people, and we all have our flaws and our crazy. Successful relationships are really about figuring out what kind of flaws you can live with and love, because you're never going to meet a partner without them. I'm probably never going to stop feeling anxious and depressed occasionally, even as I work to minimize it and build up my capacity to deal with it myself. My wife knows that. She agreed to it. That's just part of being my partner - hopefully, a pretty small part, but a part all the same.

    I also really would encourage your girlfriend to find some professional help, and I'm glad you talked about it - even just a few sessions to teach her some effective ways to calm herself and find the emergency exit from her anxiety. Anxiety is unpleasant in the moment, sure, but chronic anxiety can lead to poor immune response, heart problems, digestive weirdness, and more. In the meantime, I offer this: cortisol (the stress hormone) levels can be decreased through physical contact, laughter, cuddling animals, being outside, exercise, and being with friends (and also through sex, cuddling, giving people presents, lovingkindness and mindfulness meditation - really, there's lots of options).
     
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  9. Copperhead

    Copperhead Active Member

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    I've been dating a girl with borderline personality disorder (BPD) for three years and at first her anger, crankiness, depression, what seemed to be manipulation and the way she tortured herself shocked me and it killed me to see her that way so we got help and we finally got an accurate diagnosis which has helped enormously.

    Sometimes when you self diagnose it's because you realize something is not working the way it should. It could be something or it could be nothing but let's suppose it is something:

    I think it would be good for both of you to seek profesional help and it might help you to do some research on anxiety (and if she gets a dignosis, research on the diagnosis she gets). When you date someone with a mental disorder it is necessary to understand why those behaviors happen and how to respond differently for your partner's sake and for your well being, because it is not just about supporting the person you love, it is about taking care of yourself too.

    It is a whole learning process but you can get the hang of it and if you are willing to commit to that person and assume the responsibility it conveys, then doing research is the first step.

    I wish you both the best of luck!
     
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