I wish a board was dedicated to tips for the spouses/support person. I have a lot of experience as the spouse of someone with anxiety disorder. I have some good advice. I also have my moments where I don't have the answers and could use suggestions from others. I can share some tips to help you be supportive for this person you love. These are a few simple things you can do starting today:
1. At restaurants and public places always allow your partner sit where he can see the doors and entrance/exit points.
2. At movies try to sit close to the end of the row.
Let me point out that this is not related to claustrophobia, this is about allowing your partner to understand he/she is in control of the environment and means of escape. Sadly, it took me 6 months to figure out that my husband was not claustrophobic since tight spaces were the first clues of a problem (freaked out on Mission to Mars ride at Epcot). The REAL problem was not being in control of a means of escape, which triggered a panic attack.
3. Reassure your partner AND YOURSELF that the symptoms of anxiety are CHEMICAL and temporary. I'm not a doctor but in my experience I don't view my spouse's panic attacks any differently that I view my migraines. Of course they are unpleasant. But they don't mean we are crazy, we take the medicine prescribed and we wait for them to pass. They don't define us.
Would anyone else like to share some tips?