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Author Topic: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....  (Read 12547 times)

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Offline Lucent20

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HELP..If anyone out there IS or HAS BEEN in a relationship with someone who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder PLEASE RESPOND....

My boyfriend has recently been diagnosed w/ GAD....He is currently on medication to cope w/ the almost constant anxiety attacks and also to help sleep at night.  These panic attacks (for lack of a better word) truley are crippling to him on a daily basis.  Luckily he has let me be there for him, even if on some days it's just to listen, or just being with him so that he isnt alone.  I feel that our relationship is in a good place-but his clouded mind at times really makes him doubt everything down to the smallest detail.....

What I am hoping for is that someone can give me a glimmer of hope that people DO come out of this and that there is hope for a relationship when the one you love suffers from this illness. 

What are things that worked or didnt work....ANY advice is welcomed! Thank you so much...I am not ready to give up on my guy yet....I just want to help him.....
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Offline sweetnspunky

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I am actually the one with the anxiety in my relationship, but I thought I would respond. First of all you sound like an amazing and patient girlfriend, because I know it can be really hard on our partners. My boyfriend has never made me feel like he would leave me or berate me over my anxiety attacks. I think all you can do is listen and encourage him and not let him get too down on himself. I am sure others will have some suggestions, I wish I had more.
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Offline mrmanic

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 That's great that you are there for your boyfriend, if he hasn't told you I'm sure he is so comforted in knowing you are there for him. I'm a male who is married and don't know where i would be without the support, comfort, and motivation my wife affords me. It is good he is trying the med route, they are part of helping one live and move beyond this condition. Also I hope he is in counseling, eating a healthy diet, not using any vices, these will all help as well.
 I was almost housebound from my panic disorder, but through hard work, going to counseling, trying medication, eating healthy, eliminating caffeine and vices out of my diet, I am in a much better place than I was only a few months ago. It takes a lot of effort but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Try to motivate him to do things, isolating to avoid uncomfortable situations only prolongs anxiety. Best of luck to you and your boyfriend.
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Offline ekoworld

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What type of meds is your boyfriend trying?Is he taking a snri drug or an ssri drug ,something like klonopin or xanax?some snri's and ssri's can heighten anxiety while its kicking in most people say they notice it lessens after a week sometimes less.  Have you spoken to him about therapy? maybe thats something you can talk about if not, was he diagnosed by a regular doctor? If he was maybe you can suggest a psychiatrist since this is there feild,maybe some CBT, I have posted in the forum some links to relaxation and guided breathing and stuff,you guys should check them out,maybe do them together,Its wonderful how supportive you are,and making suggestions to him to help him get a handle on his anxiety is definetly going to benefit the both of you its worth a shot,you have held on this long,there is so much info on this forum check it out most people here have some way some how have experienced anxiety---much luck all the best to you Also check out the free audio by Claire weekes,its free its also one of the links I posted listen to it together it can help the both of you.
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“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength”

Offline Lucent20

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Thank you so much for your positive feedback.  To answer your questions: Yes-he sees a therapist weekly (which I am so grateful for!) Yes- he also see a psychiatrist on a monthly basis. And he is on Ambian, Seroquel, and Xanax - (which he just discovered he isn't handling well, so he is cutting back slowly so he can discontinue).
Some days he thinks he is going crazy, other days he can cope. Not great days, just cope. What really throws him is the nights he can't sleep. Then all symptoms seem to escalate and his thinking become so clouded.

I want us to be a normal happy couple again....and I believe me I do my best at trying to keep things as normal as possible. It's not an easy feat some days when he gets into a funk.

It's hard enough as it is to have a normal relationship with no "issues" but we are both in our 40's, divorced, each have multiple kids, and then ya throw an anxiety disorder into the mix, and well, it makes it THAT much mire difficult. But the thing is- He's worth it.....I just want to see him get better.  Be happy again. Enjoy life again.

Please keep the suggestions coming.....
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Offline ekoworld

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Lucent,
                    Honestly if I were you I would be asking the therapist psychiatrist about some new meds,as he is taking a different kind of mixture,not saying its uncommon and maybe at the time his doc felt like it was the best combo for him but evidently it isnt really working for him,and if he is either tapering himself or from the advice of his doctor,his problem may still be there after he is off the meds,I would consider maybe asking his doc for an ssri,I am not a doctor but sometimes these are mostly prescribed for anxiety and panic,something like zoloft,celexa,lexapro,ect,or if he has other things going on some doctors might suggest an snri such as cymbalta,effexor,ect. as I stated earlier some people tend to feel a little heightened anxiety while starting these but that is when the xanax,or another longer acting benzo might come in handy while making the adjustment,and from what I have read and heard Trazodone is used alot for sleep,they claim it is so mild they give it to elderly people,just my opinon,like I said I am not a doctor,but his combo of meds all except maybe the ambien is used in treating anxiety ,I know serequol is used for other things but they do use it for anxiety also,but I say its worth asking a doc about a med change,just coping is no fun ,I personally use zoloft,ativan,and trazodone for sleep and I am highly med sensative and yes I had some side effects from the zoloft but not bad and it heightened my anxiety a little but thats what the ativan was for,and I rarely have to ever use the trazodone for sleep. I hope you guys can figure somethin out I know what works for one dosent always work for another but it sounds like at this point ,it would be a worthwhile try---good luck stay strong
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“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength”

Offline mrbrown862

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Hi, I think its great that you're there for him. I often find it difficult to sustain relationships pasts the "lust" periods, because then if I want to get serious I have to open up about my GAD and frequent trips to the bathroom, its embarassing and some people just don't understand what its like to have anxiety. DON'T GIVE UP on him, it gives ME hope  :happy0151: I would check up on all those meds, I used to take a bunch of anti-depressants with xanax, I've been off for 2 years now, but I think I'm going back to the xanax. I think your boyfriend needs to learn to cope with what he has, there is such thing as fighting it, but acceptance is also something that yields its rewards. I'm 20 now, and I started having problems at 16. Such a fragile age, I spiraled out of control not knowing where to look, I hit rock bottom a few times since then BUT the difference now is I know what I'm up against and I let the feeling of helplessness subside, and tomorrow is always better. Surrounding yourself with people that understand is HUGE, thats why I'm here. IF you're the type of GF that will go on message boards then, I think you're doing good. Love him for what he is, and once he really comes to an understanding of his problem he will love you so much more.

I hope this helped.

Cheersx

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Offline Lucent20

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Thank you for your positive responses..It's certainly been an uphill battle for me as an outsider looking in.  I feel that it's like a roller coaster ride at times, a few good days, then lack of sleep for a few nights makes for a downward plunge, then slowly he regains clarity and things level off again for a few days.

Some days he is crystal clear how he feels about me, other days he questions EVERYTHING......I know where MY feelings are.  They havent waivered once-but it does make it difficult to hear the person you love tell you that they dont know if they REALLY love you.  So I have to ask myself-do I want to be "ALL IN" or should I stand back emotionally and hope he get his life together before it's too late for us?  I'm not sure what the right approach is anymore.....

Over the past few weeks he has come to better terms w/ this disorder and has seemed to "accept" it rather than continuously fighting it at every turn.  THAT alone has seemed to help matters tremendeously!  (Along with his  medicine) 

Its just as hard on the "OTHER" person as it is on the actual person with the disorder in a relationship.  I constanstly have to be the level thinker....I constantly have to be the rational one when he dips into one of his "low points".  I don't mind because I WANT to be there for him-but I shouldnt have to convince anyone that they love me...AND, it is heartbreaking when on one day I hear how this person couldnt live w/o me, and the next how unsure they are of a future w/ me.....

We were seperated a while back and during that time I had met someone.  Someone w/o any disorders, someone who WANTS a relationship w/ me, someone who is consistant on how they feel.   It is SO very hard because I am in absolute love w/ "my guy", there is no one whom I could ever imagine my future with, BUT at what cost? My emotional well-being?  I know deep down that he loves me, he just needs to not be scared of how he feels...

So I ask....What should I do?  Anyone suffering form this disorder I am looking for advice from YOU.....How have relationships worked for you?  Have you ever had a supportive person in your life?  Has is helped or hindered? 
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Offline Lucent20

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Re: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 02:59:33 PM »
Well, I thought that I would post a status update to what has been going on since my last entry...

My boyfriend has switched medications (gone off one in particular all together which seemed to have made a WORLD of difference!) What a change for the better! Not only has his anxiety gone down BUT in addition he has managed to better control the waves that he does get and he is finally sleeping again!

He is like his old self again....it is so nice to have him "back" again after all this time! I do realize that there could be a setback at anytime, but I am enjoying every minute that I can right now!

It's still difficult at times for me to understand this disorder and what causes the anxiety, but I am so glad there are forums like this to help not only those that suffer first hand but in addition the people that love them and want to offer support. What is a shame though is it's seems like a game of trial & error whilst trying to find which medication/dosage will work and which absolutely do not, all the while dealing with all the side effects....

So far so good! It's been a VERY good week-and my fingers are crossed that it continues :)



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Offline BritnieM

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Re: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 03:05:31 PM »
Hi,
I've never been in a relationship with someone with this issue, but I myself have this issue. I am currently in a relationship with someone, and in all honesty, he makes me better. I've never had my anxiety get in the way of my relationships. As long as your boyfriend is alright with opening up to you and such, all should be well. Of course it's going to be hard to deal with anxiety attacks, but as long as you stand by him and try and understand his condition, your relationship should be just fine.
Good luck :)
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Offline Patsgf

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Re: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 01:31:29 AM »
Hi Lucent20!
I read your story and right now i'm in the same situation :'( i'm in love and my borfriend has anxiety and idk what to do to help!

also he's made me doubt about what he feels about me and idk if that's normal cus he used to be so loving and tell me all he time how much i mean to him , how much he loved me and he thought of the future together but now all that is gone (that was before I know he has anxiety) he's having a setback after his last one in Dec... but also idk if he was just too happy that got confused and that wasn't love cus I met him like 3 months ago...

I'm so confused, it break my heart cus he's a good person with a good heart and idk what to do to help him but it also hurts the fact that maybe i was or he was living in a lie...

what happened with u and ur boyfriend? did things got better? pls give me some advice!!!

thank you!!
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Offline Seahorse528

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Re: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 05:24:15 PM »
Hi! I have a husband and daughter and BOTH have chronic anxiety......It is VERY difficult to love someone with this because there is no magic medicine. I wake up every morning wondering what kind of day they will have...r...I came here looking for help too but I can tell you that I have been married to him for 28 years! so it is possible to deal with it long term. You have to keep your own strong support system and a very positive attitude although as hard as you try it wont rub off on him. He is lucky to have you by his side and Im sure he knows it
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Offline Patsgf

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Re: HELP!! I have a boyfriend who suffers from SEVERE anxiety disorder....
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 12:27:03 AM »
Thank you Seahorse! you have given me hope :)
thanks!
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