Panic Monster: How to Help Your Spouse When Anxiety Hits
By Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott
Anxiety. Most of us have been there: an issue that–to the outside world–seems arguably small balloons into a crushing, suffocating weight. Our hearts race. Our palms sweat. We descend into a spiraling panic and find that it’s difficult (and even hopeless) to stop the feeling of a dread building inside our chests. A lot of people have to deal with things like this, many of them have their own way of coping with anxiety though. Some seem to be fine if they just take a moment to themselves, whilst others might need to look at taking things like marijuana or CBD products to help calm themselves down (you can Read more about this here).
Most of us know what anxiety feels like when it’s happening to us, but it can be difficult to know how to help someone we love when they are being riddled with it. It’s easy to feel at a loss, not knowing what to do or say. Can’t they just get over it, already? Many therapies and self-help solutions can help many with managing their anxiety, now for people with anxiety the idea of this RFD group therapy counseling could be a bit too much, but there are many different ways you can pursue help from RFD or other service providers.
Unfortunately, it’s easiest to write off a spouse’s anxiety and come up short when it comes to offering comfort and help. So today, we’re sharing tips for helping your husband or wife overcome the panic monster when it attacks.
SOOTHE YOUR SPOUSE AND LISTEN TO HIS/HER FEARS.
When your spouse is in the throes of anxiety, it can be difficult to relate to the things that are bothering him or her. In fact, it may seem impossible to you. But it’s critically important to lend an ear and offer comfort to your spouse anyway, regardless of whether you can identify with his/her turmoil.
Encourage your spouse to talk to you about what’s upsetting them. Sometimes a person who is in a state of panic can calm down on their own if they talk about their worries.
If you can do anything to alleviate your spouse’s most pressing sense of panic, do it. Help him/her find ways to calm his/her body and mind. If the anxiety can be lessened, your spouse has a better chance of clearing their mind and approaching the issue from a calmer place. You might also want to suggest seeing a doctor if their anxiety becomes too more from them to handle, the doctor may be able to provide some help for their anxiety. There are some who suggest that they use CBD and THC products, such as vape pens, or dab pen, dab pen battery and other vaping products that could be helpful to them with dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, and other stressors.
DON’T TELL YOUR SPOUSE TO “JUST GET OVER IT.”
Panic and anxiety are driven by emotions, and even though an anxious person’s brain might be telling them one thing, their emotions are communicating a sense of urgency (and potentially danger) that they feel has to be resolved immediately. It’s classic fight-or-flight.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for anxiety and panic. Telling your spouse to “get over” whatever is upsetting them is just going to make the situation worse. Instead, show empathy and determine what you can do to help.
- If your spouse is feeling anxious about a decision that needs to be made, help him/her walk through the options, examining the pros and cons as a team.
- If work is making your spouse anxious or panicked, sit down and talk together about why, and explore possible solutions.
- If your spouse’s anxiety is rooted in matters at home or with family, see where you can pitch in and help.
- If the anxiety is uncontrollable and has disrupted your spouse’s (or your, or your family’s) quality of life, gently encourage him/her to seek professional help or find products like cbd oil.
If the problem is complex and out of control, don’t be afraid to seek help. But if it’s something you can find a solution for between the two of you, all the better.
DE-STRESS AND UNWIND–DELIBERATELY.
If anxiety has had a hold on your life, focus on ways the two of you can unwind and find peace. Seeking out pleasurable activities and having fun together will boost your sense of well-being (and your intimacy, which is a huge bonus!).
The panic monster can be a hard one to beat, but by working together and focusing on ways to alleviate your spouse’s anxiety, it can be done. As you help your spouse deal with his/her feelings of panic, remember that most everyone experiences difficult seasons like this at some point. Armed with understanding, patience, empathy, and love, you can overcome this together.
If you would like more help in dealing with stress, anxiety, and panic, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.