1. If you’re going to go to battle, know what you’re fighting against.
Anxiety is a battle between your mind and your mind, literally. And sometimes the battle can get heinous, especially when it steps outside of your mind and into your body as a panic attack. Anxiety and panic attacks do get better with time, but it is a condition that your partner lives with forever. Loving someone with anxiety can be difficult. You need to look within yourself and determine if this is something you are capable of doing. Don’t feel ashamed if you can’t, either. There are some things that people simply cannot handle.
2. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, and you have to accept this.
Once a panic attack begins, there is nothing you can do to stop it. It has to run its course. With anxiety, there are ways to stop it, but again, sometimes your partner just has a bad day and can’t reach their methods and thought-stopping processes in time. I would encourage you to be supportive, patient, and loving during these episodes. Often times, people with anxiety can recognize when their thoughts are going dark, but at the same time, they may not be able to pull themselves out of it before the point of no return. Do not become frustrated because you cannot help. You help us the most by just being there.
3. Learn everything you can about your partner’s condition.
I cannot emphasize this enough. You will have a difficult time communicating with your partner if you cannot understand what anxiety is or what it feels like. Look up people talking about it, for example. Read everything you can about the condition. And even so, some people end up in counseling themselves to try to understand how to help themselves deal with their partner’s anxiety. If you make the effort to understand, your partner will appreciate it more than you know.