Living with someone who has anxiety.

by - 13:23:00

Hey everyone hope you are well and had a good weekend! Today's post is going to be about living with someone who has anxiety. This is quite a personal one for me as I suffer with anxiety and I live with someone so I thought I'd write a few tips and advice.



Firstly.. 

Hope you have a good bonfire night. I celebrated at the weekend which was very busy! I took a train to Northampton on Friday night to see my family and then Saturday morning/afternoon I spent with friends there, I then took a train back to Birmingham to attend a little Halloween/Bonfire party and then went to go watch some fireworks in the evening! Then Sunday I was extremely tired and struggled to function properly so I didn't do much. What did you get up to?

Here's a classic firework shot and our mummy-wrap challenge.. (yes we have a cardboard cutout of Ainsley Harriott dressed as Dracula in our flat.)





Living with someone who has anxiety.


I thought I would write a post on this as it is something that me and my partner experience. As you're probably aware I suffer with anxiety and I also struggle with panic attacks sometimes. My boyfriend obviously knew I did before we moved in together but I guess it was the first time where he'd experience it more often. We talk about it a lot, we've had hundreds of conversations about it, it's always nice knowing you have someone you feel comfortable talking to about it, and so he has also picked up what to do and how to cope with it - of course it can still get too much for him sometimes and I don't rely on him completely because that would be unfair. 


Advice on supporting your loved one: 


Ask how you can help - 

Often your loved one will know what helps them if they're feeling anxious or on the verge of a panic attack. It's always a good idea to speak to them about it and find out what helps them, you may not have always lived with them so what did they do when you lived apart? By asking them for help it can be a good way to make them feel in control of it but also it can make them feel more relaxed and calm knowing that someone is there to help them when they need it. An example could be doing breathing exercises, and if you know that helps then you can sit with them and do a few. For me I find that when my boyfriend sits with me and does the breathing exercises with me it really helps - perhaps knowing he is sitting by the side of me until I feel okay again is calming and reassuring. 

Try to understand more about anxiety - 

A really good idea is to research about anxiety, it can help you understand it more so when it comes to it you won't feel so panicked yourself. That's why I like talking to my partner about it, he's pretty understandable now and helps me as much as he can. If you have lived with this person for a long time also the experience over time will help. You can also as I have said before as them about their personal experience. What triggers their anxiety? How does anxiety affect their day-to-day life? What makes it feel better? All helpful questions you can ask. 

It's fine to accept that you don't know all the answers. You're not their therapist, you're their loved one. If you feel it's too much or gone past a point that you can't help then get them to seek help. You can always encourage them to book a doctors appointment, I know sometimes people often struggle to book appointments or leave their house so you can always check if home visits are possible. When they've booked an appointment you can always offer the support of going with them or even go through a plan of what they're going to say to the doctor. I know for me I get anxious about making certain phone calls, so I often write down little notes of what I'm going to say. 

Reassure them and try not to pressure them - 

I know it can be frustrating sometimes that your loved one frets about something that to you seems silly. You both might be going to meet up with friends for some bowling, and the person suffering with anxiety might start to panic about going. You can do a few things here, one would be to reassure them. Perhaps go through step by step of the plans, who's going to be there, where you're going, what time you need to be there for - looking at it through steps can be really helpful. If there are particular things they're worried about, for example maybe they don't really know one of the people that are going very well then explain that it'll be okay and that you'll be with them throughout the day/evening. 

Another thing not to do is to pressure them. If you find they're constantly panicking or so anxious over something then perhaps you should say it's okay not to do that thing. It's a good idea to be a little encouraging but don't put too much pressure onto them. It's good to be patient, to listen to them and for them to take it at a pace they're comfortable with. I know for you it may be something easy and simple but for someone who suffers with anxiety it can become 10 times harder. It's totally understandable that you want them to face their fears, but it's not always as easy as that and that can also cause them to be in more distress. 

Please look after yourself too - 

This is so important, of course you want to help your loved one as much as you can, but please remember to look after yourself. Its common to feel overwhelmed and sometimes it can just be too much for you to handle, and that's fine. It's a good idea to set boundaries and don't take on more than you can handle - I'm sure you can judge yourself on this one. If you find that you're starting to become unwell yourself you won't be able to offer as much support anyway and it's so important to decide your limit, as I said before, you are not their therapist. You can also share your caring role, it's good to have a few people around that can help your loved one out rather than you taking it all on yourself. Thirdly, talk to others about how you're feeling. It's common that when a loved one is caring for someone who is suffering and they then start to become unwell and feel down themselves because of it, they don't talk and tell people how they're feeling. 

Also carry on living your life! Don't say no to fun events because you feel like you should stay at home with your loved one. Perhaps there may be a few occasions where this happens but as long as you get some time for yourself and get to do the things you love. Sometimes this can make your loved one feel guilty for you missing out on things which then will start playing on their mind because they'll feel like they're holding you back. 

If you want anymore information then have a look at the article on MIND's website: link here
If your loved one needs help immediately then please have a look at my helpline page: link here


I hope this post has been helpful, either because you live with someone who has anxiety, you suffer with anxiety yourself and live with someone, or that was something interesting to read about. ❤ 

Let me know in the comments below any experiences you have had (only if you want to share), or any advice you may have yourself! 


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60 comments

  1. It's important to always be mindful of someone who has anxiety, reassuring them and just being there for them is always an amazing help to that person! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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    1. Yeah definitely, reassuring someone with anxiety is one of the best things you can do :) xx

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  2. Great post! It's nice to see some material out there to help support people trying to support people with disorders such as these. There is so much out there that are geared toward the sufferer and not the support circle members. This looks like it would be extremely helpful to someone who is looking for advice on how to be a more supportive member of household for their loved one!

    https://boozyhousewife.family.blog/

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    1. Thank you! Yeah that's what I thought, I haven't come across any posts where it looks at support for the other person but it's so important. Glad you liked the post :) xx

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  3. Great post Chloe! I think mindfulness is so very important to practise in every day life. My wife has bipolar disorder and I have borderline personality disorder, two mental health illnesses that carry their fair share of anxiety and panic attacks so we are used to it more than most I feel. It’s how you support each other and find ways to cope that get you through x

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    1. Thank you! Yeah I agree, mindfulness is great! Exactly it's such a help when you have supportive loved ones xx

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  4. Amazing post. You explain this so well and give great tips too. We forget that it is not only the person with anxiety who suffers but those around them can too, 1) hard to watch and 2) it does limit with they can do too! But being mindful, supportive and caring whilst still looking after yourself is the best you can do. Thank you for this post x

    my recent post on self empowerment: https://lifeofellabella.blogspot.com/2018/11/real-talk-power-of-makeup.html

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    1. Aww thank you! Yeah exactly, it's important for the person who's supporting those with mental health issues to look after themselves too! Thank you, glad you liked the post :) xx

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  5. Great post, Chloe! Very well explained from the partners perspective. Lovely that you have a supportive boyfriend at the looks of it, that always helps more than we know! '

    Sending love your way,
    Emma B

    the25lifecrisis.com

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    1. Thank you! It's lovely to have such great support from him, it definitely does help! Thank you for reading xx

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  6. This is such an important and helpful post Chloe. That is such a good point about not putting pressure on someone who suffers with anxiety, as what may seem easy to one person can be such a challenge for another. That is such a useful idea about writing down notes before you make phone calls, having a pen and paper handy is so reassuring. Thank you for sharing your advice, also your fireworks and halloween party looked so much fun! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you <3 Yeah definitely I will always have pen and paper with me if I have an important phone call or just generally feeling anxious about taking the phone call! Thank you for reading :) xx

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  7. this is such an important post to share. there needs to be a common ground of understanding on both parts. I still live with my parents and get pretty bad anxiety about driving in the snow, and my dad does not understand it. he always just yells at me to call out of work or basically to get over it..which is the opposite of what I need. That open communication when living with someone who has anxiety is crucial to both of you. lovely post chloe xx

    mich / simplymich.com

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    1. Definitely it's good for those that are living with you to be understanding and supportive, i'm sorry to hear about your dad not understanding that anxiety of driving in the snow - I guess some people struggle to understand it if they don't struggle with it themselves. Thank you, glad you liked it! xx

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  8. I really really really think this was such an important post. I love reading content that I learn something different from. I love the fact you have such a supportive boyfriend too. xx Great post lovely

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    1. Aww thank you! I'm definitely lucky to have someone like that, glad you enjoyed reading it :) xx

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  9. This was such a useful post for me and I'm sure so many others! Mental health is such an important topic and I'm glad people are talking about it more and more now. Thanks for sharing! :) I hope you have a great day!

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, glad it could help! Thank you for reading, hope you have a great day too! xx

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  10. This is such a helpful post. I can understand how frustrating it is for someone who doesn't get anxious when they have to deal with someone who panics over little things (me all over) so I love the reassurance tip!

    Soph - https://sophhearts.com x

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    1. Thank you glad it was helpful! Yeah definitely it can be so frustrating and probably can seem silly to them too. Glad you liked the post :) xx

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  11. These are SOO important to remember! I've experienced these myself before and they're certainly not fun at all. It definitely helps to have someone be there with you to help you gain composure! I don't live with my partner as it's a LDR but just knowing someone is there to help as much as they can is a comfort in itself!! As nice as that is, I do agree that you can't rely on them completely, as it may be too much for them! We managed somehow when we were alone, so we need to help ourselves as well. Lovely post Chloe! xx

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    1. Thank you, glad you liked it! <3 Definitely you shouldn't rely on someone a hundred percent as it's not fair on them, although even with a LDR it's always nice to know that you have someone who is only a phone call away :) xx

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  12. Love this chloe! A well written and.honest post and one in which I can completely relate. My husband finds it so hard at times to understand my anxiety even though he is so caring and loves me so much. Its hard for him to understand why I am anxious.. I'm.goinh to. Forward this to him xxx

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    1. Thank you so much! Exactly it can be difficult to understand if you don't experience it yourself, I hope this post can help! :) xx

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  13. I suffer with anxiety too, so I now how hard it can be. I know how hard it can be for the people you live with too. They are great tips! Thank you for sharing! Lauren | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. Thank you for reading, glad you liked it! xx

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  14. First of all, your bonfire weekend looked so fun! I have never been to a doctor about it before, but I do suffer with my own little anxieties and quirks. My anxieties/fears quite often exhibit themselves as anger and frustration sometimes, which I can totally understand is confusing for some people... More blog posts like this definitely need to exist! I especially like the 'try not to pressure' tip. Sometimes my fears and anxieties can be cured by some simple reassurance and patience hahah
    jenny x | www.jennyrosee.com

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    1. Ahh thank you - it was great! Anger and frustration can be a common symptom to have when you suffer with anxiety, I definitely agree I hadn't seen many blog posts about this! xx

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  15. what an amazing post that I think everyone should read! Thank you for sharing this with us!!

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  16. Great post! I'm the one with anxiety in my house and I do feel bad for what my parents, ex boyfriend and current boyfriend has had to endure with me sometimes. I know anxiety is difficult but it must be difficult for them too.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Thank you! Yeah I often feel guilty too as I feel like it can grate on their mental health too xx

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  17. Great post! I have anxiety as well and having a partner who is willing to support you in the right ways is so important. I especially like the tip about the partner taking care of themselves too!!

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    1. Thank you! Glad you liked the post, and yeah that's such an important tip! :) xx

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  18. Absolutely loved this post. This is definitely something I'll show my future boyfriend when we move in together, because I struggle with anxiety myself. These are really useful tips!

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    1. Thank you! Would be a great help for those that are unsure what to do for sure! xx

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  19. This is such a helpful post. Each point is important, esp. educating oneself about the condition and taking care of themselves too, because not understanding may lead to a lot of confusion, and overwhelm.

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    1. Thank you! Yes definitely, it's so important to educate yourself on it! xx

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  20. This post defiantly hits home for me. My biggest struggle with loved ones is them not understanding what it is like to have anxiety. I get a lot of "oh you are just stressed." This is great advice to give someone who knows someone with anxiety. Thank you.

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    1. Aw yeah that is quite a common phrase and something that a lot of people think, I haven't seen many posts/articles on advice for the person who knows someone with anxiety so I'm hoping this can help. Thank you for reading! xx

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  21. This post is so well written and such a lovely thing to do (in a non patronising way). It can be hard I imagine from both sides to try and understand and still communicate effectively and make you feel comfortable and secure. It's something which people like to bury their heads in the sand about but hopefully more and more people will start talking about it in a helpful and positive way which is amazing.

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    1. Aw thank you <3 Yeah it definitely can be hard from both sides, and you're right talking about it more will be so helpful! xx

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  22. This was a great post! My daughter suffers from anxiety so this was helpful to read, thank you!

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  23. Fantastic post. Great advice but the one that sticks out to me is the importance of looking after themselves too!

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    1. Thank you! Yes definitely, it's so important to look after yourself as well! xx

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  24. These are all really great tips. I live with my boyfriend and he also struggles with his anxiety. The hardest part for me sometimes is not really knowing what to say or knowing that sometimes there's nothing I really can say that will make him feel better. Your boyfriend seems so supportive! Thanks for sharing. xox

    Nik | https://bakeandfrost.com

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    1. Thank you! Yeah definitely it can be hard to know what to say or do, sometimes you say something and they'll get angry or frustrated but they don't mean it. He's lovely! Thank you for reading xx

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  25. Very informative and helpful. Keep up the great work!

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  26. Thank you for sharing!! Anxiety is definitely not to be taken lightly and it's great that you show up what it's like to be living with someone suffering from that. :) xx

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  27. This is such a great post! You explained it so well x

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  28. This is a great post! I suffer from anxiety and was just diagnosed with postpartum anxiety. I’m so glad I have my husband and other family for support but I do agree that they need support & help, too. Thanks for sharing!

    Lena // www.ourchaoticmess.com

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    1. Thank you! It's great to have that support, thank you for reading <3 xx

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  29. As someone who has been through postpartum anxiety, this is such great advice. I know it was difficult for my husband, but he was so supportive. I cannot imagine not having someone who supports you.

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    1. Aw I'm glad you found the advice helpful and I'm glad you have such a great supporting husband! :) xx

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  30. Great post, I especially love how you point out that it's important to look after yourself too! <3 xx

    OneMoreLightLB / https://onemorelightlb.blogspot.com/

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