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Learning About Anxiety Disorders And The Impact It Has On Our Relationships

Michelle Obama once said, “Choose People who lift you up”. The people we select to form relationships with in our lives have a significant impact on who we become as humans in the long term. Relationships are critical to our existence as a species. They aid in reproduction, offer affection and a caring atmosphere for our growth, expand our life options, and increase our chances of survival. This makes it necessary to form a number of meaningful and unconditional relationships with the people we choose for ourselves. An Unhealthy or Toxic Relationship leads to multiple negative effects in our life, Anxiety being one of the main ones.

Understanding, Communication and Trust being important components of a healthy relationship, if not present, may often lead to issues like Relationship Anxiety. Anxiety in a relationship makes one partner overthink about the relationship, makes them doubt themselves as well as their partner. In case, if the relationship weakens and the two individuals begin to drift apart one of them may experience Separation Anxiety. This occurs when an anxious individual in a relationship feels excluded and lonely despite the fact that they are in a relationship.

Anxiety may put a strain on your relationships, which can be quite frustrating. Friends and relatives may also feel stretched or worried as a result of your worry since they don't want to see you suffer but don't always know how to help you out.

It is also essential to shine light on various other Anxiety disorders like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder. These too tend to affect our day to day life and relationships in multiple ways we may not be aware of.

More About Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and the effects it has on your relationships

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is defined as a disorder characterized by excessive or unrealistic anxiety about two or more aspects of life (like work, social relationships, financial matters, etc.), often accompanied by symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or dizziness. This disorder may strike anyone at any age. The symptoms of the illness are comparable to those of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other kinds of anxiety.

Individuals with GAD have a more difficult time controlling their anxieties than people without GAD. Those with GAD may worry about minor topics. Anish, for example, suffers from Generalized anxiety Disorder and has a meeting to attend the next morning. In this scenario, he is continuously concerned about whether he will be on time for the meeting tomorrow, whether he will be able to locate a parking place, and what if he gets lost while driving? We, as ordinary individuals, will have similar ideas, maybe when setting an alarm for the meeting. The difference here is that we do not tend to obsess over it as much as someone with GAD might.

When you are overly concerned about your family, friends, coworkers, and others, you may resort to negative coping techniques. This can undermine the very connections you are striving so hard to keep. As a result, problems such as having minimal relationships, Difficulty paying attention to the concerns of others since you are too preoccupied with your own anxiety, Difficulty expressing your emotions, Being afraid or protective in a love relationship may creep in. Fear prevents you from doing things with people.

Talking treatments such as mindfulness therapies, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy may be used as treatment alternatives. Seeking assistance from a psychiatrist is also one of them; he or she will prescribe medicines as treatment.

What is Social Anxiety and How does it affect your relationships?

Have you experienced the sensation of being apprehensive or uneasy in a social setting? Perhaps you've clammed up while meeting someone new or had sweaty hands before delivering a major presentation. Public speaking or stepping into a room full of strangers isn't for everyone, but most individuals can handle it.

You might have come across the famous Netflix series “The Healing Powers of Dude” which follows a 11-year boy suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder, who gets an emotional support dog to help him manage his disorder. The relevance of Social Anxiety Disorder is precisely depicted in the series and is shown through the eyes of a Socially Anxious person involving his feelings.

Social Anxiety Disorder is a long term mental health disorder characterized by unreasonable anxiety during social encounters. Everyday social encounters create unreasonable worry, panic, self-consciousness, and discomfort in individuals with social anxiety disorder. Symptoms may include Excessive nervousness of circumstances in which one may be criticized, concern about shame or humiliation, or concern about offending someone.

Social anxiety destroys relationships and prevents you from developing new ones or simply being your genuine self in public. It is important to regulate your social anxiety by seeking help from a therapist or a support group. Talk therapy and antidepressants can help boost confidence and enhance social interaction and are used as treatment for Social Anxiety.

8 Easy Actions to help you reduce your Anxiety

Finding little methods to lessen stress and anxiety throughout the day can make you happy and give you a sense of control over your life.

1. Turn on some music

Music is considered to be a stress buster and releases a positive and happy hormone- Oxytocin in our body which makes you feel elated.

2. Spend time with your loved ones

This makes you feel cared for and important , provides you with a strong support system and a group of people who can help you in your tough times.

3. Yoga for Anxiety

Yoga is a great method to relax your mind and your body, focusing on your breathing helps your hormones, anxiety, heart rate and overall elevates your mood.

4. Be in Control of your Life

Take a break when you need to and don't be afraid of telling people when it becomes too much for you to handle. Communication is key in life.

5. Laughter is the best Medicine

When you're laughing, oxygen can travel better to your lungs and other organs which will in turn reduce your anxiety.

6. Cut back on Caffeine

When you drink a lot of caffeine, your heart rate increases. The less you consume per day the better off your anxiety will be.

7. Keep a Journal

Some people find the greatest anxiety relief when they take time out to write down what is stressing them out. In your journal, you can also list down all of the positive things in your life and you will feel positive in no time.

8. Join a support group

We all seek a safe space to confide in during these times of Anxiety, Support Groups play the role of the same and provide a level of comfort and assistance. Meeting like-minded people and knowing you're not alone is a great relief.

Coping with Anxiety During Covid-19

As a community, we are vulnerable to mental disorders such as anxiety and depression during these trying times. The fear of becoming sick or losing a loved one produces an uproar in our bodies and makes us feel powerless as we have never felt before.

Keeping this in mind, here are a few things you may do to manage your tension and anxiety during the lockdown:

  • Indulge in some of your favourite pastimes or pick up a hobby you didn't have time for before.

  • Join online support group communities to channel through your emotions and to find a space to feel like yourself - anxiously anxious yet YOU.

  • Connect virtually with folks you haven't seen in a long time.

  • Take a deep breath- this may be an opportunity for us to pause in our individual lives and take a deep breath.

  • Take care of your body; after all, it is your temple.

  • Be sympathetic and kind to others around you.

  • Avoid or get rid of negative media and disinformation.

  • Channelize your anxious energy into the right direction to get a positive outcome of it.

Image source: Pixabay

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