Boyfriend with anxiety

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I don't really know where to start.  I don't mind who answers, whether you're with someone who has anxiety or have anxiety yourself.

My boyfriend of 2 years in a long distance relationship stuggles with anxiety and although it doesn't affect me daily, he's never come to see me.  He panics about travelling because he's not in control.  As much as I understand it makes me feel really worthless at times, I take it personally the way he never comes to see me, I'm always travelling to see him. 

He's on medication but he's not doing anything else about it, he doesn't go to see anyone.  His family's approach is just to let him do whatever once he can, but he plans to move to uni with me this September and he's only come up once.  The only time he's been here is with his mum - which is the only thing that gives me hope - he attempted to come up the other day but couldn't do it.  I try so hard to be positive and patient but it's just too hard at times, especially with the stress of exams.

How do I help him? How do I encourage him to get more help without being too pushy? At university there is a whole department for helping with mental illnesses that's free, I don't understand why he's not running for this opportunity even if it's not worked for him in the past. I just don't know what to do.

Thank you x 

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  • Posted

    To people who suffer badly with anxiety and depression life can seem as if they are living in dark deep hole, where sunshine hardly ever gets in.

    What makes things worse is that they know there is something wrong in their lives, but they cannot quite find for themselves what it is, or what it will take to put things right for them.

    It does take a considerable amount of courage for someone in these particular circumstances to seek the necessary medical help to put them on the road to recovery, and this is where you can help.

    As an outsider looking in maybe the best thing you can do is to offer understanding and as much gentle support as you can give him, and try to encourage him to go to university and seek help there.

    Alternatively, if you feel that he needs help before he can motivate himself to get to Uni, maybe the best course of action would be for you to encourage him as much as possible to seek help now.

    What I can tell you for sure is that it is not going to be an easy ride for either of you, because that is what this sort of illness does to people.

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  • Posted

    Hello Imogen. I am one with Agoraphobia and severe anxiety. So I can totally understand the predicament your boyfriend is in. I hope this makes some sense to you. I know it is very hard to understand, unless you have been in anxiety that takes total control of you. I did not get out of my bed or house for 2 years. I do not think it would have been that long if I had not been called all kinds of bad things by my husband. So I focused on my 2 daughters that needed their mother, and I got really mad at the Anxiety. Then I seeked out therapy. I was already on medication a long time. But when you get that bad, medicine alone is not going to work. It sounds like his parents are enabeling him. So he will feel comfortable where he is. Even though it is living he__. It is kind of like women living with an abusive husband. It takes forever for them to finally have enough. You get stuck in it. If you really want this relationship to work, you will have to be supportive, but firm. Don't enable him, but encourage him. When he is in an attack, he needs to hear things like "everything is okay". If he takes a step out of the ordinary, tell him how great that is. I would really be interested to know if he does move in with you in September. Once he is there, and sees the therapy offered, surely he will take advantage of that. But until then, if he has to take a safe person with him to get there to see you, then that is what it takes. Think about how much he cares about you to even try. I also can not go anywhere without a safe person with me. I hate it. I hate not being able to just get in my car and go wherever I want to. But I can not. Hope this helps you understand a little more. xx
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    • Posted

      Check what medication he is on. I have suffered anxiety all my life and was put on anti-depresants which didn't help me. I am now on propranolol which is specific for anxiety and it is really helping. It controls the adrenaline released in your body. Anxiety makes people have fears and worries that those who don't suffer anxiety struggle to relate to. Also, you get comfortable being how you are, even though it isn't pleasant, it becomes your norm and isn't easy to change. It isn't easy admitting you have weakness, it takes guts.
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  • Posted

    Hi Imogen,

    As someone who suffers with anxiety myself i can relate to your boyfriend. But i can also understand how frustrating it must feel for you. My ex boyfriend was brilliant with me & always encouraged me & had endless amount of patience and just knowing that he was rooting for me & believed in me made a big difference. It must be hard for you to have to watch him go through it & feel helpless. But if you love him then you must stand by him smile you can't do anything for him other than encourage & be there for him! it's up to him to make the next step of getting help. he might not be ready to accept that he needs help. he sounds very lucky to have you though & i hope that your future is a happy one smile

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  • Posted

    First of all don't think that this is in any way your fault. In my mind your boyfriend isn't trying to come to terms with his anxiety and do something about it. He needs to see his GP before he attempts to go to University and then the University can offer additional help when he gets there. All you can do is suggest he visits his GP. Tell him that all this is having an adverse effect on you and you are starting to suffer too.  This isn't being pushy, it's telling it like it is.  Get him to speak to the Samaritans if he won't discuss it with you.  It may benefit you to speak to them too.  University is supposed to be a good experience but it won't be for either of you if things continue like they are.
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  • Posted

    anxiety   is a life to itself, i never go on holiday because i am scared  i may break down, i have before.  thats how he feels.  i cannot help him . i helped myself but turned into a drunk not recomended . i survive any way i can i have a family and grand kids they all love me so that will do for me
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