Struggling with an anxiety disorder can often feel as if you’re carrying a weight around your neck. Normal activities and responsibilities like going to work or even getting out of bed in the morning become an uphill battle. One of the many aspects of life that anxiety can put a strain on is your personal relationships.
Anxiety is an isolating condition that may make you push your loved ones away. Or, you may be so overwhelmed with panic that you cling to your family and friends in an unhealthy way. By learning more detail about how your anxiety affects your relationships, you’ll be in a better position to nurture your connections and build a stronger foundation of support.
Anxiety’s Impact on Your Personal Relationships
When you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, there are two key ways stress, fear and panic can impact your personal relationships.
1. Overdependence on Loved Ones
Anxiety often causes your mind to jump to the worst-case scenario of any situation. This may make you heavily rely on your loved ones to comfort you and provide reassurance when any panicked thoughts find their way into your mind. Over time, though, this reliance can evolve into a toxic dependence.
When you have an anxiety disorder, your mind is prone to worry, overthinking and planning for disaster. Instead of constantly seeking reassurance from a loved one, it’s important to find other ways to cope with your anxiety. For example, running in a park or exercising at the gym can help you spend less time on your anxious thoughts.
2. Avoidance and Isolation
Instead of becoming dependent on others, your anxiety may drive you into isolation. An anxiety disorder can convince you to avoid any potential triggers of negative emotions. Since relationships often require you to open up to and be vulnerable with the other person, your anxiety may make you push your loved one away. You may believe avoidance is the best option, rather than nurturing your relationship with a family member, friend or spouse.
While you may believe this is the best way to protect yourself from your anxiety, isolation from loved ones can toll on your emotional health. It’ll be more difficult to relate to others and weaken your support system. A good way to break free from this isolation is a technique called exposure therapy.
Since your anxiety is telling you to avoid relationships, you will want to overcome this fear. The trick is starting small. Start by building your relationship with one person at a time, maybe having a weekly chat over the phone followed by coffee every couple of weeks. Over time, your anxiety about relationships will begin to subside and become more manageable.
Don’t Let Your Anxiety Continue to Weaken Your Relationships
If your anxiety is causing problems with your personal relationships, mental health treatment can help. As Arizona’s premier mental health treatment center, Fountain Hills Recovery uses a combination of evidence-based and holistic practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation to help you overcome your anxiety. Our team will help you slowly overcome your anxiety and build your confidence opening up to others in individual and group therapy.
At Fountain Hills Recovery, you have the opportunity to break free from the hold that anxiety has over you. We also know just how much damage anxiety can cause in your relationships. We will help you get to the bottom of your anxiety and develop ways to heal, maintain and nurture your personal relationships moving forward.
Contact our expert mental health team today to learn how we can help you take back your life from anxiety.