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Anxiety and Relationships – How They Affect One Another

  • Posted at Sep 21, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
Anxiety and Relationships – How They Affect One Another

Experiencing an anxiety disorder means that anxiety impacts essentially every aspect of life. This includes personal relationships. Anxiety can negatively affect relationships in many different ways – isolation from loved ones, communication issues, and dependence behaviors are all examples of ways that anxiety affects relationships. In treatment, addressing both anxiety and relationships is important in order to learn how to manage anxiety throughout your personal life.

Symptoms of Anxiety in Personal Relationships

There are a number of things that can identify whether or not your relationships are being affected by heightened anxiety. Identifying these issues can help you understand whether or not anxiety may be affecting aspects of your life that you may benefit from getting help for. Some examples and symptoms of anxiety affecting relationships might look like this:

  • consistently worrying about a loved one or partner
  • believing that a loved one is lying to you even if there isn’t evidence
  • being anxious about how a loved one’s anxiety may negatively affect your relationship
  • worrying that a loved one may adore others more than you and feeling overwhelmed when a loved one chooses to spend time with others
  • over-analyzation of what a loved one says, does, or acts
  • avoiding people that you love in fear that they may refect or judge you
  • isolating oneself from the people you love

You may be experiencing some or all of these symptoms of anxiety and relationships. These signs may be different from person to person depending on the type of anxiety disorder they’re diagnosed with and how severe and frequent symptoms of anxiety are. But, nonetheless, it can be helpful to identify how your anxiety is affecting your relationships so that you can begin to identify how to resolve these issues.

Anxiety and Relationships – The Main Issues

People living with anxiety disorders may act one of two ways when it comes to relationships – they may avoid those they love or they may depend on them all too much. Avoidance and dependency are key issues that come up as the result of anxiety and can be addressed through therapy in order to overcome them. Whether you are dealing with avoidance or codependent behaviors, either way, these issues can negatively impact the quality of your personal relationships in a number of ways.

Avoidance Behaviors: People who are living with anxiety disorders may find it easier to dissociate with others than deal with their relationships head-on as a result of heightened anxiety. Some signs and symptoms of avoidance in relationships as the result of anxiety can include:

  • not picking up the phone
  • neglecting to go to social gatherings
  • seeming to be unfeeling or uncaring

Even though people with anxiety disorders may portray avoidance behaviors, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the people in their lives. It means that they don’t know how to have meaningful relationships while also juggling the weight of anxiety. And, that they may even fear that their mental health issues may be too much for their loved ones to bear.

Codependence: On the other side of avoidance is dependence. People who are living with anxiety disorders may completely rely on the people in their lives as they are dealing with the negative impacts of anxiety. Some of the signs and symptoms of codependent behaviors can include:

  • dread and worry about loved ones’ deaths or bad things happening
  • overanalyzing anything a loved one does or says
  • needing continuous validation from others
  • having an intense fear of rejection from others

Dealing With Anxiety and Relationships at Yellowbrick

Yellowbrick offers outpatient mental health treatment services for people living with anxiety disorders. Our family-forward approach allows people who are living with anxiety disorders and their loved ones to approach the subject of how anxiety affects relationships during therapy sessions. Thus, providing a safe and supportive space to talk out emotions, learn about relationship skills to use, and practice healthy relationship skills. Find out more about our anxiety treatment programs from our website.

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