The role of a significant other extends beyond an exclusive relationship or marriage. In these circumstances, the spouse can play a huge role in the rehabilitation of the patient. Depending on the situation, the specific type of help needed will differ for every disorder. The preferred treatment methods, as prescribed by health experts today are typically couple-based and family-oriented type of treatment plans.
Using the partner or spouse as a “co-therapist” is one of the more successful methods in treating anxiety disorders. Once the partner has obtained the necessary training, he or she can continue treating the patient at home with various assigned tasks from the therapist. These home sessions are an extension of the therapy sessions at the clinic and will help speed up the progress.
One of the treatment techniques involves guiding the patient through angst-filled moments and providing support to him or her to maintain calmness by utilizing anxiety-reduction methods. These home sessions typically complement the exposure sessions with a therapist in which patients are slowly exposed to feared items or conditions, and help them face these challenges without fear. In situations where the therapist is not available, the spouse or partner plays a very important role in enforcing a behavior contact to maintain control over a patient’s anxiety responses. This type of treatment is very effective for patients who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Typical symptoms of OCD involve repetitious ritual behavior by patients when exposed to various levels of anxiety. With a behavior contact enforced, the number of times a patient will indulge in ritual behavior may be reduced when a partner consistently discourages the patient from performing repetitious tasks and rituals and therefore helping to emphasize ritual-free periods of time.
How do you device a survival outlet for yourself when your partner has anxiety disorder?
Before you can help your partner with his or her anxiety disorder, you need to physically and emotionally fit. Put yourself first before trying to handle your partner’s condition.
1. Family and Friends as support system
Confide in family and friends you trust. They are your pillars of strength who will be able to get you through this personal crisis.
2. Do not lose yourself in the process
Continue to do the things you love and enjoy before anxiety disorder had a chance to disrupt your life. Hobbies, outdoor activities and worthy causes help you see things in a different light. They can provide you the outlet to stay focused on things that are important to you pre-anxiety and post-anxiety.
3. Let your partner know your limits
Everyone has a limit to withstand a crisis. Set a realistic one for yourself and let your partner be aware of this limit. Therapy is helpful in helping set these limits to cope well emotionally, physically and financially.
4. Consult experts in anxiety disorders to help you cope, if necessary
Stress will haunt your everyday life. Waiting for your partner to bounce back to recovery can take months, sometimes years. Consulting with an anxiety disorder specialist can help you understand your partner better. It is also important that you reach out to the right medical professional who can give you a better insight of the situation and yourself. If you have reached a point where you are unable to manage yourself anymore, it is time you seek treatment for yourself as well.