How do I help my partner understand my anxiety?

I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety depression and OCD, however my anxiety is most prevalent. I used to be on medication for it but I’ve stopped due to the horrible side effects. Everytime I get symptoms of anxiety, my partner just doesn’t understand. An example: she asked me to move in with her and her family. I immediately felt anxious about it, thinking “what if her family doesn’t like me or gets tired of me? What if we start fighting more often? What if we breakup because of it?”
I told her all this and she just got mad at me, hurt that I didn’t wanna move in with her. I told her I DO want to move in, i just have those thoughts and feelings because of my anxiety. She does not understand.
Or another example i always ask if she still loves and wants me because I have anxiety about it and need the reassurance, even though I know she loves me I just have thoughts that she doesn’t. She gets hurt that I even asked.
How can I help her understand what mental illness is and why I think this things and how someone with anxiety thinks?

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What Guys Said 3

  • It's incredibly difficult. Most of my friends and family have never understood my anxiety.
    The way I always explain it is by asking them to think about a time when they were incredibly nervous about an exam or interview, to remember that feeling in their stomach, how they were on the verge of panicking, how they could feel their heart punching the inside of their chest... I ask them to think of that moment and then for them to imagine feeling that everyday in a number of situations. I ask them to imagine feeling that everytime they talk to someone on the phone or have to ask a stranger for directions or have to meet new people. I then explain to them that no rational thoughts can enter your mind during such an experience.
    I've never had much luck though. My friends thinks it being shy and my family think im just lazy. I got lucky with my girlfriend because she had experienced anxiety and depression in the past (which of course doesn't sound lucky) but it meant that I could be completely honest with her about my anxiety. Saying that, she still doesn't always understand it fully.

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  • Show her the papers with your diagnosed illness

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  • yikes, we are medicating kids too young these days.

    just be open and honest

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