Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

wife having anxiety problems what is my role?

Posted In: Mental conditions 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 30, 2008
  • 06:33 PM

Hi,
Maybe someone here can help me. Over the last 4 months or so my wife's anxiety level has been steadily increasing, currently her focus has been on work. She got to the point where she was crying her eyes out asking me not to make her go. I have never made her go but I have tried to be somewhat neutral and just give her honest answers to questions. Over the last month and a half we have been on somewhat of a roller coaster. She was instructed by her psychiatrist to take a couple of weeks off work and they would try some drug therapy. After going through a couple of drugs we have settled on the fact that she has an anxiety problem. She also works in the medical field and has always said that "I'm crazy" well in the first week or so of this she started searching online and was diagnosing herself with anything that came along to Paranoid/Schitzophrenia to Bi-Polar to whatever else she could find. Whatever it was that was her. Read a list of symptoms and she will tell you she has them.
So through the last 4 or 5 weeks we have come down to she carries alot of anxiety and jumps from one thing to worry about to another. This is complicated by low self-esteem.
She took off 2 weeks, worked 2 weeks, we took our 1 week vacation as planned, then had a follow up visit on the Wed after she returned to work from vacation.(at that point she had been back to work from vacation for 2 days, with a full 2 weeks before vacation of work)
The day before when she was at work a minor event got her all out of sorts and back to worrying about everything. When we went back to see the doc the next morning, she brought everything we had already worked through back up again and started rehashing everything. This got to the point where the doc said maybe she needs to take 2 weeks off work. I knew this would lead to her worrying about that and of course now she is.
Whenever she is speaking to a psychologist or psychiatrist she goes back down the road of I think I'm just crazy and need to be locked up. They will then explain to her that there is no need to do so and that her anxiety is running her life.

During this whole time we have multiple long conversations each day about what is bothering her and that the root problem is her level of anxiety and that when we are young we can go around worrying about everything but now that we are in our 30's this constant worry is going to cause problems which is what is happening.

So now on to my question, it seems the more we talk the worse it gets. We can be talking about something totally separated or just sitting and watching tv and she starts asking questions about what has been happening in the last 6 weeks or so. We have had conversations about whether she has been totally honest with me about everything that has happened. Whether I have been totally honest with her. Whether or not the people at work have it in for her. Everything bad that has ever happened to her in the past. Her feelings of what is currently bothering her, this could range from what happened at work, to whether she should stay at her job, to what happened to her in college and how she was treated bad to how her family perceives her to how she thinks she is destroying our marriage. Our neighbor came by saturday to drop off some movies, she has spoken to this neighbor about her work and how she feels before. The lady couldn't get a few words in about the movies she was dropping off before my wife dropped straight into talking about everything.

During all of these conversations I try to keep my words and conversation positive. I try explaining to her that as a medical professional she has accomplished alot thus far in her life. That she has a big heart and is kind and caring. I try to shower her with praise as much as possible trying to get her to a positive way of thinking. Admittedly I have gotten frustrated and started to raise my voice especially when she rehashes something for the 10th time.

She is a sensitive person with high anxiety and low self esteem. She is also a wonderfully kind and caring woman whom I love and still want to spend my life with. I think she will make a great mother someday and I look forward to sitting on the porch of our retirement home someday being one of those ornery old couples who has been together forever and are still deeply in love.

So what should I be doing during all this, am I doing right, should I be shutting down the conversations that seem to roll into these long drawn out examinations of her life and every mistake she feels she has made? I'm almost getting afraid to ask how she is feeling because I know it will turn into another 1,2 or 3 hour conversation about everything that has happened over the last few months.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to try to be thorough.
Any info/advice is appreciated.

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3 Replies:

  • As someone who has dealt with serious anxiety/depression issues herself, let me reassure you that it can be treated very successfully. What worked for me was time, restructuring my life to reduce stress, separating from destructive personalities, meds, and perhaps most importantly support of my husband. I am eternally grateful that he went the distance in his support of me. Along the way, he helped me identify and correct wrong thinking (self blame/obssessive thoughts). Patience and timing are everything. Find YOUR support from the right sources. Love your wife and be there for her, and always keep your dreams alive. You will be in my prayers.P.S. I did journey into a few self-help series and found Wayne Dyer's "Being In Balance" CD set very helpful.
    HopeAlive 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have you or your wife looked into cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety? It is commonly being cited as the best natural way to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. I always think that drugs can often cause as many problems as they solve. Perhaps you doctor can refer you if you specifically ask for it? Ot there are some really good anxiety self-help courses available.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I think you are doing a wonderful job of supporting your wife. Redirecting her attention and focus is probably the best you can do besides your understanding and support. She needs to take responsibility for herself because you can't do it for her. Have her look up three things on the internet that may interest her that has helped me overcome much of the same problems and more. I was a R.N. before I fell apart and got out of the medical field.Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)Springforest QigongA Course in MiraclesAfter eight years of emotional ***l I healed myself and she can too without drugs.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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