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Boyfriend Highly Sensitive - How to Cope?

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crmlmac

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
1
Hi everyone!
My boyfriend and I have been together now for 5 months. I love him very much, and he's incredibly sweet. However, although we're both pretty introverted, he takes overstimulation to a whole new level! For instance, we saw a funny play a few weeks ago and by the end of it he just couldn't cope. For the first hour he was perfectly fine, enjoying himself even! But near the end, in the last half hour or so, he started to get twitchy and uncomfortable. When it was over, he was so out of it he just sort of walked out without saying good-bye or thank you to my parents. That doesn't upset me, but I thought it was odd because he's normally very courteous. When we got home he felt really guilty for not thanking my parents and he started to act normal again. Alcohol terrifies him, and since I've started dating him I've lowered my alcohol consumption nearly to a stop (which, although I feel a little resentment, it probably was better for my health, anyway). This is a problem because my parents are big drinkers, and nearly every social situation with them involves alcohol in some way, so I'm not sure what to do. He's also pretty awkward in social settings, more awkward than me, which is saying something! He doesn't really understand the concept of putting on a face for social interaction, or pretending to care what others think. He may just sit there and stare awkwardly at the table and frowning while someone other than me is trying to talk to him. Don't get me wrong, my man is a wonderful guy...he just sees the world in a different way from everyone else. I just don't know how to accommodate his needs with mine. What do I do when he starts to feel overstimulated, especially in an enclosed environment like a play? How do I help him calm down? How can he help himself calm down?
 
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coraline166

Former member
He sounds quite like me. It might not be that he doesn't understand the concept of putting on a face for social interaction but, like you say, can get so nervous and tense that he's physically unable to. I wish I knew the answer. He could possibly be having panic attacks of some sort; although long, drawn out, uninterrupted terror sounds more like it, as panic attacks are meant to only last about 15 minutes. But then, I've always found that debatable. Sometimes the feelings can come apparently out of nowhere, and sometimes they can slowly build up and then rarely ever fully going away, seeming more continuous.

An escape plan is always a good idea -- I know developing too many 'safety behaviours' is often said to be bad for managing anxiety, but often they can be necessary to get by, I think. Hopefully he's getting some kind of treatment because when anxiety's affecting someone that badly there needs to be some kind of intervention, so to speak. Hope someone can be more helpful than I have here. Best wishes to both of you; it's good to see how much you obviously care.
 
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Gladimeir15

Active member
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
39
I really don't know the exact solution to this problem but i just want to be of help even a little. Have you tried consulting a specialist regarding his problem? Maybe it would also be good if you exposed him to a group of friends often or to your family so that little by little he would be used to dealing with his emotions/anxieties in every other situation.
 

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