Calling everyone suffering anxiety, are these symptoms correct?

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walkingonglass

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Hi everyone.
I have been with a partner who suffers from anxiety (and some depression), for about many years. Recently his anxiety has gotten alot worse, and i feel like the only emotion he feels is either irritation, frustration or anger. Otherwise he feels completely empty and unhappy and has a void in him he says.
Him getting irritated and frustrated happens a lot and he takes this out on me a lot. It can be if i say something, do something, or ask him to repeat himself, small stuff set him off and its so tiring for me. I searched the web about anxiety and frustration/irritation and found these symptoms and traits:

Anxiety Frustration; Frustrated; Easily Annoyed
The symptom:
  • You find yourself feeling more frustrated and annoyed than normal.
  • It can also seem as if your patience runs out more quickly.
  • It can also seem like you are disappointed more quickly and more often than normal.
  • Even what would normally be considered minor issues now make you highly upset, annoyed, and angry.
  • It feels like you are overly quick to react.
  • It seems like you are more easily disappointed.
  • You find your frustration is like a hair-trigger, with any little irritant setting you off.
  • It seems like people frustrate you much more than normal.
  • It seems things upset you more than normal.
  • It seems like everything is much more frustrating than normal.

I wanted to know if anyone suffering anxiety can relate to these traits becauae i feel like it fits my partner massively. Sometime i take his reactions personally and i feel like i do and say everything wrong. Thanks for all the help everyone
 
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Jules5

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Me personally would fit most of those symptoms , but I have major depression. I do have anxiety, but not like the forementioned. My anxiety comes with panic attacks and a feeling of being overwhelmed I do become snappy that is why I take anti anxiety meds works great for my mood.
 
daffy

daffy

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I would tend to agree with Jules on this. It does sound more like depression. Although it would depend on the type of anxiety he has. If it’s GAD possibly but doesn’t sound like social anxiety.
 
Cpt_Stunning

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running out of patience quickly is a classic sign of anxiety, patience is a virtue & something that you already have or has to be relearned. things in life seldom happen as quickly as you want it to.
 
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walkingonglass

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He has GAD, and been diagnosed for over 10 years. He constantly feels a void in him, and he’s unhappy in general. Nothing seems enough, he has a good job, great family and friends. I’m not saying this to minimize the way he feels, but as a supporter I’m just trying to figure out what the void is. I can imagine how awful it must be to never feel quite... satisfied. Recently there’s been so much anger within him and he gets so annoyed, we haven’t been able to have a conversation without any tension in a very long time. If I ask him to explain something or repeat something, he gets so irritable. I don’t know how to handle it to be honest, but thank you all for your responses cause now I know that it’s caused by anxiety/depression. If there’s any more insight you guys can provide then I’d love to hear it! Thanks
 
daffy

daffy

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Has he had any therapy because that can be really helpful in altering your thought processes. I was seeing a psychologist and because of her help I was able to go on holiday which is something I hadn’t been able to do for years due to anxiety.
 
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gam9147

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Yes this describes me, and I would occasionally (I'm probably being too polite), take things out on my wife. Our situation is a bit different of course because she has mental issues as well and will fall into depression and I would get frustrated with her feeling helpless about her condition as well as agitated she couldn't help me or do things that needed to be done, and the cycle would feed itself.

Just realizing that you are doing this is the first step, I have generalized anxiety disorder and it comes out in weird ways, and its hard to even acknowledge it because doing so will throw me into an anxiety loop... where I've now been for months again. Therapy definitely, perhaps medication, but therapy is a good start. Hopefully you can gently steer him in that direction.
 
Cpt_Stunning

Cpt_Stunning

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anxiety can be a frustrating condition, it made me angry the fact that it happened to me, & not knowing why, & that's the most frustrating thing about it. A lot of it is about intense positive thinking, relaxation techniques & learning to be patient, & getting a hobby.
 
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Onionapple

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Sounds like depression and anxiety. That being said, is he like this when your not with him? Is he like this to and with others? How does he act around groups of people he dont know well?

I,like a lot of people, have gone thru this- he probably cant help being ratty to you. But remember if he ever hurts you badly, no mental illness justifies you staying around cos if you suffer to long then one day you'll be suffering with anxiety and depression too. But right now while you are copeing and obviously love him then give him patience but also be assertive. Let him know it's not ok to take it out on you and that will help him too. Is he medicated? SSRI's can be helpful, but avoid pregabalin. CBT is always safer and more productive especially if theres been sum significant trauma in his life-provided he wants it and is willing to take about it with honesty, open mindedness and willingness.

It's a hard path your both on but your strong or you wouldn't be online trying to fight for him. Good on you.

No one said life would be easy. Best of luck.
 
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Mollyblue77

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He has GAD, and been diagnosed for over 10 years. He constantly feels a void in him, and he’s unhappy in general. Nothing seems enough, he has a good job, great family and friends. I’m not saying this to minimize the way he feels, but as a supporter I’m just trying to figure out what the void is. I can imagine how awful it must be to never feel quite... satisfied. Recently there’s been so much anger within him and he gets so annoyed, we haven’t been able to have a conversation without any tension in a very long time. If I ask him to explain something or repeat something, he gets so irritable. I don’t know how to handle it to be honest, but thank you all for your responses cause now I know that it’s caused by anxiety/depression. If there’s any more insight you guys can provide then I’d love to hear it! Thanks
Just so you know this is not intentionally directed at you. I have been dealing with anxiety for many years and honestly sometimes when I feel particularly bad it's hard to get any information out in first place because it's hard to form cohesive thought, it's kind of like having your thoughts all over the place. So when you say something again it is irritating when you have to talk about something that is uncomfortable it gets frustrating. And then you realize that you have to communicate even if you don't want to it's hard. I mean I don't know your partner but I hope that this perspective be helpful to you
 
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walkingonglass

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Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your replies.

@daffy He has had therapy before, and he went to therapy for about a year (CBT), however, I don't believe that he took much from it. As in, I don't think he actively practices what he learnt when he feels anxious.

@gam9147 , thanks for your response. It really helps to hear everyones experience. I don't think he completely realises when he reacts in certain situations. I would wish for him to take medication because I think thats the only measure that would work. I only say that because this has been an ongoing problem for 10 years now and there are some very common themes. He has suffered for so long so I think medication would take the edge off, however he isn't willing to take medication at all.

@Cpt_Stunning , I suggested for him to get a hobby, so he has started to go gym a lot more now. However he says this makes him feel even more anxious! Another factor that makes it difficult as well is that he does not have a proper support system, he barely has friends and that makes matter tougher for him because when he feels like he wants to just unwind then he has no one other than me to do so with.

@Onionapple I do think there is some depression going on but i am not sure cause he is high functioning, goes work, gym, takes care of himself etc. I would say with the closest people in his life he has somewhat of an "easier time" to get frustrated/annoyed at.. So I have seen him be quite frustrated or angry with his closest family members. However at work or with other people he is quite..calm and relaxed. That being said, say for example we went to a restaurant and someone was rude to him, then he does get quite riled up. With me, its occasionally he gets ratty but he isn't "abusive" or anything as such. He has got a short fuse at the moment I would say, in general.

@Mollyblue77 Thank you for the reassurance! That makes a lot of sense actually. His thoughts are usually all over the place and I can see it takes real energy for him to explain something to me sometimes. For example if he talks about work, and he explains something I have no clue about and then I ask him for more explanation in regards to that..well sometimes that does not sit well with him and sometimes he's happy to explain it to me.

Right now, things have been very difficult for us. Ill try explain best of why that is.
First of all, he is generally unhappy in life. He stated its because he isn't "where he wants to be in life". That means: He isn't happy with his job, its a well paid and great job however he has no passion for it what so ever and he says that going to work mentally drains him because he sits at work for 8 hours and is not stimulated what so ever. Stmulation is very important for him and for him its very important that his job gives him satisfaction, and it doesn't.
- Financially, he wants to buy a house and he isn't at the point to do so. He sees everyone around him doing so and feels somewhat like a failure. He has a hard time saving, not because he spends a lot but because he has many various expenses so this makes him feel very bad.
- Friendships, he does not have many friends and the ones he does have do not seem to care for him much. So he feels pretty lonely.
- Family, his family..I mean, id say they have a bit of a toxic environment at home. They are always arguing, shouting, name calling, there hasn't really ever been calm at home for him. He has almost no relationship to his dad cause theres always been some tension there. They have gone years without talking and his dad thinks he is a "failure".
- Love, this is the hardest one for me to explain without me shedding some tears lol. We have been together for many years now and we have gone through so much together. Illnesses, financial struggles, work struggles, etc etc and also the best of times together. We are each others best friend. In fact, we call each other family over anything else. It has come to the point now where we both want to get married, we both feel its the next step in our relationship. HOWEVER, ever since we had that discussion he has expressed concerns about "what if we get married and it doesn't work out" and a few days ago he said "I don't have that butterfly feeling for you anymore". For him, that intense "love" feeling should always be there otherwise you aren't really in love. I tried explaining to him that its normal not to have those emotions anymore for echother cause now we have "true love", as time has let our relationship evolve to such a great partnership. However recently he has been insisting on how his feelings for me are "dead" and he doesn't feel the spark and passion. Some of the things he says, is not realistic cause love is calm...not intense and about "butterfly feelings", and a relationship is something you work on...thats my view. He has barely in his life seen a great marriage, his mum and dad have a horrible marriage, so does more or less everyone around him. He also feels like divorce is not an option so if you do get married then it has to be to the "right" person who makes you feel all these things.

Anyway. Ill stop writing now otherwise I would go on for ages. I just wanna deeply say thanks for everyones help. I am SO lonely in this situation and all people around me tell me to do is "leave". I don't want to leave, especially if its anxiety causing all this. He is an amazing person and Id like to help.

Again, if there is any insight on what I have written above and if anyone have similar experiences please do share. Again, Thank you all! You're all amazing!
 
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gam9147

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What you are describing has so many anchors in generalized anxiety. If he is not willing to consider medication, ask him about herbals. There are herbals that will also help. I take St. John's wart, there is also GABA, and SAM-E and others that act to relieve depression and may work on generalized anxiety.

But either way, the hope is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy works with or without medication if you are willing to put the time and effort into it... that maybe the trick for him. For me, I end up feeling so bad I'm all in on therapy when I go to do it... too much so, I want to be better *now*.

Notice how you describe some of these things -- he says 'what if' -- that's a classic anxiety mind -- 'what if' thinking, and 'should' thinking. I do this all the time, its a very difficult thing to counter, but cognitive behavior therapy is how you do so. If he is unwilling or you can't afford therapy there are some good workbooks (again he needs to commit to the time to practice the techniques), but therapy is most effective. "The anxiety and Phobia workbook" by bourne is what I use and find very useful in terms of 'step by step' instruction on how to get better.. but it is a lot of work and in my 15+ years of using the techniques of the book I feel I'm still working through some of them.

It is very common amungst those of us with anxiety to overthink every situation and that includes non-acceptance of our current situation. My wife has problems, but I love her, and I accept her and I'm so glad I married her. Doesn't mean that I don't occasionally have irrational thoughts, and feel upset towards her sometimes... that's of course just marriage as I imagine you know... but he may not since he's never looked at the world that way. Not everyone has a stimulating exciting job... that doesn't mean you can't aspire to it, but acceptance of your current job and life while working towards changing things that aren't perfect are important goals for anyone. For those of us with generalized anxiety, these are difficult hurdles.

I am struggling right now with acceptance of my current position. Which when I'm feeling rational is *bonkers*. I have a beautiful wife, a gorgeous house, plenty of money and time to do hobbies and things I enjoy... and I still have this feeling that something is wrong! And that's me not accepting that I'm anxious about it... that part you have to accept too! It is difficult to even understand as you can.

I do hope that helps, 18 some years ago when I first had large anxiety attacks I was in a similar place to your partner -- in school for a career I wasn't sure I wanted, was with a new girlfriend (my wife) who I was sure was going to reject me... my stomach was a wreck, I was anxious all the time, I couldn't focus or work. At that point I finally went for help and over time have realized all the mixed up thinking that goes on in my mind.
 
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gam9147

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By the way, don't ever let anyone tell you what you should do with your relationships. My wife left me about 7 years into our marriage and was seeing someone else, my family rejected the situation and said that was it... one strike rule for them as it is for many people.

For me I didn't care really, it was her not wanting to be with me that hurt. She came back after a few months when she realized her mistake, it took us a long time to work through it but we are happier now than ever. Most everyone told me not to take her back. But that wasn't the way I felt. I applaud that you want to help, even if he doesn't end up being your soul mate and you don't get married, it doesn't mean you have to break up with him right now. But as others mention it is a difficult situation and very hard on many people and they can't handle it and that makes complete sense too... its always up to the individual.
 
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