I am a 28 year old female in a relationship with a divorcee (with three children age 7-10). I have been having increasingly problematic anxiety attacks for the last 8 weeks. My boyfriend has been incredibly patient but it is running thin. My anxiety is beginning to interfere with my daily life, not just every now and again. I have huge panic attacks that cause not only my boyfriend to fear me but my past comes back every time to tell me that I’m not worth it, etc. (I was abandoned as a child and adopted at age 12, with significant abuse before and after adoption). I can feel that I am pushing him away even though I am not meaning to and I am afraid that he will just stop loving me because of the hurtful things that I say during the attacks. It has been an increasing struggle to come down from the attacks as well and has taken longer and long. Just last night, I had backed into and was hiding in my closet…and I’m 28! (Its embarrassing to be frank). I struggled with some anxiety when I was in college but it was never this bad. I don’t really know what to do, I don’t think its fair to continue to force him to live through the attacks, but it’s also not fair to leave him because he doesn’t want me to leave, and I don’t want to leave. Should I have him take me to the hospital next time? I can’t just go there when I’m calm, they won’t admit me, but I think its getting to about that time. I can’t keep putting him through this. Please please give me some advice. I’m drowning here.
I’m sorry the last few weeks have been so difficult. Yes, you should have him take you to the hospital the next time you have a severe panic attack, but you don’t need to wait for that to happen. I would suggest that you speak to your doctor about the issue and request anti-anxiety medication as well as seek therapy. If you have already been in therapy, it’s time to return.
Not only does it sound like you may have developed Panic Disorder, but given your past of abuse and abandonment, you may have symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also. I have worked with many clients whose symptoms didn’t show up until later in life, ironically, once they felt stable and safe.
You don’t have to live like this. Take the next step and get some help.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
My Anxiety Is Ruining My Relationship
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). My Anxiety Is Ruining My Relationship. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 27, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/06/12/my-anxiety-is-ruining-my-relationship/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.