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  1. #21
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    Sep. 16, 2003
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    I love the horse training comparison. We feel like we can 'fix' horse problems, work problems, house problems, etc. I guess we just take it a step too far imagining we can 'fix' something so deep.
    Re: therapy -- he begins that later this week. He's hopeful and scared and excited; i just wanted to set myself up to be in the do-no-harm role in the meantime.
    He's tried meds previously (didn't like the side effects, but hadn't tried the therapy + meds. His GP put him on a non SSRI med of some sort, which doesn't seem to have the physical side effect he most disliked, but therapy doesn't begin until later this week.
    The kitchen incident took place prior to him beginning the new medicine.
    Last edited by Hunter's Rest; Feb. 18, 2014 at 06:57 AM.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  2. #22
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    Aug. 10, 2008
    Location
    Statesboro, GA
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    You can say, "Hope you had a good day at work," rather than "How was your day?" This gives him a chance to thank you and then change the subject if he wants, or open up and talk about a problem, or share a joke.



  3. #23
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    Mar. 5, 2013
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    I noticed you edited out the example of his anxiety attack. It's interesting he can hold it together at work but not at home. But either way it's not your problem to solve. I will tell you that it gets really old, really fast dealing with a SOs ongoing mental condition whether it is anxiety, depression or another. Really, how much fun can it be tiptoeing around so as not to provoke an attack?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Jun. 27, 2006
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    296

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    I reread OP's posts - thought I missed something (edited out).

    There is some really great advice here. My DD has been dealing with anxiety for 4 years or more. Originally symptoms were thought to be from another medical issue. All came to a head 3 years ago when she became agoraphobic.

    I wish I had some of the advice offered you here. I have to stress supportive role not fixer. Let his counselor/PCP work on the medical issue and just support him as he works towards healing.

    Best to you both!



  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
    I love the horse training comparison. We feel like we can 'fix' horse problems, work problems, house problems, etc. I guess we just take it a step too far imagining we can 'fix' something so deep.
    I'm not going to quote much of your post because I see that you edited your previous ones and don't want them recorded for posterity. Let me know if you want me to edit your quote out on this one or any part of my post.

    Yes, regarding horse training (I'm nowhere near a trainer, BTW ). But I am in a "fixing" profession where I am the expert. I can probably guess the side effect disliked along with the medication and I can probably guess the med he was given instead.

    I don't know how long you've been together, and I see you didn't answer the age question. But I'm imagining there is an age difference that is significant. I'm concerned that there is a bit of a Mommy thing for him - you're an older, confident, "got your crap together" woman. He is not whole right now. He's had this personality disorder forever and hasn't been able to solve it. That's not the end of the world; not all of us are "whole" in that regard at the age of 26. BUT. Not your problem. Maybe you love him (again, not sure what your feelings are about him at this point/length of time, etc., so take all of this with a grain of salt!) but he ISN'T going to substantially change.

    Your words about setting yourself up in the "do no harm role..." I applaud that, but he's not your child or your husband who's had an issue that came on acutely. You, in this relationship, are setting yourself up ALREADY to twist into a pretzel. Please don't do that. There is a great book, I think called "Stop Walking on Eggshells," but it's about Borderline Personality Disorder, not GAD. There is also a workbook.

    I have a mild to moderate suspicion that you might be dealing with more than GAD here.

    The kitchen incident is who he is. WHO HE IS. Medication might temper that, but generally speaking, personality doesn't change in the very, very, very overwhelming number of cases.

    I would see your own therapist through this. I don't know you, but I fully intend to someday take a few lessons/mini hunt lessons when I'm back on the East Coast, and you've been highly recommended. You seem to have your stuff together. It's fine to "help" someone, but this is going deeper than that...you don't need this. It's not mean...you get to choose whom you want to be with, both friends and relationships.

    I'm not meaning for this to be cruel...but it might not be worth it to stay in this one. Look many years down the road and see if you want to be with him who is he now, because that's most likely who he will be. This isn't a friend you can be away from, this is a potential partner, and I don't think he can be that for you.

    GOOD LUCK.
    LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...



  6. #26
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    Sep. 16, 2003
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    Flint Hill, Virginia
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    I was just re-reading all the info I was offering on the situation and it was far too personal (he doesn't come here, but still ....)
    I left general info and TOTALLY WELCOME and APPRECIATE the conversation.
    Please allow me the editing thing so I don't feel ooooky about over-sharing someone's confidential conversations.
    But please, too, carry on.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
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    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    I have anxiety and depression and the one thing that has helped me is my medication. It is Lexapro. It makes me tired, but i have had the best 5 years on it. And weirdly enough, my horse used to be nervous and jumpy, and now is fine. So he was feeding off me. i realize medication is not for everyone. it does help ME. Good luck. Try not to focus too much on it. That will make him feel even more anxious. ( if he thinks you see it as a flaw that needs to be fixed).



  8. #28
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    Apr. 6, 2006
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    Virginia
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    1,622

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    Whatever you do, don't tell him to "just get over it".

    Thyroid has also been an issue for me - I have Grave's Disease and if my thyroid is out of whack anxiety is the first symptom. It really can be crippling and when it gets that bad the only thing to do is get professional help. There is no shame in that. It's too bad there is such a stigma about mental health issues in this country - I think it prevents a lot of people from seeking treatment. (Myself included - for way too long!)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    I don’t have any information other than your first post, but it sounds like your guy is struggling with emotional regulation – learning how to keep the boat from rocking when things get turbulent! These people have a very hard time self soothing – calming themselves when agitated, comforting themselves when upset, and so forth. As a very well known psychologist notes, a healthy mind has both rational and emotional components, not all one or the other (in his case it might be a lot more emotional). One hopes his therapist can help with this (there are several very good protocols), as it will be a lot more empowering to him, rather than being triggered and run by his emotions. The fact that he “holds it together” at work is hardly surprising, as work is unlikely to trigger the disregulation (but work relationships might, as his primary one with you might).

    As RHRT noted, his issue is not yours to heal. You are not him nor are you his therapist (thank God!) But sure, being regulated yourself is helpful to anyone. Being kind is helpful, as in, as someone noted, NOT saying “just get over it” (is that helpful to anyone?), or rolling your eyes, or sighing with impatience or whatever. Having good boundaries yourself is helpful about what you will and won’t tolerate. This is a reminder for him to do his emotional processing with his therapist, but it’s also true that structure helps, which is likely one (not the only) reason he does okay at work or at school.

    Enjoy your life! Do what you love! you do not have "do" anything as you are not the one healing him!!!! HE is the one responsible for his own healing! As I tell clients, when sailing, if someone goes overboard, it is NOT helpful to jump in the water with them! Someone needs to stay in the boat, with the tiller, and a life vest. I do not get in the water with family or clients (if I can help it!) because then I am really not helpful.

    I have not found the class of drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety to be particularly helpful to many clients, as clients then rely on the drugs (which are very reinforcing) and forget about learning effective NON pharm strategies for dealing with emotions. Obviously many people do like them, so I m glad he is working with a therapist and a good prescriber on that.



  10. #30
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    Sep. 15, 2003
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    401

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzulBlue View Post
    Number 2 especially--people who say "calm down!" totally miss the point of anxiety. If it were that easy, everyone would be able to do it. The blog post by Sean Smith that's quoted in the article is dead on: "Let’s acknowledge the obvious: if I could stop my anxiety, I would have done so by now. That may be difficult to understand since it probably looks like I choose to [panic, scrub, hoard, pace, hide, ruminate, check, clean, etc]. I don’t. In my world, doing those things is only slightly less excruciating than not doing them."

    Just remember that you can't fix this person. You can be supportive and encouraging while he works on getting himself together, but he has to keep moving forward with it. right horse is right--he has to own it; you can't own it for him and hope it gets fixed.
    The hooves of the horses! Oh witching and sweet is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet. Will Ogilvie



  11. #31
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    Jun. 11, 2013
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    U.K.
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    My boyfriend had/has anxiety and also turned out to have fairly severe hypothyroidism - so definitely worth getting that checked.



  12. #32
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    Aug. 19, 2009
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    I have pretty bad panic attacks. That 1st night in Aiken when my stomach flared up-- that triggered a major panic attack. I spent most of the night in a fetal position on the floor trying to convince myself dying at the guest house would be pretty embarrassing. I contemplated driving to the ER and even calling an ambulance, but didn't want to bother anyone else that night. Panic attacks can be very self centered. And embarrassing. And very, very lonely. I know my heart is good-- had all the scans, etc. it's the irrational fear of death and feelings of impending doom that get me. If I can get to a mirror, ive learned to look into my own eyes, and repeat over and over, "you're ok, you're ok". If I can talk myself through it, and the uncontrollable full body spasms relent, and if I can drift to sleep, then in the morning, I'm tired, but ok. Triggers for me-- lack of sleep, alcohol, gerd flare up, stress, too much caffeine, or my favorite... I have no freakin idea. My husband didn't know I had them until last year when I just wanted someone else to tell me I was ok. We've been together 10 years.

    Take it slow and if he doesn't want to share, or doesn't want you around when he's having one, just back off, but let him know you'll be there, if he wants and how he wants. Email me or call me if you want more info.



  13. #33
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    Jun. 11, 2013
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    U.K.
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    Also, was the symptom he most disliked a... personal issue? Because if it's what I think it is, that goes back to normal with time, if you stick with the meds.



  14. #34
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    Sep. 16, 2003
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    Flint Hill, Virginia
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    Timely
    You betcha I want more. You uniquely know the sitch .... email.
    I totally *need* you guys guidance -- to back off, to not say 'ohforgoshsakes', etc. b/c I am So Likely To Do That if not helped to understand this thing.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  15. #35
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Rock Chalk!
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    This isn't his fault. It's a genuinely organic issue that he has no control over. He is probably beating himself up, too, about not feeling "right" which makes the anxiety worse, which makes him beat himself up more... It's not a fun cycle. I'm very much a strong type, and it's tough to see someone you love go through this. It took me some work to remember that he didn't want this either.

    Things that have helped us work through the worst of times:
    - Be involved in his recovery but not to the point of enabling or codependency. I always fill the weekly pill keepers so that I know what is & isn't being taken. When he's having a tough time, I keep a very close eye on it and even hand him his pills to take.

    - Respect the fact that he needs something different from time to time in order to cope with what is going on. In our house, that means taking time to go downstairs to the man cave where he can pace & get over his current anxiety episode. Give him space when he needs it.

    - Communicate. With him, with family, with providers.
    --- Providers - This may mean going to appointments and keeping on top of them when things get bad. Keep a notebook of what meds ahve been trid, what side effects they had, when they started/stopped, who prescribed them. Be honest with the docs - SO may not be either because he's embarrassed or because he honestly believes what he says. Docs often find that the info provided by a SO is far more useful than from the patient.
    --- Family. They can be great support, or can be poison. We have been very up front to my family on what is going on. They realize that he may have to leave a family dinner and are ok. They ahve also been a source of strength and blessing for me no matter what - even if it's just when I need to vent. In our case, I've had to have a come-to-Jesus moment with my MIL, too, and drew a line in the sand of what is and isn't ok for her to do.
    --- Him. This is the tough one. You really do have to alter your way of communication depending on his state of mind. It's not fair, but it is how it is. During a good time, ask him what HE wants you to do when he's agitated. Encourage him to get help if he isn't. Let him know you're there for him, and that you want to be his advocate. We're at the point where I can ask DH what he thinks set him off, and he's getting good at being able to answer that.

    - Take the time to take care of you. My escape is going to the barn. I'm at peace there, even only for a little while.

    -Finally, just be there for him. Treasure the good times that you get. Know that this is a treatable problem, but that recovery takes time and tends to be cycle through good and bad phases.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
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    Sep. 25, 2003
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    My DH of almost 25 years has anxiety issues. What works for me (us) is for me to remain calm, caring and logical. It helps him immediately when I just place my hand on him, whether it's his arm, shoulder, leg. Seems like that physical connection takes his energy down a touch. I also internally do a deep sigh (exhale) and relax like you would with an anxious horse.

    Then I let him talk. Sometimes he needs to verbalize what his fears are. It doesn't matter that they can be completely unrealistic (mild rare headache = brain tumor).

    Then I start with quiet logic like, "Honey, do you think one headache is really cause for alarm? Should we wait a day or so to see if it goes away?" He often comes to a good, logical conclusion on his own if given enough time and support. The days he can't come down off that cliff, we try to readdress it in the morning after he takes an OTC sleep aid.

    I'm no expert and I'm sure there are people with anxiety that need help more than my simplistic approach. But maybe by starting with empathy and quiet calmness you can help him some.
    "Crazy is just another point of view" Sonia Dada

    www.longhopes.org


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
    I'm getting it that this is stronger than even the strongest person.
    If you've never had an anxiety attack you simply cannot appreciate what happens when your own brain turns on you. I've had it happen a time or two over a wide range of triggers.

    I'm not normally an anxious person, but as I age, I have begun getting travel anxiety. The worst, most noteable time (coincidentally) was over coming down to stay with you for one of the CoTH hunts. As with any other similar issue, it is hard to ask for help, and hard to get good help. Keep it up until he finds it.



  18. #38
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosijet View Post
    My DH of almost 25 years has anxiety issues. What works for me (us) is for me to remain calm, caring and logical. It helps him immediately when I just place my hand on him, whether it's his arm, shoulder, leg. Seems like that physical connection takes his energy down a touch. I also internally do a deep sigh (exhale) and relax like you would with an anxious horse.

    Then I let him talk. Sometimes he needs to verbalize what his fears are. It doesn't matter that they can be completely unrealistic (mild rare headache = brain tumor).

    Then I start with quiet logic like, "Honey, do you think one headache is really cause for alarm? Should we wait a day or so to see if it goes away?" He often comes to a good, logical conclusion on his own if given enough time and support. The days he can't come down off that cliff, we try to readdress it in the morning after he takes an OTC sleep aid.

    I'm no expert and I'm sure there are people with anxiety that need help more than my simplistic approach. But maybe by starting with empathy and quiet calmness you can help him some.
    Beautiful. Sounds like you are an expert! Quiet calmness and you are so right, that for some, if they can stand it, touch is really, really helpful! You are using your own emotional regulation to regulate him (and remind him there is a way off the cliff).Therapists do this, use their own regulation (if they have it!!!!) to calm someone, then try to teach someone how to do it themselves!

    I remember having a bad night when I was younger and couldnt sleep, just up agitated. My partner at the time got up, sat next to me and just covered my hand with his. It was extremely comforting. He didn't say anything, or try to fix anything but his presence was wonderful.

    I bet Mr. Rosijet is very grateful!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #39
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    Mar. 24, 2009
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    things not to say - and what to say

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_4781182.html



  20. #40
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    Sep. 25, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    Beautiful. Sounds like you are an expert! Quiet calmness and you are so right, that for some, if they can stand it, touch is really, really helpful! You are using your own emotional regulation to regulate him (and remind him there is a way off the cliff).Therapists do this, use their own regulation (if they have it!!!!) to calm someone, then try to teach someone how to do it themselves!

    I remember having a bad night when I was younger and couldnt sleep, just up agitated. My partner at the time got up, sat next to me and just covered my hand with his. It was extremely comforting. He didn't say anything, or try to fix anything but his presence was wonderful.

    I bet Mr. Rosijet is very grateful!
    Thank you for your kind comments. Sometimes people just need to know you are there for them like your partner did. Mr Rosijet is a wonderful, sweet, funny man. I'm grateful for him too!
    "Crazy is just another point of view" Sonia Dada

    www.longhopes.org


    1 members found this post helpful.

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