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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Barsky

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Relationships?

Anxiety becomes a problem when it becomes a daily interruption in our lives. Unfortunately, it can have a profound effect on relationships.

Common symptoms include fear, worry, sadness, and mood swings, all of which can create insecurity in any of our relationships, including with our partners, friends, family members, and co-workers.

We know that anxiety is a treatable mental illness and there are options out there for couples and individuals. But overcoming anxiety can be an ongoing process. It might involve trying certain kinds of therapy or medications to find what works best for you.

In the end, the work you put in to build trust and security in your relationships is worthwhile.

How Does Anxiety Affect Relationships?

Anxiety can influence your relationships in a variety of ways. The good news is, you can overcome relationship issues that surface with anxiety.

But how does anxiety specifically affect relationships?

Worry and Insecurity

Living with anxiety can mean feeling constantly on edge. If you’re worrying often, this can cause stress for your partner, too. It’s important to establish clear and constructive communication methods with your partner. This can help you prevent episodes of anxiety and can also help you and your partner establish tools for de-escalation.


Having an anxiety disorder can cause you to become co-dependent on your partner, or vice versa. Sometimes, anxiety can cause someone to overthink parts of their relationship. For example, if their partner doesn’t answer a text message within a certain amount of time, someone with an anxious mind can start fearing the worst.

Some people with anxiety disorders also have an intense need for closeness in their relationships. This, combined with a fear of rejection, intrusive thoughts, and constantly seeking reassurance, can become taxing for both parties. These feelings can lead to anger and arguments, with the anxious person sometimes acting out destructively.

Isolation and Avoidance

Two common signs of anxiety are isolation and avoidant behaviors. This is when an anxious person disconnects from their loved ones. When we disconnect from our relationships, it might be because we’re trying to avoid conflict or negative emotions, which can make maintaining long-term relationships challenging.

Individual therapy is be helpful for easing the anxiety you may be feeling in relationships. You might also consider couples counseling. This would allow your partner to better understand your anxiety and help you through tougher times. Consult a mental health professional to find out the best course for you.

Is Your Anxiety Affecting Your Relationships?

If you feel that there’s a chance your anxiety disorder is causing discord in your relationship, answering these questions might be helpful:

  • Do you have increased anxiety about sexual interaction with your partner?

  • Do you rely on the people around you to reassure you when you’re having anxious thoughts?

  • Do you avoid conversations because they might cause conflict?

  • Do you fear that your partner or loved ones will one day leave you?

  • Do you have heightened anxiety when separated from your partner or loved one?

Helping An Anxious Loved One

If you notice these behaviors in one of your loved ones, there are ways you can help. You’ve already taken the first step by realizing how anxiety can affect a person’s behavior and thought patterns. Here are some things to consider:

  • Criticizing their illness is not the answer. They need support, not dismissal.

  • Learn how they can communicate their fears and triggers with you.

  • You are not their therapist, and it is not your job to “fix” them.

Encourage your loved one to seek a therapist if you feel they might benefit from professional help. If you’re the one dealing with anxiety, there is no shame in reaching out for help.

Reach out today, and schedule a phone consultation.

For more information on anxiety therapy, check out the link.


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