Callie Amelia Theodore suffers from anxiety, and she knows how difficult it is to be in a relationship where anxiety disorder is a factor. That is why she took to Facebook and penned a tribute to her partner, thanking him for staying with her through thick and thin. The post has had 138,000 shares since she posted it on 15 April (2017), and hundreds of readers have posted their own tributes in the comments section of the post.

Callie begins her post by quoting Thought Catalogue: “Someone with anxiety is inclined to assume everyone is going to leave. The truth is they battle something they can’t control, and there is a sense of insecurity within themselves when it comes to relationships. They know it’s difficult and they don’t want to burden you with their irrational thoughts and worries. So instead, they try to push you away before you get the chance to leave yourself.”

She then continues by saying that “it’s hard loving someone who suffers from anxiety because they will be sensitive, start arguments based on scenarios they created in their heads, and they need ‘constant reassurance”. Callie is, however, insistent that you need not suffer alone. According to her, there is someone out there who will care for you. She says, “Find yourself someone who doesn’t make you feel like loving you is a job. Someone who will assure you of the little things. Someone who doesn’t tell you that you’re overreacting. Someone that will rock you on the floor in the dead middle of an anxiety attack. Find someone that, no matter how hard you push them, they do not leave.”

She adds, “People that calm you and bring you a sense of security; that will be stronger than any dose of medication that can be prescribed.” Callie then reminds others who struggle with the mental disorder, “You may have anxiety, but anxiety doesn’t have you.”

She ends her post by adding a link to partner Chris’ YouTube video of what mental illness is really like. “Everybody has bad days, and we’re all fighting something inside,” he says in the clip. “That’s why they always say be kind because you never know what somebody is dealing with.”

How Do I Know If Someone Has an Anxiety Disorder?

There are several distinct signs and symptoms to look out for:

  1. People with an anxiety disorder will suffer from a distinct lack of energy. They will often use caffeine or other stimulants to help them get through the day.
  2. Anxiety also causes insomnia due to constant worrying and racing thoughts. You may also feel jittery or panicked, which will prevent the sufferer from falling asleep.
  3. It is a well-known fact that anxiety and a decreased immune system go hand-in-hand, although the exact relationship is still not quite understood.
  4. Anxiety can also cause several digestive issues such as diarrhoea, indigestion, and abdominal cramps. It can also cause more serious issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux, which can cause a painful build-up of stomach acid in the oesophagus. This acid can also cause ulcers, gastritis, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
  5. Anxiety causes many of its sufferers to clench their jaws, leading to increased incidences of jaw aches, toothaches as well as headaches.
  6. Due to the ‘fight-or-flight’ hormones that anxiety triggers, the body secretes too much adrenaline which, in turn, causes shakiness and excessive perspiration. The social stigma associated with these two behaviours causes further anxiety, and a vicious cycle is set in motion.
  7. Anxiety also affects sexual drive and performance – especially men, who may suffer from erectile dysfunction due to a decreased flow of blood to the penis when anxious.

What Do I Do If I’m Suffering from an Anxiety Disorder?

Recovery Lighthouse offers a specialised service to address all types of anxiety. We have a helpline that is staffed 24/7 with trained and skilled counsellors answering your questions as well as guiding you through the treatment process. There are also many medications that our medical professionals can prescribe to help you with the symptoms of your anxiety. Give us a call today.