By Ryan Rivera;
One of the issues that I had – and one that I know I shared with a lot of men – was the idea of admitting that my mental health was imperfect. I had severe anxiety, but I still had a traditional male ego, and men aren't supposed to show fear or discomfort. Men are supposed to be confident and self-assured, and the idea of admitting there is some type of fault is considered wildly taboo. When you suffer from panic attacks, that can be a problem. Panic attacks get worse the more that you hold them in. When you're in your own head, worrying about your panic attacks, it's hard to find that distraction to help you cope and calm yourself down. Ideally, you need to get out of your head, and to do to that you can't deal with your panic attacks on your own.
Telling Your Partner About Your Panic;
When you have a new relationship, or an old relationship with new panic attacks, you need to tell them. It's not impossible to cure panic attacks on your own, but it is nearly impossible to handle them if you're constantly having to hide your thoughts and your struggles. How to go about the conversation is often harder than it seems. If your partner cares about you, they'll always understand what you're going through, it may just take some extra explanations and some extra understanding. Any conversations should have the following:
An Example of The Experience;
Describe what a panic attack experiences is like for you. For myself, it has little to do with some type of mental panic. It's a physical experience with a number of physical symptoms. I felt chest pains, rapid heartbeat, my head felt heavy and I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath. I wasn't "panicking" as the name implies, but genuinely feeling very real things that were caused by anxiety, hyperventilation, and my own hypersensitivity to my physical sensations. Saying you have panic attacks won't give your partner an understanding of what the experience is actually like – something they need to have to understand you and your issues.
Information of What You Need;
Your partner is going to want to help. Let them know what works best for you. With me, what worked best was talking to my partner during the panic attack about the panic attack. I needed to do it. If I didn't, I'd have a really bad attack trying to hold it all in. I also needed her to know that she didn't need to worry about doing anything for me other than being there. Not in a mean way – in reality, I needed to take my mind off of the panic attacks, and the only way to do that was if she didn't bring it up and try to fix it. Some guys need different things. You should tell her exactly what you need.
Keep Her Posted;
When you're feeling better, let her know. When you're feeling worse, let her know. Keep her posted on it and let her know your progress. This will help her feel like she's in the loop and allow her to know that her presence is helping.
Telling Her About Your Panic Attacks;
Above all, make sure she knows it's not her fault, and that the quality of your relationship doesn't affect the panic attacks themselves. Having this conversation is important – not only for your relationship, but also for your panic attacks themselves. Once you tell her about this issue, she'll better understand you, and this will help you recover from your panic attacks and put less strain on the relationship.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera found that his panic attacks were worse when he tried to deal with them alone. Now he writes about anxiety and panic at www.calmclinic.com .