And if your family or friend circle doesn’t openly talk about mental illness, sometimes the person with social anxiety doesn’t want to explain their illness to people who may not accept it.
Going to counselling with someone is one thing, but you shouldn’t push them to go to therapy or worse, Bhatia says, act as a therapist yourself. You want to support them and seek help, but also don’t want to sound too demanding of expectations they can’t meet,” he says.
To dispel some concerns, we asked people in our community who live with anxiety to tell us tips for dating someone with anxiety. If they head out of a social situation early — or need some time away from you — try to understand they just might need to recharge. Chances are, a person with anxiety has had anxiety long before you came along. If you’re unfamiliar with anxiety, or even if you know a bit about it, don’t be afraid to ask questions to better understand their experience.
Their reasons for being anxious (which may not even seems like “reasons” at all) most likely have nothing to do with you. That way, when anxiety comes to visit, you’ll be more prepared and have a little more understanding.
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Maneet Bhatia, a registered clinical psychologist based in Toronto, says it’s not just about social events — people with social anxiety even have a hard time communicating with their partner.“Even within the relationship there are interactions,” he tells Global News.
When you love someone who has anxiety, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when anxiety has him or her in its clutches.