This Is What It Is Like Dating With Anxiety And Depression

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Anxiety and depression are linked in more ways than one. It is key to note that both side effects of depression and anxiety symptoms affect relationships.

On VProud there is an important video and conversation titled, "We all have problems. Is there someone you turn to when that negative voice inside your head won't let up?" In this video about anxiety and depression the point is gently and poignantly made that we all need someone to turn to with our problems. Having anxiety symptoms heightens this need because for those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression, know all too well that letting our loved ones in, is not always our strength and this fact makes anxiety and relationships intricately linked. In this stunning essay, writer Charlotte Klein reveals a beneath the surface look at how anxiety affects relationships. We know that this topic is one that so many of us can relate to and also one that so many of us can be triggered by. If you can, take a look at Charlotte's words and heart. We love her message of acceptance—both of herself and of a partner—and think that you will, too.

—The VProud Team

An Unlikely Threesome: 

When Anxiety Creeps Into Your Relationship

By Charlotte Klein for VProud

“Is that for you, or for someone you know?”

I’ve heard this question repeated many times over the past year since I first debuted my semicolon wrist tattoo. Because of its prominent placement it’s hard to ignore, but because of anxiety’s prevalence in my life, it’s hard to explain.

The short answer is that my little piece of ink is entirely for me. If you’ve heard of Project Semicolon, you know that the punctuation mark is used as a symbol of hope for people who struggle with anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide.

I know what they really mean, though the words are rarely spoken.

You don’t look like you have anxiety.

I’m grateful that I can hide my insecurities and that I don’t have the face of someone often crippled with fear when it comes to social situations. Most people don’t know that a night out for me consists of a lot of pep talks and the chalky taste of a little white pill. Regardless of how much time has elapsed from my first panic attack, it’s hard to explain why I sometimes need to sit on the end at a table in a restaurant or take the aisle seat in a movie theater. I hate not being able to come to terms with something that hasn’t always been a part of my life and something that I don’t always understand myself.

I used to love being in the middle of the action and crowds never bothered me. I don’t like to think about those days for too long, because then I wonder what’s wrong with me now and I see my life in two stages—Before Anxiety and After Anxiety.

When you struggle with anxiety, depression is often an unwelcome copilot. And when you’re in a relationship, it’s difficult to meet your partner’s needs while also catering to the nagging voices in your head. I would give anything to erase the memories associated with my panic attack so I could sit across the table from my boyfriend in a restaurant like a normal couple out on a date, but that’s just not my reality. Sometimes our dinner table is crowded with guests naked to the human eye.

I appreciate that I have a boyfriend who understands and doesn’t make me feel bad that I can’t go to the front of a crowd when his favorite band is playing. Sometimes that means watching a show from the sidelines while he wanders off; other times it means that he sits in the back with me. I know it must suck for him and I always feel bad when my fears attempt to ruin a perfectly good evening. 

Introducing my spouse to that part of my life was one of the most nerve-wracking things I ever had to do, but I recognize that it is every bit a part of who I am. Unfortunately, Charlotte + Anxiety = a package deal. Fortunately, I’ve learned to invite unwelcome dinner guests to the table without giving them my undivided attention.

I believe strongly that acceptance is the first step to feeling good again. I’ll probably always live with anxiety but at least now I can enjoy life’s sweetest moments with good company.

About the author: Charlotte Klein is the founder of My Pixie Blog, a dating/relationship blog that has morphed to include her musing’s on life, her obsession with dogs and handbags, and everything in between. She is also the voice behind PixieConsulting where she provides social media, consulting, and marketing services to small business owners globally. Join Charlotte's honest conversations on VProud.

Join This Honest Conversation

anxiety and depression
"We all have problems." Is there someone you turn to when that negative voice inside your head won't let up?

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