Dear Abby: I have been married to my best friend, “Blake,” for two years. A year ago he started having panic attacks, so I made an appointment for him with his doctor. After checking him for everything, including heart failure, the doctor diagnosed him with anxiety.
Since his diagnosis, Blake is scared to leave the house. I have been working two jobs to make ends meet because he says he “can’t work.” This has taken a toll on our marriage. We have three kids and a lot of bills.
Blake is on medication and has tried many different ones, but they aren’t working. All he talks about is his anxiety and every little ache or pain. He thinks he’s going to have a heart attack.
I am fed up with it, while he says I just “don’t understand anxiety.” Sometimes I think he’s making his anxiety worse. I don’t know what to believe or what to do. Any suggestions?
Stressed in Virginia
Yes, I do have one. Your husband should be seen by a licensed mental health professional (psychologist) who works with a psychiatrist. He may need more than medication to help him conquer his anxiety disorder. He might do better with a combination of talk therapy in addition to his meds.
Please urge your husband to do this because the aches, pains and anxiety he’s experiencing may seem like they’re all in his head to you, but they’re real to him. It could save your marriage.