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How does anxiety disorder affect relationships?

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My wife and I are getting into many fights, as my OCD keeps me from letting things go. For example, when someone spills something, I get angry as the floors I just cleaned needs to be mopped yet again. And when something is out of place in the kitchen, I get angry at my wife and kids and have to rearrange the cupboards and the pantry. I feel my OCD is getting out of control, and wonder how it affects my relationship with my family, and how to improve it.
asked Sep 10, 2015 in General by Carl

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Anxiety disorders, like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), can have a negative impact on relationships. The problem with anxiety is that you become so self-focused and have negative, anxiety-provoking thoughts and beliefs that may be difficult for your partner to comprehend and accept. A relationship requires that each partner think about the other's well-being. When you have anxiety disorder, you may not be able to look after the needs of your partner, given you are so self-focused with your anxiety-provoking thoughts and anxiety-maintaining behaviors. And in your case, with OCD, your obsessions and compulsions negatively affect your partner and kids, as they may not even know that you have anxiety, nor may they know how to deal with it in others.

So your anxiety disorder needs to be treated by your doctor first. After successful treatment, then family therapy can help your wife and kids to understand what you are going through, and how they can be helpful to you. But all relationships require people to go outside of themselves, and look into their partner's needs. Without this consideration of your partner, a relationship will cease to exist. Click here for more information on how anxiety affects relationships.

answered Sep 13, 2015 by drcarlo (294,430 points)
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