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My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

Hi Everyone,

I’ve never done this before and part of me feels guilty like I’ve failed my family especially my 2 beautiful children (11 and 4). 

My partner of 19yrs started having severe panic attacks about 9 months ago and prior to this I had never seen one and it was really scary.  The kids witnessed it and it lasted about 2hrs.  I’m a registered nurse (paediatric) and I kept calm and tried to help him through the hyperventilation, shaking, crying uncontrollably, chest pain, drooling etc. It was horrible and the first of many!  Life has been really challenging since then and even with him seen a psychiatrist privately we are still struggling so much. He has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder/severe anxiety/social anxiety disorder.  

He doesn’t leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary and anything and I mean anything can trigger a panic attack that can last hours.  

I am exhausted and I feel I can’t go on like this anymore and part of me just wants to walk away but our kids love him so much.  

Before all this started he was my rock and the person I turned for anything and his support and love was unconditional.  His values and the ways he views things are amazing.  He has always been an amazing father to our kids and I could never fault him on it.

 

I miss him so much and so do the kids.

I have tried so hard to understand this but I feel so lost and confused.  The kids have lost such a big part of their lives and I feel like I’m walking on egg shells/air bubbles constantly.  I keep a lot to myself and I don’t tell anyone how I really feel.

 

I feel like a single mother and thank God I have managed to work from home but I just feel like I’m running so low on everything.  I’m practically his carer.  I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and what is making all this worse is the fact that our 11yr old is affected by it all now too. He is constantly worried about his dad and him having another attack.  

 

The medications my partner is on give him the shakes which make him look like he has early Parkinson’s disease.

 

I just feel so down with no way out.

 

I have never heard of social anxiety before and I’m hoping anyone with this type of diagnosis can pls give me an insight into it and what I can expect.

 

Thank you in advance 🙏🏻 

 

6 REPLIES 6

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

Hi @Chrissy27 

Welcome to the forums.

It is so terribly difficult when our loved ones are in an acute phase.  We do feel so helpless and yes it is draining. Unfamiliar and uncomfortable emotions ... not to mention the grief we so often feel.

 

The carer gateway  https://www.carergateway.gov.au has practical supports available (6 sessions free phone counseling included) and there are a number of organizations that offer MH support for both carers and patients such as Wellways (in eastern states) who recently were awarded govt contracts to supply carer support.

 

I know I needed to advocate for my partner in relation to medication side effects he had as they concerned him but he was too embarrassed say something. I felt it important to speak up as there are often alternative options that could be offered that have a more acceptable side effect profile. I did a lot of bedside reading on the diagnoses that were tendered in relation to my husband and their treatment so that I was better informed, not only in being able to speak up for him, but importantly to learn how to respond appropriately to his mental health issues, it certainly made life a lot better for me/us when I did this.

 

There are a few discussion threads in the forum that help us focus on our own self care either through dedicated tips or through shared interests.  I found the lightness of some of these really help when I found the going tough.

 

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

Hello @Chrissy27 

how are you and your family Heart

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

Thank you so much for replying and I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. Some days I feel I hardly have time to have a shower. I will definitely look into the information you provided me. Once again thank you 🙏🏻

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

We are hanging in there. Our son is not coping anymore and quite a few times a day he tells me that he know this is our life now and it breaks my heart. He doesn’t understand why the psychiatrist hasn’t been able to help his dad after all these months. I never cry in front on him anymore

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

@Chrissy27 

It can be a long road back from an acute episode. 

 

As wih many other illnesses here are some children's books available that explain about Dads and PTSD to children. This might help with your son. 

 

I don't know about how debilitating your partners symptoms are in relation to being able to do things at home, or if it would enabling or not, but are there practical tasks you can get your partner to do such as online grocery shopping or other household chores that will help take some of the burden off yourself. 

Re: My partner has severe anxiety/panic attacks and I can’t cope anymore. Need advice pls as I feel I’m ready to walk away after 19yrs together

hello @Chrissy27 

how are you today , hope you are ok Heart

@Darcy 

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