My partner (I am a lesbian) of 3 years was diagnosed with ADHD & Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She has not yet started medication or treatment yet but will soon! I am 32 and she is 30.
I am trying to come up with some different ways of dealing with her moods.
The main obstacle I face is that she gets so easily overwhelmed, and that causes her to panic. She relies very heavily on me. If she can't find something in the house, she will call or text me. If she has a panic attack, she will call me and ask her to walk her through it, which I have gotten really good at. Little things like that, I don't mind helping.
The problem is that if even the smallest thing goes wrong, it sends her into catastrophization mode. She will say things like "everything is ruined", or have a panic attack.
- If she gets lost while driving (very often) she will go into panic, and call me.
- If she messes up while cooking, she gets down on herself and thinks "everything is ruined" and just throw everything away, and then expect me to help her clean it or find more food.
- If she wakes up too late and had plans that day, she will say she's "worthless" and that she "can't do anything right" and then panic (and call me).
- The few times she's needed to switch jobs in our relationship, she gets scared, anxious, and depressed, saying she has no skills because she had a hard time in college and works in restaurants. Then I have to shoulder the financial burden for a while.
I keep telling her that it is normal for women with ADHD to have low self-esteem (I was diagnosed ADHD as well and have done a lot of research).
This is hard on me. If I don't do something just right it makes her very upset. I feel like I am walking on eggshells with everything I do. If I help her cook, I have to help her cook perfectly or she will snap at me. If I don't respond to her immediately, she thinks I'm ignoring her. I never know what will set her off. This is constant.
Just wondering if any of you have tips for dealing with walking on eggshells, and someone who has a hairtrigger anxiety response and immediately catastrophizes.