Irritability is just one of many symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Other symptoms of anxiety that can add to you feelings of being irritated are tiredness, muscle tension and lack of sleep.
Anxiety has many triggers, but the presence of stress and the absence of sufficient stress coping techniques, are thought to be the major causing factor. We all experience stress everyday, whether it is from being stuck in traffic, having a work overload or experiencing relational tension. At the end of the day you bring all the stress experienced during your day home to your partner. The problem is that your partner also experienced many stressful situations in his or her day and they bring all their feelings of stress home to you.
Anxiety makes it difficult to handle your own stressors, let alone the stressors of someone else too. Unfortunately we all depend on our close relationships to provide us with an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, so chances are that your partner will expect of you to help them deal with their stressful day too. This may add additional stress to you and increase your anxiety. Not having slept well the previous night and feeling tense, you may walk around like a ticking time bomb and chances are that you will lose your temper and take it all out on your partner.
As usual, anxiety causes a vicious circle. You will probably feel bad about how you treated your partner and him or she will start to draw back. Feeling emotionally inadequate and more insecure as a result of your partner’s response you will gradually become more anxious and consequently more irritable.
Of course you are not to blame for your anxiety, but if you think about it, you will see that your partner isn’t to blame either. It is not easy to be the one suffering from anxiety, but it is also not easy living with someone who does.
Even if you may not feel like it, communication is the key to not losing your loved one as result of anxiety. Do they even know that you suffer from anxiety? Do you know that you suffer from anxiety? If both of you can come to terms with anxiety disorder it may be easier to understand and deal with the violent mood swings associated with the condition. Not that it will bring a long term solution.
The only way to relieve yourself and your partner of the devastating effects of anxiety induced irritability is to treat the anxiety itself. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very effective way to beat anxiety over the long term. It can teach you how to cope with stressful situations.
Stress is probably the cause behind your anxiety and there are many ways in which you can relieve stress. Relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation may be useful in helping you deal with stress, and if you and your partner join in these activities together, your initial problem with anxiety might just bring you closer to one another instead of driving you apart.
“Anxiety Disorders.” The University of Maryland Medical Center. 2009. UMM.edu. (October 16, 2012) http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_anxiety_disorders_000028_1.htm