Struggling With Anxiety When Your Spouse Is In The Military
One of the hardest parts of being a Military spouse is when your husband or wife is away from you. It can be for a few weeks, a few months or even up to a year. In some cases even longer. When you are dealing with that plus dealing with anxiety it can make for a different period of time.
I never realized how bad my anxiety could get until right before our 4th deployment. I have always been a bit of a worrier. I worry about silly little things that my husband just can’t understand. I have a hard time with driving. If I haven’t ever been to the place before, if it is too far from home or if I have to drive somewhere at night, it can be very hard for me to do so. I have really had to work hard because I can’t always get a ride somewhere and there are places we want or need to go. We have to stay home sometimes because of it.
I worry about silly things with my kids. Usually, when my husband is home, I can just ask him what he thinks and then I can calm down and it isn’t a big deal. When he is deployed, I can’t do that so it makes it worse. I get anxious about my car when I park it somewhere new. I get anxious about locking my front door, did I remember to do it? I get anxious about a lot of little things that I get mad at myself for.
Right before our 4th deployment, I knew I needed to do something about it.
I didn’t see how I could get through it without upping my game a little bit. I had friends to hang out with, kids to keep me busy, projects to work on but that wasn’t going to be enough this time. It just wasn’t. I ended up talking to my doctor about it and she suggested medication. I am not against it all together but I wasn’t sure if it was right for me. I really went back and forth about it. I decided I wanted to see how counseling would work before I tried medication.
So I started going to see someone. Thank goodness Tricare paid for it. It was the best thing I could have done. I am not going to say that all my anxiety went away, it didn’t but it really helped me. In ways nothing else could.
If I ever get to where I feel the way I did back then, I would go see someone again in a heartbeat.
Anxiety is rough, and for me, a deployment made it a lot worse.
Studies have found that wives of deployed soldiers are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions which was no surprise to me. Or to anyone who has been through a deployment. It can be a rough time for those going through it.
The issue with anxiety is so much more than just worrying. We all might worry about our spouses being in a war zone. Anxiety goes much further than that and should be taken more seriously. We can’t just pray anxiety away or go out with friends to get rid of it. Anxiety is something we have to work at on a daily basis. It can ruin your whole day. It can make life so much more difficult.
So what should you do if you struggle with anxiety and your spouse is in the Military?
You need to take steps to figure out how you are going to get through it. If your spouse is going to make the Military a career, you will have to figure it out. For some it might be moving back home, others might need to take medication or seeing a counselor and some might need to do everything in order to get to a better place. Don’t be ashamed and try to seek help if you can.
It is so important to remember that you are only human and if you feel like you need extra help, ask for it. It can be so hard to admit this but it is so important to do so. You will be a better spouse, a better mother and a better friend if you can get the help you need.
Do you struggle from anxiety? How do you deal with it all when going through something difficult like a deployment?