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Hi there, personality cafe people and fellow Type 8's,

I am a 22 year old female with a 30 year old husband. He is a type 6. I've known about being a type 8 for a little over a year, and it is spot on with how I am. My husband discovered he is a type 6, which is also incredibly accurate and spot on for him.

Basically, he needs constant reassurance that he's safe and he thoroughly enjoys keeping the peace. Non-confrontational, sort of sensitive, strong opinions but keeps them mostly to himself, etc etc.

Anyhow, we have been married for 7 months and together prior to that for 2 years. I have always been the "leader" so to say in our relationship, even with the large age gap. I take pride in taking care of myself and him, but am SO independent and not as touchy feely lovey dovey in my feelings as he is. Here's where I'm having a LOT of trouble.

I grew up telling it how it is. I'm blunt, bold, and very much so a realist as opposed to pessimistic or optimistic. My husband has some trauma from his childhood and early adulthood that lead him to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, constantly worrying and OBSESSING over things that don't matter in the moment, like our finances, food in the house, gas in the car, etc. I was actually the one to open him up to the idea about having anxiety. He has been given medication for it for the past 2 years but he stopped taking them because he swore they werent doing anything for him.

Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.

For the first year and a half, I was the breadwinner. I had great jobs that paid all the bills and his jobs were mediocre to nothing, mostly just extra spending money for us. Well, he landed a sweet job paying really well, so I am a stay-at-home-housewife basically while he goes to work throughout the week. So I spend my days cleaning the house, taking care of our pets, making dinner, and washing his work clothes every night. I'm indifferent to it, but him bringing home the money makes him feel like a million bucks. I also handed over all of our finances to him. He controls the money and the bank account, since he is making the money. But he isn't doing well with it, and that's making me angry as well. I want to jump in there and help him, but I can't, because I know how "manly" it's making him feel being the sole provider for our household. I feel awful because when he gets stuck in his head, I can feel myself almost looking down on him, like "What are you doing? You're weak." goes through my head.


Anywho, long of the short, do any of you 8's deal with a friend, family member, or partner with severe anxiety/panic/depression, and how do you help? I'm at a loss and I don't want to get to the point of no return where I despise him for it.

Thank you <3
 

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Hi there, personality cafe people and fellow Type 8's,

I am a 22 year old female with a 30 year old husband. He is a type 6. I've known about being a type 8 for a little over a year, and it is spot on with how I am. My husband discovered he is a type 6, which is also incredibly accurate and spot on for him.

Basically, he needs constant reassurance that he's safe and he thoroughly enjoys keeping the peace. Non-confrontational, sort of sensitive, strong opinions but keeps them mostly to himself, etc etc.

Anyhow, we have been married for 7 months and together prior to that for 2 years. I have always been the "leader" so to say in our relationship, even with the large age gap. I take pride in taking care of myself and him, but am SO independent and not as touchy feely lovey dovey in my feelings as he is. Here's where I'm having a LOT of trouble.

I grew up telling it how it is. I'm blunt, bold, and very much so a realist as opposed to pessimistic or optimistic. My husband has some trauma from his childhood and early adulthood that lead him to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, constantly worrying and OBSESSING over things that don't matter in the moment, like our finances, food in the house, gas in the car, etc. I was actually the one to open him up to the idea about having anxiety. He has been given medication for it for the past 2 years but he stopped taking them because he swore they werent doing anything for him.

Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.

For the first year and a half, I was the breadwinner. I had great jobs that paid all the bills and his jobs were mediocre to nothing, mostly just extra spending money for us. Well, he landed a sweet job paying really well, so I am a stay-at-home-housewife basically while he goes to work throughout the week. So I spend my days cleaning the house, taking care of our pets, making dinner, and washing his work clothes every night. I'm indifferent to it, but him bringing home the money makes him feel like a million bucks. I also handed over all of our finances to him. He controls the money and the bank account, since he is making the money. But he isn't doing well with it, and that's making me angry as well. I want to jump in there and help him, but I can't, because I know how "manly" it's making him feel being the sole provider for our household. I feel awful because when he gets stuck in his head, I can feel myself almost looking down on him, like "What are you doing? You're weak." goes through my head.


Anywho, long of the short, do any of you 8's deal with a friend, family member, or partner with severe anxiety/panic/depression, and how do you help? I'm at a loss and I don't want to get to the point of no return where I despise him for it.

Thank you <3
There's something missing from this equation. He has agency, whether or not he takes it. If he is not going to take medication (which I'm okay with, because I hate medication), he still needs to deal with his anxiety. However he chooses to deal with it, he must deal with his own stuff.

You can't fix him, no matter how much you want to. He is who he is, and since he is 30, this is probably going to be who he is. This is who you married.

The bigger question is whether we have advice on how you can live with his anxiety. I would suggest that it was probably not the greatest idea to give up control of the finances to him. You have learned that he can't handle them, and now you'll probably feel better if you are in control of the finances.

He sounds extremely sensitive. That said, you can't absorb all of the stress. You need to set your boundaries, talk about what he can deal with, and what he can't deal with, and if he can't handle such a conversation, the marriage is an ill-fated one, and probably won't last. If he loves you, he will learn to suck it up and deal with his shit, or lose you forever. But on some level, you need to let him make that choice.
 

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Hi there, personality cafe people and fellow Type 8's,

I am a 22 year old female with a 30 year old husband. He is a type 6. I've known about being a type 8 for a little over a year, and it is spot on with how I am. My husband discovered he is a type 6, which is also incredibly accurate and spot on for him.

Basically, he needs constant reassurance that he's safe and he thoroughly enjoys keeping the peace. Non-confrontational, sort of sensitive, strong opinions but keeps them mostly to himself, etc etc.

Anyhow, we have been married for 7 months and together prior to that for 2 years. I have always been the "leader" so to say in our relationship, even with the large age gap. I take pride in taking care of myself and him, but am SO independent and not as touchy feely lovey dovey in my feelings as he is. Here's where I'm having a LOT of trouble.

I grew up telling it how it is. I'm blunt, bold, and very much so a realist as opposed to pessimistic or optimistic. My husband has some trauma from his childhood and early adulthood that lead him to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, constantly worrying and OBSESSING over things that don't matter in the moment, like our finances, food in the house, gas in the car, etc. I was actually the one to open him up to the idea about having anxiety. He has been given medication for it for the past 2 years but he stopped taking them because he swore they werent doing anything for him.

Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.

For the first year and a half, I was the breadwinner. I had great jobs that paid all the bills and his jobs were mediocre to nothing, mostly just extra spending money for us. Well, he landed a sweet job paying really well, so I am a stay-at-home-housewife basically while he goes to work throughout the week. So I spend my days cleaning the house, taking care of our pets, making dinner, and washing his work clothes every night. I'm indifferent to it, but him bringing home the money makes him feel like a million bucks. I also handed over all of our finances to him. He controls the money and the bank account, since he is making the money. But he isn't doing well with it, and that's making me angry as well. I want to jump in there and help him, but I can't, because I know how "manly" it's making him feel being the sole provider for our household. I feel awful because when he gets stuck in his head, I can feel myself almost looking down on him, like "What are you doing? You're weak." goes through my head.


Anywho, long of the short, do any of you 8's deal with a friend, family member, or partner with severe anxiety/panic/depression, and how do you help? I'm at a loss and I don't want to get to the point of no return where I despise him for it.

Thank you <3
katiqutowski,

I am presenting a guide to you that has helped me cope and understand PD's and the Unhealthy Expressions, Behaviors, and Shadow Functions of Personality Types.

Forgive me if this topic may seam a little too broad. If you like Discovery work related to personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself or individuals, be they friends, an SO, a Spouse or a Co-worker, these articles and blogs posts are worth a read.

An abstract by: Jenna Talbott, Liberty University, "A Comparison of the Unhealthy Expressions of the Enneagram Types and the Personality Disorders of the DSM-IV-TR"
portfolio.du.edu/downloadItems/287388

2014 June-December, "Enneagram - Basics, Part 1, Nine Levels for Type #1"
acoarecovery.wordpress.com

An article authored by: Susan Storm, November 10, 2017, "An Introduction to the Shadow Functions", MBTI, MTBI Basics, Myers Briggs.
psychologyjunkie.com

Sincerely,

OCPDHusband

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

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@katigutowski

Providing emotional comfort for others is definitely not easy for an 8, even for those very close. Words are difficult to express and some times I have found that just letting the person run the course of emotions (while maintaining presence) works better. If the other shows that they want comforting, it is easier for me to give it. (i.e. not forcing the comforting because they may not want it)
If your husband has had a traumatic childhood, then it may be a possibility for him to carry this trauma into adulthood (speaking from experience here). The worrying and anxiety about the (unknown) future can be linked to events from early life. As children we are often helpless to control our environments and those within it who would do us harm. We start using intelligence as a way of fighting back and predicting people or outcomes of events helps to control fear of the unknown.
If he was the victim of (or witness of) serious abuse, the need to know what will happen next can become a neurosis manifesting as anxiety. While those childhood threats may be gone, new threats (fears) emerge and the mind has already been programmed to deal with these in a certain way. For some people, this may be a maddening obsession to overachieve and for others it could be a paralyzing fear to move forward with any action. Most people "normally" deal with anxiety within these extremes.

There is a thread in the Critical Thinking forum that you may want to view for more information, or contribute your own thoughts on the matter for clarity of your own situation.
http://personalitycafe.com/critical-thinking-philosophy/1244017-why-does-everyone-have-anxiety.html

Regardless of anything you may find on the internet to help your husband cope, you need to get him into actual therapy for this. But he must WANT to get help, even if he thinks his meds are shit (and they probably are). Crying, hyperventilation and turtling on the floor are very severe symptoms and no one is going to consider him weak by getting help - only himself with his anxiety-riddled pride.
Let me guess, he gets anxiety when he attempts to confront the fact that he needs help? If the answer is yes, then he really has only one course of action to deal with this. And you may have to get tough on him to get the help he needs; if you want to save your own sanity, that is.

good luck.
 

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1. Don't get pregnant.
2. Maybe he'll change.
3. Maybe you'll change.
4. Don't get pregnant.

5. If one of you gets pregnant start with antidepressants, combine with alcohol, and try to get the kids raised to about 10 years old,. then quit drinking, give the person all your money, and rebuild your life from scratch.
 

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Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.
sounds about right... i can tolerate this nonsense once or twice for someone i deeply care about, but if the behavior doesnt change it gets REALLY frustrating... (one of my urks is people who continue to poison themselves and expect others to provide a cure. people who are lactose intolerant eventually learn to stay away from lactose... why isnt it the same for those who experience crazy emotions like this? )

youre getting pissed cuz the behavior isnt changing. i believe, people dont change. they can adjust, tweak a little... but they will always be the same person.

as the doc said... dont get pregnant, and ill add - EJECT EJECT EJECT!! (do you really want to deal with this BS for the next 80 years?? its YOUR life)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses and I'm sorry I haven't checked in.

I appreciate all the feedback and constructive criticism!

Where I don't believe people CAN'T change, I know this will be hard for him. Like, very hard for him. However,

He used to be a homeless meth addict who found himself in a lot of trouble with the law. He got clean and cue my entrance into his life. He's told me without me there holding him accountable, he wouldn't be where he is. It seems, from all that hell, the ONLY thing he has left to work on is probably the hardest, which is his mental instabilities.

We had a good, long talk last night about this. I noted things you all said (without saying I'm on this site at all, he'd probably not be too happy that I'm seeking help from people on a forum), and he received it well. I'll admit, I haven't held him accountable, as I should, in taking care of this issue because all it does is piss me the f*** off. I AM capable of compassion in this subject, it's just hard to find. Somewhere deep down I found it last night, and we hashed it out.

Also, side note, ultimatums seem to work for him. For some reason.

So here was my ultimatum: Go to the doctor AND therapist, consistently, get help, take the meds, give it a chance. And if he doesn't, I will move on.

I love my husband more than ANYTHING and ANYONE in the entire universe. He's my world. He is genuinely a really really good soul. His inner demons just interfere with that and it's irritating, as most of you noted is normal in a Type 8 response.

I appreciate the suggestions to not have kids and leave ASAP, really I do, but I don't know if I agree yet. I'm giving him a real, true chance to get help. Also, it's a reaaaaally crunchy topic for me, but I'm having infertility issues so a baby hasn't come yet, but we've been trying. Another side note, he gets really depressed when I get depressed about it because he thinks HE is the issue why it hasn't happened yet. Eh, nuances. Anyway,

I'll keep you all posted and let you know how this goes. I normally can very easily read how a situation will play out, and knowing him and his responses, he responded well and took it all in instead of brushing it off like he normally does. So I'm optimistic about it.

Thank you again! I'm so glad I found this website. I've already received a lot of insight on my behaviors and my husbands from lurking around.
 

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wow. youre a fuckin champ. and thats exactly what i feel like would work with me - someone i love to confront me, look me in the eye, and tell me ; this is how it is or im out. firmly, calmly, and finitely.

heres some suggestions i found in another perC thread on how to deal with an 8 in confrontation
Type 8
Stand your ground.
Stay firm.
Be forthright.
Speak your own truth.
Provide feedback about my impact on you.
Support me when I reveal softer feelings and vulnerabilities.

maybe its cuz i just smoked a bowl, but that post is really good. kinda breakin my heart right now a little. i think youre doing the right thing. play hard ball. fight for whats yours. show him you'd go to hell and back for him, as he'd do it for you... and hell be yours. its going to be hard.

good luck.
 

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Hi there, personality cafe people and fellow Type 8's,

I am a 22 year old female with a 30 year old husband. He is a type 6. I've known about being a type 8 for a little over a year, and it is spot on with how I am. My husband discovered he is a type 6, which is also incredibly accurate and spot on for him.

Basically, he needs constant reassurance that he's safe and he thoroughly enjoys keeping the peace. Non-confrontational, sort of sensitive, strong opinions but keeps them mostly to himself, etc etc.

Anyhow, we have been married for 7 months and together prior to that for 2 years. I have always been the "leader" so to say in our relationship, even with the large age gap. I take pride in taking care of myself and him, but am SO independent and not as touchy feely lovey dovey in my feelings as he is. Here's where I'm having a LOT of trouble.

I grew up telling it how it is. I'm blunt, bold, and very much so a realist as opposed to pessimistic or optimistic. My husband has some trauma from his childhood and early adulthood that lead him to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, constantly worrying and OBSESSING over things that don't matter in the moment, like our finances, food in the house, gas in the car, etc. I was actually the one to open him up to the idea about having anxiety. He has been given medication for it for the past 2 years but he stopped taking them because he swore they werent doing anything for him.

Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.

For the first year and a half, I was the breadwinner. I had great jobs that paid all the bills and his jobs were mediocre to nothing, mostly just extra spending money for us. Well, he landed a sweet job paying really well, so I am a stay-at-home-housewife basically while he goes to work throughout the week. So I spend my days cleaning the house, taking care of our pets, making dinner, and washing his work clothes every night. I'm indifferent to it, but him bringing home the money makes him feel like a million bucks. I also handed over all of our finances to him. He controls the money and the bank account, since he is making the money. But he isn't doing well with it, and that's making me angry as well. I want to jump in there and help him, but I can't, because I know how "manly" it's making him feel being the sole provider for our household. I feel awful because when he gets stuck in his head, I can feel myself almost looking down on him, like "What are you doing? You're weak." goes through my head.


Anywho, long of the short, do any of you 8's deal with a friend, family member, or partner with severe anxiety/panic/depression, and how do you help? I'm at a loss and I don't want to get to the point of no return where I despise him for it.

Thank you <3
I'm engaged to a type 8 twenty two years old woman (I'm almost 29) and I suffer from bipolar disorder, anxiety and panic attacks similar to your husband, so I feel like both our situation are somewhat close. Medication reduces the frequency of the symptoms but doesn't remove them. My psychiatrist told me that in terms of medication nothing else can be done, she recommended me CBT to learn to cope with it. Also eating healthily and exercising.

My fiancee is also mentally ill (she has PTSD) so that might make it more easy to be accepting. In terms of taking the initiative, we are both pretty even. While it pains us to see the other suffer, we see our illnesses as separate from our identity and character and that helps in not affecting our feelings for each other.

Lastly, you might want to check out your love languages on this site, so you can communicate more effectively.

Good luck to you both.
 

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@katigutowski I've read your post and I can't comprehend how you were able to give so much power away. You can't count on someone else changing especially that at least in my mind he assumed the role of a victim with attention seeking behaviour. He may try to bs you into thinking he changed/is going to change if you try to leave him.
Again, there is no fucking way I would be able to hand over my financial independence so I can't really even imagine this scenario.

BTW. constantly comforting someone seems like my kind of hell.
 

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@katigutowski There are a lot of things your husband needs to take in hand. He needs therapy, for a start. Medication aside, I've seen what happens when people reject help. It's not pretty, and refusal to get help in my mind, and require other people to deal with your problems is inexcusable.

You can just leave though, if it makes your life it easier. Some people just aren't equipped to deal with someone who is mentally ill. You might be one of them. Since you're seeking advice from strangers on an enneagram forum rather than looking up how to deal with anxiety )I see no mention of you ever researching it) which is strange for me, one of the first things I did before entering into a relationship with a man with bipolar 1 (sx 4, commented earlier here) was to research the crap out of it, including it's effects on marriage, so and so forth, and I've done that with anyone I've been with who has suffered from mental illness. (Also gives you an idea of what is something they have no control over and what they're using as an excuse).

Whether you stay with him or don't, is none of my business, but you mentioned you're terrible at comforting him. It's pretty easy to comfort someone who's anxious, and I personally would balk at using enneagram to explain mental illness, since of course there are a good few criticisms against the system for being difficult to empirically prove.

Like it or not, spouses will need comforting, parents die. Things go wrong. You need to be a safe harbour, and that includes comforting a person. I won't be addressing the other parts of your posts, others have done so. Being a type 8 is no excuse to shirk basic emotional responsibilities to one's partner, knowing your enneatype is about self improvement, not the validation of negative character traits, this applies to him too. (It's kind of like the nonsense ISTPs on the forum use to justify their own ineptitude.)

So abridged version, here's how to comfort someone with anxiety.

1) If he's having a panic attack, use a grounding technique. Ask him to focus on 2 things he can see, 2 things he can hear, 2 things he can touch, and to name them out loud, keep your voice calm and steady at all costs. This is probably good to help him snap out of it and come back to reality somewhat, but you may need to encourage him to do a breathing exercise to decompress further.

2) Breathing exercise 1:
Breathe in for a count of 6 (slowly),
Hold for a count of 6.
Exhale for a count of 6.

Breathing exercise 2 (Belly breathing).
Ask him to slowly inflate is lungs, expanding his belly and chest deliberately as he does so, trying to fill every corner of his torso with air.
Then hold for a count of 3.
Exhale (slowly) making sure to flatten his chest, and belly slowly as the air is leaving.

3) Once he's a little calmer (which he should be after doing the above), give him a space to open up and talk. Let him vent (if he wants to.) You may be at a loss how to help, or your natural instinct may be to jump in and offer solutions. This is as far from helpful as you can possibly imagine. If you're wondering how to respond to his venting (after he's calmed down from the panic attack), it helps to repeat back what he's saying in your own words. It lets the other party know you're listening and feel validated.

4) Encourage him to distract himself (if he doesn't want to vent or if you think it'll help), play a game with him, watch a funny movie (he might be too anxious to focus on a book.). That helps.

5) Once he's calmer its helpful to gently suggest that perhaps it would be a good idea for the two of you to work on a plan together, to cover any tasks you both need to get done. You should include things you have to do as well, so you both participate as equals rather than infantalizing him.

6) Might be helpful to get some CBT or DBT sheets off the internet and go through them with him.

He seriously does need to take responsibility for his health. Therapy is very important and it takes a while to find the right form of therapy for a person, or the right therapist. If he makes a care plan, it's his responsibility to see to it, but he may need some help from you.

Good luck.
 

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I'm actually a 1 with Williams Syndrome, but when I have a panic attack it subsides after a while (I have extreme anxiety, OCD, intellectual disability, dyspraxia, panic disorder, schizoaffective disorder. I've been depressed for quite some time). Belly breathing as Hellfire mentioned calms me down.
 

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I'm actually a 1 with Williams Syndrome, but when I have a panic attack it subsides after a while (I have extreme anxiety, OCD, intellectual disability, dyspraxia, panic disorder, schizoaffective disorder. I've been depressed for quite some time). Belly breathing as Hellfire mentioned calms me down.
holy shit man. thats a lot. how do you cope?
 

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@katigutowski
Hey, this guy needs to see a different/better doctor as soon as possible.

What they like to do is go the medicine route first, but they should go the counseling route first.

Medicine gets them more money, but it affects brain chemistry in a broad way. It's not specific, and this is a specific issue triggered by specific things. The most effective thing to do is to go to a professional counsellor/psychologist/somebody where he can actually be taught how to cope with these things. This will retrain his brain over time as he practices the techniques, like learning a new skill. Medication is a shot in the dark unless there is some kind of guidance. It should play role as the assistant to counseling. With time and training, it might not be needed.

He's probably right that the medicine doesn't help. He has no skills in how to deal with this, and medicine is a mindless, thoughtless chemical.

8 the heck out of this situation and find a better doctor. Find a better health clinic. Even if you don't love him anymore, he won't be that lovable to anyone with how dysfunctional he is now. Even if he gets mad at you for helping him—which would be idiotic of him—help anyway. Doing this is better than "comforting" him. He needs tools, not a shoulder to cry on. If he needed a shoulder to cry on, he would be doing better, wouldn't he? He needs to take charge of his mental life. That's probably why he was attracted to you in the first place.
 

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Hi there, personality cafe people and fellow Type 8's,

I am a 22 year old female with a 30 year old husband. He is a type 6. I've known about being a type 8 for a little over a year, and it is spot on with how I am. My husband discovered he is a type 6, which is also incredibly accurate and spot on for him.

Basically, he needs constant reassurance that he's safe and he thoroughly enjoys keeping the peace. Non-confrontational, sort of sensitive, strong opinions but keeps them mostly to himself, etc etc.

Anyhow, we have been married for 7 months and together prior to that for 2 years. I have always been the "leader" so to say in our relationship, even with the large age gap. I take pride in taking care of myself and him, but am SO independent and not as touchy feely lovey dovey in my feelings as he is. Here's where I'm having a LOT of trouble.

I grew up telling it how it is. I'm blunt, bold, and very much so a realist as opposed to pessimistic or optimistic. My husband has some trauma from his childhood and early adulthood that lead him to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, constantly worrying and OBSESSING over things that don't matter in the moment, like our finances, food in the house, gas in the car, etc. I was actually the one to open him up to the idea about having anxiety. He has been given medication for it for the past 2 years but he stopped taking them because he swore they werent doing anything for him.

Semi-frequently, my husband will have anxiety attacks or, worse, really bad panic attacks that will leave him curled up on the floor crying, hyperventilating, and shaking uncontrollably. Usually he doesnt know why. It generally comes up when he doesnt deal with his anxiety. Now, I dont know if this common with 8's, but I am AWFUL at comforting him. Absolutely terrible with helping him in any way. I have to fight myself to comfort him sometimes. When we first started dating, it was no big deal because I felt needed, almost maternal, and it was just lovely taking care of him. Really made me feel good.

But now, 2+ years later, I despise it. I get frustrated so easily, especially when I feel like my attempts to help him dont do anything for him. I try and talk him through his inner struggles and he fights it off. He CONSTANTLY asks for reassurance, that I love him, that I'm glad we got married, that I won't leave, etc. It irks me to no end. I feel like a failure as a wife to my husband because I truly dont know what to do to help him, and honestly, I dont even want to.

For the first year and a half, I was the breadwinner. I had great jobs that paid all the bills and his jobs were mediocre to nothing, mostly just extra spending money for us. Well, he landed a sweet job paying really well, so I am a stay-at-home-housewife basically while he goes to work throughout the week. So I spend my days cleaning the house, taking care of our pets, making dinner, and washing his work clothes every night. I'm indifferent to it, but him bringing home the money makes him feel like a million bucks. I also handed over all of our finances to him. He controls the money and the bank account, since he is making the money. But he isn't doing well with it, and that's making me angry as well. I want to jump in there and help him, but I can't, because I know how "manly" it's making him feel being the sole provider for our household. I feel awful because when he gets stuck in his head, I can feel myself almost looking down on him, like "What are you doing? You're weak." goes through my head.


Anywho, long of the short, do any of you 8's deal with a friend, family member, or partner with severe anxiety/panic/depression, and how do you help? I'm at a loss and I don't want to get to the point of no return where I despise him for it.

Thank you <3
I'm a 5, but My xwife was pretty much exactly like this, and she's a 6 as well. What annoyed me most was she'd constantly get anxious about SP things which were fairly well taken care of. Damn this probably isn't helping. She seems less anxious and more centered now because she's joined mormanism whole-heartedly. Not saying your husband needs to join mormanism, but it may help him to find a higher authority that will guide him to become more conscious of his issues and where they stem from. The unswerving devotion to pray to god when she's extra triggered really seems to have helped her. Similar things may be a higher power, or meditation.
 

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@katigutowski There are a lot of things your husband needs to take in hand. He needs therapy, for a start. Medication aside, I've seen what happens when people reject help. It's not pretty, and refusal to get help in my mind, and require other people to deal with your problems is inexcusable.

You can just leave though, if it makes your life it easier. Some people just aren't equipped to deal with someone who is mentally ill. You might be one of them. Since you're seeking advice from strangers on an enneagram forum rather than looking up how to deal with anxiety )I see no mention of you ever researching it) which is strange for me, one of the first things I did before entering into a relationship with a man with bipolar 1 (sx 4, commented earlier here) was to research the crap out of it, including it's effects on marriage, so and so forth, and I've done that with anyone I've been with who has suffered from mental illness. (Also gives you an idea of what is something they have no control over and what they're using as an excuse).

Whether you stay with him or don't, is none of my business, but you mentioned you're terrible at comforting him. It's pretty easy to comfort someone who's anxious, and I personally would balk at using enneagram to explain mental illness, since of course there are a good few criticisms against the system for being difficult to empirically prove.

Like it or not, spouses will need comforting, parents die. Things go wrong. You need to be a safe harbour, and that includes comforting a person. I won't be addressing the other parts of your posts, others have done so. Being a type 8 is no excuse to shirk basic emotional responsibilities to one's partner, knowing your enneatype is about self improvement, not the validation of negative character traits, this applies to him too. (It's kind of like the nonsense ISTPs on the forum use to justify their own ineptitude.)

So abridged version, here's how to comfort someone with anxiety.

1) If he's having a panic attack, use a grounding technique. Ask him to focus on 2 things he can see, 2 things he can hear, 2 things he can touch, and to name them out loud, keep your voice calm and steady at all costs. This is probably good to help him snap out of it and come back to reality somewhat, but you may need to encourage him to do a breathing exercise to decompress further.

2) Breathing exercise 1:
Breathe in for a count of 6 (slowly),
Hold for a count of 6.
Exhale for a count of 6.

Breathing exercise 2 (Belly breathing).
Ask him to slowly inflate is lungs, expanding his belly and chest deliberately as he does so, trying to fill every corner of his torso with air.
Then hold for a count of 3.
Exhale (slowly) making sure to flatten his chest, and belly slowly as the air is leaving.

3) Once he's a little calmer (which he should be after doing the above), give him a space to open up and talk. Let him vent (if he wants to.) You may be at a loss how to help, or your natural instinct may be to jump in and offer solutions. This is as far from helpful as you can possibly imagine. If you're wondering how to respond to his venting (after he's calmed down from the panic attack), it helps to repeat back what he's saying in your own words. It lets the other party know you're listening and feel validated.

4) Encourage him to distract himself (if he doesn't want to vent or if you think it'll help), play a game with him, watch a funny movie (he might be too anxious to focus on a book.). That helps.

5) Once he's calmer its helpful to gently suggest that perhaps it would be a good idea for the two of you to work on a plan together, to cover any tasks you both need to get done. You should include things you have to do as well, so you both participate as equals rather than infantalizing him.

6) Might be helpful to get some CBT or DBT sheets off the internet and go through them with him.

He seriously does need to take responsibility for his health. Therapy is very important and it takes a while to find the right form of therapy for a person, or the right therapist. If he makes a care plan, it's his responsibility to see to it, but he may need some help from you.

Good luck.
Or what she said... basically have you become his higher power. (while teaching him to do it himself)
 
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