Relationships between partners and friends are typically a source of pleasure and comfort. However, some people may experience persistent anxiety when in a relationship.
Doctors call this relationship anxiety, or relationship-based anxiety.
This article will explore the signs and causes of relationship anxiety, as well as some treatment and management options for couples.
What is it?
Common symptoms of relationship anxiety can include excessive reassurance-seeking and self-silencing.
Relationship anxiety involves feelings of intense worry about a romantic or friendly relationship. Although health professionals are aware of this type of anxiety, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not include it.
Unlike other forms of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, doctors do not have specific guidelines to diagnose or treat relationship anxiety.
Relationship anxiety encompasses some features of social anxiety disorder. More specifically, both conditions can cause a person to experience significant discomfort about rejection.
Although many people may worry about acceptance and reciprocal feelings in a relationship, anxiety tends to develop when a person experiences excessive fear or worry.
For example, anxiety can lead a person to worry about the future of a relationship. People with relationship anxiety may end their relationships out of fear, or they may endure the relationship but with great anxiety.
The effects of this anxiety may hinder a person’s ability to function in the relationship.