Anxiety disorders and marital satisfaction.

  Vol. 38 (8) 2018 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2018; 38(8): 555-564 PubMed PMID:  29504737    Citation

OBJECTIVES: Anxiety disorders can be a burden for the patient and his family. They affect the family everyday functioning, require greater demands on adaptation and re-evaluation of the existing habits of family members and consequently may result in family dysfunction due to anxiety disorders, especially in marital relationship or partnership. However, the knowledge about the impact of anxiety disorders on one or both partners in marital or partner life is still limited. METHOD: The relevant studies were identified through the Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus databases, within the period 1990-2017. Additional references were found using reviews of relevant articles. The search terms included "anxiety disorders,"marital problems," "marital conflicts," "partnership," "family functioning," and "communication." RESULTS: Dissatisfaction in a relationship can act as a trigger for the development of anxiety disorders and could also be responsible for the modulation and maintenance of these disorders. However, this dissatisfaction may also be the consequence of manifestation of the anxiety disorders. The individuals with the anxiety may feel guilty about their partners because of the tolerance and help (does not matter what kind and quality of the help he/she provides), sometimes they are submissively grateful because of the support, they may feel inferior, tend to serve him /her. On the other hand, he/she begins to rebuke partner's supposed negative attitudes; the patient may start to use his psychological problems as an excuse and expects others to help him and solve the situation. Consequently, he /she starts to check and criticize the partner and this tense situation may lead to problems in marriage and disturbs family functioning. CONCLUSION: Distress elements that contribute to the development of anxiety disorders can be diverse and sometimes it is not easy to identify so-called precipitating factors. The link between anxiety disorders and family relationships is bi-directional: psychological problems adversely affect patient relationships and attitudes of the partner towards the patient significantly affect his/her anxiety.

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