Ask a Therapist: My husband's illness is giving me anxiety and I don't know what to do

"I hardly never sleep because I am afraid he will become ill again."
Illness is often tough to battle mentally because it falls within the realm of the unknown, and anxiety is often triggered by the things that we cannot control.
Illness is often tough to battle mentally because it falls within the realm of the unknown, and anxiety is often triggered by the things that we cannot control.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TMRW

Minaa B. is an author, writer and licensed therapist based in New York City. For this column, "Ask A Therapist," Minaa shares practical advice for people who want to find ways to sustain their mental health. To submit a question, email us at tmrwadvice@bncuni.com

Hi Minaa,

How do you treat anxiety if it comes from your spouse being ill? My anxiety has skyrocketed since my husband's health has changed. I hardly never sleep because I am afraid he will become ill again.

Signed,

Anxiety overload

Hi Anxiety overload,

I first want to start off by validating your experience and sharing that anxiety related to illness is a very real and normal reaction and I hope the best for both you and your husband. Illness is often tough to battle mentally because it falls within the realm of the unknown, and anxiety is often triggered by the things that we cannot control. When these things intersect, it can definitely bring up many emotions and cause sleepless nights.

I first want to encourage you to do some investigating and ask yourself: What do I need during this time? What does getting support look like? And who can you ask for help?

No matter what we face in life, it's always essential to have a community and the people who you can lean on during pressing times. I would also consider seeing a therapist so that you can get professional support around grief and anxiety.

Lastly, writing reflections and mindfulness practices can help you recenter yourself and stay in the present. What are your fears? And in what ways can you honor living in the moment instead of living in your mind? Writing these things down can be a great way to gain clarity, while also engaging in self-care practices that bring you joy and elevate your overall mood.

Wishing you and your husband well as you journey.

Take care,

Minaa B.

Have a question for Minaa B.? Email us at tmrwadvice@nbcuni.com.