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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Hello,I have a problem that I always over-analyze things,

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a problem that I always over-analyze things, I read too much into things, this started after I had a relationship with a woman from work who played unimaginable mind games (confused me by showing extreme interest one day and being very cold next day - even ignore me as if we were strangers - ), she would also post cryptic facebook statuses, the mind games worked and I became too obsessed to the extent that I would over-analyze anything posted on Facebook by her and her close friends. Those Facebook statuses may have been intended for me or may have been completely unrelated, but I nevertheless did attempt to read into them and after I moved to a new company, I'm trying to leave all of that behind me and focus on my new job and try to make new friends, but I find this is very hard with the existent of Facebook, as I have many friends from my past job on Facebook and everything they post I would read way too much into it and I feel like I'm driving myself crazy this way.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue. First, a main hypothesis I have about this woman you describe is that she may have features of what we call Borderline Personality Disorder. I won't go into details about this but suffice it to say that she would have likely acted toward other men the way she did to you. I'd speculate that you are probably fortunate you have no ongoing relationship with her at this time. Second, I'm very, very interested in whether you presently have what one could consider to be a truly deep, trusted friendship with anyone---a true confidant whom you can really talk to and say ANYTHING to, who understands you, listens well and will give feedback if asked by you to do so? What do you think? I'll explain why this is important in the next reply to you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks DoctorMichael!

After the events that happened in my last job with that woman, I honestly started losing trust in my friends one after another, I over simplified the mind games she played in my question to shorten it, but she also used tactics like hanging out with a man and laughing out loud in front of me whenever I'm talking to a female coworker. That man also occasionally posted pictures on his Facebook with her in parties and he generally always helped her with her mind games.

My -then- closet friend (female) at work - who were also friends with her and the man I refered to earlier - was that kind of friend whom I would talk to about anything, but after the mind games by that woman, I decided to stop sharing personal information with my friend because I felt suspicous of her too.

I currently don't have any friend who I feel completely comfortable talking to about my relationships problems, the only friend that I have now who I know will not judge me and will be honest with me is my twin brother (who lives with me) but I'm not comfortable talking to him about women and relationships because for some reason we never shared those details about our lives with each other, we can talk about anything else and we generally have many common interests but we don't share many personal things often enough.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
O.K., I have an emergency that has come up that will take me away from the computer for a couple of hours; and also, I want to give this question some thought and I'll write back to you later this evening. Please let me know if this delay is o.k.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I'll be waiting for your answer
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
One thing we know for certain is that as a person becomes increasingly isolated and has no one literally, they can truly confide in and talk to about ANYTHING they wish, their thinking DOES become increasingly narrow, myopic, and a bit skewed relative to reality; this situation does incubate uncertainty and anxiety about how to interpret the actions of others and thus, helps incubate some paranoia. A famous psychiatrist name Sullivan was one of the first to emphasize the great importance of having a very strong and intimate connection with someone to share one's personal thoughts with because social feedback from a confidant and receiving an objective reaction to what one is thinking tends to help correct that thinking. So it is important to have a confidant confirm and more importantly stretch the range of our hypotheses about events such as why your girlfriend did what she did on a certain day. Sullivan called the effect of this interchange of one's personal thoughts with a confidant, 'corrective emotional experiences'. Having someone to really talk to keeps our thinking from heading off on a dirt road to 'who-knows-where?' , instead of staying on the main highway.

My main reaction right now is to suggest that you really do need to find someone you are willing to trust completely and take this 'risk' with to share what you are perceiving about things---the mind games, the social manipulations of this last woman you dated. You pulled away from this friend at work and this is exactly the thing one does not want to be doing, because you need intimate conversation and the chance to share your ideas---you need to hear yourself talk out loud about this stuff and get feedback from someone you trust. If you can't do this with a friend, then I'd suggest you find an objective, dispassionate, very smart alternative person, a clinical or counseling psychologist for example. I'm certainly NOT suggesting anything is wrong with you in terms of your mental health but this is one 'mechanism' that would substitute for a very close, trusted friend if you don't think you have one available to you right now. And I'd get on this right away. What do you think?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This has been very helpful Doctor, I did try to talk about this stuff today with a friend and it insantly made me feel so much better!
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 2 years ago.
Excellent. You need to keep this up because we all suffer from skewed thinking if we don't get these 'corrective' experiences from talking with an intimate, trusted 'other'. Good luck to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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