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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Ive been dating a girl online for about 4 years now, and we

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I've been dating a girl online for about 4 years now, and we have met in person once. On paper, we are utterly compatible: like all the same things, even obscure things, and she never gets tired of encouraging me when I feel pessimistic (which is quite often). She thinks I am so creative when I do not and it feels good to hear.

I used to be very open with my affection, enjoy telling her sweet things, and look forward to talking, but I've found in the last few months that I've been unable to feel the same way. I've begun withholding affection (which I thought was a scared reaction to mine towards feeling so strongly for someone, and therefore vulnerable; or that I need to be the sole one receiving love because I'm selfish and anxious) and I dread when I see a message from her because I know it will probably annoy me.

We've had several talks about this, and how to handle each other's moods, but she continues to exhibit the exact same behavior that sets me off, then claims to have known that I was in that mood -- so then why act the way she should know will exacerbate things? I know that I am going through some low mental health times right now, so I'm having trouble determining if I'm merely critiquing her too hard or if we're truly not right as each other's dependents. But her soft replies of "I didn't want to make things worse" (to explain why she didn't talk when I needed a distraction/support) or "I wish I could make you feel better!" (which annoys because... okay... then DO something!) are really grating on me and causing me to be deliberately rude to her and this doesn't feel healthy for anyone.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I am sorry for the pain and suffering that you are enduring now. You internet friend sounds wonderfully supportive and you should do what you can to hold on to her. She is a rare and wonderful person, from what you say.

It seems fairly apparent that you are suffering from major depression because you have some key symptoms:

- feel pessimistic (which is quite often)

- unable to feel the same caring and loving way that you did before

- easily irritable or annoyed at things that should make you feel elated

- your depressed mood is visible to others (her)

- your self worth as depreciated

- these feelings are causing important stress or impairing personal or social function

 

Until you begin to get your face-to-face therapy, you must practice some cognitive behavior therapy on yourself, meaning: you MUST restrain yourself, as difficult as it may be. When she gives you her gift of positive support, you must overcome your urge to be annoyed and thank her and understand where she is coming from. She cannot change your internal mood, but she values you enough to put up with your negative responses to you.

It is easier for you to do this over the phone because you can conceal some of your negative body language. This is not a cure for your moods, but it will certainly slow down any deterioration in this valuable relationship.

Letting it fall apart will only make your own moods decline faster, and once you go too far you may not be able to regain what you lost.

For immediate help you can get this book from amazon.com by mail or instantly on your computer via Kindle (you don't need a Kindle device but can read it on your computer).

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program
by William J. Knaus EdD and Albert Ellis PhD

I truly hope that you can turn this around and save what seems to be a great relationship.


Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So even when she responds to my complaints in a way that I've told her will make me feel worse, that is me taking things too hard, and not that we might just not be good supporters for each other at this time?


 


She has her own health problems, but I seem to have exactly NO sympathy for them, and get annoyed at her for them, but I couldn't be sure if that was because she was long-distance so it was easy to de-humanize her in a way, or because I'm just not right for her...

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear XXXXX,

I think that she is a good supporter of you but you are depressed and react negatively to her. It seems as if she is a real gem, and if you cannot react differently to her then she will eventually stop calling.

Perhaps you just don't care for her and want this relationship to end. Because you have no empathy for her it could indicate either that:

-you dislike her

-you are very depressed and cannot care about anything or anybody

-if you lack empathy for people in general (not just her) and don't really care about how others feel, then you might have a personality disorder.


If you just don't care about her, then it won't hurt to let her go.

If you want to keep her in your life you must try to make more of an effort.


It is entirely up to you. Try to make the best choice for yourself, and then see what your psychological evaluation says.

I wish you the very best.


Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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