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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have been in a relationship for 2 1/2 years now. I constantly

Customer Question

I have been in a relationship for 2 1/2 years now. I constantly overthink things and come to the conclusion that he doesn't want things to work out with me. However, I worry so much that we argue all of the time and that things keep continuing to deteriorate. I feel like I over analyze everything he says or does. It's starting to push him away. We've talked about these things but they haven't gotten any better. I don't approve of medication in my life as much as possible. I'd like to know how I could find a better way to deal with things without taking medicine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you think that there is something that is wrong with you? With him? With your mutual ability to make the relationship work?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Why do you say that you "overthink" things?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you really over-analyze his actions, or do you think that perhaps some of the what he does is questionable?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You may have reasons to doubt yourself, but then again you may have valid reasons for questioning this man.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to continue this chat with you but it seems that you are not available at this time (which is approaching midnight for me).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall save this chat and exit for now so that you can pick it up and address some of the issues that I have brought up. If we are both here at the same time then we can chat in real time, which is my preference.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

In any case, I shall stay with you until you feel you have a satisfactory reply.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I await your return. :)

Customer:

I think that there is something wrong with me. I feel that I can't trust the relationship will work. I say that I overthink things simply because I am more worried about the direction that our relationship is headed in and how he feels about me as opposed to enjoying what we have now. Those thoughts lead to many arguments. Most of those arguments revolve around the same conversation. I don't believe I over-analyze his actions, I believe I over-analyze his inaction. Things he doesn't do or say directly.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This doesn't sound to be an over-reaction. It seems that you are not satisfied with his behavior or attitude, or lack of seriousness about the relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Perhaps you are looking for something larger and longer term, and he is more interested in just the momentary pleasures of your relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What do you think?

Customer:

I really want it to work because we do make a great couple when we aren't arguing and I'm not thinking about all the things I think he doesn't feel. I know that my insecurity and my argumentative nature so far has pushed him to question whether or not things will work out. We both come from the standpoint that a relationship shouldn't be this much work all of the time. Neither one of us wants to be in a relationship like this. He is on the fence about things. I guess I just think that after 2 1/2 years he should be a little more secure one way or the other. Neither of us are looking to marry, move in, or start a family any time soon, but I don't want to waste another 2 or 3 years with someone who is so indecisive. My fear is that we will be together for that period of time only to find out it won't work out.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What is your gut feeling about this? Will it work if you carry on for a few more years or does something have to change on his part? It seems that it is more than just your uncertainty, but a case of his immaturity, indecisiveness, or lack of desire for anything else?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I do not think you are being unreasonable but rather seem to have misgivings about the future of this relationship. He does not seem to have the same level of commitment that you do.

Customer:

Right now my gut feeling goes back and forth. Him and I have discussed things and decided that the arguing needs to stop if there is any hope for a future for this relationship. I don't believe his is immature or has a lack of desire for more. He already had one relationship in which he fought all the time. He has told me since the beginning that he doesn't want that. He doesn't want to be with someone he argues with all of the time. I can understand that.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Who initiates your arguments? Or more clearly, who turns the discussions into arguments? Is he argumentative? Does he have to dominate the discussion? Does he have to be right?

Customer:

I initiate the arguments. I start getting emotional and have a hard time communicating what I want to say in a mature way. I think I more or less try to dominate the discussion. I don't believe he feels he has to be right. He is always honest with me regarding how he feels. I think that I just can't accept those feelings. He's told me what things he wants to see change. I agree they need to change and have wanted them to change for awhile, I simply can't get around all my thoughts about the relationship. I believe there are things he does to show me he cares and wants something to work and I don't always see those things.

Customer:

Unfortunately, I have step out right now. Feel free to ask more questions and I will answer them later today.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall ask a few more and then save the chat for later.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have a good day.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have thought about what you wrote for sometime.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You seem to feel that the responsibility is due to your behavior You have not mentioned much about your behavior and I would like to hear more about it. Are you suffering from depression? Are you in love with him?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You mention not wanting to take medication? What medication would you be taking, in your estimation?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I look forward to continuing our conversation.

Customer:

I do believe I am suffering from depression. I went to the doctor a little less than a year ago and was prescribed a couple of different anti-anxiety medications. I have never believed medicine could solve problems for depression.

Customer:

Nothing in my life is what I want it to be and I believe that unhappiness just infects all other aspects of my life.

Customer:

When I talk of my actions here is what I mean. I am always so worried that I am not good enough and things will not work out. These thoughts lead to me being "moody" and argumentative about everything. I always have this attitude where I am defensive and I take what people say personally. It leads to a less than positive tone when I am speaking with my boyfriend. I haven't really shown him that I've been all that supportive or understanding about the things that are going on his life. When I say my actions I literally just mean being argumentative and "moody". However, it happens so often that it is creating doubt on both our parts that this could work.

Customer:

I know that part of me does not trust him. It's not that I think he's going to cheat on me. I don't believe he will hit me. I just don't trust him not to "break my heart." About a year ago him and I had a break in our relationship for about a month. Even though we ended up staying together (so far), I haven't really regained that trust I had for him before that time. Now I worry much of the time if that will happen again. We

Customer:

have discussed things and realized that we are in a vicious circle. I worry about things working out because I don't believe he feels a certain way. He doesn't know if things will work out because I feel that he doesn't feel a certain way. Which leads him to wonder if such thoughts aren't a big red flag. I never used to feel these things. This has been a development within the last year or year and a half. I used to feel like I was a laid-back easy-going person. I was very much into my own personal health, headstrong trying to reach my goals, active, fun, very rarely upset or angry, eager to try new things, and definitely not so argumentative with my boyfriend. Now I have a lack of motivation, I argue not only with my boyfriend but everyone, I am always irritable, and instead of being motivated in my time off, I simply sit around the house wishing things would be different. I no longer lead an active lifestyle or try new things. I find myself angry and upset with people for no particularly good reason. I feel like I have mostly closed myself off to most of my friends. Not because I spend all my time with my boyfriend but because I really feel as if I don't want to see other people. I don't even really like going out in public anymore and being around people. It's this change in personality that is alarming to me. I think my boyfriend noticed it first and never really said anything thinking it was just a rough time for me until it continued on for months. I think that this change has caused some of the problems in the relationship because I'm not that same girl he was attracted to.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have laid out your situation, behavior and feelings in a very clear and accurate manner.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

From what you say, it is very clear that you are suffering from major depression.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me list the "official" psychiatric manual criteria for depression (from the DSM-IV).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


Major Depressive Episode


DSM IV Criteria



A) Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure

Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations

1) depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
2) markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
3) significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
4) insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
5) psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
6) fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
8) diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others)
9) recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

B) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode

C) The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism)

E) The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

One of the signs of depression is irritability and negativity.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I am not a big fan of medication either, but you need to do something to break this deep mood of depression, anger, and despair.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have three recommendations for you:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

First, I am going to suggest some very helpful self-help workbooks.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Secondly, I suggest that you find a good therapist to talk to. She or he will be able to help you get out of this state. Studies have shown that for all but the more stubborn depression, talk therapy is as effective as medication, and that a combination of the two is even more powerful together than either approach by itself.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thirdly, is talking to your physician about taking an antidepressant. Doctors often prescribe SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft. Most antidepressants can cause weight gain and can lower your libido as well.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

However, one medication that will neither cause you to gain weight or lose your sex drive, while still being a very effective antidepressant and antianxiety medicine is buproprion (Wellbutrin).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And now for those books I mentioned:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


For the cognitive behavioral approach:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and for the Dialectical Behavioral approach:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I suggest getting both and using the approach that suits you best. This may also help you choose a therapist later on, as you begin the understand the process.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


There are good therapists out there, and others who are not as helpful, and some good ones may not suit you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


If I can be of further help, please get back to me. I shall keep the chat saved.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott

Customer:

Thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 6 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Dear Heather,

Thank you so much. May God bless and protect you.

Elliott

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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
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35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.