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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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I was visiting my wife simce she is on deployment and ive never

Customer Question

I was visiting my wife simce she is on deployment and ive never had this issue before but when I was with her after about two days when we were having sex for some reason I couldnt get the image of her and this guy she used to have relations with having sex out of my head and I couldnt stay erect after that. Its just that she is forced to work with this guy and I know she doesnt talk to him and wont talk to him or hang out with him but its just been bothering me ever since. It bringa up a whole bunch of stuff. I started worrying about my size thinking that im not big enough. I know I am. But negativity wont stop taking over my thoughts. Now im just constantly worried about whether or not im good enough in that way for her. I dont know what to do im tired of feeling this way. Any advice?
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 :

Have you spoken to her about this?

Customer:

Yes I have spoken to her

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How did she react?

Customer:

At first she took it kinda offensively. Like me calling her a whore or something. Then she realized she was being dumb and calmed down. And just keeps reassuring me that its no issue.

Customer:

Its really hard when she works with and is on deployment with people she used to have relations with.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Unfortunately you brought it up and it became an issue. She could only be offended , and if she realized that it was your problem, then she could think that you are very insecure (which you probably are).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Even if it bothers you, you cannot control it. Revealing those thoughts to her is ineffective and possibly detrimental.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

These of called obsessive thoughts and they can be destructive.

Customer:

I am. Me an her both are. Its just when they hit port in korea. She just happened to end up hanging out with the guy. Cause the group sje was with wanted to stay with the other group and drink. When sje promised sje wouldnt go out with them. She did. And drank withthem too. Now Iim just all worried.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Instead, you must learn techniques of "thought-stopping", which you can learn and manage your thoughts so they will not be so self-destructive to you and to your relationship.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So, do you think that there is a real issue here? That she is having a relationship with this guy again, or is it just groundless paranoia or worry on your part?

Customer:

Ive always had that obssesive thought problem my whole life. And I just dont know how I can stop thinking about thay kinda stuff. I would like to be able to just stop. well when I asked her not to hang out with certain ppl. She got mad at me at first for calling ppl out. But I talked to her about it again and she says that she wont and she understamds where I am coming from. I think its just me being paranoid. But im just scared.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If these are just groundless worries, then you can benefit from a couple of books that I will suggest.

Customer:

Is there any advice you can give so I can kinda talk myself out of those thoughts or something??

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and also

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Yes there is advice, but you can't get it in a few sentences. The two books I suggested will do EXACTLY that, but in an orderly way that will help you to find real ways of changing your thoughts and behaviors.

Customer:

Is this normal for ppl to worry about on deployments and such or am I just worse than other people?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Lots of people could worry about "what ifs'" but this is something that can dominate your mind and make it harder to function.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Many people do have this reaction but it is harmful to you and to our relationship and you must learn how to get past it.

Customer:

I feel like it is starting to dominate me. And its hard for me yo get over since ive had this problem my whole life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There are methods and exercises to follow in these books, and in doing them you will change our thinking for the better. This has been a longstanding problem foor you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If the books don't help then you will have to go to a therapist who will basically do similar techniques to help you change your thinking.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If none of this works, you can suppress the symptoms with medications but they will not get to the root cause of your problems.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Only by coming to terms with your negative thoughts, finding better ways to interpret them, and then stopping the destructive responses to these thoughts will you achieve success.

Customer:

Yeah since I was like 10. It drove me to attempt suicide about two years ago. It was over something else. Before I even knew her. Im alot better now. Like its not bothering me as bad as it ised to. But I jist want to completely get rid of those obssesive thoughts for good u know?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Were you ever abused as a child? Or neglected, or abandoned?

Customer:

Never abused. But my parents split up. My dad went to jail. My mom got paranoid schizophrenia and was stuck in a crazy home. So I was sad for a majority of my life. I pretty much felt like I was abandoned.

Customer:

And I turned to drinking as an outlet. My wife is the reaso. I got out of that initial rut. She was with me every step of the way.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That has a lot to do with your current insecuritries.

Customer:

I know it does..

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So it is not so much that you don't trust your wife, who is a jewel, but it is because life has let you down in a big way, when you were still developing and needing an absolute support system. You lost yours.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever get very angry (fly into a rage?)

Customer:

Pretty much. Thats why I get so scared of thinking of her leaving me for somebody else. She is the only person that has ever been there for me... and I am a very angry person.. very sarcastic. I was in the navy with her. I was still deppressed. She helped me. We were together. I got out cayse of depression. We got married.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever harm yourself (punching walls, cutting, stabbing, burning)?

Customer:

I used to alot... punching stuff to intentionally hurt my hand bad or whatever amd I still throw stuff whem I get angry. But I dont really hit stuff anymore. But sometimes when I get down i used to try and hurt myself workong out. Now its an outlet. But it used to not be.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is a way of easing your emotional pain.

Customer:

Yeah. I am very physically active. So i guess that has always been there to numb it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your worries and fears are only part of a larger disorder that I now understand after chatting with you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are suffering from a disorder that is most likely caused by childhood abandonment in situation similar to yours.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is characterized by extreme anger, rage, moods changes, and self hurt of the type you described.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is called Borderline Personality Disorder. Your obsessive thoughts and worry are part of it because your biggest fear is loss or abandonment.

Customer:

I dont understand. I mean the navy put me in a crazy home for a week to see what was .wrong with me. And they diagnosed me with major depression. Bit I am happy with my wife. So I dont understand. Idk if its just her being away from me or what.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, when she is away from you your imagination runs away with you and you worry that she will leave you.

Customer:

Im just scared. And that makes sense.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Don't be scared. You can be helped.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me recommend a couple of books for you so that you can understand what is going on.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall also give you a book about the best treatment of BPD.

Customer:

I know I dont have to be like this. I got out of it before. I just am scared its taking over again. So I know I can beat it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes depression is part of it, but they didn't see the whole picture. They didn't talk to youl

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is the right and TRUE attitude. I you can beat it once, you can ALWAYS beat it.

Customer:

I dont even know what the big picture is

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here is the simple diagnostic criteria from the psychiatric diagnostic manual DSM-IV.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


BPD – DSM-IV


1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.


2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterised by alternation between extremes of idealization and devaluation.


3. Identity disturbance - markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.


4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging, e.g. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving or binge-eating.


5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behaviour.


6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood, e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety, which usually lasts for between a few hours and several days.


7. Chronic feelings of emptiness


8. Inappropriate, intense anger, or difficulty controlling anger, e.g. frequent displays of temper, constant anger or recurrent physical fights.


9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.


Anyone with six or more of the above traits and symptoms may be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, the traits must be long-standing (pervasive), and there must be no better explanation for them, e.g. physical illness, a different mental illness or substance misuse.

Customer:

Most of em sound like me

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



and here are the books I mentioned.



The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living with BPD by Alex L. Chapman, Kim L. Gratz and Perry D. Hoffman

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and one for your wife to help understand:

Customer:

Lately ive been getting those anxiety episodes that last for days. I havent had them in a while. And since she left I have gotten them all the time

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and a book to start you off with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (but you should understand the technique, follow the exercises, and then find a therapist).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



and one more approach to DBT - a new book that I have heard to be excellent:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

(not read it yet)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I trust that this information will give you direction and HOPE that you can get to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


I wish you great success and shall keep you in my prayers.

Customer:

Can u reccomend just one book? One that will help me most?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


The first one.

Customer:

Thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are very welcome.

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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