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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am a 45 yr old wife/mom of 3 sons/3 step children (only 1

Resolved Question:

I am a 45 yr old wife/mom of 3 sons/3 step children (only 1 child left at home)/ former speech pathologist who has suffered with chronic illness for nearly 10 yrs. We have also had significant trauma regarding my husband's ex-wife and children from his former marriage.....his son abused and tried to kill my son, his toxic ex-wife, etc.

But I'm writing about me, for it is my mental health and spirit that I have to be concerned about and that seems to be truly suffering. I have hit a 'bottom' and truly do not care for the person I have become. My bitterness about my illnesses (chronic respiratory illnesses due to genetic immunodeficiency, chronic migraines, lung damage.. ), the isolation and guilt of having passed genetic conditions down to our 10 yr old has buried my old self and hopes and dreams. My bitterness of spending my 'good' healthy years to raise my step children who no longer speak to me and believe their mother's lies has affected me. Her lack of remorse and ability to reinvent herself have brought out the worst in me. I have acted so angry and ugly that I go on her social media sites and post horrible things about her. It is so out of character for me. I immediately feel ashamed. My husband is so upset and concerned by my behavior and boundary issues.

In addition to this, I keep my own separate credit cards to maintain a sense of autonomy and do not tell him.

I feel stuck. Working in my field has been impossible due to my immune system problems and frequent illness. My little boy has the same problem and we both must have expensive treatments every month just to stay healthy. I get up each day determined to make it a good one; I try to think of ways to make my life more purposeful or find a new way to have a career, etc. because I realize that my life and happiness are ultimately my responsibility.

So, I am horrified at where I am now as a person. Not only is body unwell, but I lash out at others even when an issue is none of my business. It is like I have no sense of how to be appropriate anymore and have no filter.

My sense of self-worth was already unsteady, but now I am filled with shame, guilt and do not know where to start or how to help myself.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 12 months ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you are going through this, chronic illness is a difficult condition that effects many individuals' mental health like you are describing

Customer:

Thank you.

Customer:

I was always such a door mat. I really can hardly believe I'm so horrible.

Customer:

I will almost say anything to anyone these days.

DoctorZ :

So you are describing no motivation to stand up for yourself?

Customer:

I stand up for myself too much.

Customer:

I take the battle over the hill too much..

Customer:

even when an issue is not my concern. I have a hard time letting things go.

DoctorZ :

Yeah you mentioned that, not letting things go can increase irritability in someone and constantly build up

Customer:

My husband says I've been a bully in expecting him to then stand up for me when I've made a mess..

DoctorZ :

I do not think you intentionally are doing this, but these behaviors are a response to negative thoughts that you have and they have been escalating

Customer:

I agree and ruminate on situations; have a hard time letting go; trusting, etc.

Customer:

My husband says they make me appear weird and like a stalker and he has threatened to leave me. I am devastated.

Customer:

I had no idea it was so bad and that he felt that way. But I understand now.

DoctorZ :

Well you feel anger towards your husband's ex and that is why you are posting those things on her facebook.

Customer:

Yes.

DoctorZ :

Anger is a natural emotion, and can be exhibited in a healthy and assertive manner.

DoctorZ :

This technique may help you, it is called an Anger Decision sheet

DoctorZ :

This will help you express your anger in a healthy and positive way

Customer:

Thank you. She and I had made amends, I thought, but it was not sincere on her part. She turned and I was even more hurt and angry.

Customer:

I will definitely use that tool.

DoctorZ :

Well that should not matter, you can only control yourself. If you make the effort to change that is a big step and it should not matter how she responds

Customer:

Anger was an 'unattractive' emotion for us girls when I was growing up...

Customer:

I understand.

Customer:

I don't want to be the scary stalker

Customer:

I don't want to be sick either, but I can't control that part as much. The mental part I can or I can get some more help for it.

DoctorZ :

Anger gets a bad rap of being a negative emotion that we should never express, but it will build up and be unleashed in an unhealthy way. If you learn to accept anger and express it in an assertive way, then it is healthy and positive and can promote change

Customer:

I have felt it all around me, like a poison. My in-laws also enable the behaviors of the ex and my husband's sons and my husband does not like to confront them. I feel like it's a hornet's nest..

DoctorZ :

Chronic Illness is difficult because the root cause is the chronic illness for your mental health symptoms, but if we do not let the negative thoughts contribute significantly to that then you can begin to have a more positive thought process that will be more beneficial to you

DoctorZ :

It sounds like a bad situation, but with that anger decision sheet there is also a section of letting it go to that you can process.

Customer:

IThe root of it: what makes me sick and is hard to let go was that it was my own son, whose abuse and molestation started at age 5 at the hands of my husband's young son who ended up later in State's custody with a severe diagnosis of RAD and was seriously homicidal. I put my own little boy in this situation. My stepson's mother likely molested him preverbally.... I have to let it go.

DoctorZ :

I remember discussing about your son in a previous conversation (I believe it was a little over a week ago) and I am very sorry that he went through that, but it sounds like you have guilt over this and you feel like blaming yourself because of this guilt

Customer:

I will use the anger sheet. Do you think I need different meds than just 100mg of Pristiq?

Customer:

We did speak about this.

Customer:

This is keeping me from living.

DoctorZ :

You could add abilify to enhance the effectiveness of an antidepressant. I also think you have anxiety too, so some anti-anxiety medication may help

DoctorZ :

I am here to help you, so we can take as long as you want and you can ask me as many questions as you like.

DoctorZ :

For your guilt about your son, I think you have something called Hindsight bias because you are blaming yourself that you could have done something. This worksheet can provide more details of it

DoctorZ :

Hindsight Bias is very common with individuals who have guilt

Customer:

I will have to try something different than abilify due to the extra movements; dr has suggested perhaps amytriptaline? I am tough to medicate. Very sensitive. I have stayed away from benzo's as long as possible and use them sparingly.

Customer:

Thank you so much for these tools. I have never seen these and I really appreciate tangible techniques.

Customer:

Cognitively, I KNOW that these things are wrong.. these thinking errors.. these choices to feel a certain way are unhealthy and unproductive. It makes it all the more frustrating and disheartening.

DoctorZ :

I love worksheets because I think they help and give more tangible process for you, also I try my best to give as many worksheets as possible so you dont have to go buy a book with these exact worksheets, so I also like saving you money

Customer:

Thank you.

Customer:

I am grateful for your help.

DoctorZ :

A SSRI or an SNRI can treat both anxiety and depression

DoctorZ :

And knowing that these are thought distortions is a good first step to getting better

Customer:

My husband sees that I am sincere and loves and supports me getting help in any way. I am slowly seeing hope. Thank you.

DoctorZ :

Here is a last worksheet for you, I do not want to overload you, that can help with negative thoughts. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more positive and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Customer:

You have really helped me tonight and I am specifically thankful that I got you.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always happy to help

Customer:

Thanks. I will take all of these and put them to good use.

DoctorZ :

If you need anything else in the future, you are more than welcome to contact me

DoctorZ :

I wish you the best of luck with everything

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

Customer:

Thank you. You have!

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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