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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5088
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I cant do this anymore. I have so much pain in my life. I

Resolved Question:

I can't do this anymore. I have so much pain in my life. I always have to pretend that I am strong and in control. I have been in therapy for two years. I've learned how to convince him that I am in control. I have PTSD from an abusive marriage. I'm tired. I don't sleep very good. I know that has a lot to do with how I am feeling. I have been divorced since June of 2010. I have never dated. I was with the X for 40 years. I recently met someone about 6 weeks ago. All this person wanted was sex. I didn't mind that because no one had ever been that good to me in a long time. They found a new victim and dumped me. I feel I was used. Because of lack of experience, I didn't realize that they were taking advantage of me. I'm lost now. I'm alone. I have family but I don't share this with them. They come to me with their problems and for advice. I can't let them down. No one cares about me. I don't think I'm attractive and never have. I'm 63 and have a little excess weight. I was with the X when I was 16. He's already remarried 2years ago. I can't even get someone to care about me. I don't know what to do. I don't want to go on like this. I don't know which way to turn. I tank an anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) but I am still depressed. I can't find a reason to go on. I'm tired of struggling. I don't know what to do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern tonight

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way, I can imagine how distressing this is for you

Customer: I don't know how to fix everything
DoctorZ :

I do agree that you do exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety, most likely from your abusive marriage. This abusive marriage hurt your self-confidence, so you lack the self-esteem to feel like you can change for the better.

DoctorZ :

Fixing this will take time and we have to concentrate one step at a time because if you focus on everything at once it will overwhelm you

DoctorZ :

Now I think raising your self-esteem will make you more confident and will help you feel strong and in control again

Customer: That is how I feel. Overwhelmed. I don't know what's the point trying to fix something that is permanently broken. I have to fool everything into thinking that I am the strong one and can help everyone else
Customer: I can't even help myself.
DoctorZ :

Thats just it, it is not permanently broken. You can fix this and you will get better. May I ask, why do you feel the need to fool everyone. You have helped so many people, as you said, I am sure some people that are close to you want to help you through this difficult time in your life

Customer: I have never worked, have no friends. I stay home as not to face other people.
DoctorZ :

Okay, but what about family?

Customer: I am helping take care of my brother who has stage 4lung cancer and is losing eye sight because of diabetes. I drive him to all his dr.'s. he confides in me more that he does with his wife. I am helping out my daughter with her divorce. I took care of my dad who passed away from lung cancer. I took care of my grandson for 5 years. I want to do it but I have no one to turn to help me. I don't tell people my problems. Every one expects me to help them out with their problems
Customer: im not as strong as they think
DoctorZ :

Wow, that is very admirable that you have helped your family so much, it says a lot about your character, but the reason they think you are so strong is because you have not confided in them with your problems either. I am sure they would be willing to help you too if you told them your issues

Customer: hat time zone are you in? I don't want to keep you up too late.
DoctorZ :

Do not even worry about me, I am on the Pacific Time Zone, and there is no time limit on this session, so I will spend time with you for as long as you need.

DoctorZ :

I am not sure of what type of therapy modality you are currently in, but have you heard of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Customer: It should of said What time zone. I am in pacific time zone also. (Calif) my therapist uses CBT. But i am resistant to change my way of thinking. I'm scared to fail. Every one depends on me and I feel like I am crumbling. I don't mean this to be a pity party for Cathy. I'm sorry
Customer: im tired of fighting to survive
Customer: I have nothing to grab hold of
DoctorZ :

Do not worry this service is for you to vent and to get some answers and help. I am in California as well.

Customer: pick have taken several atovans so my typing might slow down
DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you are feeling this way, I did want to point out that the Wellbutrin you are on is a decent antidepressant, but there are also more effective ones out there as well if you wanted to try that.

DoctorZ :

No worries, I can manage with slow typing I will be here for you and you can take as long as you need to type

DoctorZ :

And because you are familiar with CBT, have you used the Positive Belief Record yet?

DoctorZ :

It looks like this

Customer: that last sentence didn't make much sense I'm sorry. It should of said that I have taken several Ativans so it will slow my typing. Don't worry if I take up a lot of your time there will be enough $ for your time.
Customer: I don't think I am familiar with that
Customer: positive belief is not in my vocabulary
DoctorZ :

Its okay, like I said you can take all the time you need, I do not have time limits, my goal is to give you ample time to get the help you need

DoctorZ :

I know its not in your vocabulary, that is why this worksheet is going to force it in there. I know you are resistant to thinking differently, but it is imperative to help you get better

DoctorZ :

You basically replace your old self-critical thoughts with more positive self- beliefs

DoctorZ :

And you keep practicing this until it becomes habitual, this will help retrain your mind

Customer: I am too tired to fight. I can't find a reason. No one cares. They all have their own problems. I know you are thinking , all she's saying is poor me. Is it too late because I'm 63
Customer: ending the pain is all I think about
DoctorZ :

No I am not thinking that at all, and it is definitely not too late for you. Have you thought about changing your antidepressant to a more effective antidepressant?

Customer: pick am honestly listening or reading what you are saying but I am too tired to fight my way back
Customer: I don't know why it says pick when I typed " I am"??
DoctorZ :

I know you are tired, but there is a way back, you do have the strength to do this and I promise you will get better. If you start on a more effective antidepressant like Lexapro for instance, you will start to feel benefits in 2-3 weeks and then within 8-12 weeks for the full benefit

Customer: what other anti- depressant would you recommend that doesn't cause weight gain? ( like it really matters!!)
Customer: I'm sorry I responded before I read your answer
DoctorZ :

Lexapro can cause weight gain, but its incidence rate of this is lower than other SSRI medications

DoctorZ :

While Wellbutrin does not cause weight gain, it is also not as effective for depression as the SSRI antidepressants.

Customer: I did try lexapro when I first started therapy but had no response to it
DoctorZ :

Did you try the Lexapro at 40mg too?

DoctorZ :

Sorry I meant 20mg

Customer: i am alone in this fight. There is no help for someone like me. I guess I am using you to vent. I'm sorry
Customer: isorry I don't remember the Mg's
DoctorZ :

Do not be sorry, that is your negative thoughts of low self-confidence talking. I am here to help, you can vent all night long if it helps.

Customer: why are you being so nice to me?
DoctorZ :

Its okay, you can try another SSRI medication (Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Luvox, etc..) or an SNRI medication (eg. Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq)

DoctorZ :

I am being nice to you because you are a good person that only wants help

Customer: ih
DoctorZ :

Also you can combine your antidepressant with abilify to enhance the effectiveness of the antidepressant

Customer: I have a shrink that I see to give me medication. He is 81. Does he really know about the current combinations?
Customer: I hate what my X did, or what I let him do to me. I have myself for being weak
DoctorZ :

The combination of an antidepressant and abilify is more recent

DoctorZ :

You cannot blame yourself for what your ex-husband did to you, it was his choice to abuse you, it was not your choice to be abused by him

Customer: i am not crazy about taking pills. I have to force myself to take them.
DoctorZ :

I know and I am not usually a big proponent of them, but it seems like you do have severe depressive symptoms, so I would like to lessen those symptoms with the medication for therapy to be more effective for you

DoctorZ :

Also the medication can be temporary until the therapy really begins to be more effective for you

Customer: Maybe it was my choice because I was weak. My big mistake was not telling anyone. I will print out what you recommend.
DoctorZ :

It was not your choice at all, the self-blame is a negative thought you have. One that needs to be corrected

DoctorZ :

This feeling you have will not be permanent, you can beat this

Customer: Do I want to beat this? What good will it do? I'm tired. I'm too tired to fight back
DoctorZ :

You are too tired right now, but once you start to feel better you will regain that energy that you have lost

Customer: every body thinks I have all the answers to their problems but I don't I can't do this anymore. Everybody has suggestions how to help me but I am frozen and can't move forward.
DoctorZ :

Take it one step at a time, you do not have to have all the answers. Tell these people that you need help too, build a support structure to help you through this, but you will have to open up and tell them about the pain you are going through

Customer: I think about taking all my pills at one time, but I am afraid that I will fail and not die. Everybody has their own problems I am ashamed to tell them how I really feel. Their problems are medical that are slowly taking away their lives. My problems are psychological which I'm partly responsible for
DoctorZ :

You cannot take responsibility for feeling this way, you did not choose this on yourself, this was because another man abused you, that was not something you asked for. Please if you feel the need to make a suicidal gesture, I urge you to go to the nearest hospital to get immediate and intensive treatment for you. I only say this because I do not want anything bad to happen to you and I want to see you get better.

Customer: i like you. You are pretty good at what you do . I have called a suicide hot line while I was going through the trial. I wanted to put an end to all the legal stuff. They talked me out of it. Honestly sometimes I regret ythat decision
DoctorZ :

Sorry I got disconnected there for a second, but I am back now. I know that you feel that suicide will answer all your problems, but it will not. There is a way to fix this and make things better for you.

Customer: He presented his side of the case but threw in the towel before I presented my side of the case. I had restraining orders. I had records od visits n
Customer: by the sheriff. I had proof of rape and being held at gun point. I wanted to testify so everyone would hear what an evil monster he was but I never got the chance. He proposed a settlement before I could take the stand and tell everyone the truth
Customer: im
Customer: I'm tired. I never get alot of sleep. Only a couple of hours at a time. I am thankful that you are able to stay with me and help me
DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you never got the chance to tell your story. Telling your side of the story ont he stand can be a cathartic experience that can help you heal. Have you told anyone your side of the story, your family or friends for instance?

Customer: is this string getting too long? I don't want JA to come down on you
DoctorZ :

No, this chat can go as long as you want it. Like I said no time limits here :)

Customer: Thanks. I told my family some of the stuff. Not all the sex stuff. My kids were angry for upsetting the apple cart. I had to do it though. I had to put a end to the nightmare.
DoctorZ :

No you were right to end the abuse, you should be proud of what you did and it took a lot of strength to do it too.

Customer: I don't think my kids will ever forgive me they had a privileged life. Now thing are so different Are you a Forensic therapist? I had to hire a forensic accountant for the trial. I'm really not quite sure what he did. All I know is that he costs more than my lawyer
DoctorZ :

I am a forensic psychologist, but I also provide therapy and other services for non-forensic cases as well. Yes forensic accountants and other forensic professionals do provide services that are usually more expensive

Customer: good for you. You got into the right profession. My problems must sound so petty.
DoctorZ :

No they are not petty at all, they are real for you and cause you severe distress. This is why I got into psychology, to help people.

DoctorZ :

And I want to help you get better as well, I still believe there is hope for you.

Customer: I just want somebody to care about me. I've been all alone for so long. I feel I just take up space. I'm glad you got my question tonight. I've read some of your other responses and you seem to be helping alot of people with your knowledge and compassion.
DoctorZ :

Thank you I appreciate the compliment. I know that you have been alone, but the first step here is to help yourself get better and then you share your life with someone else. That is why I believe that restoring your self-confidence can be the first step in therapy and asking about newer and more effective antidepressants will help as well

Customer: You say that you still believe there is hope. That is what you are suppose to say weather you believe it or not. I understand that.
DoctorZ :

Well actually if you read some of my other responses, I do tell people when treatment looks grim for them or for their significant other, so I like to think I am honest as possible with you. I do believe that things will get better for you with this treatment approach

Customer: How do I restore my self-confidence? I have been beaten down for 40 years. There isn't a man in California that would look at me as a woman that they would like to be in their lives. I'm not a career woman. I didn't graduate college, men don't like that
DoctorZ :

A good man will like you for who you are. I think by not resisting changing your thought pattern so much with CBT , working on that positive belief record, and the regular thought record that you therapist gave you and by changing your medications could help you a great deal

Customer: how do I restore my self-confidence. There is not one man in California that would waste their time on me. I'm not a career woman, I didn't graduate college I never even worked except in our insurance agency for a short time I have nothing to offer.
DoctorZ :

Well here is one positive quality that I know about you is that you have a big heart because you are willing to help so many other people in your life

Customer: My response came through twice sorry about that
DoctorZ :

No worries it happens

DoctorZ :

You do have a lot to offer someone, but the negative thoughts are making it hard for you to see that right now

DoctorZ :

Once this negative thought process gets replaced with a more positive one, then you will be able to see all the good qualities that you have

Customer: you are a good man. I'm really trying to see things from all sides. I know you are helping me. I haven't taken any more pills since I started talking to you. I always thought that when you get a question that refers to suicide, you shuffle the question off to 911 or a local hospital. Thank you for sharing your time with me. I pretty much feel worthless most of the time but you make me feel not so bad.
DoctorZ :

No I would never shuffle the question straight to 911 or anything like that, my goal is to help you the best that I can. You are not a worthless person, I want you to honestly work on that positive belief record and list out all of your positive qualities and the evidence to support them so that you can see them for yourself. Top of the list I already did for you, Big heart and a lot of compassion

Customer: That and a hand full of shit will get you nothing. Sorry for being so crude. I'm always trying to find something to grab hold of. Like a life preserver. Maybe you are that.
DoctorZ :

It is possible, i can be the start of your support system to help you out and I would be happy to do so too

DoctorZ :

Therapy is a gradual approach and you will not see results immediately, but we all have to start somewhere. Remember the old adage, "Rome was not built in a day."

DoctorZ :

These worksheets associated with CBT help you go through the baby steps to the point where you feel you are cured

Customer: I need someone like you to be honest with. Are you allowed to do follow up sessions? Sometimes I feel like an astronaut out in space and the cord attaching them to the space station has been cut leaving me to linger in space with no direction. Are you able to answer other people's questions at the same time you are helping me? I don't want to monopolize all your time
Customer: I will go to the web site you recommended.
Customer: And get the work sheets.
DoctorZ :

Of course I can follow up sessions with you, you can ask for me by putting "For DoctorZ only" before your question to make sure that you want to speak with me. I do have the ability to answer other questions, but there are no other questions and even if there were I would rather devote 100 percent of my attention on you. I know it feels like you have no direction right now, but you will get the direction you need. I would recommend opening up more in therapy and try not to be so resistant to that these techniques can really help

DoctorZ :

Also would you like more worksheets? I am not sure which worksheets you have already since you use CBT with your therapist

Customer: Doctor Z is that like being dr. Strange love? Sounds like a James Bond name
DoctorZ :

Haha, well I am supposed to not use personal identifiable information on the website, so I use this. And this is actually what many of my patients call me because they can never pronounce my last name

Customer: I wasn't given any work sheets. I was told to read a book called Your Perfect Right. Just started it though . I think dr. Z is a good title.
Customer: You don't look like some old fogie
DoctorZ :

Really no worksheets at all? That is strange. I can give you another good worksheets and also a couple better books too

Customer: i think I'm starting to ramble. Must be the pills. Every thing looks double vision.
DoctorZ :

Well I am relatively young, I started school early, so I am 30 years old right now

Customer: M
DoctorZ :

I am sorry, the pills can cause that because it causes drowsiness.

Customer: no I never got any work sheet or book recomendations. Some times I think I'm his therapist I know more about him than he knows about me . I'm flattered that he confides in me but I also know its not right. I go weekly to see him for 21/2, years I was very suicital when I started but now I would like to see mh
Customer: him every other week but he says I really need to come once a week. I'm a little confused
DoctorZ :

You can come every other week if you like, the goal of CBT is trying to teach you techniques so that you are more self-reliant. Here I am going to teach you one other technique and recommend some better books for you

Customer: Your picture looks like a mug shot!
DoctorZ :

Haha, really it does. Well it was taken at a state hospital I worked at last year, so maybe that is why

DoctorZ :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. 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.

DoctorZ :

And also these three books are really good.

DoctorZ :

That first worksheet I gave you is the central tenant that is used in CBT and should be used consistently. It is very effective.

Customer: That makes alot of sense. I know it will take some time Were you a patient in the state hospital???? Just kidding!!
DoctorZ :

Very funny :) No I was a psychologist there, now I work in private practice.

Customer: I will copy and paste all you responses.
Customer: Yeah sure!
DoctorZ :

No problem. Also this chat will always be saved for you to come back to at anytime too

Customer: is that what you tell all your clients?
DoctorZ :

Haha, well I usually give all my clients my resume and they see the state hospital on there.

DoctorZ :

I will tell you though working the long hours there like I did, made the staff feel like they were patients :)

Customer: ok. That sounds plausible
Customer: thats funny. I like your sense of humor.
DoctorZ :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX to have a good sense of humor, it helps a lot in therapy too. I find it helps put my patients more at ease

Customer: Dr. Z I need help and I think you are the chosen one. I do feel more at ease. It is hard to go through something like this, meaning putting a end to your life, and then finding someone with there hand out reached and willing to help. I have terrible abandonment issues. Please don't leave me. I need your help Every thing is blurred from the pills . Please don't judge my typing
Customer: mytyping my real name is Cathy.
DoctorZ :

I will not leave you, I will not abandon you. Even if I am not online I do get an email saying that you want to talk to me and I will be able to respond as fast as I can. I know it is tough, what you are going through, but you are not alone and I will be here to help you out. By the way Hi Cathy :)

DoctorZ :

Most occasions I am right by the computer and if I am not I will type on my phone with you or tell you that I will be able to speak with you at a later time, but I will always get back to you

Customer: Thanks Dr. "Z". I need to know that I can trust you
DoctorZ :

I understand, a therapeutic relationship is about building trust. My goal is to help you and I do promise that I will not abandon you. My goal is to help you feel better and make you self-reliant again. To give you back that strength that you once had.

Customer: It's strange to hear you say that. My own therapist has never said that. If you had an office closet to n I'd be coming to see you. I'm not ready to go it on my own. I still need someone to lean on. My daughter keeps saying to me, just get over it. But it's not that easy. Because I initiated the divorce they will always blame be.
Customer: M
DoctorZ :

I am sorry that your family blames you, that is not fair to you. You can always switch to a more compassionate therapist to help you if you choose. I mean after 2.5 years if you do not feel better, it is your right to seek out another therapist.

Customer: (Me). After much abuse, several affairs and wanting an open marriage I had had enough. I need help living with my choices. Will you help me ? I can't do I by myself. I almost made a critical decision tonight. You stopped me from doing that. I can't say I really greatful yet, but I know I will soon. You are a good man and a good therapist. I would like to work with you if I may?
Customer: My grammar looks atrocious.
Customer: I can barely see what I'm typing
DoctorZ :

You can work with me through this website if you wish. I can definitely help you through this website, but it will be a different experience for you because it is not the traditional face to face therapy that you are used to.

DoctorZ :

Oh no worries about your grammar. If you feel like you cannot see what you are typing, it may be your body telling you to get some rest.

DoctorZ :

I am glad that I am able to help you, but remember it was you that has this strength, I just was able to bring it to light

Customer: for the first six months I was afraid to talk to the therapist. I kept a journal and wrote everything down.the at every session he would read it so I am very used to doing therapy this way. That is, if its ok with you
DoctorZ :

It is definitely okay with me, I am happy to help you in any way I can

DoctorZ :

You can reach me on here at anytime. I am on here 7 days a week and usually around 8AM to 12AM, so you can reach me nearly all the time.

Customer: Please don't leave me and let me lean on you. Like the movie. Can I contact you tomorrow? You have been a lifesaver for me tonight. I just hope I have the courage to fin you before it's too late. I am officially releasing you from your duties. I shall live to fight another day. If its ok I'll talk to you tomorrow? Nowvgetsomeb
DoctorZ :

Yes you are more than welcome to contact me tomorrow, just like I said put "For DoctorZ only" before your question and I will respond to it. I would be happy to talk more with you more tomorrow

DoctorZ :

I understand that you tired and you should get some sleep. I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

Customer: That long ass word was suppose to say, now get some sleep. You have given me compassion along with great service. Good night Dr. z. Talk to you tomorrow ;-))
DoctorZ :

Good night Cathy, looking forward to talking with you tomorrow.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5088
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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