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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4826
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have recently had trouble with guilt & OKMH902100

Customer Question

I have recently had trouble with guilt & getting over a huge mistake I made. I would like some advice/ideas on how to go on.

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you have had these issues with guilt, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you. May I ask why you feel guilty and what mistake you believe you made?

Customer:

I have been in a relationship with someone for a long time, but last December & January we were having trouble, and briefly separated. During this time I made a huge mistake and slept with someone else, once on Jan 18. We used protection (3 forms). Shortly after I have gotten back with my significant other and he wanted to try for a baby. I have always wanted to be a mother, therefore I agreed and went off birth control in Feb. I found out I was pregnant in March. I have talked with numerous doctors to confirm my EDD and paternity, and my partner is for sure the father of my baby.


 


However, I am having trouble accepting this information because I believe I should be punished in some fashion for my actions. The guy I slept with once, we knew each other prior, and he would make jokes about how out kids would be "cute". joke about names, and would also talk about how if I got pregnant I would have to get an abortion. I guess I liked the attention I was receiving at the time since I was not receiving it from my significant other, so I went along with it. I am not sure how to deal with this guilt and how to go on. I know there is no way I got pregnant from this encounter since I was on birth control, the dating is off, and I had a period after, but the guilt is eating me alive and I constantly question "what if". Do you have any advice?


 


I hope you do not judge me. I made a mistake. A huge one. It was a one time thing and something that I would never do again. I was in a low point in life, but need to figure out a way to go on and enjoy life again.

DoctorZ :

You do not have to worry about me judging you because I will not. You made a mistake and it happens. Your guilt is more focused on the affair you had, even though you were separated, and you feel like you should be punished for something and think it being his baby would be punishment. You feel guilty because you feel that you "got away with it." with no repercussions from the affair.

DoctorZ :

Have you told your partner about this affair?

Customer:

No I have not. Since I am pregnant I do not want him to suffer throughout the pregXXXXX XXXXXke I have with "what ifs"

Customer:

I don't necessarily feel like I have gotten away with it since the guilt eats me alive day and night.

DoctorZ :

Well that is why you feel guilty because you feel like you made a "huge mistake," in your words, but that you did not suffer any consequences from it, so you are self-blaming and feeling like you deserve to be punished for your described mistake.

DoctorZ :

And you have not forgiven yourself for this mistake either, so you are holding on to this guilt you have been feeling

Customer:

true

Customer:

I just feel like the "jokes" the other guy made and I went along with are going to come back to bite me. I know there is not correlation between jokes and paternity, but I just loose sleep over it.

DoctorZ :

I understand, but I think your guilt is making this connection because you are so focused on the negative right now. Have you considered seeing a therapist? More specifically a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT)?

Customer:

No. What is a CBT?

Customer:

If I didn't see a therapist, how would you suggest getting past this? It was totally out of character for me. I was in a hard time in life & was trying to be someone opposite of who I really am.

DoctorZ :

Well I think CBT will help you get past this because I think you holding this in and that will just eat up at you with the guilt. CBT is a type of therapy that helps to retrain your brain to better cope with certain situations. Your guilt and negative feelings are caused by negative thoughts, so if you change your thought process to be more positive and plausible then this will help you get over this guilt and forgive yourself.

Customer:

Ok thank you.

DoctorZ :

Well let me give you some techniques to help you through this and some books as well

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.

Customer:

thank you. I will try that.

DoctorZ :

In addition I believe that these forgiveness worksheet will help too

DoctorZ :

And this book is very helpful

Customer:

I just want to be excited about this pregnancy. I have always wanted to be a mother, but am having trouble connecting with the baby & constantly have a fear that the baby is from the other encounter (although it has been disproven by multiple doctors). I constantly find myself asking doctors over and over to make sure. Would this also be from the guilt?

Customer:

Thank you so much for the resources. I will use them.

DoctorZ :

Also this What if Technique can help you look at the positive instead of just the negative

Customer:

great thank you. I definitely agree I need to change my negative thoughts to positives.

DoctorZ :

Yes this is definitely from guilt that you are feeling this way. You feel like you deserve to be punished so you have convinced yourself that this is the way you are being punished

DoctorZ :

If you focus on an objective thought process, this will help you relieve your guilt

Customer:

I totally agree. I know that, I just don't know how to stop thinking that way and get past it. Hopefully your resources and possibly the CBT therapist will help.

DoctorZ :

It will take time as therapy is a gradual approach, but these techniques are the right first steps

Customer:

great I will try them. I really appreciate your help and approaching this situation in an unbiased manner.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, i am always happy to help. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

thank you

DoctorZ :

I wish you the best of luck and congratulations on your pregnancy

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4826
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.
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