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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I feel a bit like Im on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Im

Resolved Question:

I feel a bit like I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

I'm trying very hard to keep it altogether as I have a 5 yr old daughter to take care of but sometimes I feel as tho the weight of the world is on my shoulders and pretendingalm the time that in fine and everything is ok for the sake of her and everyone around me can't last too much longer as I'm worn out, sad & fed up with having to be the responsible one all the time.

My sister has a diagnosed mental illness / BPD and my daughter father is a high functioning drug addict. I left him 6 mths ago after he gave me two black eyes whilst I was trying to help him detox. I moved to the other side of the country where my sister lives and since being here she seems to have worsened in her condition.

We had a business together and she decided she was unable to work and left me with the responsibility of everything. She's also been self harming and acting aggressively toward my child.

Consequently ive had to distance myself somewhat from her whilst taking on all her wk responsibilities.

I'm feeling alone and physically isolated from everyone as I moved to put some distance between my daughters father and I and demonstrate to him that j coukd not take anymore of his drug related issues.

Meanwhile my daughter is sad and doesn't really understand why we left 'home'.

Very few friends know of all these issues as I e tried to protect both by not letting other people know so much about their behaviour.

To add to this one of the few people who I could lean on - a client who was a married man I had developed a relationship with and was in love with ended our relationship seemingly because of all the drama my sister and ex partner caused in my life
Some days I just want to shut down. But I have to carry on and act responsibly and don't want my daughter to see me unhappy or feel insecure or unsafe but life just feels so hard some days that I feel if I didnt have her it would be so easy just to end it allbin I carry on desperately trying to make her life happy despite all the other drama around us
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 so sorry that you are feeling this way and that you are having such a difficult time with your ex-partner and sister, I can imagine this is a very difficult time for you

DoctorZ :

I would like to ask some questions, so I can give you the best information possible if that is okay with you

DoctorZ :

You mentioned that you tried counseling, but that you cannot go because of lack of funds and time, but when you did counseling did you feel that it was effective for you?

DoctorZ :

In addition to counseling, have you ever used psychotropic medication? And if so, which kind and were they effective?

Customer:

The Counselling was ok but it doesn't change my situation it just gave me someone to unload to. As I memotioned due to both the situations it difficult to share it with other people ie. friends family . For a number of reasons. And no I have not had medication I don't believe I'm depressed - I get on with life because I have to but I'm tired of the burden of other people's problems but seem I'm stuck with them

DoctorZ :

I am not advocating medication, I just wanted to ask if you have ever taken it. You are right that counseling will not change your situation, but it probably felt a little cathartic to vent your frustrations with someone in a safe environment. But certain therapeutic techniques can help you think more positively about your situation to make the best of it and your future. I can teach you some techniques that may be able to help you since therapy is not an option for you anymore because of time and funds.

Customer:

I feel like I want to escape I guess but I'm trappedMy I feel obligated to my daughter to try and help her father. I'vto allowed him to see her each mth - I just let him stay here and detox yet again because he begged me saying he couldn't do it on his own. He's now here although we've been separated 6 mths and I feel like I'm back in old situation again looking after him

Customer:

that would b v good. I try very hard to stay positive - I read uplifting motivational stories & quotes and take vitamins : exercise etc - try and feel joy and gratitude for what I do have but I just feel very angry and frustrated sometimes that I'm burdened by other people's problems and it feels overwhelming on too of having to raise my child almost on my own and run a business and do everything else without support

Customer:

I know that both my sister and ex do this because they know I'm strong and I'm responsible and ill take care of things but I feel like I'm going to crack up sometimes

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry, I do no think you should be burdened with all of that. I understand taking care of your daughter because she cannot take of herself at her age and you are her mother. But your ex-partner should seek help from professionals on detoxing and not to burden you or your daughter. In addition, BPD is a very serious disorder and even the best professionals have a difficult time treating this disorder, so she seek Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) from a professional as this is the only treatment modality with proven effectiveness in treating BPD. SO I would encourage you to be assertive and push those issues because even though you are strong, you are still human and have limits.

DoctorZ :

So negative thoughts can cause these symptoms of a nervous breakdown, so the goal would be to change that negative thought process to something more positive and objective for you

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 objective 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 :

In addition, you are worried about the future, but thinking with a "glass half empty" mentality, so this worksheet will help you think more objectively about it by focus on the positive.

DoctorZ :

I addition, this will help you problem solve in an objective manner as well

DoctorZ :

Also, I think you are a very kind person and want to be there for the people that you care about, but I also think you get frustrated sometimes and it is hard for you to say no and express that frustration. I think this will help you become more assertive

DoctorZ :

And lastly you mentioned that you take vitamins, do you take St. Johns Wort or Omega-3 (fish oil)?

Customer:

Thank you I think all those things look positive. I guess it's a matter they remembering to use them.i also feel a bit like I can't control things because its outside people causing the problems. I've been trying to help my ex for 7 yrs so it feels kind of like banging my head against the wall. I thought that me leaving and taking his child would force change but that made him worse in fact and he doubled his usage.

DoctorZ :

I think you can demand that he go to a detox facility and get professional help before he is allowed to see his child because you have tried for so long to help him, but he has not helped himself. If he wants to change, he will have to make this effort I believe for himself and his child.

Customer:

My sister also seems unpredictable as thought she was.Improving since her diagnosis and since she's been medicated but she recently went on a huge downward spiral. so to some extent nothing I do can change my situation which I guess is why I feel a bit trapped and like I'm destined to desk with this drama for the rest of my life

Customer:

He's gone three times and he relapses. I did try to get him to go this time too. He's normal to everyone from an outsidor perspective / no one would know he spends $10,000 a mth supporting his drug habit.

DoctorZ :

Wow 10,000 a month is a lot! I am so sorry that he is going through this and burdening you as well. He definitely has a severe addiction. While he may have gone to a rehabilitation facility three times, he must go again because his addiction is so strong that he needs the support of the facility.

Customer:

and my daughter adores him as he's fun daddy - keeping him from her hurts her too and I tried that initially when I left and as I said he became worse - I really just feel like I want to rmove to the other end of the world sometimes

DoctorZ :

I am sorry about your sister, I know that when a family member has BPD you do feel trapped. Does she actively seek therapy like DBT at all?

DoctorZ :

And I think for your ex-partner you have to cut him out of your life for your sake and your child until he really gets the help that he needs and hopefully he will not relapse again. I know it can be harsh and mean, but I think you have to be assertive with that demand to protect yourself and child

Customer:

no again I have tried to get her to go. She self medicates a lot on top of her prescribed medication that is / drinks too much / is very pessimistic which brings me down

Customer:

She'll say things like - I will cut myself again you just have to accept that

Customer:

It's hard to put up boundaries with both of them as I'm scared of the consequences

Customer:

Both of them have suicidal tendencies - obviously because of her BPD and when coming off drugs he's very depressed hence why he relapses

DoctorZ :

I think with him you can put up good boundaries because you already left him and set up times when he can see his child, so you did a good job with boundaries there. With her it is hard because you share a business with her and live near her as well.

Customer:

Aaaaaargh I'm really just venting again I suppose

DoctorZ :

Its okay, I am here to vent :)

DoctorZ :

You can vent all night if you want, my goal is to make you feel better and help you

Customer:

Well ive let he boundaries down by allowing him to stay here and detox but I felt I had no choice as he said he needed my hrlp and wound be better here away from suppliers etc which made sense / and I want him to succeed for my daughters sake

DoctorZ :

Would your sister be open if you went with her to counseling? Maybe she would appreciate the support

Customer:

He's at day 5 now so I guess that's positive and he does seem to want to succeed

DoctorZ :

I understand your logic about your ex-partner, but like I said I think his addiction is too strong for you or him to do alone and that he needs facility treatment again. And also this burdens you and your psychological health as well, you have to think about protecting yourself too

DoctorZ :

I bet he does want to succeed, but addictions are very strong

Customer:

I have suggested it a few times - she had not been keen but I can try again

DoctorZ :

Here is a good book on BPD, I am not sure if you have read it or not, but it can bring insight on this situation with her

Customer:

She's very much accepted the label of her mental illness and I feel she uses it as an excuse now for poor behaviour that she doesn't try to control

Customer:

in my view her behaviour is worse overall since she's been diagnosed

Customer:

Thank you - you have helped me / I will try the things you've suggested

DoctorZ :

Individuals with BPD do use this diagnosis as an excuse for their behavior because they feel hopeless that they will never get better, so they just continue with the behavior without truly seeking the help that they need.

DoctorZ :

I am happy to help, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

Sometimes I feel tho that I wish I coukd act the way they do and just indulge myself and be selfish and make someone else take care of me but I won't do it because my daughter needs me to be together and strong

DoctorZ :

That is very responsible of you to put your daughter first, I know it is hard, but you are doing the right thing

Customer:

she doesn't seem to try at all now tho it's as tho she knows she has an illness she can refer to so she doesn't have to control herself

Customer:

Yes I know I'm doing the right thing she needs one strong reliable person I just wish I had one too

DoctorZ :

That is the hopelessness of the illness talking and it is unfortunate because DBT is very successful in helping her, I can give you a good DBT self-help link that can show you why it is effective

Customer:

Thank you for your advice

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am happy to help

Customer:

Yes that would be appreciated

DoctorZ :

Sure here is that link

Customer:

Does this chat get sent one email too?

DoctorZ :

This has a lot of DBT self-help topics

DoctorZ :

Yes a link to this chat should have already been sent to your email or it will be sent after you finish rating me accordingly

Customer:

Ok thank you

Customer:

Ok just making sure that ill get copies of all the links

DoctorZ :

No worries, I understand

Customer:

Ok thanks again ill try your suggestions ;)

DoctorZ :

You are most welcome, I and I wish you the best of luck with everything :)

DoctorZ :

My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4884
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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