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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4751
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Dear Dr., I was in an abusive relationship for 3 years mental

Resolved Question:

Dear Dr.,

I was in an abusive relationship for 3 years mental abuse and over powering abuse not physical by hitting but would sit on me so I couldn't move. The mental part he would always put my down, call me names, accuse me of doing things I was not doing, follow me to meetings, told me I had to be in by 7pm because any woman out after that time is cheap, told me there was a certain way to laugh with men cause if I laughed the wrong way they would think I liked them, the list goes on. I was able to break away from this relationship on a personal level however I still work on a professional level with this man whom I report to. I have a good job which I have been doing for 15 years now. I am still there because I wasn't going to let this man destroy what I had accomplished after so many years. I have been apart from him for 4 years but to this day he continues to have an impact on me. I find whenever he is around in a group, or presentation, I have problems communicating with others. Normally I can carry a conversation with the best of the best. Why is this happening? I actually feel poisoned after I leave a meeting or his presence. I have always been a very confident individual, optimistic and outgoing. Whenever I leave where he has been I honestly feel unconfident, somewhat unintelligent. Why is this happening? I certainly would appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you were in an abusive relationship like that and still have to work with this man, I can imagine how that can distress you

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a few questions to get more information, so that I can give you the best possible answer

Customer:

Ok, thank you.

Dr. Z :

When he is around you at work and you feel less confident, are you experiencing any physical symptoms at all, like heart racing, sweaty palms, difficulty breathing, chest hurting, etc...?

Customer:

No. I actually have problems focusing on the topic of discussion.

Dr. Z :

So you just have a lack of concentration and focus when he is around?

Customer:

Yes. I have called a colleague by their wrong name. I don't understand how I can feel so intimated by this man.

Dr. Z :

And is there any other part of your life/behavior that does not feel right, like sleep disturbances, flashbacks, etc...?

Customer:

My sleep is great I get between 7-8 hours per night for the most solid sleep. I do think about what he put me through often only because I see him or have to talk to him on a regular basis. He put me down for so long I became very drained mentally and emotionally and honestly felt less intelligent. There has been so much time that has passed and cant understand why I can still feel this way. At work I'll ask him a question and for the most part he say you should be able to figure it out, you should know the next steps or he's even rolled his eyes in the past. I'm not coming to him with anything anyone of my colleagues wouldn't come to him for. I've even heard him muffle words when I walk out of the room and wants me to hear I'm sure so once again he continues to intimidate.

Dr. Z :

I agree, I think he is trying to intimidate you as well still because that is his nature. I believe he has a disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I think your symptoms are caused by associated anxiety that is commonly seen in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Memory problems and lack of concentration are associated with PTSD and you did go through a chronic traumatic experience with this man. Here is a link explaining PTSD further for you

Dr. Z :

I think your anxiety is on the subconscious level and when you see him, these symptoms are triggered

Dr. Z :

Because it subconsciously reminds you of the trauma you endured

Customer:

Thank you Dr. Z. I appreciate your time and will read the link you provided.

Dr. Z :

Well I can also provide you with some books as well to help treat this

Dr. Z :

and help lessen your symptoms more too

Dr. Z :

These are good self-therapy books that can help you manage your symptoms and prevent them in the future.

Customer:

I also find it very difficult to respect this person and from time to time I don't respect his demands or business requests. I know this will only hurt my career and I am trying to control and fix this part but it truly is hard. No one at work knows what happened between us I have never spoken to anyone. Thank you for the links. So there is hope to get over this anxiety???

Dr. Z :

I understand that you do not respect him and you should not respect him because of the man he is and if abuses others like he did to you then he does not deserve your respect. There is definitely hope for your anxiety, in fact I believe that your anxiety is mild-moderate which is more responsive to treatment without medications. The CBT techniques in those books are the most evidence based therapy that have been proven in 1000's of studies to be effective.

Dr. Z :

Also if you decide to use medication, I recommend the use of an SSRI antidepressant, I would recommend Lexapro at 10-20mg or Zoloft at 150-200mg, and can be used in combination with the use of benzodiazepine (e.g Ativan, Xanax, and Klonopin) are effective in managing anxiety

Dr. Z :

In addition, this is a link for something called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that can help you create a long term calm by using muscle tension and release techniques; it can help manage your anxiety and is very similar to a style of meditation.

Dr. Z :

If you do not like medication, the natural supplements of St. John's Wort, Omega-3, Glutamate, and Valerian root can be used to increase anti-anxiety effects

Customer:

Ok. I will read the recommended books and the link provided. Yes, not a big fan of medication and would prefer the natural path so thank very much. This is a great start. I appreciate your time and input. Will I get the attached discussion mailed to my email address?

Dr. Z :

A link of this chat should be emailed to you, you can log on to your Just Answer Account and the chat will be there under My Questions, or you can bookmark the chat using this link

Customer:

Once again, thank you and have a nice day!

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I hope everything works well and that your anxiety goes away swiftly. 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.

Customer:

Thank you.

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :)

Dr. Z :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Dr. Z :

Hello I did notice that you are in Canada, so I wanted to provide you with the links to those books for the Canada website, sorry for the inconvenience earlier.

Customer:

Call rating: Excellent

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4751
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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