How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
74815544
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

After nearly 30 years I can still tear myself to pieces thinking

This answer was rated:

After nearly 30 years I can still tear myself to pieces thinking about my wifes love life prior to meeting me ? Its not right I know but its verging on an obsession (probably is one) - its almost like a form of self harm without the physical effects. I'd love to ask if its normal, but I know that answer - in your experience what causes this and what, if anything can I do about it ?

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you exhibiting these symptoms, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you.

Customer:

that's good - cos I can't

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a few questions to get some more information, so that I can better help you

Customer:

ok

Dr. Z :

Do you have any issues with low self-esteem or low self-confidence?

Customer:

low self esteem at times yes

Dr. Z :

Also you mentioned trying CBT, for how long did you try it and was this with a therapist?

Customer:

4 months and yes with a fully fledged qualified guy

Customer:

who could type lol

Dr. Z :

Okay, and what specific "obsessive" thoughts concern you about your wife's prior love life?

Customer:

obviously the sexual activity but also trying o understand what emotions she had, what had she in common with him, any minute detail

Dr. Z :

And you say that these thoughts usually come and go for the last 30 years?

Customer:

yes - its like a recurring dream - not a good analogy but the best I can do

Dr. Z :

Its okay, I think I understand what you mean. Alright, well usually these these obsessive thoughts are caused by low self-esteem that you may have, so the goal would be to raise your self-confidence to a level where you do not care about her past love life. I would encourage you to continue with CBT because 4 months is not nearly enough time to help with these thoughts that you are having. Also you may want to try something similar to CBT called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) that is similar, but puts a greater focus on emotions as well. Here is a good DBT link and a book on the subject.

Customer:

ok that's a new "technique" to me

Dr. Z :

The good news is that this is most likely not a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but a result of this low self-confidence. In addition, you can also try a low dose of an antidepressant that may be beneficial for you in conjunction with the CBT or DBT techniques.

Dr. Z :

Well it is very similar to CBT in many ways, but has a number of extra techniques to help manage your emotions better

Customer:

hammered st johns and vitamin b a lot

Dr. Z :

It may provide a different treatment outlook for you

Customer:

when I was on the cbt

Dr. Z :

Omega-3 and Glutamate are also beneficial too

Customer:

yes i'd heard that

Dr. Z :

Omega-3 regulates mood, and Glutamate will lower anxiety

Dr. Z :

If you wanted to try an antidepressant, a good one is called Escitalopram. It is very effective, fast acting, and has a lower amount of side effects compared to other antidepressants.

Customer:

is there any "spare" advice that would help my wife cope with this ?

Customer:

cope with me I mean

Dr. Z :

Well your wife can be supportive obviously and reassure you, which is what I am sure she is doing already. But she can try to be active in your CBT and DBT techniques to help you see things in a more objective manner and not focus on those negative thoughts.

Dr. Z :

I think your wife may feel helpless at times because she cannot help you, so this will give more of an impact on your treatment, so it helps her feel like she is assisting you

Customer:

ok - given me some new things to think about -

Dr. Z :

and not sitting on the side lines

Customer:

with you

Dr. Z :

Anytime, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer:

no that fine - it been useful. good night

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you