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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4513
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Can you help me understand my thoughts process... I dont understand

Resolved Question:

Can you help me understand my thoughts process... I don't understand it.
When I look at my wife, I hate her and think of how she hurts me. But when I'm away from her I really think I Love her. I'm totally confused. Shes also dealing with Post Natal Depression, which I think is where I dont understand.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these thoughts concerning your wife, I can imagine how distressing this must be for you

Dr. Z :

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

Dr. Z :

For how long have you been having these thoughts concerning your wife?

Customer:

Probably 6-9 Months

Dr. Z :

Also has your wife been treating you poorly recently?

Customer:

It's hard to answer that without being byist. She is an incredible mother and wife. But not a very good friend or lover. Thats a quick sum up

Dr. Z :

And has this feeling that she is not a good friend or lover been a recent development or for as long as you have known her?

Customer:

its been a long time ive thought it. Its just becoming more evident to me in the last 6-9 months

Customer:

I'm not interested in ending my relationship, but i need to change my mindset or expectations.

Dr. Z :

That is fair, I think you are reminded by how she treats you when you are present with her, but when absent you put these out of your mind and you remember how good of a wife and mother she is. To change your mindset, you would need Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

You can do this through self-help therapy to change your mindset or with a therapist that specializes in CBT.

Dr. Z :

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.

Dr. Z :

Also this is a good CBT self-help website where you can practice these techniques too in order to change your mindset about your wife.

Dr. Z :

Also this book is excellent as well

Customer:

thanks ill try that. But how do i deal with it in the instance it happens. I normally react in 2 ways. 1st argue, 2nd go completely quiet

Dr. Z :

It will take some time to change your mindset as CBT is a gradual approach, but it is very effective in helping you not always to focus on those negative thoughts that you are having

Dr. Z :

Well try these two techniques. This one will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Customer:

obviously when i go quiet im thinking irrational thoughts. Mainly thinking how rude or mean she is all the time, even thoughts of never siding with me.

Dr. Z :

And this other technique will help be more assertive with your anger and frustration, so that you express it in a more appropriate manner.

Dr. Z :

Well CBT is a not a magic fix and if you practice these techniques, it will start to become habitual overtime (usually starts being effective in 2 months) and you will no longer exhibit this troublesome behavior anymore.

Dr. Z :

So that means no more irrational thoughts.

Customer:

the other big thing that is happening with our little family is like i stated she is dealing with Post Natal Depression.... which really is her anxiety and stress associated with leaving Our 14 Month old son to go back to work. This in turn has put us in a serious downward spiralling financial debt. My wife understands this but thinks my responses to her issues are that of an money absorbed husband that has no care for her feelings. This is really stressing me, and really assisting me in the current train of thought I have put myself in.

Dr. Z :

I am sorry that she is thinking that. See I think that Anger Decision worksheet will help with this because her accusations frustrate you a lot, and if you can express this frustration in an assertive manner it will help you communicate better with her. I also think this needs to brought to the attention of her psychologist when you go to her sessions because she is being unfair with you and causing you stress. I think her behavior needs to change in that manner to help your relationship

Dr. Z :

The therapist will help communicate your feelings about this financial situation to help her better understand your point of view

Customer:

i would like to do that, but i am not willing to upset her anymore considering her current issues. She has returned to work this week after having 3 months off for the depression and is taking alot of frustation out on me, i do feel like im struggling to be positive anymore for her.

Dr. Z :

Well sometimes individuals will lash out at "safe targets" which are usually loved ones because they know that you will always love them no matter what. She may not even be frustrated or stressed with you, but is using you to express and vent her frustration. I understand that you do not want to upset her, but I think, at least during therapy, it will help your relationship more if you expressed to her how you are feeling so that she can understand and both of you can work on repairing the relationship

Customer:

Ok. I will try to bring it up at the next session I go to. how do i bring that up without it feeling I'm attacking her. I know we both need to work on it. but normally with this stuff in our relationship, the one to bring it up normally gets the wrong reaction as the person receiving the information for the first time think its a direct attack on them.

Dr. Z :

That is a very good question, you should use the pronouns "we" and "us" a lot when you bring it up to show that you and her have equal faults in this and that you and her are a team in this.

Customer:

is it worth contacting her psychologist and letting her know what i wouldlike to talk about at the next session i come to.

Dr. Z :

If you want to really deflect it so that she does not feel like you are attacking her, you should admit one of your own faults towards her and then bring up your issue. This will show that she is not entirely as fault and that you are not blaming her for everything.

Dr. Z :

You can do that if you like, or you can bring it up right there at the moment, it is up to you

Customer:

what would give the best result in achieving a postive conversation instead of attack or arguement.

Dr. Z :

Well mention it to the therapist before then that you would like to talk about this issue and the therapist can initiate it during the session which will probably yield the most positive results.

Customer:

yes that might be the way to go.

Customer:

is it normal to feel as though im being decefitful because i cant talk to her. I feel really bad that i cant have this conversation with her

Dr. Z :

I think you feel guilty that your withholding from her, but that is normal and I think with the therapy for you two your communication will get better gradually.

Customer:

its more upsetting to me that I feel someone is required to mediate a conversation between me and my wife

Dr. Z :

I understand how you feel about that, but every marriage does have rough spots where a professional of mental health is needed. It is not a weakness to ask for help, but it is a sign of strength to know that you may need help to save and repair your marriage

Customer:

i dont know what else to ask, i dont feel as though my thoughts have changed yet & i understand one conversation with someone like you isn't going to change it. I think the thing that will annoy me greatley is bringing this up and no change occur. But I guess I can only try

Customer:

Do you believe i need to see my own psychologist

Dr. Z :

CBT like all other therapies is gradual and nothing will change overnight, you have to give it time and practice these techniques daily for it to really be ingrained in your mind.

Dr. Z :

I think if both of you see a couples therapist together would be more beneficial for you both

Customer:

we have done that in the past... it seemed to work for a little while. just seems like its gone full circle. But hey it cant hurt i guess.

Dr. Z :

Well CBT is more effective than most traditional therapy and will help keep these new objective thought processes more ingrained in your mind to help the relationship

Customer:

I will give it a real try. thanks, XXXXX XXXXX feel as though i have something that may assist me and hopefully it does. are there any Iphone apps you are aware of that have CBT that i could use.

Dr. Z :

I am not sure actually, there might be though. I do not have an iphone and rarely use my phone for the internet so I am not sure, but you can type it in and see if there are any apps at all. I did provide with that online resource though we you practice different CBT techniques if you want

Customer:

i have just searched... it does seem like there are a few. I am just hoping it might just help with keeping a log on me at all times.

Dr. Z :

That makes sense, I usually have patients print out multiple thought records to help them throughout the day

Customer:

anyways thanks for your assistance today

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I truly hope that you and your wife respond to this treatment and repair your relationship. 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 :

Oh and also when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference. In addition, this chat will be saved in your JA account under My Questions so you can always go back to it when you need to

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4513
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

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