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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, Im very confused or maybe paranoid. Maybe some of your input can help me cla

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Hello,
I'm very confused or maybe paranoid. Maybe some of your input can help me clarify the situation a little better.
I am a respected 32 year old male in my profession and community.
About a year ago, i broke up with my long term girlfriend.
I was a bit confused and felt alone. So i ended up partying a bit and come a cross younger girls(18-23). I flirted, partied with some of them, and even had encounter with a 18 year old.
Now i feel very ashamed of what i did, and will never do it again.
But what worries me is the talk of the town. I haven't notice anything different, but we all know how young girls like to gossip.
I'm very worried about my reputation. If this things come out it will be bad for me.
I have noticed a decrease in my business last couple of months. I don't know if it has something to do with it, or it's just a coincidence and I'm just being paranoid.
But no body have mentioned or said anything. On the other hand i don't think they will if they heard anything.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these thoughts and feelings regarding this "encounter" with this 18 year old girl, I can tell that you are very distressed over this

Dr. Z :

What you are definitely is called anxiety and you are focused on a lot of negative thoughts or possibilities/scenarios which increases your anxiety

Dr. Z :

So the goal would be to help you change your thought process to think more objectively and not focus on a negative thought process

Dr. Z :

The best and most evidence type of therapy to help treat this would be called 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.

Customer:

Hello,

Customer:

Thank you. Yes, im pretty aware of that. I try to think positive but still worried

Dr. Z :

Well I am going to teach you some techniques to help you because I do not think anything bad is going to happen to you or that anyone is gossiping about you as it would eventually come back to you and it has not yet, so this is your negative thinking in your head.

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 :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen anxiety symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with similar symptoms of anxiety may have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help you develop a better coping strategy to manage your symptoms better.

Customer:

I think im pretty aware of all that. I have over and over thought about what the worse can happen.

Customer:

But the fact remains that the danger is still there

Customer:

Danger of bad reputation and gossip

Customer:

So i wanted to get an input of the situation from other prespective.

Customer:

I don't think i have any problem thinking postive thoughts

Dr. Z :

Yes that is true, the danger is still there, but it is also a low risk of that as well. Just like driving your car there is a danger you will get in an accident, but most likely it will not happen. Same theory applies here, most likely nothing bad will happen to your reputation here, but yes it is a possibility, although a very low one

Customer:

Well that sound good. But may i ask why do you think so?

Dr. Z :

Well you have friends in town and so far you have not heard anything because your friends would have told you, also it sounds like it was a good night and fun and nothing bad seemed to happen that is good because the girl will not want to say anything bad about you to ruin your reputation, and also maybe the girl wants to keep it a secret too and is discreet about her "encounters" with men.

Dr. Z :

Most likely this is all anxiety and you are focusing on the worst case scenarios and not the most logical and objective scenarios, which happens when we are anxious

Customer:

That's true. I know for sure that she does want to keep it a secret. And i haven't heard anything from nobody. But im more worried about the other girls i flirted with etc. Maybe they tell thier friends about that.

Dr. Z :

But you have not heard anything about it so far and also I bet they get flirted with a lot, so they do not tell others about every guy that flirts with them.

Customer:

So you do really think im just sufferung from anxiety here?

Customer:

So in your advise i should not worry?

Dr. Z :

Yes I am pretty positive that you are suffering from anxiety and that logically you have nothing to worry about, try the techniques they will work for you. I can also recommend some good treatment books too

Dr. Z :

I do not think you have any reason to worry

Customer:

Sounds great, i will try. Thank you. Just one last question

Dr. Z :

Sure ask away

Customer:

What do you relly think about the whole situation and what i did? Bad? normal? It happens? Not that i will do it again, just need other prespective

Dr. Z :

I think it is perfectly normal. You were having a good time (partying) and you flirted with some younger girls, but they were adults and they flirted back too. These are actions between two consenting adults. What you did was normal and acceptable in today's society.

Customer:

Yeah there where all adults. But the problem is it's a small town, and big possiblites i know thier parents etc. so that's what worries me. And the sudden decrase in my bussnies.

Dr. Z :

The decrease in your business could just be because of the economy. I always see a decrease in business during the Holidays (November and December) as more people are saving up money for the Holidays and vacations, and also everyone realizes that they may have went over budget for the year

Dr. Z :

I understand that you think about the possibilities, but I do not think anything bad will happen because of this

Customer:

Probably, well you been great help Dr, Thank you

Dr. Z :

Anytime I am always happy to help, I wish you all the best with this anxiety and I hope it goes away soon for you. 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. 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

Customer:

Thank you. I will

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