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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.
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I suffer from anxiety and am not sure if my anxiety caused

Customer Question

I suffer from anxiety and am not sure if my anxiety caused me to end my relationship or if it was just a bad relationship. My ex does not want to be back with me anymore but i am living with such guilt questioning whether i did the right thing or not. I was having doubts for months, maybe even a year or so. We were together for 4 years. there was some history of verbal and physical abuse. He changed this last year but in my heart i felt like the damage was already done.. from the past between his constant verbal abuse. but now i feel ungrateful that he did change and i still couldnt get over it. i ended it ultimately because my anxiety was getting so bad i couldnt go a few hours without crying.. My anxiety went away after i ended it but now is coming back week later.. I feel like the doubting of making the decision and now the doubting that i have made the decision are ruining my thought proccesses.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello, I am sorry that you are suffering from this level of anxiety. May I ask, what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess I am just not sure if anxiety is triggerd by something specific. So for example, was i feeling anxious in my relationship because it was bad or was my relationship bad because i was anxious. I think i am blaming myself for the end of it since i made that choice but since, i have still been feeling anxious now wondering if i could have done more. There were a lot of issues that are red flags like the verbal and physical abuse. moreso, verbal, physical like biting, choking or resticting actions. that was in the first few years of the relationship, this last year I have found it hard to overcome it even though it has changed and gotten better. So, i ended it because it became so overwhelming and I know everyone will say, leaving an abusive relationship is a must but a part of me questions if my anxiety provoked anger in my partner. I feel like anxiety has always been a part of me and now i dont know how to stop it in the future or in coping with this breakup because it is making me doubt myself and feel insecure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I feel like my anxiety always causes me to think negatively about my partner and myself. I guess i can't seperate the two things, my anxiety and the unhealthiness or the relationship. instead, i make it appear as though my anxiety is the cause of all the issues. and my ex now states that he was changing and my anxiety ruined it.. but in my logical mind, i am like no.. I gave it time but something in my gut was saying it wasn't right. someone who loves you wouldn't want to bring you down like that or hurt you. Over time i started becoming abusive too.. and it was scary for me to transform into that person.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you are most likely suffering from a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) meaning that multiple issues will trigger your anxiety, not just one thing. Even if you did have anxiety and it did frustrate your ex, that is still not an excuse to abuse you by any means and in fact that abuse only worsened your anxiety and stress, so obviously it was an unhealthy relationship. You could have been suffering from anxiety before and during the relationship, but that is still is not what made it " bad" and unhealthy. What made it bad was your ex making the choice to abuse you instead of support you and help you through this anxiety. You blaming yourself is probably you trying to gain control of this anxiety and your situation as that is easier for you to do, but the facts of the matter is that your ex made a choice to hurt you in this way and most likely the abuse would have occurred if you had no anxiety as he was predisposed to giving out this abuse to others.

As for what to do about treating your anxiety, I would recommend that you start a form of therapy with a psychologist called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and to ask your doctor about a SSRI antidepressant as this is the protocol treatment for anxiety and can start to help you feel better within a few weeks. The CBT will help you learn how to cope properly with stressful situations and will help you to not feel as overwhelmed in the future.

I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** hearing him say it was me makes me really feel it was me.. i will definitly pursue your suggestions. I start new therapy on Monday so I am hoping it is successful.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

You cannot believe what he tells you as he has tried to hurt you in the past through verbal and physical abuse, so who is to say this is not manipulation by him to try to lessen his responsibility for how he behaved. I think therapy will be a good start to helping you move forward and lessen this anxiety, and in my professional opinion I think you made the right decision to end the relationship. I wish you all the best and good luck :)

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.

Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I noticed that you viewed my answer and I was checking in to see if you have any further questions or concerns that you would like me to address on this issue?

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.