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For many years, time to time just in general conversation

with my dad (who i...
For many years, time to time just in general conversation with my dad (who i am very close to..i have no bothers sisters and no mother since i was 2 y.o.) I may say something without too much thought and later on will worry that i said something offensive and he may be offended by it and not tell me...and every time I feel this I feel I need to tell him and clarify and explain what I meant so he didn't feel bad or offended by it and I feel too embarrassed and most time write about this to him in an email or on a piece of paper and give it to him, and until i do this i feel very depressed and anxious. I am a 33 y.o. man. Please help..Thank you.
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Answered in 1 hour by:
6/23/2011
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified
Doctor Blake :

Good morning, and thanks for writing to JA.

Doctor Blake :

The information you provided was very informative, but I need to ask a few more questions, simply to clarify. This will allow us to provide you with (I hope) a better response. [Note: There is no charge for answering these questions.]

Doctor Blake :

#1: You indicated that you're concerned you may have offended your dad with something you'd said earlier and that you become sort of preoccupied by this. Does this happen with anyone else - where you feel preoccupied afterward? Does it happen with the same degree of intensity you experience with you dad?

Doctor Blake :

#2: You indicated that you will often write to him to explain/apologize about these incidents. How does he respond to your notes? About how long between the incident and the letter/e-mail you write him, typically?

Doctor Blake :

#3: You indicated that until you write your dad, you feel "very depressed and anxious." This can look different for a lot of different people. Have you ever had to call off work or not attend social functions because of this? Has it ever caused you to ab/use alcohol or substances? Does it prevent you from having meaningful relationships with other people?

Doctor Blake :

#4: Just some quick facts: How old is your dad now? How is his health? How close do you two live to one another? How frequently do you see your dad face-to-face or voice-to-voice?

Doctor Blake :

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few more questions. Again there should be no charge for replying. Just don't click <ACCEPT> until an expert has responded to your satisfaction.

Doctor Blake :

Thanks.

Customer:

Thank you Dr. Blake,

Customer:

First off, just to let you know I will be paying the $30, just for you taking the time I don't believe in not paying for that. The only thing I would ask is that I did happen to read some complaints online re getting billed over and over for a just answer question, Im sure this has nothing to do with you but I just hope I dont run into such problems. I will go on to answer the questions yooua sked me thank you..

Customer:

1. no tis only seems to happen with dad, i used too get this mildly with other people, but somehow this only now seens to happen with dad, i think thats because i could tell myself other people it dosent matter about other people who are not important to me like my dad is.

Customer:

2.When i write to him to explain/apologize has does feel a little stressed by this as he has told me in the past and but he also told me that please write or tell him anytime anything i want. I explained to him in letters in the past that i feel this is kind of a im not sure but ocd problem and have told him kind of what ive told you in my inital letter.

Customer:

3. yes, it has been fairly severe, very low moods..feel very social anxiety, noi motivation just wanna stay at home often at times when this happens and feelyuck if i do go and do what i would usually do with no enjoyment.

Customer:

4.my dad is 58 y.o., we actually live together in the same apartment. my dads health is fine, he and i at times experince depression..he never told me this but i can tell. As for me i have had quite severe depressive episodes mainly from about 19 y.o. until 25 y.o.

Customer:

also, sometimes when i can push through not telling him what i feel so strongly that i should in case he took it the wrong way..I will be very happy say a month later and then kind of sabotage myself into remembering this thing which will in an instant chnage my mood into a depressed/anxious state

Customer:

many thanks

Customer:

do i press accept now? Or will that end our link? I will press save and exit..wait instructions, Cheers

Doctor Blake :

Whew! Glad you didn't press ACCEPT yet.

Doctor Blake :

Your replies were very helpful.

Doctor Blake :

Your response suggests to me that none of your behavior (or thoughts or feelings) rises to the level of a mental health diagnosis. (Of course, it is both unethical and inappropriate to diagnose over the internet... especially when you're half-a-world-away! ...but you do not report that this is a global or pervasive pattern or that it prevents you from functioning.)

Doctor Blake :

I believe that there is a *component* of what you say that does approach some obsessive thinking... but, again, I dont'

Doctor Blake :

think (given the information you've provided) that this rises to a level of a disabling condition.

Doctor Blake :

You have a close (very close!) relationship with you father, which is wonderful! You are thoughtful and caring, and want to do right by him - again - wonderful!

Doctor Blake :

However, there is a possibility that you might benefit from some brief face-to-face time with a counselor to explore a few questions:

Doctor Blake :

1) what is it about the nature of your relationship with you dad that makes you insecure about these kinds of things. It sounds like your dad has already said something akin to, "Look, kid, don't worry about it!" (Or would you guys say "mate" there?) Is there some underlying insecurity that you could "shore up" so that you won't feel nervous when you do what human beings do - which is occasionally say things that might be clumsy or interpreted as an insult...?

Doctor Blake :

2) You indicated that you would, on occasion, work through these matters on your own... and that it was helpful to you. I would argue that this speaks again to some underlying anxiety (yes, as you indicate, on an OCD-kind-of-level, but not really diagnosable). I would suggest that, in your work with your counselor, you discuss trying some Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is a technique used by Cognitive Behavioral Therapists (CBT) to help correct thoughts (cognitions) and actions (behaviors) that may lead to symptoms to depression/anxiety/ocd. I strongly believe that if you successfully "work through" these feelings 3-4 times WITHOUT GIVING IN TO YOUR OBSESSIVE NEED TO TELL DAD ABOUT IT, you'll find the anxiety and sadness that you experience will greatly disappear. At this point, everytime you follow your compulsion to "tell dad," you learn (falsely) that this is the only way you can move past these obsessions. Once you recognize that you don't have to (research says about 3-4 times), you'll have "unlearned" the need to tell dad, period! While it's great you've essentially tried to do this on your own, working with a counselor on this can actually help practicing in advance on it... getting the necessary skills/strategies so when the real thing happens - you'll know what to do!

Doctor Blake :

3) While this *may* be overkill, you might want to consider a brief trial of medication - working with your physician. Most typically, docs prescribe an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) to address feelings of both depression and anxiety. I'm not suggesting that your behavior (or thoughts) necessary rise to this level - but given some of what you say (and a positive family history for depression), it might be something to discuss and possibly consider in the future.

Doctor Blake :

I hope this was helpful... and I certainly hope you don't get "double-whammied" on charges. You are correct that this is handled through customer service... (experts have no idea what happens after we're done). I used JA to answer a legal question several years ago, and still get occasional e-mails from that question, but NEVER a request for more money! Whew!

Doctor Blake :

Please click <ACCEPT.> If there are other questions or concerns, feel free to ask for me in your posting - or just post generally and any expert would be pleased to answer you question(s). Best of luck to you!

Customer:

thank you very much, i found your info useful and i appreciate that

Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
Verified
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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
146 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure

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