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I have been happily married for 15+ years, and we have had a…

Hi everyone. I have been happily...
Hi everyone.
I have been happily married for 15+ years, and we have had a great marriage and 3 wonderful kids. I have begun having these obsessive, lustful thoughts towards men and women, and telling myself that it would be easier to throw in the towel on my marriage and just have lust based relationships, particularly with women. I have not ever had any homosexual inclination, and I know this is not who I really am, but the feelings are powerful and feel very real. I then need to look at a photo of my husband, or keep a picture of him in my mind, to feel "safe". Is this OCD or just me turning into a morally decaying, irresponsible human being? I spend my days terrified that I may one day give into these thoughts and actually leave my marriage and have an affair. I tell myself that I "need" the lustful thought, and then I need to look at a photo to neutralize it. Am I a sex addict, or do I have OCD? I have never had another partner or even kissed another man before I met my husband, and have never looked at porn etc, it is all "just in my head", but it feels just as destructive. This has been going on for about 5 weeks, and I have turned into a shell of who I usually am. The trigger, I think, was thinking a lustful thought about a family member, which brought a lot of shame, and a sense of "I don't deserve to be happy anyway".Since then, I feel I have lost a sense of perspective and a lot of self control, and am starting to feel a bit hopeless. I have had one session with a psychologist and he was lovely, I am seeing him again next week.
With thanks.
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Answered in 17 minutes by:
7/4/2013
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to ask you a few questions in order for me to focus on your situation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You should be getting an email that your question is being answered and if you could chat with me I would be most grateful.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to know if you have had an speeded-up behaviour lately, fast talking, racing thoughts, feeling elated and on on top of the world and then feeling depressed afterwards.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to know if you have had any reckless behaviour such as reckless driving or spending or gambling?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have any illnesses? Have you started on a new medication? Notice any changes in eating habits or sleeping habits?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Is your menstrual cycle normal?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Are you getting along with your husband and/or other family members?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you suspect your husband of infidelity?

Customer: No on all accounts! Hubby is an amazing man. No manic tendencies etc in me.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How long has this been happening?

Customer: 5weeks.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And all of the other questions asked did not apply?

Customer: No.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Meds, menstrual, etc.?

Customer: No meds. I have had a hysterectomy so no periods.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This kind of increase in libido can often occur because of adrenal problems of various kinds, or other medical problems. Increased libido is a symptom of several ailments.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Adrenal Cancer
2. Adrenal Cortex Diseases
3. Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms
4. Adrenal adenoma, familial
5. Adrenal gland hyperfunction
6. Adrenal incidentaloma
7. Adrenocortical carcinoma
8. Bipolar disorder
9. Diethylstilbestrol -- Teratogenic Agent
10. Functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have ruled out bipolar. That would have been my first place to look.

Customer: Yes. Thanks be to God! I love my husband. A lot. I am scared.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would suggest that you see an endocrinologist and have your levels checked first thing.

Customer: Ok.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I know that you do.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This does not seem to be OCD and you have no reckless behavior but just lustful feelings that you suppress and keep in check.

Customer: When I was 17, I had anorexia for a year. This feels like the same place inside of me. Like turning my back on life and happiness.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are a very responsible and moral human being. These urges are hormonal and I believe they can be comtrolled.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Were you abandoned, neglect, or abused?

Customer: Dad was violent, but otherwise a loving family life. Siblings have all turned out ok, and I thought I was too until this started happening. I feel that my thinking is very sick at the moment.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How was dad violent?

Customer: He would hit very hard, and sometimes kick, for even minor things. But my older sister copped the worst. He was very controlling.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Did you ever hurt yourself in any other way, besides the anorexia?

Customer: Never.
Customer: I have been very health conscious in fact.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you fear being abandoned?

Customer: No. I fear losing control.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Of what besides becoming promiscuous?

Customer: Of becoming selfish, abandoning my marriage and my family.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Is this a real possibility or just an obsessive fear?

Customer: It feels like it could happen, but who knows? We can't just go by feelings, I guess.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever get symptoms of panic attacks (rapid heartbeat, hard to catch your breath, fear of going crazy or dying, feeling "unreal")?

Customer: Yes. This has happened over the last few weeks. On Tuesday I was in a meeting and had a feeling that I was becoming a lesbian, and I wanted to run out of the room and scream.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am putting this together but I would like to ask a few more questions.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you startle easily?

Customer: Go for it, Elliott.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you startle easily?

Customer: Not usually.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you feel you may be over or hyper-vigilant?

Customer: Yes. I think ai have been too perfectionistic. For me, having/entertaining the thought is as sinful as engaging in the behavior.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is unfair to yourself. It is not the same thing at all.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you have poor concentration at times?

Customer: It feels like infidelity inside of me though, and like I am getting 1 step closer to doing something stupid.
Customer: At the moment, my concentration is terrible. But before this, sharp as a tack. Very high functioning.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Having thoughts and acting on them are not the same, but I do understand and appreciate that you are being pushed hard.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have insomnia?

Customer: When I feel "settled" inside of me re. Thinking clearly about my marriage, I sleep ok. If the lustful thoughts are in control (if I am allowing them to be), I am not sleeping. Prior to this, slept like a log.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you feel more detached and isolated from others?

Customer: Definitely, at the moment.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How clearly do you remember your father's abusive and frightening behaviour?

Customer: Fairly clearly.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever have dreams or flashbacks about it?

Customer: No.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Ever have any nightmares?

Customer: No, not usually.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you remember a particularly troubling one?

Customer: A nightmare? No, I usually sleep well, though I used to have a recurring nightmare/thought about my husband dying, as I felt I would be unable to cope.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Fear of being abandoned.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you ever get very angry, or are you often irritable?

Customer: No, fear of losing myself/losing control if I didn't have hin
Customer: I don't usually get angry.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What makes you angriest?

Customer: Myself., the way I am now. I don't get why I am doing this.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You had a lot of trauma when you were young because of your father's behaviour. This affected you for awhile when you were 17 but then was dormant.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Very often, symptoms will emerge after the trauma, sometimes years after. Post-trauma.

Customer: I think it was always there. The struggle I am in now was also present when hubby and I were courting, and then after our youngest child was born. We also had a baby who died in 2006, which was awful.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am so sorry. This added to your fears.

Customer: He was 5 months gestation and I nearly died. It was very tough.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am so sorry and I understand how much you suffered.

Customer: It was tough. But this is worse, as I feel the lust is drowning out the love, for myself and my beautiful family.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder that is the most complex of the anxiety disorders and often includes a variety of anxiety disorders including panic attacks, obsessive compulsive thoughts or behaviours, anxiety and fears of what could happen, and it has some of the symptoms that you have of lack of concentration, insomnia, vigilance, and your sexual thoughts.

Customer: I agree. Do you think that anxiety about the lusty drives the lust more?
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are SO frightened of losing your family that you would like to willfully destroy it (in thoughts anyhow) instead of letting it become destroyed.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Obsessive thoughts feed on themselves.

Customer: Yes. It is so stupid! I am even scared of not being scared, for fear that ai will do the unthinkable if I don't keep myself frightened. I must be losing my marbles.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have, in my estimation, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, which is treatable and was caused by early abuse and terror and then by your overwhelming loss. This is the way it happens.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You can get therapy for PTSD, and a low level of antianxiety medication to ease the thoughts.

Customer: Ok. Sounds good. You don't think I will do anything silly, do you?
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I recommend that you see a therapist or psychiatrist that works with PTSD (half the military or more who have been in combat have it).

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have a tremendous sense of right and wrong and a great deal of self-control.

Customer: Thanks Elliott, God bless you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like you to order the following book right away (I will give you the amazon link for the description and then find it at Collins Books.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

God bless you too, wonderful woman. You will not do this and you will get help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me get you these links.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams PhD LCSW CTS and Soili Poijula PhD

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

and the Collins link:



The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms


by Mary Beth Williams


In The PTSD Workbook, Second Edition, psychologists and trauma experts Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula offer the most effective tools available for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this fully revised and updated edition, ...


ISBN: 9781608827039


Binding: Paperback Book


Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You need to start on the road to recovery.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I do not believe you have an adrenal problem.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you and your lovely family in my prayers. I feel so blessed to be able to help you.

Customer: No, I don't think so either, but I am sure adrenal strain is secondary to prolonged anxiety.
Customer: Thanks so much Elliott. All the best. Xxxxx
Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Same to you and your family. :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thank you and may God bless and protect you and your family.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
7,664 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.

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