Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health

While I certainly don’t have any expertise on this matter, I

Customer Question
think my girlfriend has co-dependency...
While I certainly don’t have any expertise on this matter, I think my girlfriend has co-dependency issues. She also has low self-esteem, though I don’t understand why.
Her parents died when she was in her late teens, so I don’t know if this is the kind of trauma that be at the root cause of everything. I want her to get help because at the moment I fear that our relationship might just be making the problem worse. I want her to be her own person, to find value and strength in herself, for her to be responsible for her feelings only.
How do I broch the subject without her thinking that I think of her as being less than or setting off those insecurities that she has (about being left, alone, rejected, etc)? I do love her, but I am concerned that she is in love with a fantasy ideal of me clouded by her co-dependence. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Mental Health
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 7 hours by:
10/14/2015
Mental Health Professional: Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist replied 2 years ago
Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling
Verified

Hello, I'm Alicia. Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today. It's never really easy to talk to someone about getting help, especially if you feel like they might not experience your attempts to help in the way that you intend. It sounds to me like your girlfriend may indeed be suffering from some repressed grief and other issues related to her parents' deaths, and there may very well also be some codependency issues at hand, too. Of course, your job is not to be her therapist but to help her realize the benefits of getting help. So I think the way to broach this subject with her is to come from a standpoint of your own feelings -- i.e. "I care so much about you and I am worried that you don't seem as happy lately as you could be." Try to avoid coming at this from a "you" perspective, like saying "You seem sad", "You have issues from the past" -- obviously I don't think you would say these things but it's not always apparent as to how certain things can come across and how they might put someone on the defensive. Try to be as gentle as possible without trying to diagnose her -- she may have low self-esteem, codependency and grief issues, but try to leave your opinions out of it as much as possible. I think you could focus on the things you said in the middle of your message, because those struck me as coming from a particularly positive and caring standpoint, "I want you to be able to see yourself as I see you -- there are so many great things I love about you, and I feel like you might not see them -- and I'm worried that you don't seem so happy lately. Maybe talking to someone about some of the things that are on your mind or that have happened to you would be helpful. What do you think?" Leave room for her to discuss her feelings with you about it too. And try to steer the conversation away from the "pity parties" -- if she does try to bring it back to that area, just try to focus on the fact that it might be better for her to talk about those feelings with a professional -- that you care about her but you're not trained in this area and you want to see her feeling better about herself. But just remember that it's ultimately up to her -- she has to be the one to decide to make the first step. And don't be surprised if she doesn't decide to see someone right away -- sometimes, just throwing the idea out there is enough as long as you can be patient and give her time to mull it over and come to her own conclusions. I hope it works out, and I wish you all the best.

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Ask Alicia_MSW Your Own Question
Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 794
794 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Specializing in mental health counseling

Alicia_MSW is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

3,984 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
I feel this feeling of guilt and sadness and I'm not sure
I feel this feeling of guilt and sadness and I'm not sure why Would you happen to have an explanation for that … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
719 satisfied customers
I need advice on my relationship and my happiness. I'm
I need advice on my relationship and my happiness. I'm dealing with a lot of stress and depression… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
719 satisfied customers
I feel sad so much I need help dealing with how I feel
I feel sad so much I need help dealing with how I feel because it's affecting with my relationship with my boyfriend and my happiness in general… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
What can I do to help my son who is bipolar? He has been
What can I do to help my son who is bipolar? He has been fine for 3 years and now his daughter is blaming him for not having enough money to pay for another school because she dropped out of school wh… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
Second opinion] OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad
second opinion] OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind ever since my mother figure passed away last year. I suffer from insomnia ever since. Loss of interest in daily activities. I p… read more
Juliet Cooper
Juliet Cooper
Doctorate of Psychology
29 satisfied customers
OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind
OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind ever since my mother figure passed away last year. I suffer from insomnia ever since. I've been sad often. I noticed my mood is better when I'm… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
721 satisfied customers
OKMH95100 I feel like my husband does not care about me. My
OKMH95100 I feel like my husband does not care about me. My birthday is ***** and my husband told me to buy my own gift and buy my own flowers from the grocery store with his credit card. He is out of… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
721 satisfied customers
I have this weird feeling that comes and goes ,, i used to
i have this weird feeling that comes and goes ,, i used to have anxiety and used Lexotan 3mg for about 3 years ,, i have stopped using it for like 6 to 7 months i felt fine , now im coping/struggling … read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
I am 54 and sad and lonely, just like the lady I am reading
I am 54 and sad and lonely, just like the lady I am reading about right now. … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
721 satisfied customers
I am so sad and exhausted. My baby brother dies April 2015,
I am so sad and exhausted. My baby brother dies April 2015, 18 months later i list my Mom. I had been her caterer … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
For the past three years, I felt sad, I thought it was just
For the past three years, I felt sad, I thought it was just temporary, but I feel like I get worse at every waking moment, there shouldn't be a valid reason for me to feel this way, but just last year… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
Am very heart broken and sad while writing this, my 5 year
Hi Am very heart broken and sad while writing this, my 5 year old has treble in school, she had treble once we were in Iraq last year when she doesn't like a class member or a teacher she won't perfor… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
Im feeling very sad and isolated ... yes... Im on brintillex
yes... Im on brintillex 30 mg and amytryptallin at night to sleep … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
721 satisfied customers
My daughter is 32yrs old and for the last week has been sad,
My daughter is 32yrs old and for the last week has been sad, depressed emotional, and very tired. She has had some weight gain. He current mood has affected her at work and at home we try to talk to h… read more
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
3,984 satisfied customers
I'm always sad! Yes I've lost very important family members
I'm always sad! Yes I've lost very important family members and a relationship with my daughter's father ended in 2008. Though the relationship ended so long ago deep inside I have a lot of feelings f… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
719 satisfied customers
I feel no emotions but anger and apathy. I don't get sad,
I feel no emotions but anger and apathy. I don't get sad, happy, excited, or scared. I have no emotional connection to anyone or anything but my daughter. And before I had her I didn't feel love for a… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I have recently been diagnosed with severe depression, SAD,
I have recently been diagnosed with severe depression, SAD, Bipolar depression, and mild anxiety - also possibly ADD. I have been taking Wellbutrin for awhile now with no results. I'm on 100 mg and th… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
I'm been suffering from some sadness from the passing of my
Hi, I'm been suffering from some sadness from the passing of my dad in Feb. and now the past few months I'm having hot flashes. I received a prescription a week ago for Venlafaxine. I have not taken i… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
950 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x