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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Ive recently been threatened with a dismissal at my college.

Customer Question

I've recently been threatened with a dismissal at my college. I've decided to take a medical leave to to my increasingly severe depression and anxiety. most of this anxiety comes from my boyfriend being 200 miles away. My father is angry at this, he resents my boyfriend and takes it out on me. But my father does not give me the emotional support I get from my boyfriend. being in the state I'm in it doesn't help. My boyfriend and I have constant conflicts, it's a very difficult and complicated relationship but we both want to fix it, and for him to move back home. We love each other, and it's extremely hard for me to stop talking to him or move on, simply because I don't want to! But if it's causing so much damage in my life, is it better to just forget about it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

I have read and reread your letter with great interest in and empathy.

I believe that you have alternatives to taking a medical leave from your college. This seems like an unnecessary defeat for you and will probably only serve to heighten both anxiety and depression.

You say that your father does not give you the emotional support that your boyfriend does, but he has given you support throughout your life. He has probably made sacrifices to have helped you come this far, and may be helping to finance your college. You have not said.

You may wind up marrying this boyfriend and spending the rest of your life in matrimonial bliss with him, but statistically, the odds are much better that you will still be strongly tied to your father long after this young man is just a distant memory. Statistically speaking.

If you had said that your love affair was something legendary such as Romeo and Juliet or Anthony and Cleopatra, then I would feel obliged to give you more support.

Instead you say that you and he have constant conflicts. He is far away and even if he moves back home you probably will have trouble changing the established relationship.

As you say it is causing so much damage to your life, and to your father's as well. If you take this leave things will get worse and not better, in my professional estimation.

I suggest that you cut your losses with this young man. He lives out of town, is working on a new life with new friends, and you have a career to continue.

There is no perfect solution, but the best one is to stay in school, ask your father for more understanding and tell him that you need his support.

Find a good counselor or therapist to work with. Many colleges have licensed counselor at the school who can help. If not, you need a mature and wise person to talk to, to help change your negative thinking into positive thinking, and to minimize your depression and anxiety.

Keep your eye on the prize, which is finishing your schooling, starting a career, and maintaining a good relationship with your dad and other family members.

If you need further counsel of this issue, please feel free to get back to me.

I wish you strength, wisdom, and perseverance, and shall keep you in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

and I know I must sound like that love-struck youth that doesn't have a clue what she's doing. I can say that my dad is very supportive in all aspects except emotional support. He has bi-polar disorder and no patience. my boyfriend played a very big role in my life when my mother died. as for the leave, it's that or I flunk out. I really just want my boyfriend because when we're together I feel safe and secure and happy. I understand that breaking up with him would be a reasonable option, but to me it's not. He's my support system. He's there day or night. It hurts to be torn in between this obviously very permanent and influential figure and this other loving figure. We fight, yes. But I can say I've had more extreme and frequent fights with my father then this kid.


but you see? even when you tell me I should break up with him, even after I asked honestly, I get defensive! How am I going to make the move myself when I can't even come to terms with it.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
Dear Anne,

Thank you for explaining to me the depth of your understanding and maturity, and of clarifying the value of your relationships.

Perhaps you can have everything your way, but to do that you will have to get a great deal of understanding and real solid SUPPORT from your boyfriend, who can and must give it to you if he wants to save the relationship, and as much as your father can give, which may not be as much. Bipolar is not necessarily a free pass. My mentor and supervisor during my internship was a psychiatrist with active bipolar disorder that was totally under control. He had been chief psychiatric resident of a major teaching hospital.

If you cannot come to terms with breaking up with him, then hang in there but get treatment for your depression and anxiety (purely situational it seems hence diagnosable as Adjustment Disorder with Depression and Anxiety).

What will give you the strength to make this work is sticking with your plan and being the strongest one of the lot.

Don't be the other party in the disagreements with either your father or your boyfriend. Be the mature one and prove it by sticking to your school work and succeeding.

I believe that you have enough desire and willpower to see this through on your terms.

Warm regards,