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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/I think I have an anxiety disorder.

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I am currently in a relationship that I've been in for 3 years. The first two years were extremely rocky because he was doing all sorts of horrible things behind my back, then when he was confronted he would deny it and say awful things to deflect the situation. Things would get better but as time went on I wouldn't be able to get out of bed some morning because I could not believe all of the awful things he had done to me, and that I just kept going back to it. We broke up but are now back together and he's grown up a lot since then. But I still get these awful bouts of paranoia where I can't stop asking questions and wondering if there's someone else he's talking to. I have horrible nightmares and very bad crying jags sometimes because I get flashbacks of all the bad things that happen. I am happy now but I find that when I'm alone or something triggers me of the past (something so simple as a song playing) I get in these extreme fits of anxiety. I feel lost and hopeless even though those things don't happen anymore. My boyfriend has major depression, anxiety and undiagnosed schizophrenia and treats me very well for the most part, but his weird mood shifts are from his disorders and I'm just starting to wonder if his disorders are effecting me too.  I feel very traumatized by the things that happened and wonder if it's just because he was the last person I expected it from.

Answer
Madalyn, you could see a clinical psychologist who could interview you in more depth and perhaps administer some tests and then tell you if you have an anxiety disorder. If yes, further talking and perhaps some life changes or some medication might help. If no, you'd be no better off. And the answer might well be "maybe" or that you do have clinical anxiety but it's only situational. But in my opinion, if you think you are anxious, you are, and whether it's a "disorder" depends on how much it interferes with your life.

Are his disorders affecting you? I don't know, but it certainly can happen.

You didn't ask me what to do and it's not my place to tell you, but allow me to pose some questions.

-Do you really, realistically, logically, think his situation will ever normalize or even improve?

-All things considered, would you now and in the future be better or worse off if you made a change?

-Has he done anything to earn your trust, your devotion, your loyalty?

-What do your insides tell you to do, what would you like to do, what advice would you give to someone in exactly your position?

You sound like a good person who deserves some happiness, so I thank you for asking us and hope my comments will serve some purpose for you.

Alan

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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