Is there help for extreme jealousy?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. My issue is that I can’t stand watching any kind of sexual situation on TV with my boyfriend. I absolutely hate it when we are watching a movie that displays some girl in her underwear or even worse some girl nude. I instantly feel this rage fill my whole head and body and I get angry at my boyfriend just for the fact that he seen this other girl. Then I obsess over the incident for months and years. Now I know I am being completely irrational but somehow I can’t seem to calm down. I feel disgusted with myself and want to shower and hide my own body away from everyone! What the heck is wrong with me? Obviously I have some kind of extreme jealousy issue, which I can’t seem to work through. I’ve been to counseling to work on my self confidence and self-esteem, but that must have failed miserably. Hmmm… I must be so disgusted with my own body that every time I see someone that I think is better then me I freak out. I don’t want my boyfriend to get any sort of enjoyment out of seeing another naked female, is that normal? Basically I think all men are pigs, that is the truth of it. Now I know my boyfriend loves me and he tells me how beautiful I am on the inside and outside every day but that doesn’t seem to help at all. He also tells me that he doesn’t care about the girls they show on tv or movies and that I am the only one that matters to him but secretly I think he must get some kind of enjoyment out of seeing a naked female on tv and that thought drives me insane. Also I can’t stand when people use dirty derogatory words when referring to the female anatomy it also makes me want to run and hide my body. Sometimes I feel that these thoughts and feelings I have overpower my whole life and that I would be happier to be alone forever and keep my craziness to myself. Can this problem I have ever be fixed or is this just something I will have to live with for the rest of my life?

A. You have correctly labeled the issue at hand: extreme jealousy. Your extreme jealousy is causing you to act, think and behave in a very inappropriate and illogical manner. The good news is that this is thinking that likely can be changed, if you are open to it and if you find the correct therapist. You mentioned that you have been to therapy but you are not making progress. If this is the case then it is time to find another therapist who can help you change your thinking. With your therapist, work on issues of self-esteem, self-confidence, self respect and self love. Once you can improve these areas of your life, this problem will subside. There is hope that you can change your thinking with the right therapist. I wish you luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 May 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Is there help for extreme jealousy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/30/is-there-help-for-extreme-jealousy/