Intense Feelings Cause Worry

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Since I was in high school I have suffered from depression. I always thought so little of myself and how can others possibly like me? I kept few friends and had quite a few boyfriends. I had a boyfriend for about 7 years. I always had this intense feeling that he was cheating on me when he was not with me. Deep down I knew that he wasn’t, as he loved me dearly. But I couldn’t shake this feeling. We had sex pretty early in the relationship, he was my first partner. I found out after that I was not his first and I felt betrayed. After that I went on to cheat on him several times, sleeping with a few different men, just one night stands. I didn’t think clearly, I didn’t even protect myself. Luckily through all of it I didn’t get pregnant or contract an STD. My partner put up with me for all those years knowing that I had cheating on him, thinking that I could be a better person. But I just couldn’t see myself as a good person.

Eventually after losing my job, I sat around for months not doing anything. He left me stating it was for my own good and I needed help. He still loved me, but he wanted me to get better. Years later I am now married to a wonderful guy. But I still get these intense feelings about things that should not matter. Such as, he likes a photo of a female celebrity on facebook. I get furious with him. Again, deep down I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I can’t help it! When things are going great I feel so connected to him and want to feel that way all the time. But something so little just makes me snap and hate him. I don’t want to feel this way, I know it’s irrational. But I don’t know what to do.

I have always reacted very strongly to things. In school when I would get in trouble, sent to detention. I would start crying because I felt like scum, I felt like I was this worthless being. When I would make a comment to someone and they took it bad and hurt their feelings I would feel like I needed to punish myself for it. Sometimes by cutting myself, once with a broken bottle I found nearby. Even now at work, if I get in trouble for something that isn’t even that bad, I feel worthless, like I don’t deserve to live.

I can’t stand living with these intense feelings anymore. I want to be happy, but I feel like I don’t deserve it.

A. Your intense feelings might stem from jealousy. Individuals who experience jealousy are insecure. This insecurity comes from a lack of confidence. Jealousy is ultimately the lack of self-esteem. In relationships, it can be severely damaging. Jealous individuals see others, and in your case pictures of others, as being a threat.

You described yourself as being highly sensitive and there are times when you feel as though you are a “worthless being.” You also feel the need to punish yourself when you do something wrong. It’s also concerning that you sometimes don’t have the desire to live.

At the core of these issues may be depression. Individuals with depression do not think highly of themselves. They often see themselves as being unlovable and unworthy of love. They minimize their positive attributes and maximize their negative attributes.

These problems can be easily corrected with psychotherapy. Depression is highly treatable. Millions of individuals deal with self-confidence problems and have had great success with psychotherapy. I would highly recommend it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Intense Feelings Cause Worry. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/07/intense-feelings-cause-worry/