Hi. To begin, I’ve recently developed some sleeping issues. My boyfriend and I of 5 years both moved to southern California where I started a new very stressful job. I’m not very in tune with my emotions, but I believe I was more stressed or depressed than I understood at the time. This was my first time moving away from SF, my family and friends (I even went to collage in SF).

I developed middle of the night insomnia where I wake up every couple of hours a night. Xanax didn’t help, in fact it made it worse -where I would wake up every hour on the the hour and then pass out (rinse and repeat the rest of the night).

So I sought professional help and I went to get a sleep study done with a sleep specialist. Long story short I was swindled. I don’t have a sleep breathing disorder according to two second opinions, but was made to buy a CPAP out of pocket. SO that was a dead end.

Back to the issue at hand — my boyfriend has become a completely different person during this time. He has become incredibly controlling in his attempt to “cure” me. Most recently he said I should put tape over my mouth when I sleep because he heard it off some crackpot website about breathing through your nose (he has now instead started putting tape over his mouth at night).

Then he said to stop drinking sink water because of the “fluoride”. Now it’s anything I do or eat. I tried to have a tuna sandwich today and he said there were too many “metals” in it and that i’ve had too much tuna this week.

He’s started a “fasting” diet where you only eat one meal a day and keeps recommending I do the same. To someone with anemia and who doesn’t sleep you can assume I said no. I’m also thin, 125 and 5’7 so I’m not sure why he would recommend that.

I’m a rational human being. All his medical suggestions sound absolutely insane. However, when I say so he says I don’t listen to anything he says and believes it is a personal thing towards him when in all honest if my own mother had given me the same advice I wouldn’t take it. I keep reminding him that he is not a medical professional. I also believe that somehow my medical issues (or stress related whatever it may be) have scarred him somehow and is causing this need to “fix” me.

Lately, when I get home I find it hard to breath. He just keeps telling me to “breath” and it’s very difficult and not helping at all.  Him saying that just makes me more stressed out.

I don’t know what’s happening with me, but him being the way he is now is not helping in any way and is in fact making it worse.

Please help. How do I convey to him that he is not helping me and needs to not dictate or micromanage my life. (From the USA)

A:  I think the timing of the onset of all this is combined with known stressors of a move, new job, loss of relationships, sleep disturbances, and boyfriend issues have contributed to the symptoms you are identifying. I would recommend a complete top-to-bottom physical to get to the bottom of it.

As for your boyfriend, sometimes when the people we love see us in pain they want to help in the worst way, which is what your boyfriend is doing. Thank him for trying to be helpful, but then let him know you have a plan — and that you will keep him in the loop. Let him know it will work best for you if you get the medical stuff taken care of on your own — and that you will ask him for help when you need it.

Men often show their love by trying to fix it or help. You’ll have to let him know that just listening to your concerns is all that is needed. You can even show him my favorite video on this subject “It’s Not About The Nail”.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral</a