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being attached/attracted to care givers

H

happyhappy

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I wasn't sure where to put this as I am dx Bipolar, but it is a more general prob I have.

I am in a strange situation. I get strong feelings for almost all the mental health staff people I come into contact with. Not friendship as I know they would never be friends with me outside the patient-client relationship (I am too loopy!). However, I became extremely attached to my general doc and was absolutely devastated when she left and I really do mean devastated. It was like a bereavement and I took a long time to get over it. I still hate going to the new general doc cos it hurts that she isn't the last one.

My last 1-1 therapist, I really thought I was in love with her (I am a hetereosexual mother of two!) even though I knew it was common to have these sort of feelings for a therapist. When she left I was bereft but she then continued to see me in a group setting a few months later. That is likely to come to an end though and already I am worrying about it as I know I will be even more devastated to lose her than my general doc. She is up there with significant people like my hubby, mother and kids of people to lose and how I think it will affect me. I seriously don't think I will cope with losing her influence in my life.

My Shrink. As much as I am at odds with him at present, I really don't want to upset him too far as I really need him. I don't want another one and I hate the thought of being passed on to another as sometimes happens with re organisation.

Lastly, my new 1-1 therapist. Oh heck....I am attracted to him. I know how common this is but it is increasingly awkward as I realise I am flirting ever so slightly. Holding back on information so I have to see him longer. fantasising during sessions etc....and I know it is the patient-client thing as he is not my type at all.

The only one I didn't get attached to was my mental health nurse, but that is cos she pi**ed me off on our second meeting!

It is these attachments that I think have a large bearing over my mental health. It is to keep on seeing them that I think I continue to not get better.

I think I may need to address these issues. I was advised to do so (from this forum) way back when I had the first therapist on a one to one basis but I just couldn't. But I am terrified to do so in case the response is to pull out all involvement and I am left with either nil, or a rotating staff group ( I know this happens some places and my friends therapist stopped seeing her for three months when she admitted she was attracted to him)

So, I know these feelings are normal but I don't know how to move on from them and I don't know how to move on in my life. I am so afraid of losing them that I am too scared to rock the boat by telling them. I am also scared of my diagnoses being changed from bipolar to borderline personality disorder as has been suggested it might be if I confess to my attachement problem.

Any thoughts/ideas welcomed!

Happyhappy
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I'm a recovering alcoholic and the amount of people that become recovery counsellors that have been through treatment centres is enormous. They want someone to feel for them what they felt for their counsellors.

It is a hugely common problem. Not one I've ever had with any of the people I see, I must admit but I can imagine how it can happen. It's called transference by the way.

They make you feel better and so you think that it is a more personal attachment than it is. It has nothing to do with logic - think of them as teddy bears. Compared to the real people in your life they say the right things, they do the right things, it's easy to think that the gratitude and thanks you feel is something else.

Concentrate on being well and keep on talking to us.
 
H

happyhappy

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Thanks Dollitt,
I am familiar with the 'transference' relationship that goes on within therapist-clients and I know that this is what has happened to me and happens with every person that has been nice to me within the mental health team.
They make you feel better and so you think that it is a more personal attachment than it is. It has nothing to do with logic - think of them as teddy bears. Compared to the real people in your life they say the right things, they do the right things, it's easy to think that the gratitude and thanks you feel is something else.
While I know and understand this, I don't know how to move on from it. I tell myself over and over that the feelings I have for these people are not real and I will get over it when I am moved on. However, I do not believe it. The fear of losing these people is very real to me. I think it makes me behave in ludicrous fashions in order to keep a hold of them and that is where my worry about personality disorder comes in. I found this on the net

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

Apattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance
abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).

Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

Chronic feelings of emptiness.

Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

The ones in italics are the ones I can link to me and it say if you have 5 or more, then you may be BPD. So I am now worried I am borderline personity instead/as well as BP.

Hippy
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Don't try and diagnose yourself from the internet. The internet can be a wonderful thing but it can also be very damaging. Diagnosis is more complicated than matching up a set of symptoms. Three of the things that you list can also be part of bipolar disorder or at least manifestations of the problems that can be associated with it.

Have you considered that your transference problem is because perhaps that you may not feel valued or valuable to the people who should be closest to you? If you feel undervalued at home you will seek out someone who does value you.

Perhaps you should be looking at building your self-esteem. If you find that you have a good sense of self then you would be less likely to look to inappropriate places for a sense of appreciation. Then you could begin to move forward.
 
H

happyhappy

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Messages
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Thanks Dollit.
You are right enough. I have told people off many a time for googling their physical symptoms. That is all I am doing with my mental symptoms eh?
I am becoming quite obsessive about lots of things just now. I really need to be able to chill and relax a bit.
You have probably hit the nail on the head with feeling undervalued at home. I have got to there in therapy but I refuse to do anything about it.
And, yes, you also have a good point about the self esteem. I am not happy with myself at all just now and need to build my confidence back up.
Thank you
Happyhappy
 
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