Jealousy is one of the oldest and most exhausting emotions. Constantly worrying about the integrity of your relationships, or obsessing over people you envy, can damage you and those around you. Although the surges of negative emotion may feel natural or even powerful, living as a hostage of extreme jealousy is neither healthy nor sustainable, leading to painful emotions. Seeking therapy may help in treating jealousy and help to expose the root causes.
Causes: Where Does Jealousy Come From?
While jealousy and feeling insecure is common among people it can occur in all different contexts, jealousy is often most cited as an issue in relationship dynamics. Jealousy can manifest as the persistent fear that a partner is being or might be unfaithful.
Feeling angry or frightened when a loved one devotes time, attention or other resources to someone else is another common example. Individuals who are jealous feel threatened by the presence of the person they perceive as their rival. All of this can erode trust in a relationship and possibly end it.
They fear that these valued resources are in danger of being taken away. Jealous behaviour is a primal drive that helped cavemen safeguard the continuation of their DNA at a time where selflessness and a philosophical outlook meant you were likely to be the one who starved to death in a gully. But it’s often out of sync in our more enlightened society.
Jealousy & Mental Health Concerns
Jealousy, when excessive or chronic, can indicate underlying mental health concerns. Understanding why we get jealous stems from insecurities, low self-esteem, abandonment, past traumas and can lead to anxiety, depression, infidelity and obsessive behaviours. Dealing with these feelings is crucial, as unchecked jealousy can strain relationships, end romantic relationships and impact overall well-being. Recognising the link between jealousy and mental health conditions is a vital step towards seeking appropriate support and intervention. A therapist can help deal with this green-eyed monster once and for all.
What is Retroactive Jealousy?
Retroactive jealousy refers to obsessive thoughts, emotions and insecurity about a partner’s past relationships or experiences. It can be characterised by having obsessive thoughts and feelings with a partner’s previous intimate relationships or sexual history. It can lead to unwanted mental images, repetitive questioning, and emotional distress. Understanding this form of romantic jealousy is essential for addressing it, improving low self-esteem and fostering healthier relationships.
Can Jealousy Be Dangerous?
The short, yes. Jealousy can be a very dangerous emotion, especially if the feeling of jealousy overpowers everything else. This trait can seize your mind, ruin your relationships, destroy your family, and, in extreme cases, lead to more sinister acts.
Jealousy can instil rage in a person, causing damage to relationships and fueling everything from passive-aggression to stalking, domestic violence and obsession with control over the other person.
Do I Have a Jealousy Issue?
Everyone feels jealous from time to time and a degree of jealousy or possessiveness can be natural in a committed relationship. It’s even regarded as proof of affection by many people. However, for others it can overpower all other aspects of their relationships, pushing them to cross over into irrational, controlling or even criminal behaviour. The jealous partner may attempt to eliminate their ‘adversary’ to win back the undivided focus of their beloved. They may try to prevent their partner from living a normal life to keep them out of sight of potential rivals. Ironically, this kind of antisocial display is often what undermines the relationship they were desperately trying to protect.
Individuals who struggle with pathological jealousy are typically insecure, unhappy, plagued by unexpressed anger and frustration and have difficulties with interpersonal boundaries. If you are feeling jealous, anxious, or distrustful without apparent reason on a regular basis, and it’s having a negative impact on your life, it may be time to seek some professional help.
An unhealthy obsession with your partner, or intrusive, negative feelings about things that others have that you want, can destroy not just your relationship, but your peace of mind.
Seeking Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Jealousy
Learning how to deal with jealousy can be immensely beneficial to your health and wellness. Speaking with a therapist if you experience jealousy is a great first step to take. Remember you’re not alone, our experienced mental health professionals can help you and your partner to understand and manage jealousy. Open communication in therapy can also deal with other issues, such as anxiety, depression or other negative feelings and thoughts.
Do you have any questions for us? Get in touch with us through our online contact form.
Call Bayside Psychotherapy on (03) 9557 9113 to find out if we’re able to help you. Your call is completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.
How can Bayside Psychotherapy help you with obsessive jealousy?
At Bayside Psychotherapy, we believe in customising treatment to your individual needs, rather than generic, band-aid solutions. Our experienced therapists are trained in a range of methodologies, including psychoanalytic psychotherapy, mindfulness meditation, dream analysis, NLP, hypnotherapy and client-centred counselling, among others. After your initial assessment, your practitioner may put together a program tailored to your needs, drawing from one or a combination of those techniques. Your progress will be evaluated regularly to make sure your treatment is working as planned.
We use a blend of Eastern and Western psychotherapy methods, impartial counselling, mindfulness therapy, and careful, ongoing readjustment of treatment to enable clients to explore deeper levels of their minds, giving them a better chance of successfully addressing their problems. Hypnotherapy may also be helpful as a complement to your counselling sessions. You can download a targeted self-hypnosis MP3 for jealousy from our website to listen to at home.
Don’t let jealousy rob you of the happiness you deserve.
When Will I Start to Feel Better?
No two people are the same, so no two treatments are alike. The duration of your treatment depends on your circumstances and your motivation. Some people may begin to feel some improvement quickly, while others may benefit from regular, ongoing treatment. Admitting you have a problem and taking the first step to finding help are empowering in themselves. Our therapists will assess your progress and consult with you as you work through your program.
Jealousy or possessiveness can do irreparable damage. Trust is an essential element of relationships. If your jealousy is unwarranted, it’s in your best interests to figure out why you’re feeling this way and take action to move into a healthier mindset. Imagine life without the stress of constant jealousy and anxiety. How would that affect your relationships, your self-esteem?
Let’s see if we’re able to work together to unearth the roots of your jealous feelings, so you have the potential to put them behind you.
Note: Whilst we will do our best to assist you, we will rely upon your commitment to and participation in the treatment process in to optimise results. Although some of our therapists work with people presenting with this condition, no guarantees of any outcomes can be made.
03 9557 9113
Reception phone hours
8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)
Choose your own date and time for an online or in-clinic session
- Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
- Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm