powered by centersite dot net
Life Issues
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and Answers
Trying to ForgetPlease Help Me..Was my therapist wrong or am I just freaking out?Boyfriend's skeletons and friends' opinionsHelping my almost 19 year old daughter face the real worldLove but Different ReligionsWhat is wrong with me? I Don't care anymore...Cannot support old friend in her affairWhat Is A 'Complex'?Friend's Downward SpiralOut Of Control FriendSeriously JealousAntisocial And UncommunicativeEmotional OrphanPossessive Ex-GirlfriendDelusional FriendDelusional FriendDirty NieceLying About IllnessAbsence of ClosenessHeart of DarknessSuicidal TeenHow Can I Help My Friend?Am I Happy?Cruel FriendAngry But Over-ControlledSingle, Stressed And GuiltyGetting Beyond ThisIt's Hard To Trust AgainReader Comment #1Obsessive LoveI'm Attracted To My TherapistNot Allowed To Contact My BoyfriendAm I Paranoid?I Love My TherapistLanguage Fluency EnvySecurity BlanketHer Only FriendHow To Become EmpathicDid He Or Didn't He?Making FriendsProcrastinationFreshman in LoveExternalizationMs. MiseryHaunted College StudentProfessional BoundariesPushy FriendAbsent TherapistObsessionSuicide Threat Relationships (a long one)TrustCompulsive LyingI Can't Tell a LieProcrastinationBlushingEnergy Draining FriendDrinking ProblemTerminal ProcrastinatorShy GuyToxic PeopleDepression and FriendshipHelp Yourself by Helping OthersPublic DisplayWhy Am I Running Away?How Can I Help My Friend?Wealth EnvyBeautiful DreamerMiss LonelyDual RelationshipSo-CalledIs She Playing Hard to Get?Falling for My MentorTeacher's Pet?ReunitedSomeone Else's LoveMy Sense of Humor...I'm a Homebody...Remember Me?Friend's New Fling
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Sexuality & Sexual Problems
Family & Relationship Issues
Death & Dying
Relationship Problems

Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Single, Stressed And Guilty

Mon, Mar 31st 2003

I am 28 years old, single and without children. Being single and childless doesn't decrease my amount of stress, though. I have a full-time job and have to put in unpaid overtime because I performed poorly last year and haven't improved enough yet. I also will need to take a second job due to financial problems. In addition to my work, I volunteer at several organizations and have (somewhat) active social and family lives, and I rent an apartment that requires a certain amount of care. I also have bipolar disorder, which requires management with medication, monthly visits to my psychiatrist, and visits with my therapist every other week. My problem is guilt. If I can't see a friend because I have chores to do or need to work late, I feel guilty. If I can't work late because of a volunteer commitment, I feel guilty. If I can only contribute a certain amount of time to some activity that I am doing outside of work, I feel guilty. If I can't see my family (most of my family lives an hour away) because of other plans, I feel guilty. All those feelings are only compounded by the guilt I feel when I screw something up or disagree with someone. I've found myself becoming very resentful toward the people I care about, because I feel like I'm not supposed to disagree with, express anger or hurt toward, or say no to anyone. The side effects of my resentment include passive-aggression, gossip, sniping to or about people, crying spells, depression, and addictive behaviors, especially concerning food, money, and men. By many self-help definitions, I am codependent. I know I need to set boundaries, but I don't want to appear cold-hearted or selfish. I'm suspicious of anything 12-step-oriented or religious-oriented, and my therapist hasn't offered me any concrete strategies.



  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.