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Jealousy

Jealousy is a normal emotion that refers to anxiety about the perceived loss of something important.  Jealousy can also come from longing for something another person has, similar in nature to resentment and envy.  Jealousy may harm relationships when suspicions of infidelity are involved.  Jealousy has even been observed in primates, showing that the feeling is not distinctly human.

Examples

  • A partner gets attention from other people
  • A coworker gets a promotion
  • A partner’s ex begins contacting them
  • A sibling gets a gift from a relative

Is it Unhealthy?

Jealousy is a natural emotion and is not a specific symptom of any disorder.  Just like any other emotion, it can be taken too far.  If persistent jealousy is affecting relationships and workplace behavior it likely has underlying causes and should be addressed like any other psychological concern.  Jealousy may be particularly harmful when it is unfounded.  A partner might be overly suspicious about their partner’s behavior when there is no legitimate cause for alarm.  This can be indicative of deeper trust and control issues, which may be tied back to experiences in childhood.

Treatment

Jealousy requires no treatment on its own.  If it is interfering with a person’s life then it can be addressed with psychotherapy.  A therapist will begin with jealousy as the presenting symptom and determine if jealous feelings are a consistent, harmful pattern in a person’s life.  If it is, the therapist can look for unresolved conflicts that are causing excessive jealousy and work with the client to replace this pattern with healthier ways of interpreting experiences.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists provide supportive, open communication, establishing secure foundations to help clients heal and grow.

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