Is it normal, or is it time to get help?
Here’s another edition of “Is it normal?” questions from readers. Concerned about whether your behavior or thinking is normal? Then send your questions my way!
Is it normal that I get freaked out at the thought of wearing street clothes on my bed?
Yes, totally normal. After a day of running around the city you’ll pick up dirt and grime, other peoples’ bodily fluids and unidentifiable things that simply are disgusting — none of which belong in a person’s bed. Freaking out is a healthy coping mechanism.
Is it normal to fantasize about my house burning down because I want to start over?
No, it is not normal, nor is it productive. A strong desire to start over is normal, so spare being an arsonist and find a healthier way to do it. Find out what you want out of life; then, come up with a sensible strategy to achieve it.
My wife never wants to have sex with me. Is that normal?
No, it is not normal or healthy for the relationship. It’s symptomatic of problems in your relationship. Find out why it isn’t happening, get help if need be and hopefully introduce intimacy.
I sometimes fantasize about kissing people other than my husband. Is this normal?
Yes, but if it starts to distract you from your relationship, it’s a problem. If you call your husband by someone else’s name, that’s also a problem.
Is it normal that I get anxious entering crowded gatherings or social settings?
Yes, it is normal. If it’s debilitating or you avoid social situations altogether, it’s a more serious concern and warrants help. The good news is that social anxiety responds well to therapy and you can learn to face those crowds with poise and calm.
– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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