Learn About Ailments | Jealousy


Jealousy is a fear of loss, a feeling of suspicion or a distrust toward others. It is an irrational reaction to a loss in self-esteem and is often directed at a rival (usually during relationship struggles) whereby an individual feels the threat of losing a loved-one to a more attractive other.

In This Article
Watch the jealousy video Causes of jealousy
Symptoms of jealousy Diagnosis of jealousy
Related terms


Did you know?
  • The term 'green-eyed monster' was first used in Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice
  • Over 60% of people have dated someone who acted in a jealous way
  • Jealousy is the common cause of violence in teenage relationships

Jealousy can be caused by a variety of reasons but the most common is a reaction to a perceived threat within a relationship. Jealousy differs to envy in that the fear is of losing someone and the problem usually involves three people: the couple and someone outside of the couple who is seen as a threat to the quality of that relationship.

Mild and occasional feelings of jealousy within a relationship can act as a reminder not to take the other person for granted and encourages an appreciation of the other person. Jealousy can act as a positive thing making the bond between two people stronger and more passionate.

When jealousy becomes intense or irrational then difficulties can arise. If out of proportion to the situation, jealous feelings can be overwhelming such as if a man has a new female boss or if a wife dances with a male friend at a party.

Such situations can result in a strain on a relationship leaving one partner on edge whenever they do something so as not to trigger a jealous reaction and the other completely unaware of their problem but dealing with self-blame or justification of their actions.

Jealousy is not a condition in itself but can cause a wide range of emotions, thoughts and behaviour which can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.

Emotions experienced during jealousy include: anger, envy, fear, grief, humiliation, pain and sadness.

Jealous thoughts can lead a person to resentment, blame, self-pity, worry about self-image and comparison with the person seen as a rival.

Physical behaviours include feeling light-headed or faint, sweating, aggression and sometimes violence.

If ignored, symptoms can build to mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.

There are no diagnostic tests which can measure jealousy but the thoughts, emotions and behaviours you display can help to identify if you are jealous but only if the problem is discussed with a healthcare expert such as a counsellor or psychotherapist.

 Often the most difficult part of recognising jealousy is admitting to someone that you are jealous.


Therapies to consider
Art Therapy Counselling EFT
Hypnotherapy Life Coaching NLP

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