All posts in Ask Julie

Pre-order Julie Hanks’ New Book ‘The Burnout Cure’

Pre-order NOW on Amazon.com today!

In stores Aug. 6, 2013

Though it’s only been two years since actually embarking on the actual writing of this book, the ideas, concepts, surveys, and discussions and my desire to write this book started over a decade ago. It’s hard to believe that in a few weeks, I’ll be able to hold an actual book in my hand! I can’t wait to share it with you.

About the book:

If the demands of the day-to-day leave you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and exhausted, you may be suffering from an all-too-common malady prevalent among Mormon women: emotional burnout. From work in and out of the home to service in wards and communities, the variety of worthy undertakings can seem endless. With such perceived cultural pressure to “do it all,” how can a woman balance the desire to serve others with caring for her own personal needs?

As a wife, mother, clinical counselor, and musician, author Julie de Azevedo Hanks understands better than most the demands placed on women in the Church, and she has spent years providing clinical counseling to LDS women and families. The Burnout Cure dispels common cultural myths that often leave women feeling “never good enough.” Through scriptural quotes, personal stories, and clinical examples, Hanks offers a bevy of tools designed to help sisters identify and meet their emotional needs, to accept their limitations, to let go of the guilt and perfectionism, and to lean on the Lord.

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Ask A Therapist: I’m Not Depressed Or Anxious But Prefer Being Alone

I know there have been several questions on this site regarding preferences for solitude, but most of these questions have come from people with diagnosed disorders such as depression, social phobias, PTSD, etc., and the answers provided have been framed in the context of the relevant disorder. My concern is that, despite being depression and anxiety-free, I am becoming increasingly rigid in terms of my willingness to spend time with others, and it is affecting my relationships negatively. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and required a certain amount of time alone, but I’ve also always had plenty of friends and a pretty normal dating/relationship history. However, over the course of the past year or so I have started to really prioritize solitude over spending time with friends, family, and romantic partners to the point of avoidance. It’s not that I’ve become apathetic towards these people or that I’ve stopped liking them. In fact, I still have a strong desire for affection, friendship, and intimacy, but only in VERY limited quantities, and anything beyond that feels like an obligation. To give you an example of what I’m talking about, my girlfriend lives about 100 miles away, so spending a whole lot of time together during the week is not really feasible. Because of this she would really like to drive to my place after work on Friday, spend the weekend with me, and leave Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately I can’t even begin to fathom spending that much time with someone -even someone I love- and so I always have to come up with an excuse for why she would need to leave Saturday morning or afternoon. And to be honest, by Saturday I’m literally counting the minutes until she leaves so I can be alone. I don’t want to be this way. It’s not fair to the people in my life, and I feel like I shouldn’t be in a relationship, even though I am very much in love. Any insight into my problem would be greatly appreciated!

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Ask A Therapist: Why Is My Therapist Is Abandoning Me?

My therapist has told me in 4 sessions I will be passed to someone else. I trusted him and we are in the middle of EMDR. I feel so abandoned and let down. I feel stupid for trusting him. Since I got this information I have hit self-destruct. How can he do this? I don’t feel like I could even try to trust anyone again! I don’t know what to do. I can’t get any answers off anyone including him, I thought they were meant to help not do this? I just don’t know anymore. Any ideas?

A: Thank you for writing in. I can tell that this is a very painful situation for you to have to switch therapists after opening up and trusting your current therapist. It’s uncommon for a therapist not to give any explanation for transferring a client. Watch the rest of my answer in the video below…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Best Friend Thinks I’m His Ex-girlfriend

What does it mean when my best friend tells me he has hallucinations, when he hangs out with his ex girlfriend, where she literally turns into me for a few minutes, and then turns back into herself? I’m starting to worry about his sanity. And at the same time, am curious as to why it’s ME his brain turns her into. Another friend of mine who doesn’t even know my best friend, is trying to convince me that this is happening because my BFF is “in love with me”. If it were this simple I wouldn’t be so concerned. I know for a fact that this is not the case. Have you ever heard of this happening before? And if so, what are some reasons for WHY it happens? Also, could something be triggering these hallucinations?

A: Encourage your friend to get a mental health evaluation to rule out any mental illness. Since I have very little information as to what your friend is labeling a hallucination, it’s difficult to tell what it means. I have some questions for your friend. Does he use any substances? Are other triggers or situations that accompany his ex-girlfriend “turning” into you? Watch the video below for my full response…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Periodic Depression Interferes with Life

I get depressed sporadically and it interferes with my life and I want to fix it. I’ve always had emotional problems my whole life. Anxiety, depression, difficulty coping with life, codependency, low self-esteem; and I have been trying SO HARD to “just be happy” like everyone tells me to do, but I just can’t do it. I TRY. And I don’t want to take meds, and I don’t know how much a therapist is but I don’t have a lot of money.

All this interferes with my enjoyment in life, I just cant seem to enjoy it and am constantly telling myself negative things and worrying about everything. I am also having relationship problems and I am just feeling so nuts all the time that I know I’m not in the right mind to try to fix that either.

HELP What do I do?? I know this isn’t a therapeutic thing, but I just need to know where to look for a therapist, or if there are any books or good self help things I can find on the internet (I’ve tried that though, I dunno maybe I have never found the right thing) please tell me.

A: Reaching out in this forum is a good first step for getting help. It sounds like you’ve been trying very hard to feel different than you feel and it’s not enough. It’s a good time to seek professional help. There are no-cost or low-cost therapy options available in many communities. Watch my video response for additional resources and more detailed answer to your question…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: What Should I Expect On First Psychiatrist Visit?

I have suffered with severe depression for about 25 years now. At last someone has listened to me and I have been referred to see a psychiatrist as i feel that maybe there is more going on than just depression. I feel very suicidal, I self harm, I hear voices that no one else can here and I’m also seeing things. I am a bit worried about seeing the psychiatrist as I don’t know what to expect. I was told that they would assess me, what does this involve and will they be able to tell on the first visit what is going on.

A: I’m so glad that you’re going to meet with a psychiatrist for an evaluation. You’re describing serious symptoms that need to be addressed immediately. Watch the video below for my complete answer…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Am I Developing A Panic Disorder?

I just recently graduated high school and I currently don’t have a job. I spend both day and night inside the house either babysitting, watching TV, or writing on my novel. I don’t really have anyone to talk to besides my family because all of my friends have left for college. I’m beginning to feel pretty alone. Starting last month I have been having indigestion, trouble swallowing, a little bit of nausea, and my thoughts race out of control. Do the symptoms that I feel have anything to do with anxiety or is my boredom causing my mind to create symptoms? The symptoms are starting to happen when I get into a car to the point where I flat out refuse to even get into one. I’m afraid that I have the beginnings of panic disorder. Is this all in my
head?

A: Thanks for writing in. The concerns you’re describing do sound concerning enough to warrant a mental health evaluation. Watch the video below for my complete answer…

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: How Much Will My Therapist Tell My Parents About My Self-Injury?

As a minor, how much of what I tell a therapist will my parents hear? Recently my parents have discovered I struggle with self-injury. After discovering this, they are going to send me to see a therapist to help with the issue. They, of course, know I struggle with self-injury, but I would prefer if they did not hear about it if I tell the therapist when I self-injure. Is this possible, or is it required that they inform my parents when I cut? As a minor, do I have any confidentiality from my parents?

A: Excellent question and an important concern to bring up in your first session with your therapist. Watch the full answer below.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: Feeling Depressed, Angry, And Irritable

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a little more than a year ago, although I have been feeling this way for a really long time. I feel like I’m angry all the time. I want to be happy, but sometimes I feel like the anger is just always there. I have a wonderful husband and family and am happy with them, but I just cannot seem to shake this feeling. The littlest things bother me to where I can hold a grudge. I feel like I’m irritable a lot of the time and sometimes, I feel as though I could just scream at any moment. Other times, I just feel like crying. I would really appreciate some feedback about this and maybe some type of mental exercises that I can do to start controlling all this built up anger before it gets any worse.

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Ask A Therapist: I Feel Ashamed about Being Molested as a Child

I’ve started thinking of my past life and how naive I was. Then horrible memories have come back to me. When I was around 9 going to 10 I was molested by a teenager. It made me cry almost thinking how stupid I was by listening to the molester telling me what to do and threatening to tell my parents what he did. I thought I would get in trouble so I let him do what ever. It happened for almost 2 years and I kept it secret. I was even more frightened that he said he planned to bring his friends. Then when I was in middle school, we moved and I finally told. The officers didn’t do anything because there wasn’t enough evidence.. I felt stupid for not telling and to this day, knowing he’s still out there.. I wished I was strong. This really affected me making me more naive, confused, and depressed as the years went on. I have felt sexually attracted to older men wanting them to touch me. I was even willing to risk my life by walking around my neighborhood hoping I would get captured and raped. Then I met my ex boyfriend. He changed me in a way but wasn’t what I thought we would be. I believed in my ex boyfriend and allowed him to have sex with me whenever he asked and I fell in love. It didn’t end too well.. I changed after that situation and I hate my old self right now.. please give me words of advice..

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