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Ask a Therapist: I’m a Fatso in a World of Barbie Dolls

A couple of years ago, I lost about 40 pounds due mostly to a supplement I was taking. I quit taking the supplement about a year ago, because info I read led me to believe it might not be safe. I have gained back most of the weight and I’m mad at myself and feel that the people who had admired me for my previous weight loss are now disappointed in me. Ironically–since I made up my mind that I was going to try again to lose the weight–I am actually thinking about food more, craving high calorie food more, and recently have started binging. I almost gag when I try on clothes or look at my body in the mirror. I’ve already been through counseling for other issues, and feel like a failure going back again. I can’t afford exercise classes o gym or weight-loss group memberships. My boss has paid for me to go to a conference this summer, but am considering backing out of going because i don’t want to deal with adorable petite colleagues, feeling self-conscious and guilty about what I’m eating, and seeing the disappointment of people that thought I was doing so well with my weight, and clothes that don’t fit right. What am I supposed to do–I’m about to give up and accept that I’m an undisciplined fatso in a world made for petite Barbie dolls.

A:  Thank you so much for writing in. So many people struggle to manage a healthy weight.  I understand the social pressure to look and appear a certain way, but you seem to be equating your weight loss and gaining it back with your worth. Just because your weight loss wasn’t successful doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Watch the video for the rest of the answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

 

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Ask a Therapist: Could Grandfather’s Death Cause Depression?

I saw my grandfather die when I was young and it was very painful because he was like a dad to me. And ever since my grandfather’s death I’ve been having troubles maintaining my relationship with others whether it’s friends or family members. I try to distant myself away from them in fear of getting hurt again. I have trouble letting people in my life and tend to disassociate myself from being involved in a romantic relationship with anyone. As a result, I can’t truly love or care for anyone. Although thinking about my grandfather made me very feel sad and depressed at first, now I’m not as sad as I used to be and I felt guilty for not being sad and I would force myself to think about his death over and over again and make myself feel bad and cry myself to sleep. I also feel pressured by my parents to do well in school and life and it’s almost as if I’m letting them down and becoming that worthless and useless person I was when I stood there and watched my grandfather died. And whenever I feel useless and think I’m such a failure or that I might not live up to other’s expectations, I want to die. I have suicidal thoughts almost everyday and wish I were dead but never actually thought of actually committing a suicide. I also feel irritated very often recently and just want to be left alone. I gave up or got bored of things I used to love doing. This is ruining my life and I think I seriously really need help.

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Ask a Therapist: I Feel Like a Failure As A Mom And Fiancee

I am a stay at home mom and lately I have been feeling like a failure. I feel like I can’t do anything right and that everything I do goes unnoticed. I have a wonderful fiance, who works hard to take care of our family and who loves me very much, but the problem lies with me. I can’t express my feelings to him. I have so much guilt inside of me. I feel guilty when I need money and my fiance gives it to me, I feel guilty if he comes home and the house isn’t spotless, even when the baby was a handful, I feel guilty if I take time for myself or if we go out without the baby. I feel guilty when the little one cries or throws tantrums when my fiance is at home, because I am supposed to be a good mother and a good housekeeper and a good fiancee, but I don’t feel like I am. I am a failure at everything and I am just so sick of crying everyday. How do I get past this? Please, please help me.

A: Thanks for your email. You sure put a lot of pressure on yourself! Who says you have to be a perfect fiancée, house keeper, or good at finances? It sounds like you want to be more than just good at those things, it sounds like you want to be perfect. I wonder if there’s something deeper going on, or how you learned to be so hard on yourself. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Failure As Option Aids School Success

New research completed by the American Psychological Association states, students are able to learn better if they are told that failure is an option and is even a normal part of learning. It is important to help kids understand learning is hard and failure is a part of learning. It’s normal and OK.

Kids today are obsessed with success. They associate success with being smart and failure with being not smart. It is because of this students are afraid to learn more and take on new material. Learning more increases the chance for failure.

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Ask A Therapist: I Deal With Abusive Boyfriend By Cutting And Binging

Q: Hi, I am 19 year old girl in my 2nd year of college. I currently live with my boyfriend of 4 years who is 25 years old. Our relationship used to be really good, but now all we do is argue. A few years ago I was flirting with other guys and he has never forgiven me for it. He constantly tells me he doesn’t trust me, and when he gets mad he tells me he hates me, that I should crawl in a hole in die, that he can’t stand to look at me, and many profanities. He spends no time with me so I spend the majority of time home all alone, which is the main issue because that gives me all the time alone I need to self-destruct.

I can’t stand myself, I hate everything about me. I’m fat and ugly, sometimes I don’t even know why I bother trying to make it through life nothing ever goes as planned. I feel like I am constantly starving myself or if not eating ridiculous amounts of food and then feeling guilty so that I either make myself puke or cut myself. I can’t control it, I feel like if I can make myself attractive my boyfriend will love me again but I can’t even take care of myself. The worst was when he caught me binging and freaked out along the lines of “No wonder I’m always starving, you eat all the food. For once I wish you would save some for me instead of stuffing your face all the time.” And despite hearing that I still continue to stuff my face… I can’t help myself… maybe I deserve to be fat. I can’t even decide what is worse, the purging or the self-harm. Both cause me discomfort and to feel like a failure, but in the end neither make me prettier…they just make me uglier. This also causes me to spend way too much money on food…I am $20,000 in debt with my bank because of all the money I waste on food. I eat too much so now I cant even barely afford anything…which my boyfriend also blames me for…rightfully, it is my fault.

I just don’t know what to do. I have thought about trying to see a therapist regularly but I’m too embarrassed. I don’t want to make known just how disgusting I am. I don’t want anyone to know how much I eat. I don’t want anyone to know how my boyfriend treats me. I just want to be a normal person… I want to be happy, and loved…what do I have to do to be okay?? 🙁

A: Even though you’re embarrassed, please go see a therapist ASAP. Licensed therapists are trained to help individuals and couples in crisis resolve your problems and help you, not to judge you. Just by reading this letter I can sense the depth of your pain, I have empathy for you,  and I want to help you. This is how your therapist will feel too when you meet with him or her face to face. If you’re not sure where to find a therapist in your area click the Find Help tab at the top of this page for a listing. There are likely earlier roots to your self-destructive eating patterns, cutting, and dysfunctional relationship that can be explored and healed in therapy and are beyond the scope of what I can offer here.

What you’re describing in relationship with your boyfriend is verbal and emotional abuse. No one deserves to be told by their lover “I hate you” or “You should just crawl in a hole and die.”  That is heartbreaking to hear and needs to stop if you are ever going to gain self-esteem and confidence to change your life. Your therapist can help you to build  relationships skills and to help you come up with a plan to stand up for yourself when your boyfriend becomes verbally abusive.

In addition to meeting with a therapist regularly, I suggest you start seeking out books, blogs, and other resources and start arming yourself with more knowledge and tools to help you feel stronger and more competent. Here are some excellent resources right here at Psych Central to help you get started:

Weightless Blog
Eating Disorder & Binge Eating Info
Self-injury Forum
Relationship & Communication Forum
Eating Disorder Community Forum

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: I Have No Sex Drive & Can’t Keep a Relationship

I was abused as a child, have no sex drive and the one true love has left me (he doesn’t know about my childhood) I want to know if there is any hope for us at all-we never had sex often (twice in a year) he won’t discuss sex as he gets embarrassed and never ever made the 1st move, told me he loves me but not the way a boyfriend should? We both work long hours and shift work, and I have a dog that gets jealous even if we kiss!! but I feel such a failure, and I know we were soul mates, can i get him back? He wont answer my calls, and I was constantly accusing him of having an affair.  I’m absolutely devastated as I feel like I’ve lost the one true love of my life.

A: Click arrow to listen to response from Julie Hanks, LCSW.

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Additional childhood abuse resources:
Find a therapist resource
PsychCentral’s Survivors of Abuse Community Forum

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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I Feel Like A Failure. Am I Depressed?

I just feel like there’s nothing I can do right. All I want is to be good at something, but there is always someone better than me. I’ve cut myself hundreds of times because I just hate myself so much. I’ve tried to lose weight and lost it, and then gained it back. I’m so mad at myself for gaining it all back, I’m mad at myself for  not being able to show people what I can do when it matters. I feel like a loser. I get angry all the time too, and have no patience with people.  I’ve always told myself to never lose  hope, and right now I have no hope. Sometimes I pray at night, hoping I’ll die in the night and not wake up in the morning. I’ve told my Mom that I want to see a therapist and need help, but she took it as a joke. I don’t know who to turn to and I don’t know what to do with life (15 year old female teen).

A: Thank you for writing in for help. It sounds like you have an illness called major depression. While I can’t diagnose you in this forum, you do need to be seen and evaluated by a physician or mental health therapist ASAP.  How brave of you to reach out to your mom for help, and I’m sorry she didn’t take you seriously. Did you tell your mom about the depth of your hopelessness, your self-harm, and how much you hate yourself? Please reach out to her again and be completely honest with her about the depth of your despair so she can feel the urgency. Sometimes parents don’t know how to handle a child’s emotional pain. Please go to her again and tell her in firm way, “Mom, I need to see a therapist as soon as possible. I am very depressed, I’m hurting myself, and having thoughts of wanting to die. I’m scared and I need your help. Please take me to the doctor or therapist.” 

If your mom doesn’t understand depression or mental illnesses, you may want to have her read some of the resources on PsychCentral so she has a deeper understanding of what you’re going through. If your mom still doesn’t respond to you, please reach out to a school counselor or another trusted relative for help. There is help and treatment for the symptoms that you’re describing. Please continue to be persistent so you can get the help you need.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

 

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

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