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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 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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Ask A Therapist: Is This Depression, Personality Disorder, or Bipolar?

Well I’m 19, but I don’t feel 19. I have so many things going on in my life that it’s hard to keep up with everything. I’m a full time worker, a full time student and a part time gym rat. I’m also in a relationship. There is no time in the day for me to do anything and everything I do always feels rushed. Even though I’m interacting with my coworkers, friends, or girlfriend during the day, I feel empty and numb to it all, like everything is just an act. As far as feelings go, like I said, I’m numb. I feel as if my best friend or mother could die and I wouldn’t care, and I feel as though to a certain extent that I don’t care even for my girlfriend. But on the flip side, I don’t want to be alone. It scares me to think that me and my girlfriend would breakup. I laugh and joke but don’t know why I do.
I really want to know what’s wrong with me because I was never like this before. Or if I was, it was deep down and is now just surfacing and I can’t handle it. I WANT TO BE HAPPY AGAIN.

A: There are normal ups and downs that come along with adolescence, such as mood swings and hormonal changes. But what you’re describing sounds like a lot more than that. Please watch the video below for my complete response.

Take Good Care of Yourself,

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Ask A Therapist: I’m So Lonely But I Should Be Happy

Simply put, I’m very lonely.
 I should be happy.  I just graduated college and starting my masters’ degree.  I own my own home. I have a job. I’m very fit. I try to do things that are social, but most of the things I do are by myself because I don’t have friends.
I’ve always had a boyfriend, and finally realized that they were a crutch, so I’ve been single for the past 2 years and concentrated on myself and my education. But being alone night after night and not having anyone to do things with is terrible. I’m considerate and friendly, but I just don’t know how to find friends. Seems like I’ve even lost my mojo in dating. I don’t feel like the person I used to be, and maybe I’m not anymore in a good way, but I can’t figure out why I don’t have any friends and am living a solitary life. It’s so lonely. What can I do?

A: I have more questions than I have answers. How long have you struggled with friendships? Has this been a pattern even when you were younger in elementary and junior high or is this recent? No matter where you live you can find friends. Watch the video for some suggestions for overcoming this loneliness and sadness.

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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Ask A Therapist: Depressed, Anxious, and Socially Awkward

Q: I don’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been totally happy but for the past approximately 2 years i have been extremely depressed as a result of my social anxiety and loneliness. I have always found social situations ‘awkward’, in fact the last time I remember frequently leaving my house for social reasons was when I was about 13. I then became more and more of a recluse from there on, i went out with my friends less and less outside of school, then upon leaving school i stopped doing things with my friends more and more until the point where i have not left my house for social reasons for about 2/3 years. I no longer have any friends and although my family is nice and supportive they cannot provide me with what I need. I have not spoken to anyone in person about my problems, I simply can’t. My parents will just tell me to go to a doctor. Doctors will just prescribe me with a drug that I don’t want. I don’t feel a psychiatrist can help me. I’ve become extremely lonely and depressed. My self esteem is extremely low and although I’m not a bad looking person I simply cannot accept my imperfections, no matter how hard I’ve tried. I feel I am in so deep that I cannot make a recovery. I cannot throw myself into social activities to make friends because of my social anxiety. I no longer find anything enjoyable and nothing at all interests me, this leaves me with the motivation to try nothing. I feel like I’m in a corner with no way out, every possible path I need to take to fix myself, I cant bring myself to walk down whether its my self esteem, depression or social anxiety stopping me. I hate it and I hate the person I am, I’m so sad it hurts. I feel so lost and lonely I cry randomly, its pathetic. There is no reason why I should feel like this, I’ve had a very normal life without any trauma, this only makes me feel guilty for the way I am. Guilt I don’t deserve to feel when there’s so many more out there in far worse situations.

I just want to live my life and be happy, but I truly believe I will never get there. Sometimes I feel like giving my life and donating what i have to give someone else a shot at life. Someone who can appreciate life.

I have read a lot of advice online about people in similar situations to myself but what are my options when the things I need to do to fix myself, I simply cannot bring myself to do?

A: Thanks so much for writing in and reaching out for help. I have seen many clients in my therapy office who express similar feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, focus on their own imperfections, and have extreme guilt for feeling so sad and lonely because they’ve had a “pretty normal life.” It sounds to me like you are suffering from severe depression and anxiety that are keeping you in a downward spiral, unable to reach out for help. The good news is you have reached out on this forum, so I am very hopeful that you can reach out in other areas.

I urge you to talk to your parents and ask them for help. You said you haven’t talked to your parents because they will tell you to go to a doctor. If they love and care about you they will tell you to go to a doctor or a therapist because that’s the right thing to do when a family member is ill. I suggest that you keep an open mind about medication. While it doesn’t need to be the first course of treatment, it can definitely be a helpful tool in treatment. Ask your doctor for a psychotherapist referral as individual psychotherapy can be very effective. Often, a combination of medication and psychotherapy can be effective in treating depression and anxiety.

In order to experience some change in your life and find happiness you will need to take some action, even if you don’t want to, and even if it’s a small one – like talking to your parents about how hopeless you feel. You can do it. It sounds to me like what you’re experiencing isn’t really “you” but is mental illness clouding your thoughts and feelings. You can have more satisfaction and joy in living than what you’re experiencing.

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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Ask A Therapist: I’m Angry AND Sad. What’s Wrong With Me?

Q: I’m 15 years old and I have been getting angry for sometime no reason at all and then becoming sad.  I am sad for a long time (10:30a.m.-9:00p.m.).  I don’t know what to do and people ask what’s wrong and i just snap at them and feel even worse and I think I’m losing some of my friends.  I used to be the funny guy but now I’m just the guy that sits in his chair quietly and doesn’t really talk to anyone anymore.  I don’t feel like myself and I’m actually just avoiding people anymore. Please Help, Thank you.

A: How confusing to be having these overwhelming emotions and not know where they came from or why you’re getting upset. I’m so glad you wrote in for help. I’m always relieved when adolescent young men write in for emotional help because so many suffer in silence and don’t know how to reach out for help.

What you’re describing sounds like some kind of depression. You might be surprised to hear that irritability and anger are often signs of depression, especially in adolescents. The changes in your personality and your social behavior also point to depression. Does anyone in your life know how sad you’re feeling? Do you have parents you could talk to or another trusted adult, like a school counselor who could help you find a therapist and set up a medical evaluation?

I urge you to talk to your parents, let them know about your feelings, and ask them to help you find a therapist to meet with. Also, please go to your MD and get a physical to rule out possible medical conditions that might be contributing to your low moods. Click the Find Help at the top of this page to find a therapist in your area who specializes in working with adolescents and depression.

I am so glad that you emailed “Ask the Therapist” to reach out for help and guidance. I am hopeful that it will inspire other young men to pay more attention to their emotions and ask for help when needed.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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[Video] I Have No Self-Esteem

Because I came to realise for the last fifteen years that I have no self esteem and I try to accomplish tasks that are far too difficult to make me feel slightly okay about myself to keep myself non suicidal. And when I fail, I feel so terrible. Like I want to die.

I’m not a suicidal person, I’m not, I just have issues with my self esteem. I have had problems with bullying for many many years, and only have friends over the internet not in real life. This has resulted in my low self esteem I think.

To make myself get through a day to make myself feel half decent, I have to accomplish a task. To the extent that I have gone to the store and bought flat pack furniture to bring it back and assemble it to make myself feel better. However, when I fail at this task I feel completely worthless. My family dont care, and I dont have anyone to turn to on this matter. Can you help me?

A: I am so sorry to hear of your pain over the last 15 years. If you’ve been bullied for years it makes sense that your self-esteem would become very fragile. I suggest that you get into therapy, particularly group therapy, to start expanding your relationships and learn how to trust. Please take a few minutes to watch the rest of my response in the video below…

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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Why Am I More Awkward Socially Now?

This isn’t really a question about me, its kind of people in general (or well maybe it is just me, I dont know)….
So, ever since I started high school I have felt more awkward and stressed out about people than ever.  I think that’s normal though, right?

Anyway, its weird because before high school, I actually had less friends than I do now.  Why do I feel more awkward when now I have more friends? You should probably know that I now go to a high school for the arts, and everyone at my new school is super nice and accepting.

So… How do I get to be less awkward? Does everyone get awkward in high school? What changed between 8th and 9th grade that is making me so self-conscious?

A: Thanks so much for writing in! You bring up excellent questions and I’m very impressed that you’re so in touch with you internal experiences and feelings — that will be a great asset as a performer/artist. Did you go through any other family or life changes before starting high school? There may be several explanations for your feelings of awkwardness for you to consider.

You’re describing feelings that I often hear in my practice from new college students who have largely based their identity on being the best and most accomplished in their high school. In college, they are surrounded by hundreds of bright and talented students which challenges their sense of identity and worth. I wonder if this same phenomenon has happened for you, only in high school instead of college? High schools with a specific focus tend to attract highly motivated and talented students, like colleges. While fellow student are accepting and nice, they are also your “competition,” and their talents may feel more threatening to you than what you experienced with your jr. high school peers.

Attending a high school for the arts may also lead you to feel more emotionally vulnerable and unsure of yourself. Artistic creation and expression require you to access different aspects of your emotional experiences and that may be leading to feeling more awkward. As a performing songwriter, I can relate to feeling more vulnerable when I am “putting myself out there” creatively.

Big life transitions like changing schools tend to make everyone feel a bit more anxious and self-conscious. Moving on to high school is the next step toward adulthood, requires more homework, more responsibility, and new social situations and that may take some time to get used to. I suggest talking with your parents about your feelings, or consider talking to a school counselor. What you’re experiencing doesn’t sound out of the ordinary for a life transition. If your awkwardness doesn’t go away in a month or so, please consider talking to a therapist to help you get to the emotional root of what your experience and to look into the possibility that you’ve developed an anxiety disorder.

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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Ask A Therapist: How Do I Get Over My Ex-Boyfriend?

relaxQ: Hi…My problem is that my boyfriend broke up with me 2 weeks ago. we already planned to go to Hawaii and I have to go because I can’t pay him back since it’s really expensive. We decided to be friends, when I’m around him I want to be his friend and that’s the only thing I think about but when I’m not around him, I start missing him so much. I keep telling myself that I want him to be my friend nothing more, I don’t want to go to back to him and he doesn’t either but I miss him so much and want to be around him all the time. The trip is in 2 weeks and were gonna spend 10 days together there. I’m scared that I will get hurt and after we get back from Hawaii, I will start missing him more and get hurt even more. Please help me, I seriously have no idea of what to do and no one can help me out. I have finals coming in a week and I really don’t want anything to affect my studying.

A: Don’t go to Hawaii with someone who just broke up with you, even if you have to forfeit money. Focus on your studies and on moving forward with your life. This is a chance to learn how to tolerate missing him, and process the grief. You may want to talk with a counselor through your college.

Click the arrow below to listen to my audio response.

[powerpress]

Creative Commons License photo credit: janineomg

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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How Do I Get Over My Ex-Boyfriend?

relaxHi…My problem is that my boyfriend broke up with me 2 weeks ago. we already planned to go to Hawaii and I have to go because I can’t pay him back since it’s really expensive. We decided to be friends, when I’m around him I want to be his friend and that’s the only thing I think about but when I’m not around him, I start missing him so much. I keep telling myself that I want him to be my friend nothing more, I don’t want to go to back to him and he doesn’t either but I miss him so much and want to be around him all the time. The trip is in 2 weeks and were gonna spend 10 days together there. I’m scared that I will get hurt and after we get back from Hawaii, I will start missing him more and get hurt even more. Please help me, I seriously have no idea of what to do and no one can help me out. I have finals coming in a week and I really don’t want anything to affect my studying.

A: Don’t go to Hawaii with someone who just broke up with you, even if you have to forfeit money. Focus on your studies and on moving forward with your life. This is a chance to learn how to tolerate missing him, and process the grief. You may want to talk with a counselor through your college.

Click the arrow below to listen to my audio response.

[powerpress]

Creative Commons License photo credit: janineomg

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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