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Ask A Therapist: Anger Management Issues?

Lately, I’ve been getting in trouble a lot at school and home. I think I have anger management. I always flip out at people, and I have a bad attitude. I get really stressed sometimes. I wonder if I have anxiety. I have a fear of being ignored or forgotten. Me and my mom get along for the most part, but when we fight, it’s bad. We say rude things to each other that I feel bad about after. I think definitely have an anger problem. I yell at everybody when they upset me. I have mood swings a lot. I have trouble falling asleep, and sometimes, I’m so tired but I still can’t sleep, or I’m hyper. I also have a self-esteem issue. Many people say my ” wild behavior” started when my dad passed away in November 2011. I’ve always had these problems, but I guess they came out more after he died. I have tons of friends, but I can’t talk to them about all these things. I can’t take compliments from anyone. I can be so happy at one moment, but then I constantly think of things until I can cry and cry and cry. I just want to know what’s wrong with me.

A: Having a parent pass away is an incredible loss and I’m not surprised that your behavior changed after your father’s passing. My guess is that you’re acting this way for good reason – you’re feeling a lot of emotions and you don’t have the tools yet to manage them. Please get some professional help. Watch the video below for my complete response.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

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Sick with “I’m Not Worthy Syndrome?” Here’s the cure for this self-esteem-sapping-itis:

The “I’m Not Worthy Syndrome” was popularized by the Saturday Night Live recurring skit “Wayne’s World” performed by comedians Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the late 80’s. As a teenager at the time, I remember laughing with friends as we mimicked the phrase “I’m not worthy!” repeatedly to one another in social situations relevant to the coined phrase. However, the I’m Not Worthy Syndrome is no laughing matter! The sad reality is many people struggle with feelings of unworthiness that sap their self-esteem and rob them from the richness and joy to be experienced in daily living. Wasatch Family Therapy Woman

Q: What is the I’m Not Worthy Syndrome?

A: “I’m Not Worthy Syndrome” is a colloquial term rather than an identified mental health disorder referring to the tendency to believe ourselves unworthy of the endless positive experiences life has to offer. We may believe we are unworthy of love, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, financial success, our goals and dreams, physical health, peace of mind—the list is endless and can induce withholding ourselves from such fundamental needs as feeling safe, feeling joy, and feeling purpose in living.

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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

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TV and the Negative Effects on Child Self-Esteem

A new study from Indiana University suggests television can decrease a child’s self-esteem. The study found this to be true especially with white girls or African-American girls and boys. The opposite was found to be true for white boys. A large amount of children spend their time in front of the TV instead of turning to different activities. The study stated the reason behind the decrease in self-esteem is children end up comparing themselves to the images and people they see on TV.

TV these days typically depicts white males in positions of power with important jobs and a glamorous lifestyle. Females are depicted in a completely different way where they have more simple lifestyles and tend to have more sexualized images. Messages to females often have the theme “you are what you are because of how you look.” Black males are often seen as the criminals. (c) Can Stock Photo” src=”http://www.wasatchfamilytherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/girlwatchingtvoptimized.jpg” alt=”” width=”269″ height=”179″ />

These images decrease self-esteem because children get the idea they really have nothing to aspire to. To children, TV is reality. A counter argument was made that these images and messages were available on other forms of media as well but the study found the majority of kid’s media usage today is still the TV.

Here are a few tips to counteract the negative effects of TV.

  1. Limit the amount of time spent watching TV – especially when the kids are out of school.
  2. Watch TV together, as family time. When these types of images come up, it can stimulate conversation about what is real life vs. TV life.
  3. Avoid the TV altogether! It’s summer! Take advantage of the opportunity to spend time together doing other activities besides watching TV
  4. Involve kids in wholesome activities promoting positive messages like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or the YMCA and just spend more time together as a family.

Use these links for more information:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/05/31/tv-can-decrease-a-childs-self-esteem/39496.html

http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/10344-counteract-negative-effects-of-television-with-these-tips

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[Video] Teen Girls Ask Am I Pretty Or Ugly? YouTube Videos Alarm Professionals: KSL TV News

5-17-11Insecurity about appearance among teens girls is nothing new. In past decades, girls would ask friends and peers, “How do I look?” The internet now allows teens to take that question to the masses asking in YouTube videos “Am I pretty or ugly?” Desperate cries for validation are opening up young women to mean and insensitive comments or sexual innuendos by anonymous commenters.

When I first heard about these videos I felt sick inside. It played to the insecure teen that still lurks in me, and at times. I can quickly connect with those feelings of early adolescence when I was trying to find myself and to be accepted by others.

We are constantly bombarded with messages that women’s primary value is in the attractiveness of her physical appearance, and unfortunately sometimes the parents place excessive emphasis on daughter’s external qualities.

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Young Adult Group

Wasatch Family Therapy Young Adult Group

Led by Haylee Heyn, AMFT

Do you feel like you are constantly struggling with maintaining relationships and connecting with others? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with life’s challenges?

In our young adult group for anxiety and depression we work on                             

  • Coping strategies in dealing with anxiety and depression
  • Interpersonal processing and relational skills
  • Building self-esteem
  • And navigating through life’s difficulties

The group setting is a great place to receive support and comfort from others who relate, as well as work on interpersonal and relational skills and coping strategies for life’s difficulties. The group members are open and friendly and we work to make it a comfortable environment for everyone.

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How To Assess Your Child’s Self-esteem: Studio 5

Studio 5 Contributor and Therapist, Julie Hanks, says parents are often surprised to discover their child struggles with self-esteem issues.

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Self-esteem, a popular construct used to describe an individual’s inner experience, has two parts: how you define yourself, and how you evaluate yourself. It’s easier to evaluate your own experience than someone else’s subjective experience, even your own child. Here are some signs of healthy self-esteem, some examples of when you should be concerned about your child’s self-esteem, and how you can help them develop healthy self-esteem.

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