Navigate / search

Social Media, Depression, and Loneliness: How to Beat the Facebook Blues

It’s no secret that social media connects us like never before. In an instant, we can snap pictures and post our whereabouts (think that selfie from your backpacking trip in Europe) and also keep tabs on what our friends are up to. I love social media. It has been an integral part of my professional life and is a great way to keep in touch with my loved ones. But it is not without its problems.
s
In the past few years, there has been public and medical concern about such topics as cyber-bullying and too much screen time (particularly for young people). As a psychotherapist, I’d like to address one more issue as it relates to mental health and social media: that of internet loneliness, depression, and feelings of low self-esteem.

Read more

Are You a Guilt Tripper? Studio 5

When it comes to our relationships, we often spend time trying to figure out problems (how can we get a spouse to listen more, how can we get children to be more obedient, etc.). But what if you are the problem? Might be a bit of an uncomfortable idea, but the truth is that often times it’s easier to spot shortcomings in someone else than it is to see them in ourselves. I encourage you to look in the mirror as we explore the following topic: Are you a guilt tripper? This involves using guilt as a form of emotional manipulation to get someone to think or act a certain way. It’s something that we’ve all done at times.

Read more

Is Social Media Dragging You Down?: Studio 5

The original purpose of social media is to connect us, and yet for many women, looking in on others’ lives can leave us feeling inferior, jealous, isolated, or dissatisfied. So how can we put all these posts and pictures in perspective when we seem to get discouraged by them? There’s been quite a bit of research done on how social media affects us psychologically and emotionally. Here are a few tips to help you if you find that it’s dragging you down:

Social media drags you down(1)

1. Be Intentional & Interact Directly

Studies have shown that always consuming, or simply binge reading and looking at picture after picture online can negatively impact you. I encourage you to instead intentionally research, seek out information, and connect with people in your life. Engage more and be purposeful; don’t just mindlessly scroll through your feed to fill time.
Read more

Looking to Improve Your Health? Try a Little Optimism!

When things don’t go our way, suggestions to simply “think positive!” or “look on the bright side” can come off as trite and irritating. Why even try to be optimistic when going through heartbreak, financial problems, stress, failure, and any other emotional hard balls life throws at us?
E
One of the difficulties of being optimistic is that we are biologically wired to focus on what is negative in order to protect ourselves. It can be much easier to identify when something is off in our lives, as it disrupts our normal routine, than it is to feel at peace when there is no problem or threat. In what social scientist Dennis Prager calls the “Missing Tile Syndrome,” human beings are more prone to see what’s absent or wrong than they are to focus on what’s present or right. So yes, there is certainly justification for a “woe is me” attitude, but still I urge you to fight that natural tendency and try out a little optimism; your soul and body may thank you! Read more

The Marilyn Monroe You May Not Know: Celebrity Legacies

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a television project docu-series called “Celebrity Legacies” on ReelzChannel, where I provided mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of deceased celebrities.

Celebrity Legacies on Reelz Channel

Julie Hanks on Celebrity Legacies

Beneath the Glamour

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most iconic figure in Hollywood history. At the height of her fame, she oozed glamour, effortless charm, and sex appeal, and the audiences and critics couldn’t get enough. But beneath the exterior of the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singing one-woman empire was a deeply troubled girl riddled with insecurity, family losses, and emotional pain.

A Troubled Childhood

Norma Jean Mortenson had an unstable early childhood. Born in a charity ward in Los Angeles, she moved in and out of foster homes for years, as her mother Gladys was emotionally and financially unstable to raise her. Though Gladys did temporarily regain custody of her daughter a few times, her mental state rendered her unable to permanently care for her, and Norma Jean eventually became a ward of the state. As Gladys was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Norma Jean lived the rest of her life in fear that she too would experience mental illness. Her tumultuous upbringing was not lost on her; of her experience, she wrote: “this sad bitter child who grew up too fast is hardly ever out of my heart.”

Read more

How to Beat the Winter Blues: Dealing with Seasonal Depression

The winter months can bring excitement and joy as we celebrate the holidays, decorate the tree, and spend time with our loves ones. However, it can be quite a different experience for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD). For these individuals, winter can be a time of gloom, despair, and hopelessness.

Read more

Celebrity Legacies airs Tonight: Kurt Cobain 20 Years Later

In tonight’s premiere of Celebrity Legacies: Kurt Cobain on ReelzChannel, I provide commentary on mental health and family aspects of Cobain’s meteoric rise and tragic fall, and the possible impact of his fame and fortune on surviving family members.

It’s been twenty years since the tragic death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Cobain’s musical legacy defined a generation and a musical genre. Cobain’s fame and fortune did not bring peace or satisfaction to Cobain. His suicide note summarized his life well by quoting Neil Young’s lyric…“I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Cobain joined what has been coined “the 27 club”: a group of exceptionally brilliant and troubled musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse) who have died of drugs or other violent means at the tender age of only 27.

Julie Hanks on Celebrity Legacies

Read more

What To Do When You Don’t Like Your Child’s Friends: LDS Living Magazine Interview

unnamed-1

Have you ever gotten bad vibes from one of your children’s friends? Maybe you felt like he/she was a negative influence or was causing your son or daughter to be unhappy.  It can be hard to know when you as a parent should get involved and when it’s better to just let things be.

As a licensed therapist and a mother of four children, I am certainly familiar with this scenario, and I recently sat down with LDS Living Magazine to offer my views on it. Here are a few strategies for what to do when you don’t like your kids’ friends:

Read more