Navigate / search

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

Ask Julie: I Have No Self-Esteem

Q:I’ve come to realize 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 and 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 and feel half decent, I try to accomplish a task. However, when I fail at this task, I feel completely worthless.  My family doesn’t care, and I don’t have anyone to turn to on this matter. Can you please 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

Ask Julie: Could My Grandfather’s Death Be Causing Depression?

Q:  I saw my grandfather die when I was young, and it was very painful because he was like a dad to me.  Ever since my grandfather’s death, I’ve been having trouble 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 feel 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 die.  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 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 need help.

Read more