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Ask Julie: Is this Depression, Personality Disorder, or Bipolar?

Q: 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.

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Ask Julie: I Hate Myself And I Don’t Know Why

Q: I hate myself and I don’t know why. How do I learn to love myself? Even though I believe I’m a daughter of God, I feel like believing and knowing is different than feeling. I don’t FEEL like that. I have urges to cut myself and sometimes give in, and I make myself throw up off and on. I hate being like this. I was sexually abused by a family friend for about six years. Even though he stopped when I got older, I never said anything to anyone. I feel like this might contribute to my feelings of hatred toward myself. Sometimes, I even think that my life has no purpose and that the world would be better off without me. I hate myself for doing things like spending money on a nice haircut. Every time I treat myself nice, even if it’s something like a bubble bath or chewing a stick of gum, I feel guilty. I treat other people well. I give people more energy than I have and it’s not fair to them or me. I know that if I treat myself better, I’ll have more energy to not only give to myself, but to others too. However, every time I try to do this, I end up cutting or throwing up because the urge to do so is overwhelming. How do I learn to treat myself well? What is your advice? Is there something I can do without therapy? I don’t have a lot of money and am out of a job.

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Ask Julie: I’m So Lonely But I Should Be Happy

Q: 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?

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Ask Julie: Am I Depressed?

Q: So five months ago, I moved from Chicago to a new school. I thought it would be great to move to a new school, but I was wrong. It isn’t and I’m still not making any close friends. Everyone already has all their groups and best friends, so it’s really hard for me. I still haven’t found Read more

Ask Julie: I Feel Completely Empty Inside

Q: I do not feel anymore. My lack of empathy has reached its highest peak. I do not feel the need to socialize with anyone at all. As self – destructive as it may seem, a complete and constant escape from reality doesn’t look so bad after all. I just can’t help it. My heart is full of nothing but emptiness. How do I get my emotions back ?

A: The emptiness and numbness you’re describing sounds to me like it might be depression. I suggest that you get a mental health evaluation right away so you can get an accurate diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Watch the video to hear the complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Hanks Named #2 Most Influential Mental Health Expert on the Web

Anyone can make a difference for good. Anyone. This list is proof. I’m a social worker in Salt Lake City, UT on a mission to create meaningful online conversations about my passions: mental health and relationships. I love social media because it allows me to have a voice and share helpful and inspiring information across the globe. Me? I write and blog and tweet and post and share because I want to help make your life better by sharing trusted resources, helpful articles, tips, humor, and answer your mental health and relationship questions.

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Stop Pretending You’re ‘Fine’

Our goal this month on Studio 5 is to help you “Live without Pretending.” We’re giving you a chance to put that theme into practice, starting with the conversations you have every day. Therapist Julie Hanks says it’s time to stop pretending you’re fine, when you’re not.

When someone asks, “How are you?”, do you automatically say, “I’m fine”? If so, you’re not alone. “Fine” seems to be the default answer for many of us. Sometimes we’re not fine but we feel like we should be fine. Here are some ways to stop pretending you’re find and become more authentic.

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Ask Julie: Periodic Depression Interferes with Life

Q: I get depressed sporadically and it interferes with my life and I want to fix it. I’ve always had emotional problems my whole life. Anxiety, depression, difficulty coping with life, codependency, low self-esteem; and I have been trying SO HARD to “just be happy” like everyone tells me to do, but I just can’t do it. I TRY. And I don’t want to take meds, and I don’t know how much a therapist is but I don’t have a lot of money.

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Ask Julie: Not Depressed Or Anxious But Prefer Being Alone

Q:  I know there have been several questions on this site regarding preferences for solitude, but most of these questions have come from people with diagnosed disorders such as depression, social phobias, PTSD, etc., and the answers provided have been framed in the context of the relevant disorder. My concern is that, despite being depression and anxiety-free, I am becoming Read more