All parents want to raise strong, confident, happy daughters, but there’s evidence showing that female adolescents are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety. A recent article in the Deseret News suggests that young women are having a rough time; researchers are seeing anxiety, self-harm, and even suicide in girls as young as 10. In recent years, I have witnessed an increase in the number of referrals of young people (girls and boys) to my therapy practice who are experiencing these same sorts of issues. Clearly, we have a real cultural problem to address, and there’s certainly reason to be concerned. Read more
Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?
A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.
Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW
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.
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
What do you see when you look in the mirror? If the first thing that comes to mind is something critical, you’re not alone. This month on KSL’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker, we challenge you to think positive about your body.
Join the #BODYLOVE movement!
Email Q’s: How to help children through my recent divorce? “How to help a loved one with an eating disorder?: Julie Hanks Show 10-30-12 part 4
QI have this uncontrollable urge to eat things! But then I want to stay skinny, my family has hidden all metal objects and all the things I want to eat such as toilet paper, dirt, t.v remotes, cats, cd’s. I was even tempted as I was writing this to eat the mouse, if this isn’t enough I am terrified to leave my house. My anorexia has been bad and I’ve developed a phobia to tomatoes the only things I eat are crackers and sometimes water, but I always want to eat more things that I shouldn’t. When I was in the mental institution I didn’t have access to any of those things but now, I’m feeling the urge more than ever to eat inedible items. Please help me.
Between celebrities and supermodels today’s media set high and unrealistic standards for appearance, causing women to be critical of their own bodies. The pressure women feel to have the “perfect body” leaves them with feelings of dissatisfaction, a risk factor for eating disorders says Shannon Snapp, Ph.D., and her colleagues at University of Arizona. Snapp and her colleagues looked at first-year college women who are particularly vulnerable to body dissatisfaction and placing a high value on appearance. Their study identified the following five factors that promote positive body image for young adult women: