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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!

Teaching Your Daughter Body Love: Studio 5

Many of you have joined our Body Love movement, turning the negative self-talk into positive views of our bodies. Now, we challenge you to help your daughters feel good about how they look.

Studio 5 Contributor, Therapist Julie Hanks, shares 10 ways to teach young girls the concept of body love.

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Make Self-Care Your Top Priority

Therapist, Julie Hanks, says the pressure women feel to “do it all” is often intensified by Utah’s unique culture. If you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted Julie says self-care is the solution. Follow her expert advice and put yourself at the top of your “to-do” list.

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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: I’m Anorexic and Want To Eat Dirt, Metal, Toilet Paper

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.

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Ask Julie: 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 Read more

Ask Julie: Am I Really Bipolar?

Q: I have just recently dealt with the trauma of being molested by a friend’s father. I thought all of my erratic behavior resulted from this, but now I’m hearing that I am Bipolar. I am confused and scared. I have been given lithium, but the doctor has not spoken to my family and only spoke with me once for about 20 minutes. His assistants did separate interviews with me as well. I don’t have insurance so I am paying a lot and don’t if I can afford to get a second opinion.

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Ask Julie: My Ex Has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Is There Hope For Us?

Q: How can I explain to an ex-boyfriend who left state and returned that he needs help for is DID? My current psychologist couldn’t answer this question, but flipped it off as insignificant.  I fell in love in Jan. 2010 with a foreign worker who was here to repair damage in the condo after carpet removal and air scrubbing.  I texted him I was interested and we had a first date.  He ran out unexpectedly, with no excuse and did not return.  Gone then for 3 months to his “country”, back once, ran out with no reason, gone another month, “for a funeral”; back, ran away, then back after another 3 months saying he was emotionally sick and went back to his home country, and was sorry he didn’t call.  During all this strange interims, I hired a detective, then, found out in July he ran to another state… Read more

Ask Julie: Is It OK To See More Than One Therapist At A Time?

Q: Is it okay/appropriate to see more than one psychotherapist at the same time?  After all, we sometimes have more than one massage therapist!  Just wondering about your take on this.

A: In general, I recommend having a primary individual psychotherapist who is “in charge” of treatment. That being said, there are situations where it may be appropriate and helpful to work with additional therapists simultaneously.  If you and your therapist desire additional interventions that are outside of your primary therapist’s specialties then your therapist may refer you to another therapist for specific interventions, like EMDR or neurofeedback, for example.

It’s also appropriate and often recommended to have additional therapists for different treatment modalities, like group, marriage, or family therapy. In marriage counseling or family therapy the client is actually the “marriage” or the “family” instead of the individuals. I hope this helps answer your question. Feel free to write again with more specific details about your situation.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW