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6 Signs You Are Emotionally Grown-up (…or not)

You may look like a grown-up but do you always act your age? Emotional maturity doesn’t necessarily grow with age. Sometimes adults find themselves behaving like children. Therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW shares the six signs you are emotionally mature. Plus, tips to help you get back on track.


Maturity is generally associated with chronological age and years of life experience. But, when it comes to emotional maturity, age has very little to do with it. Have you ever noticed that some adults can pout just like a 6 year old? Of that some grown-ups seems to act more like teenagers by shirking adult responsibilities? Emotional maturity takes work, effort and a willingness to take an honest look inside of your-self. It also takes a willingness to try and understand the experiences of others.

 

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Ask Julie: Should I Seek Help For Depression?

I have been struggling with what I believe to be depression for the last year and a half (I have never been diagnosed with depression). I thought it was linked with my hypothyroidism, but even after recieving treatment for it the depression (or what I thought to be depression) still lingers. Should I seek help from a professional or should I simply leave everything as is. (I am desperate for some form of advice because whatever I have has caused many problems at home and in school).

A:Thanks so much for writing in. The answer is yes, you should address the depression. I want to recommend that you talk to your parent or guardian about getting you in for a mental health evaluation. The depression may or may not be linked to your other health problems. Watch the video for additional help.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

The Julie Hanks Show Tues. at 2

I’m thrilled to embark on a new adventure. Starting next Tuesday I’ll be hosting a weekly radio show on Sirius XM 143 BYU Radio. I’ll be talking about whatever is on your mind – parenting, marriage, or relationship questions, balancing work/life, extended family issues, divorce, self-esteem, mental health questions…If you want a fresh perspective, another opinion, or some advice please submit a question.

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Ask Julie: Lost My Virginity and Now I’m Sleeping Around and Drinking A Lot

Q: I have a question. I’m 21 and I was dating this guy and well, I lost my virginity to him and I loved him. I felt like he used me. I was so hurt when we broke up and I then slept with his best friend and then another guy 6 times.  I drink a lot and I have low self esteem please I need some advice. I’m so lost.

A: It is incredibly painful to feel so deeply for your boyfriend that you would share your heart and your body with him only to have the relationship end. I’m so sorry that your boyfriend didn’t value the gift that you gave him, your first full expression of your sexuality.  While it’s incredibly difficult to feel used, there are many healthier options for dealing with your hurt than by doing things that cause more pain for you and others. Drinking and sexually acting out may temporarily make your feel powerful and numb your emotions but won’t lead to a healthy emotional place and will likely create more pain and hurt.

Please turn toward healthy relationships. Who have you gone to in the past for emotional support? Have you reached out to friends and family during this difficult time? If not, please share your pain with people you trust so you can receive comfort and strength. Also, please consider seeking a therapist to sort through the loss of your relationship, understand the root of your unhealthy behavior, and to develop healthier coping skills. Click here if you need help to find a therapist in your area. You can feel good about yourself again. You can develop healthy love relationships. Remember, you deserve to be with a man who wants to be with you and who cherishes you, body and soul.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Ask Julie: How Can I Get My Baby’s Father Back?

Q: My daughter is 3 now. Her father and I have been split up for almost 2 years now. Due to postpartum, hormones, stress, loss of a family member, and cancer health related issues I was having and needed treatment for. My emotions were too much. He had been dating a girl from his work for the amount of time we have been split up. I previously got engaged, and am now 7 months pregnant. This relationship failed. During this time of me not connecting my self and my previous EX fiance being too needy and clingy drowning every ounce of me. Playing games to see “how much I cared.” I couldn’t handle it anymore and shut my wall up. Trying to reason with him if I hadn’t at one time cared I wouldn’t be pregnant or previously engaged. Although that ended I feel relieved and not controlled. And our personalities were too different; I wanted the idea of him trying to fill the hurt.

Although being my daughter is 3 my ex (her father) and I keep in close contact. And being through these last 7 months of pregnancy I realized I missed him. And he’s whom I wanted and WANT to be with. Not someone who looks like him.

These last 7 months also made me realize that the way my ex fiance was treating me was very similar to the way I was treating my daughter’s father. Because I didn’t have the confidence to believe he cared enough to be there through my emotional roller coaster at the time. And now that this has hit me in the face and my life is in a positive place and knowing I was never happier I want him back.

Is there any advice you can give me on approaching my daughter’s father in time, to take the steps to try and make things work?

A: Thanks for writing in. It sounds like the last 3 years have been extremely stressful for you on many levels, some of which you had no control over, and other stresses that you chose. I know your question is regarding getting your ex-boyfriend back, but I hope you’ll consider that there are other things that need to be addressed before you get back into any relationship.

Please get in to a therapist to explore why you are having such difficulty in love relationships. To find a qualified therapist in your area click here. We often replay our childhood issues in adulthood and my guess is that there are some deeper unresolved issues playing out here.  My biggest concern is not how you’re going to get your ex back, but in you developing the stability and strength in yourself that your children will need in order to thrive, whether you’re in a relationship or not.  Rather than focusing on getting your daughter’s father back, I urge you to focus on being a strong person, and a strong mother for your children, and developing the confidence and the skills to maintain a healthy, long-term, committed relationship. Focus on being the kind of person that would attract a healthy and committed man to build a stable life for you and your children.

Please, be cautious about having more children until you have a healthy, long-term, committed, stable relationship. Focus on getting healthy yourself for the children you already have before you focusing on getting your daughter’s father back. Be the kind of woman he would want to be with. Once you’ve worked on yourself please get relationship counseling before you get into any relationship with your ex or anyone else.

Take good care of yourself and your children!

Julie Hanks, LCSW