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When it Comes to Parenting, Worry is Not Love

One aspect of any good relationship is a sense of concern for the other person’s well-being. Parenting is no exception. It’s common to want to shield your child from pain, mistakes, and heartache and to foster happiness and success. However, as your child grows, the stakes get higher, and your control over their safety and their choices diminishes drastically. To deal with this lack of control, parents may turn to worrying (unease or anxiety over real or potential problems) as a consolation.

How Do I Manage Postpartum Scary Intrusive Thoughts? KSL Mom Show

A little known symptom of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders are intrusive or scary thoughts – an unwanted, often vivid thought usually centered around harm to yourself or baby, sometimes at your own hand. They can bombard you out of no where and cause a spiral affect of shame and guilt, which can also add to postpartum depression symptoms. Host Lindsay Aerts shares her experience of intrusive thoughts with Dr. Julie Hanks of Wasatch Family Therapy and they discuss how to reduce the distress that scary thoughts can cause. Learn more about The Mom Show.

Listen to part 1 of this interview

Download free chapter of The Assertiveness Guide for Women

What About Postpartum Anxiety and Anger? KSL The Mom Show

Sometimes women experiencing a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder don’t know they’re suffering because they don’t have the typical depressive symptoms, yet they know they struggling and need help.  Host Lindsay Aerts shares her experience of postpartum anxiety with Dr. Julie Hanks of Wasatch Family Therapy and they break down the many forms a maternal mental health disorder can take. Learn more about The Mom Show.

Listen to part 2 of this interview

Download free chapter of The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Our Definition of “Good Mothering” is Bad For Mental Health

Preparing to be a “good mother” is emphasized in Primary, Young Women’s, and continues as a central thread woven throughout Relief Society lessons and discussions. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of our beliefs about “good mothering” are correlated with poor maternal mental health. When I first read findings from a study published in The Journal of Child and Family Studies that suggest that five specific beliefs about mothering–essentialism, fulfillment, stimulation, challenging, and child-centered–are correlated with poorer mental health among mothers with young children, I thought to myself, “These beliefs align with how we, in America, and in LDS culture define good mothering!”

Putting A Positive Spin on Anxiety

The word “anxiety” makes us a little, well, anxious. The truth is, though, that everyone gets nervous; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The problem comes when we psyche ourselves out and make a difficult situation worse by compounding our worries (also, please understand that I’m referring to normal anxiety, not anxiety disorder, which is a legitimate mental health condition that requires professional treatment).

There’s some interesting new research that shows how reframing anxiety into a form of excitement can help us cope better. I love the idea of viewing our nervousness as a positive thing that can prepare us for demanding situations. Here are 3 ways we can rethink anxiety and use it for our good: Read more

How to Help Your Anxious Daughter: Studio 5

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

Ask Julie: How Do I Stop Feeling Depressed, Angry, and Irritable?

Q: I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a little more than a year ago, (although I have been feeling this way for a really long time.) I feel like I’m angry all the time. I want to be happy, but sometimes I feel like the anger is just always there. I have a wonderful husband and family and am happy with them, but I just cannot seem to shake this feeling. The littlest things bother me to where I can hold a grudge. I feel like I’m irritable a lot of the time, and sometimes, I feel as though I could just scream at any moment. Other times, I just feel like crying. I would really appreciate some feedback about this and maybe some type of mental exercises that I can do to start controlling all this built-up anger before it gets any worse.

A: Thank you for writing in. You said you were diagnosed with depression and anxiety but I’m curious if you’re being treated for it currently? If you are on any type of medication, I suggest that you talk with your health care provider and make sure that the dosage and medication is actually helping. Please watch the video for the complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Is Anxiety Hereditary? What You Need to Know

We get a lot from our parents. Bone structure, our first car, eye color, money habits, etc. It’s well-known that we can inherit certain health conditions from them as well (you’re 50% more likely to develop migraines if either of your parents experiences them) Recently, evidence has emerged that suggests anxiety may be one more thing that we can get from our parents (and this is clinical anxiety, which is much more than ordinary nervousness that we all experience).
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Quit Monkeying Around!
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Dr. Ned Kalin and a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed brain scans of rhesus monkeys and found that the ones that displayed signs of anxiety had a family history showing stress-related symptoms in their brain wave patterns. While the study was complex, the takeaway is that anxious thought patterns may not be merely adult occurrences but can have their roots in one’s genes. This is groundbreaking, as the cause of anxiety had previously been largely unknown.
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Resolving Aspirational Shame: One Mormon Woman’s Journey

I grew up in contradictory worlds.

I was born and raised in Studio City, California in the heart of the entertainment business. Our neighbor was a makeup artist for movies like “Top Gun.” My extended family had a TV show, and my father, a professional musician, was the musical director on several national television shows when I was a young child. Witnessing this kind of creative expression and visible success, I believed that anything was possible for my life.

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