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  • Writer's pictureDawn Helmrich

The Negative Self-Talk Started in High School as a Teen; It Continues to This Day

Updated: 3 days ago

Text with headshot of Dawn Helmrich. Headline: "Shining Light on Shadows: My Son’s Struggle With Social Anxiety and the Difficulty of Getting Help" Text: "One day, my son told me, the world was not set up for kids like him.  Kids that have social anxiety."

After reading Sara Wilson's blog post for Ep. 10 Teen Girls and Therapy, I could totally relate to all the things that she talked about. Not only because of having a daughter myself, but because I can remember going through all of those transition phases as a young girl.


Back then there was no therapy, there was no sharing your feelings or talking through what was going on in our lives. We had friends to talk to, but there was such a stigma around mental health that other than sharing boyfriend woes or giving the occasional “I’m so ugly and fat” speech, we didn’t go into much detail about the way society portrays how women should look, act, feel and be.


 

I will be discussing these issues and more on a new show that I launched with Neil Parekh, “Shining Light on Shadows: A Candid Conversation About Mental Health.” Sara Wilson, LMFT, a therapist and speaker who works with teens and young adults to support their mental health, will be our guest.

You can watch the show Thursday, July 11 at 6pm CT / 7pm ET or the recording on Facebook, Twitter*, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram* and Neil’s website.


*The link to Twitter goes to Neil's account. The link to Instagram goes to my account. We won't know the exact urls until we go live.

 

To this day I have terrible body image issues. I am constantly looking at myself and criticizing the way I look and how “big” I am. I don’t think I ever really got through that phase in my life because no one ever taught me how to see myself any other way.


Having been raped at 21, I also had a lot of guilt and sadness and didn’t really know how to cope with what I had gone through. At that point because of my situation, it was “ok” to go to therapy, but I didn't want to. My brain hadn’t fully developed yet and I was already very messed up. There are so many things I wish I would have known back then that would probably have saved me a lot of heartache and self-destructive behavior throughout the years.


I also didn’t do my daughter any favors. She is 23 now and has become a very independent young woman, but she will be the first to tell you that all those years of putting myself down in front of her, ended up with her having some body issues herself. I tend to get mad at her when she is concerned about her weight because she is absolutely beautiful, but I have no room to talk because I still can’t seem to get myself in a good place .


I have come full circle now, as I just entered the phase of menopause in my life. I am hoping to go into this transition with a better outlook on who I am as a human and to try to retrain my brian to be kind to me. Finding the right way to love yourself should definitely begin between the ages of 13 and 23 and certainty shouldn’t wait until you are 52. I think we all need to be more conscientious about what teenagers go through and learn more ways to help them when they are struggling, so that they don’t end up hating themselves for their entire life.

Title Card for Show. Text and headshots of the co-hosts and guest. Headline: "Shining Light on Shadows: A Candid Conversation About Mental Health" Copy: "Ep. 7 Kate Easton Parenting a Child with Mental Health Challenges Thurs., May 9 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 4pm PT"


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