144. I'm hating life more and more each day
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Dear Dr. Smith

I have been suffering with severe depression and unbearable anxiety for the past (2) years. I'm in great torment the majority of time. I also suffer from low self esteem, I'm afraid to be around people or just don't want to be around people anymore, and because of this I'm hating life more and more each day: I feel helpless/powerless; My life seems so hopeless and at time's I wish I were dead. I feel as though I'm under a curse.

Dear Friend,
I empathized with your feelings and I am optimistic that greater days are ahead of you. Therefore, you need not wish to be dead. Before I can attempt to provide any clinical assistance, there are some questions that I would need some answeres for.

1.    Have you or are you seeing a therapist for your anxiety?
2.    Have you or are you taking medication for the symptoms you expressed?
3.    Have you had any traumatic experience in your life, e.g.; going to war, divorce, childhood abuse, etc.?
4.    Are you married or were you married?
5.    Are their children in your life?
6.    Are you employed at the moment?
7.    Are you living by yourself or with a family?

This background information would help me to assess your situation better. You see, there are several variables that can cause anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and the more you share with me the better I am in a position to help.

At the same time, until I hear from you, just stay calm, no matter how bleak you situation might seem to be, there is a way out and God is still on his throne. Never let go of His hands. The following suggestions should be helpful.

1. Decrease frequency of negative self-statements: The more you stay positive and say and think positive things about your self, the more you will feel better about yourself.

2. Increase statements of self-acceptance. Too often people do not accept themselves for who they are and often wish to be someone else. This practice can be self-defeating and engender feelings of anxiety, depression and helplessness. You must accept yourself for who you are. Accept and accentuate your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses.

3. Identify positive traits and talents about self: It is self-efficacious to identify you positive traits and talents. This helps you to be more self conscious in your strive to be the best that God wants you to be.

4. Increase frequency of speaking up with confidence: Healthy self-esteem is rooted in the ability to speak up with confidence. Therefore, maximize every opportunity you get to speak in public and do so with conviction.

5. Identify instances of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse that may have damaged self-esteem: If you have been abused it is quite possible that it could damage your sense of self. Do not see yourself as a victim because it was not your fault, but see yourself as a survivor. You have survived a horrific crime against you, but by God’s grace you have overcome and you will keep overcoming until the daystar arise in your heart. If you need to get professional help to get to this point, don’t be afraid to do so.

6. Take responsibility for daily self-care and household tasks: Frequently, depressed people fail to do self-care. They allow self and property to go un-kept. You must take responsibility for your daily grooming and to see that your surroundings is immaculate.

7. Positively acknowledge and verbally accept praise or compliments from others: Rejecting complements that are genuine is a sign of poor self-esteem. Therefore, accept complements with gratitude and a smile and do not think it is selfish or sinful to do so.

If you follow these suggestions you should feel better. Stay positive, keep courageous, you are not under a curse and you need not wish to die. You can do better than that, much better. Remember, God loves you and I am praying for you.

God bless.

Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org