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Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
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Im 40. I have focused on my family for 20 year,I have four

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I'm 40. I have focused on my family for 20 year,I have four children, 3 of which are my own by two different mothers, 1 is a step child, I have no outside friends, I drink and smoke too much which is getting worse. What should I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 7 years ago.



It sounds like you devoted most of your life to the care of others with little concern for yourself. Now you have come to the realization that you count and need to fulfill your needs. Drinking and smoking are pacifiers to ease what must be a psychologically distressful situation. Unfortunately they solve a problem and create a greater one. Fortunately it is never too late to refocus and put your needs along with those of others whom you have cared for. You cannot give up your responsibilities, but you can start to treat yourself with more caring and self love and respect. It is most probable that you will not be able to effect the changes necessary to make your life more fulfilling on your own. Therefore, I would like to suggest that you consider starting in psychotherapy. In that way you can devise new methods and strategies to care for yourself without ignoring your responsibilities. A specific type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches new ways of thinking and behaving and thus allows you to feel better.



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