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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My husbands sister has just returned from Vietnam to get

Customer Question

Hello, my husbands sister has just returned from Vietnam to get married over here. I am feeling pretty bad about myself as I can't help comparing myself to her. We got married last year and it feels as though her wedding was better, more fun, more friends that love her and she was more beautiful. She has always been quite spoilt whereas I didn't get much attention so I know this is the root cause of the problem. But she and the family are quite critical of bigger people and very vain. I hate vanity and hate that it makes me obsess but I fnd it hard not to obsess about the way I look when I am around her. I just want it to stop.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello, I am very sorry that you are having this issue currently. You stated that you have tried therapy in the past, but not with this issue, so was therapy successful for you with other issues? Have you considered entering back into therapy so that you can overcome this insecurity? Also has your husband been supportive of you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello, it just seems so silly and not worthy of therapy. Therapy has helped me a lot in the past and other than this issue I am very happy. My husband is supportive of me, he recognises that his sister is a bit spoilt and self-obsessed, and that I struggle because (due to a complex family set up) I was not considered very important growing up-my elder sister has health issues and very low self-esteem and therefore my mum had to concentrate on her. So I was always told that I was the one who was 'alright' and could get on with things. This is true to some extent. Plus I was the thin 'normal looking one'. When I was younger I was quite obsessed with my weight but have worked hard over the last ten years to not obsess about this sort of thing. Everyone in my husbands family is very slim, whilst I am the slim one in my family I am the fattest in my husbands! I am doing a masters to help with my self-esteem.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
I do not consider this issue to be not worthy of therapy since it does affect you greatly by your description. You have a history of being focused on your weight, and while you have overcome that issue to a degree, your husband's family has caused somewhat of a relapse in this area because of their rude behavior. I think using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will yield great benefits to you and can help to lessen some of these insecurities you have been having. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective, then your symptoms will lessen as well. You know you are at a healthy weight and that you are a good person, despite what your husband's family says, but their behavior has caused some of these negative thoughts to reoccur in your mind, so using CBT can help you. Here are some samples of CBT exercises that you can start to use now to help you.
So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help you keep track of any negative thoughts you have. You put the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want you to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help you change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.
In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping to lessen negative type thinking. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.
And lastly a Positive Belief Record, will start to put the focus back on you and qualities that you have that make you important and unique.
So overall, I think going back into therapy on this issue would not be something you should be against as it can be a "refresher" course given what you had to overcome growing up concerning the attention your sister got and the focus you had on your weight. Also these CBT exercises can help you as well.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.