Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Why Do I Do This?


Hello Doctor,
I have a question, and first let me give you some background.
I'm 32 years old, married for 9 years and no kids. I was sexually abused at the age of 11 by a male cousin (broke the silence after 18 years. Told my wife for the first time and therapist about 3 years ago). I don't remember my dad growing up. I'm morbidly obese and struggle alot with self esteem. I'm married to an amazing woman, my high school sweetheart. I lied ALOT when I was young (and not so young). When things go bad, I hide them with the thought that I can do something good to make things better. I'm not on therapy right now, yet I'm very in tune with my emotions, which I've never done before. I've been reading many books on the power of the subconscious and most importantly what to do to help with limiting beliefs. I've done very well using affirmations and can see changes. Yet, I have an observation. I've been in sales all my life and have been very successful at it. All of them were inside sales jobs (never seeing the customer). Now, I'm a real estate agent in Houston, TX and I noticed that I hesitate to make phone calls, and my thought is that this is because I may not want to be seen.... There's alot more, my story is quite long.

Well, my real question is this: When times are difficult, financially especially, I retreat and shutdown, rather than use it as motivation to go "get it done" - for a lack of a better term. I make a living without calling people, since most of my business is referrals, yet I want to do more than just "make a living". I have the skills, and the knowledge, so there's really no excuse to do it, other than not wanting to be seen- due to the way I look being obese and low self esteem. Even though people love me, and love being around me. I also have low testosterone and maybe it comes from that. I'm not sure.

Sorry for the long-winded question and hope you can help.

Thank you!

"When times are difficult, financially especially, I retreat and shutdown, rather than use it as motivation to go "get it done" --

This is a habit, a bad habit, a maladaptive behavior, which I suspect is secondary to low self-esteem or value probably secondary to the abuse issues -- at least this is my speculation.

This is an excellent reason to re-enter therapy to clarify these issues

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.


Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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