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J A N U A R Y '99

 
Dear msX,
What are the effects of bulimia? Recently, after a harsh breakup, I have developed some bad eating habits. I am having troubles with my self-confidence, wondering why He would leave me
signed, Bulimic One

Dear Bulimic One,
Making yourself vomit after eating is a serious problem. You seem to be aware that eating disorders are tied very closely to our psyche and seem to surface during periods where our self-esteem is low. So, the obvious thing to do is to work on your self-esteem in a constructive way.

A little pep talk, hon...if you let this break-up put you in a bad place, you are giving someone else control of your health, both mental and physical. Eating disorders are usually about control -- a person feels powerless, out-of-control, and begins to obsess about their eating habits, the one area of our lives we have complete control over. They become addicted to controlling their weight and eating and focus on little else. It is a serious situation.

While I'm no expert, I do know that throwing up repeatedly eats away at the enamel of one's teeth. It robs your body of necessary nutrients and thus affects our skin, nails, and hair. Mouth sores, chronic bad breath, brittle nails, gum disease, loose teeth, gaunt-looking skin, dull hair -- not a pretty picture!

I suggest you look into counseling. See a doctor and get help before this manifests itself into something big. There are support groups for people with eating disorders. Look around for one that is right for you. We'll try to post a site for more information about bulimia in the near future.

No relationship is worth endangering your health, compromising your good looks and emotional well-being. This breakup is but one small valley in your life and, be assured, there are good times ahead. Don't sacrifice your health before you get there. It's just not worth it, hon.

Please get some help and let us know how you're doing,

msX


Dear msX,
About a month ago, my 3rd cousin and I fooled around, and eventually had sex. I love him with all of my heart but I don't know how everyone else will react if we get together. Now we have to act like nothing happened. Help me!!
Signed, Confused Cousin

Dear Cousin,
A lot depends on your family, culture, and just how distant you are as cousins. While in most cultures, incest is major taboo, some cultures draw the line in different places. For example, it might be okay to marry a second cousin, but not a first in certain parts of the world. Also, it depends on your families and just how closely you were brought up. If this is a third cousin you have really not spent alot of family time with, it might not be viewed in the same way if he were a cousin who spent tons of time at your house while you were both growing up. There are people, famous and non, who have married their cousins, so it is not so out-of-this-world!

But, there is a reason that incest is a taboo and it is a serious one. When you marry someone from your own family, you are reinforcing any genetic weak links. That means if you choose to have a child together, whatever genetic flaws that appear in your genetic makeup might also appear in his, too. Therefore, a child of such a union has a greater likelihood of being born with genetic abnormalities and weaknesses than a child of a couple that is non related.

Before you go public with this relationship, I would wait and see if it is truly worth putting yourself in the spotlight like that. If it turns out that this is just a passing phase, everyone will know and, believe me, they will never forget even fifty years down the road. If it turns out that you are really crazy about each other and this be the real thing, then you can go public with a strong foundation of love under your feet.

Whatever you do decide to do, think about it carefully before you act. This is not the time to be impulsive.
msX


Dear msX,

I am 17 years old and have been going out with this guy of 6 months. The problem is that we are happy most of the time, but somehow or the other, we tend to fight or should I say argue. I guess that I am the one who always tends to make little issues get on the way. A typical example is that he had found a job for the holidays and I feel that he now does not have enough time for me. We have spoken about it, and he has agreed to sort things out, but whenever I think of it I get irritated and begin an argument. I love him and I really want this to work, but I am almost saturated with this, I don't know how much I can handle because I know that both him and I are trying our very best to make it work, but I don't know what's wrong?
signed, Argumentative One

Dear Argumentative One,
I have said this before, but it bears repeating: It is no fun arguing. A relationship is supposed to bring us pleasure, not pain. If you find you are fighting with your fella more than having fun, then, I think, you have a problem. Maybe you're not as compatible as you think.

I know it is not fun to be left alone during holiday time, but this guy seems to have a valid reason. Putting work or school before your girlfriend can be seen as a sign of maturity. When you land a job, the bosses don't want to hear that your girlfriend doesn't want to be alone on the holidays. Sounds like this guy has his priorities in order. It is not like he's choosing to go out bowling with the boys. He's working, for goodness sakes. Grow up! If you love him, you'll be there for him after work and respect the fact that he HAS TO work. Stop whining about not having his undivided attention and find some interests of your own. Or, sooner or later, he will find someone who doesn't put his back up against the wall or corner him with emotional blackmail when he's doing what he HAS TO do. Keep pushing and he may realize that you are not fun to be with. Try being supportive instead.

msX


Dear msX,

Recently during my period I have been experiencing awful cramps. My moms gynecologist recommends that I move around and take Advil and there’s nothing else I can do. Do you know of anything else that might help?

signed, really bad cramps

Dear Really Bad Cramps,
While I'm not a doctor and you didn't say how old you are, I believe that cramps are normal, especially in teen years. I know that, for me, they've gotten easier as I've gotten older. So you do have something to look forward to.

But, for now there are a couple of things that may help. One, relax. Cramps are always going to seem worse when you're stressed out. Yes, I know how hard it is to relax when you're coming off a week of PMS. Try yoga or walking, maybe some meditation. It can't hurt you and could help you in ways beyond your monthly discomfort. Hot baths and a heating pad on the tummy have always made me feel better. There are also herbs you might try from the health food store...dong quai is one...that have been used for "female problems" for centuries. Get your mom to take you to the health food store and see what's available. You might want to look up in herbal remedy book what's recommended for cramps. Diet is also supposed to help or hurt, so while you're looking up herbs, see what foods are advised to ease menstrual pain and which foods you should avoid.

Maybe other females on the boards have found different solutions. Any advice, ladies?


Feel better,
msX
 

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