Am I Bisexual

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

 

Today, we answer a common client question:“Am I bisexual” 

How do you know if you are bisexual?

Am I Bisexual

We wish there was a clear answer that could be used for everyone, and there is not. We are all unique and special in what we desire.  What I will share is what I have learned from my education, my experience, and my private practice. Please consider these as some general questions to reflect on if you are wondering if you are bisexual.

 

What is Bisexuality?

Stereotypically, the definition of bisexuality is being sexually attracted to “both” genders (ex. Men and women). Some would say it would be attracted to cisgender men and women and someone would include transgender individuals in this as well.

Cisgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth “matches” their gender presentation and/or expression (ex. Someone with a penis identifying as male). 

Transgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth does not “match” their gender expression and/or presentation (ex. Someone born with a vagina who identifies, dresses, and lives as a man.. because he is). 

I think it is important to note that there is conflict within the bisexual community regarding whether or not transgender individuals should be included.

Am I Bisexual

Unsolicited opinion: if you identify as a man or woman regardless of sex assigned at birth or what your genitals are… you are a man or a woman. Full stop. 

Stop transphobia.

 

What's the difference between Bisexuality and Pansexuality?

Bisexuality focuses on the attraction exclusively to men and women, where as pansexuality is attraction to all genders (including non-binary, transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, gender bending, etc.). 

Note: These are generally agreed upon definitions… it does not mean they are set in stone or that people within these identifies strictly adhere to these definitions.

 

Am I Bisexual?

Generally speaking, here are some indicators that you may be bisexual:

  • you are attracted to men and women - it does not have to be equal attraction!
  • you have had romantic relationships with men and women
  • you fantasize about men and women
  • you like pink, purple, and blue.. KIDDING, yet it is the flag!

Am I Bisexual

Basically the bottom line is that you are attracted to (romantically and/or sexually) to male and female humans. There is variation and does not necessarily mean the attraction is 50/50. It also does not mean that you have had to be in relationships or had sex with either or anyone else to know. You do not need to have had sex with someone to understand who you are and not attracted to. It helps, but is not necessary for your identity!

 

The Best Way is Self Exploration!

Any identity requires levels of self reflection and exploration. The only way to truly figure out your identity is through your knowledge and experience of yourself. If you need help with this please find an identity affirming therapist (like us at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC) to help you through this process!

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


winter blues

Dealing with the Winter Blues - Ways to Deal with Depression

Dealing with the Winter Blues - Ways to Deal with Depression

The Winter Blues can be rough, specially for those of us who have dealt with or deal with depression.

The days are shorter, the sun for some reason loves to hide from us, and it rains a lot. 

Depending on where you live, you can leave the door in the morning when it’s still dark out and get back home in the pitch black, feeling a bit like you’re in the twilight zone.

There’s nothing wrong with an occasional down spell. They’re perfectly normal. Every person goes through emotional cycles, so it’s important not to get too down on yourself if you catch a bit of the winter blues.

What you should be concerned about though, is when and if those winter blues linger for too long. They might start impacting your life more than you’d like them to, particularly if they start to influence how you feel about yourself.

 

The Limiting Effects of Depression

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. At its worst, it can be debilitating. According to the Stanford School of Medicine, “At least 10% of people in the U.S. will experience major depressive disorder at some point in their lives. Twice as many women as men experience major depression.”

Now, we’re not saying that the winter blues equal a major depressive disorder, however it’s important to understand that they can. Feeling down and like you want to curl up on the couch all weekend once in a while is fine.

 

Be on the alert, though, if you start to feel like you can’t shake it!

When things get you down and you’re in a funk, there are things you can do to lift your spirits. It’s not easy, so start with small changes that can make a huge difference in how you feel. Here are some effective ways you can deal with the winter blues.

 

Therapeutic Help

Winter Blues

I hope by now you’ve had the chance to meet with a licensed therapist. If you haven’t, well, at least you’re here and perhaps considering it. You don’t need to be dealing with major trauma, divorce, or some other disruptive life event to get something out of therapy.

Therapists are trained to help you see patterns and work through life’s issues. Sometimes that involves dealing with some of the heavier stuff. Even for the small stuff, talking to a therapist is a fantastic way to identify what’s triggering the winter blues.

It may be your work schedule, the fact that you’re not getting enough sun, whether you’re exercising, or if you’re not spending sufficient time around friends and loved ones. Having a trained therapist sit and work with you on ways you can fight off the winter blues is time well spent.

 

How Diet Matters

In a new January 2020 article from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Monique Tello talks about how vital self-care is to helping depression. 

Diet, she says, is often a neglected part of self-care. There is overwhelming evidence that a healthy diet helps prevent poor mental health.

Take a look at what you’ve been eating for the past week or so and think about whether your current bout with the winter blues can be traced back to your diet. 

Sometimes, people have certain allergies to foods, and they eat them anyway. 

Other times, people use eating disorder behaviors and go extreme when it comes to sugar reduction and / or binging and purging behaviors. Remember, we do not advise eating disordered behaviors under any conditions! 

 

Keep It Moving

Exercise should be another major component of your self-care plan. 

When you work out, you give your brain a much-needed break from the stress and worry that tends to fill up so much of our minds. 

winter bluesHigh-intensity interval training exercise can have a wonderful way of clearing out our heads because we’re so focused on the task at hand.

When you exercise, you’re also out of the house, and that increases the odds you’ll come in contact with other people! 

Getting outside and in nature or a gym is great for clearing those winter blues!

You’re also more likely to feel positive about yourself when you’re in the habit of exercising. 

You gain confidence in what your body can do and will feel generally stronger about yourself. That’s a wonderful boost to your confidence and mental health.

 

Be Positive!

I put this title there on purpose. It’s mostly a joke because we all know how frustrating it can be when we tell a friend or a loved one that we’re feeling down. “Just be positive!”, they often say, and we roll our eyes thinking they just don’t get it.

It’s never super helpful when someone gives blanket general advice when you’re experiencing the winter blues. That’s even truer when it’s something specific that’s got you down. On the other hand, making a concerted effort to be positive will have an impact on your mood and mental health.

Hanging around positive people and taking a break from any Debbie Downers in your life can help cut the winter blues short. Engaging in positive activities also helps. If you can’t stand doing the laundry, take a break and go out for a fun night with a friend. Make a goal to compliment people at work each day for a job well done.

As you take concrete steps to be around and spread positivity, you’ll find it creeping into you as well. It will go a long way in lifting your mood so you can charge back into life on your terms.

 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Eating Coach Control Issues West Hartford CT Hartford CT

National Donut Day

National Donut Day (GET HELP) isn't very exciting for those with eating disorders...

 

Story by Meaghan:

 

I want to tell you about this guy that  I met. I'm not going to use any names because I feel it could really ruin someones reputation. Him and I met about ten years ago. You could say that our relationship has been pretty serious, always ups and downs but when push comes to shove he really has always been there for me. I was a freshman when we met, he has taught me so much about life, love and happiness. He taught me about strength and persistence. He taught me how to love myself, even when I wasn't very lovable. He taught me self-care, taking time for myself. Throughout high school we had lunch together almost every single day. Once we went to college, things got kind of complicated you could say. I wanted to be alone and figure myself out, and he wanted to support me. I'd push him away and then call him back whenever I needed him. He comforted me when I was scared. He guided me when I felt I couldn't make decisions and always gave me the greatest advice. He'd constantly show me who my real friends are and push away every negative person that got in my way.

 

    He's great, he'd go shopping with me, out to eat, parties and even take me on little vacations. He's perfect right? The only thing is he insisted that we kept our relationship top secret. However I was treated like a princess, so it was worth it. Wouldn't you kill for a relationship like that? Having a man that stands by your side for ten years even if it's just in the role of a friend. Someone who is honest, who fights for you, who is patient and waits for you to discover yourself? Someone who is willing to wait for you and as soon as you are ready, he's back, like nothing ever changed.

 

    How lucky am I? I'd say very. I found my Prince Charming at such a young age and the best part is I knew he'd never, ever leave me. No matter how poorly I treated him. No matter how stubborn I was. No matter how many other relationships I got into, I always knew he'd be there. He would never let me be lonely. It's a dream come true.

 

   There's a flip side though. This guy, as much of a dream that he is also did some pretty terrible stuff to me. Do I keep him or do I let him go? That's where I need your help.

 

   When I say he taught me how to love myself, I mean- he told me what I needed to do to be beautiful. Make-up, hair-dye, tanning, gym memberships, and the latest 'diet' trends. When I was scared he'd teach me control, like "If you ever want to get anywhere in you life you have to learn to punish yourself when you do wrong." When I was getting dressed he'd tell me I'm ugly, and that clothes will never ever fit me. If I had a friend or a significant other he'd find ways to push them away because the only love I needed was his. He'd help my avoid awkward social gatherings and fight with my loved ones so I could ensure keeping him around. He HATED seeing me in dresses, it just wasn't a pretty site. He'd comment on how my calves were too big and my thighs shouldn't touch. He'd convince me that no one loved me, no one cared. Whenever I was alone he'd keep me company. Whenever I was with people he would always be right.there.

 

       He made me sick. I never wanted to leave my house, I couldn't work, I couldn't sleep. I was scared and nervous, I couldn't make a move without him noticing. I wasn't allowed to cry, or be angry, or be anything but "happy." If I felt anything else, he'd become enraged, he wouldn't leave me alone. he convinced me that I'm not worthy. I was fat. I was ugly and he always had to be number one in my life. He gave me what I wanted, attention. He was manipulative, he made me cling to love. He was intimidating, constantly reminding me that I had to earn the body image I longed for. He was always there for me, he loved me despite my longing to be beautiful, despite always failing him.

 

     Does this still sound like a fairytale? Is love like that worth it? If love means something different to everyone shouldn't I accept this man? I should love him back. Here's the scary thing though, I don't. I'd be lying to you if I told you I even wanted him around. Honestly I want him to leave forever.

 

   Don't you want to help me get away from this man? Once we break up would you want to watch chick flicks and eat ice cream out of the carton with me? Why could I so easily tell a friend to get away from a relationship like that but I'm stuck? Can people really convince you of all that? How many second chances do I have to give someone?

 

   Now, what if I told you this man doesn't really exist. What if I told you I completely made him up? Would you get me a one way ticket for the crazy train? Here's the thing. He does actually exist. His name is Ed. He lives in my brain and everything I just told you is very true. When I told you we met for lunch every day, I meant in the bathroom. Ed is an eating disorder. It's a mental illness. My body isn't perfect, and  I rarely go to the gym. But if I was dealing with a break up and you showed up with ice cream, I'd have to refuse because it's just not worth the extra calories. It's always there. I've been fighting this for months, you could even say years.

 

   Eating disorders are the cancer of the mental health world. The only difference is there isn't a chemo or radiation. It's just as deadly. For an eating disorder I am the chemo, the radiation, the strength and the cancer. It effects your muscles, slows your heart rate down, reduces your bone density and can even cause heart disease. Anorexia nervosa has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders are a daily struggle for ten million females and one million males in the United States.

 

   You see, I'm far from alone. This IS serious. Anyone can struggle. This "relationship" I'm in is just as serious as an abusive relationship, it's similar to having an addiction to heroin. Except I'm addicted to the feeling of having an empty stomach. I physically can't JUST have one more bite. I can't just STOP my desire to be a size 0.

 

    I can't just call the police and say I'm in danger. I have to become smarter than my own mind. I have to face challenges every day because I can't just run away from food. You can't escape your own mind, or your heart.

 

    I'm okay and I'm surviving. Every day brings new struggles and new accomplishments.It's not easy- but the moment you realize that recovery is worth it everything changes. The fight becomes worth it, the exhaustion becomes worth it. And in the end, you gave up a relationship and you may feel lonely. What you gain is irreplaceable though.

 

   You gain a clear mind, an adventurous spirit. You gain love- maybe not from others but for yourself, and the others will follow suit. Loving yourself means happiness, confidence, strength, courage and compassion. You gain pride, you gain insight, you learn how to actually fight.

 

   This doesn't mean Ed won't call, or text, or show up in a commercial, or even knock on your door he may even barge in. However he will find someone happy to be eating ice cream out of a carton because they can finally enjoy good company. Because that's my decision and getting rid of him, gives me back control of my life and after all isn't that what I wanted from the beginning?

 

   Be brave, take chances. Talk about your struggles with loved ones. Seek help, because being able to think and make decisions for yourself is worth far more than fearing life. I'm 24 years old, I'm no longer claiming to "have" an eating disorder, because I am far too busy recovering from one.