Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I’m a female in my early 20s and I’m having a really hard time “knowing my limit” when it comes to alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic because I don’t crave it and I probably only consume alcohol once a month, but when I do, I always go overboard. It seems impossible for me to drink “casually” or just have one beverage… but I want to be able to socially drink with my friends! How can I learn to stop before I become completely inebriated? – One is too many

Dear One, Alcoholism, generally speaking, is a chronic condition that typically includes a history of excessive drinking, a strong craving for alcohol, continued drinking despite repeated issues arising from alcohol abuse, and being unable to control drinking. This is a disease, which it doesn’t appear you have. What you do describe, however, is an equally-dangerous condition called binge-drinking. Binge drinking,…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Family

I worry about my brother. He’s over 40, overweight (basically obese) and has given up on love. He’s not lonely in the sense that he has strong bonds with his family and friends but has given up hope on finding that special someone. What can I do to help him? – Older Sister

Dear Older, I imagine that you, being an older sister, have always taken care of your younger brother (and any other younger siblings you may have). It is natural for older siblings to take on the role of surrogate parents. But even parents, at some point, must let go of their children and allow them to lead a life that…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Dear Dr. Faizal
Workplace

My company let go of my co-worker. For the past three months I’ve done his work and mine. When it came time for my review and wage increase I only received cost of living and not a merit increase. I feel this is unfair given all the work I’ve been doing. My boss is always thanking me for my work but I’m worried he’s been taking the credit at the executive table. What do I do? – Unhappy with Salary

Dear Unhappy, When we work for a company and are good at what we do, it’s only natural for us to want to feel appreciated for our time, energy and commitment to our employer. Appreciation can be expressed mostly in two ways: either in terms of a raise and/or being acknowledged openly among peers for the value one brings to…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I struggle with self-esteem issues. People think I’m very confident because I’m a bit of an extrovert but I have huge abandonment issues. I struggle with body image, confidence, self-worth, etc. I wish I was as confident as people think but I feel very misunderstood. What do I do? – Faking Confidence

Dear Faking, You need to slow down. If you were a client of mine and expressed yourself in this manner during a session, I’d ask you to first take a few deep breaths with me and then, when you were more relaxed, we’d explore the various issues that are creating discomfort for you at this time of your life. As…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Family

We finally told my mother-in-law that my husband and I are not going to have kids. She seemed to take it much better than we expected but she hasn’t been the same since. She and I were very close before we broke the news but something is very different now. I think she blames me for the decision we made together, as a couple. How do I make her understand that this is our choice? I miss our friendship. – No Kids Mom

Dear No, Most couples nowadays accept that they have options besides the conventional family structure, with a father, mother, and children. Today, some married partners prefer to nurture a family with only each other – an arrangement that allows them obvious benefits like more time for and with each other, more money saved for vacations (and other luxuries), etc. One…

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Family

I’m ready to father a child but my wife wants to wait. She is very serious about her career and does not want to put it on hold. I understand that, but I don’t to wait much longer. Sometimes I joke about getting a surrogate or adopting but she doesn’t think it’s funny. I love my wife and her priorities are my priorities. But what if she decides she never wants kids? – Ready to be daddy

Dear Ready, Bringing a child into the world can be a very joyous experience – everything from the conception, to the first ultrasound, to feeling the first kick, to holding and making first eye contact with your son or daughter – if, and only if, both partners have similar wishes and needs. It’s obvious that you are eager to take…

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Intimacy

I am a 29-year-old male and I have had sex before, but with my current girlfriend I cannot seem to be able to do it. She is a virgin, and we have tried a few times but I can’t seem to be able to enter her. Could you please help us? – I’m sexy and I know it

Dear I’m Sexy, From your question, it appears that you believe that your girlfriend, being a virgin, has something to do with you both not consummating your relationship sexually. I am presuming here that you are “unable to enter her” because your partner’s vagina is not expanding enough to allow your erect penis to begin intercourse. Enjoying successful and mutually-gratifying…

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