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November 19, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Mental Health

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Troubles late in life


I have phobias. I cannot drive just anywhere, I am overweight, and I worry about these things at night and have to take sleeping pills to get to sleep. I worry so much about being overweight but I still stop and buy candy bars on the way home and hide the wrappers in my pocket book, so my husband won't know I am eating them. I do not know why I just don't try harder to lose weight.

Ann, 70-year-old woman


Dear Ann,

My dear, you are 70 years old. Why should you not have a candy bar whenever you want one? It is time for you to retire from having to please other people, even your husband. Start a new life: from now on, pamper yourself a little. And if this involves eating candy, then do so with pleasure and without guilt.

You are fat. So what? In Pacific islands such as Samoa, a skinny woman is considered to be sick, and to look ugly. Fat women are admired. Our preoccupation with not being fat is just a fashion, a fad. It's not an absolute, but just what people are brought up to believe. Why should you allow other people's preferences to make you lose sleep? It's not as if you owed them anything! I am sure you have been a good person, and have done your duty to all those around you, and always worried more about them than about yourself.

Well, stop it. As I have said, at 70 you are allowed to retire. Now you need to be nobody's servant, not even your husband's, but your own person. And if anyone tells you that you are too fat, then you tell them to mind their own business. Better still, grin at them and pop a candy bar into your mouth.

Ann, you have also mentioned phobias, and a reliance on drugs for sleep. Now, these are serious matters, and I feel you should address them. Go to my web site http://anxietyanddepression-help.com/ and look at my book, "Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias".

Write to me at bobrich@bobswriting.com if you have read this answer. I am interested in your reaction.

And have a candy bar for me.


Bob Rich

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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