Hey everyone. This week’s topic is to do with PTSD and trauma, and how that relates to our Eating Disorder and our Self-Harm urges. So stay tuned. Now I’ve heard from many of you that you’ve either been diagnosed with PTSD, or you’ve been abused, or you’ve had a traumatic experience, and you’re wondering why your therapist always says it relates to your Eating Disorder or your Self-Harm, or you’re just curious how it does. And, to be honest, it’s different for everyone. Okay? So I’m just gonna throw that out there. It’s like our Eating Disorders and our Self-Harm, we all do it for different reasons, but at the heart of it, it’s always used as a way to cope. Okay? I hope that kinda makes sense. But I’ll get into it a little bit more. So. When something happens to us. Let’s say, I’m a five-year-old girl and I’m physically abused by my uncle. Okay? And I get beaten a lot. And I, as a little kid, don’t know what to do, don’t know who to tell about it, I might tell my mom and she’s like, “Stop making up stories”, or something, because she doesn’t know what’s going on, and so as a small child my brain is not completely developed. It doesn’t really know what to do with that information. So what do I do about it? This thing has happened to me and I’m feeling really bad, and I’m scared, and no one’s listening to me, and I feel all alone. Right? So I have to make it make sense. For me. So, sometimes, I have patients who will tell themselves, You deserve it. “I deserve this, it happened to me because I’m a bad girl, I’ve done something really bad, and so this is a punishment.” Okay? So that’s number one. We can think that it’s kind of a punishment, this is happening to me because I deserve it. Okay? Or, we can just turn it into anger. Anger within myself. “This is just so bad, I can’t believe I can’t stop this person, they make me so mad, I don’t know what to do, but I’m too weak to fight,” so the anger is kind of internalised. Which, I don’t know if this is getting too confusing, so let me know if it is in the comments and everything below, but when we turn our anger inward, it usually comes out in anxiety and depression. So if I’m just angry, and I have nowhere to put it, nobody to talk to about it, nobody to yell at about it, I will be mad at myself. And I will feel depressed and bad about myself. “I’m such a horrible person, nobody loves me, and everything is bad”, right? “And going out to see people makes me really like anxious, and I have trouble sleeping at night, cos all these thoughts are ruminating,”, right? So, we can either think it’s our punishment, or we turn our anger inward. Okay? So those are the two most common. Another one is anger outward. And we become kind of… in therapy, we’ll call it even um… That is just crazy.
[Kati is distracted by birds in the tree] I love nature, but sometimes… I’M FILMING? HELLO? Anyway. So. We’ll put anger outward, and we will lash out. We will get in fights at school, and we’ll get reprimanded, and we’ll play like aggressive sports, and we’ll take people out, because that’s our only outlet. Something bad has happened and I’m angry. And I need to be mad at someone. Right? And I can’t actually be mad at the person who’s doing this to me, so I’m gonna do it to eeeeeverybody else. Okay? So those are probably… those are the only three I’m really gonna touch on today, because I think those are the most common, and those are the things that you guys tell me are affecting you right now. And why is that? How do I stop it? What do I do? Well, first, if it’s a punishment, and we’re using our Self-Harm like, “I deserve this bad thing to happen, I’m a horrible person,” and whenever we “mess up”, whenever we don’t think we’re doing something perfectly, then we’re gonna punish ourselves. Okay? And the first thing I want you all to know, is just, when do you do this? What is it that you have to do perfectly? What is it that you deserve the punishment for? I want you to start noticing. And then, writing it down. Whether it’s typing in a journal, I know [ED blogger] Calorique you talked to me about this, and I know this is something we talk about, you don’t like to journal. And many of you don’t like to journal. So if you can blog about it, or if you can just Tweet it to me, or something, some way to get it out, we need to start figuring out what it is we’re doing and what we’re “deserving” this punishment for. Because then we can start talking back. I know you’re like “Kati, why do we always talk back to everything?” “Sweet mother of god, stop asking us to do this.” But, it really helps. Because usually, logically, we can start talking back about why we don’t need to be punished. If that makes sense. So just start noticing, start writing about it, and we’re gonna start to suss out if we “deserve” the punishment or not. Cos usually we don’t, and we have to start talking back to that. Now the second one, if we’re dealing with depression and anxiety, and we think really poorly of ourselves, and everything’s just negative, we need to start building a better body image, a better self-image, what we think about ourselves, building our self-respect. And if you haven’t checked out my video about building a better body image, I did it probably.. it’s been awhile, like six months ago? But it’s still really applicable, and I talk about putting up Post-It notes of positive things, and working on your recovery journal. Because we need positive information we can flip through when we’re having a hard time. When we’re up at three in the morning, “Who the heck am I gonna talk to? What am I gonna do?” We need to tap into that recovery journal, and be flipping through it, and fill it with positive information, motivational quotes, successes we’ve had, okay? And then, if we’re anger-out, we are pushing out, we are mad at everybody, we are yelling at everybody, we need to start noticing how that’s building up. Because usually, it’s an explosion. We will be sitting in class, we’re doing fine, we get out by our lockers and we’re like, “Shut the fuck up, what the hell is your problem, get off of me, blah blah blah” We lose our shit completely. But we go zero to sixty, like boom. And we feel as though we have no control, that we just fly off the handle. But really, it’s been building. I always tell my clients, we have so many poker chips, and every time somebody does something that, you know, frustrates us, that we get angry about, we lose our poker chips. And when we’ve already been abused and we have a lot of trouble and we’re already anger-out people, we don’t start with a lot of those poker chips, so we run out really quickly. And we fly off the handle really quickly. So we need to start noticing. Where are you storing that anger? Where is it building up? Do we clench? Clench our teeth? Do I swallow hard? Do I make fists? Do I white-knuckle my life? Am I doing that? We have to notice. Does my neck get sore? Where are you holding it, and how do you feel it building up? Okay? So this week, this is what my task is for you. I want you to start noticing. If you’ve had a trauma, if you’ve had a PTSD diagnosis and you’re thinking, “How is that relating to my Eating Disorder or my Self-Harm? “I cut when I want to, I purge when I want to. “I exercise, I binge…” whatever. We need to start connecting it. Cos it doesn’t just happen willy-nilly. So I want you to notice. Am I anger-out? Am I anger-in? Am I punishing myself? Start noticing. Because it’s at that point that then you can start working on it, and growing past it. Cos we can all move past it. Okay? Now I want you to leave a comment below, I’m gonna start the comment thread a little bit this week, and I want you to tell me how your PTSD is related to your Eating Disorder or Self-Harm. And you may give a little tidbit about how you figured that out. Because I know for a lot of us it’s hard to even start. So, what kind of… how does my PTSD, or my abuse past, affect my Eating Disorder or Self-Harm, and how did I notice that? Okay? So leave a little feedback. I am loving the conversation. Everybody interacting with one another is so exciting and it’s so helpful, you guys have no idea how amazing and helpful you are, so keep at it. And if you like this video give it a thumbs up, and I will continue on on these Self-Harm, Eating Disorder and trauma topics, because I know that affects a lot of us. And keep checking back, as we work towards a healthy mind and a healthy body. Subtitles by the Amara.org community