PTSD – Eating Disorders and Self-Harm – Kati Morton, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body! | Kati Morton

PTSD – Eating Disorders and Self-Harm – Kati Morton, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body! | Kati Morton

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 community

100 thoughts on “PTSD – Eating Disorders and Self-Harm – Kati Morton, Healthy Mind, Healthy Body! | Kati Morton”

  1. I'm back! So heres my story, (short version).when I was 16 someone I knew was killed and I went kinda through all 3 things, I was pissed …then I turned it on other people bcuz no one stopped it & I was supposed to be there when that event took place…so I thought I should have stopped it.and tried to punish they are related.I think I was like that for so long but then my ed kind of numbed all that out and still does, which is why Im always back n forth w/ fixing it. make sense?

  2. Hey Kati I was hoping you could help me with how to tell my counselor that I've been bingeing and purging. I've felt with other behaviors and she already knows them but I don't know how to start a conversation about binging??

  3. This was a great video, and I've always been curious about this topic… It does make me feel a little… Unworthy, I suppose, of the help I'm getting for my SH. I don't have any traumatic backstory, other people need this help more than I do.

  4. I feel like I am unable to explode on anyone which makes me not know where to put all that anger, so there's just this thing boiling inside me… and I try to not complain about it to other people because I feel like I'm just going to annoy people with my problems. This video helped me realize that and puts some reasoning behind my urges to SH.

  5. i dont know for sure if i have ptsd.. i had ocd as a kid – serious family problems at the time. after two years it went then it came back recently in a difrent form but i dont know if i would say i was traumatised :/.. & i'm not sure how it relates to my ocd. fear of not being good enough – meeting society's standards of being tiny and beautiful? i dunno.

  6. I haven't been diagnosed with PTSD but with the other mental health issues I have e.g. bipolar and BPD I tend to get angry so so easily! Sometimes it takes a while for someone to make me angry but other times it can take one comment. For instance i was out with my friends on Saturday night and someone called me ugly and because of passed experiences I flipped out on him. It was partly due to alcohol but it was also the memories that flooded back to me when he said that! xoxo

  7. I'm definitely a punishment/anger in person. While I was being abused I was always told that I was worthless and that things were my fault, and that had a lot to do with convincing me that I deserved to have bad things happen to me. I also have a hard time being mad at other people, and anytime someone does something to make me angry I tend to get mad at myself for "making it happen." It's taken me a long time to become aware of this stuff. I don't like to journal, so I blog instead. =)

  8. @Kati Morton true but then where do you go from there?and can't it serve more than one purpose? I've known why I don't want to stop and why its there but also my doctor asaid she thinks Ive had it for a long time but that event kicked it into high gear. I still can't get that therapist to call me back

  9. Random question, but how can someone have both anxiety and depression? Aren't they linked to the same neurotransmitter? Don't you have one when you have excess and the when you have deficiency? I'm so confused about that! Isn't that neurotransmitter also linked to ED's too?

  10. not sure if my reply went through-I was on my phone. If it did please ignore this, sorry! I know thats the purpose but what now? Where do I take it from there? cuz I mean no one will call me back!(ughh!) (I should fly to cali and find you! haha!) Plus my doctor had said she thinks I may have had the ed for a while but that event kind of kicked it into hight gear I guess. So even though that is why I don't let it go I still don't know how it started…if that even matters…what do you think?

  11. Thank you so much for making a video on PTSD. I guess my ED and SH are part of me trying to punish myself for the sexual abuse as I feel it was my fault and I deserve it. I am working through the trauma with a therapist and visiting the ED clinic, so hopefully I will get to a place where I do not feel the need to punish myself. Thanks again for this video.

  12. I'm sorry i keep comment bombing this video…. Okay so i figured out what triggers me…. what am i supposed to do about my ed/ sh once i figure that out? like am i just supposed to be aware of it and continue on with the behaviors or am i supposed to go and try and stop myself from giving in?

  13. yep.. i thought so too. but i still dont think i was traumatised thats why i cant wrap my head around it.. maybe it was all those years of gettin yelled at n blamed for things i didnt do but i got ocd when i was 10.. is it even possible to still be effected or have ptsd as a 21 year old? :/

  14. thank you for making these videos they have help me alot.I have been suffering with ednos for 9 years since i was elleven 🙁 and i have never had any treatment there is not a lot of therapist in iceland that work with eating disorders 🙁 I was wondering if you could make a video that shows what a normal person eats in a day because i have been sick for so long that i am not sure what is normal and what is restricting and thank you so much for these videos 🙂

  15. Navigating this right now. It depends on how much Education you plan on doing in the UK. I would look into NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). Also I'm guessing if you want to work in California you want to live there as well. So applying for recidency really helps. You have to live in California for a year first and prove your going to stay. Thats why doing at least grad school would help alot. Because as long as you didn't go home on breaks the time would count.

  16. pt1It took me a while to admit how my ED started. I used to tell my therapist it was because I wanted to do well in gymnastics. But that was only partly true. My step dad started my fear of food. My sister was in the hospital alot so I would be left with him. I only got food when I did certain things. Soon I figured if I refuse the food I don't have to do anything. But then I also started to get alot of praise from my Gym coach. Restricting seemed like the best plan. Till I got injured that is.

  17. pt2Then I wasn't able to hide behind the gymnastics excuse. So I started getting the third degree from my doctor and mom. So I started to eat a bit to get them off my back and then cut from the fear of what might happen after. But when the anxiety builds too much I go back to restricting.
    As for talking to people at 3am. I find twitter to be quite helpful. 🙂

  18. yes, it makes sense. I will see someone once they respond to me! I was thinking about talking to someone at my school or my doctor bcuz I'm running out of options with no one returning my calls or emails & there only being 2 in the area that specializes in eds keeps me low on options. My room mate has been on me all day about telling my parents but that is my last choice.we'll see I guess. You're awesome Kati. seriously if you or these videos werent here…I'd be in a baaad spot right now. <3

  19. I really appreciate the work you do with self harm. I would love to see more about it, but no matter what, your videos have helped me out. My issue more so is that I have a couple people to talk to about life and its struggles, but I don't know how the heck I am suppose to bring the topic up. Hey suicide is on my mind, let's call my best friend? DBT has pretty much saved my life. Anyone in the MA area, I have some good places/tips for you.

  20. i use my ed as a punishment for not being brave enough to. fight back or even speak about. the abuse i suffered plus i have low self esteem and hate my body because he loved it so much it disgust me to see myself knowing my body is what truned him on so there for it. was my fault

  21. is it possible to develop ptsd from years of arguing with parents, continuously.. and then 5 months of not talking..?
    it has been suggested that i have depression and anxiety, and have self harmed for 3.5 years now, although i am finally seeking help and should have my first counselling session with a proper organisation next week.. off topic, sorry, but i personally just think i show quite a few of the symptoms but didn't think it was possible to come from that sorta thing?.. <3

  22. i think my eating disorder developed after feeling that i had lost control and could not stop the abuse from happening, and as the abuser used my body the way he wanted with me feeling helpless, somewhere the eating disorder voice came as a way to give me that sence of control over food, calories, my wieght…
    you also touched on a very important subject; i belive the guilt and shame also led me to want to punish myself, my child mind didn't understand and so i blamed myself for the abuse. xoxo

  23. Thanks Kati, I'm perpetually curious about everything…
    (Oh, and I just meant to delete that one comment telling you my other username, ya don't have to delete all of them 🙂 )

  24. My step-father physically abused me from when I was 13 until I was 18 and left home. I started presenting with symptoms of Anorexia when I was about 15, and I had already been self harming since I was 11 because I was neglected by my mom after my dad left. I blamed myself for him leaving and it pushed me over the edge. The abuse by my step dad made me angry inwardly and outwardly. I hated myself, which started the ED, and hated everyone else too. My mom knew about the abuse and did nothing.xxxx

  25. Thanks Kati. I'm moving to South Africa in April to live with my dad, and he is going to get me therapy out there. I'm just trying not to get any worse in the meantime because there is nothing for me here therapy wise. I'm not thin enough or light enough to be referred by my doctor, and can't afford private health care. I'm so grateful for your videos, they are helping me so much. Thankyou!xxx

  26. I'm glad too. I'm pretty scared though..okay I'm terrified:S
    Thanks for your help, can I ask you a question? I think I have rosacea, and I've had it since I was little on and off. Could it have been made worse by my e.d? It's been really bad the last few days.xx

  27. Okay, thanks Kati. It's just so hard. My dad didn't know, and my stepmom had to tell him because I couldn't tell him by text. He was so upset. And he blames himself:'(
    Okay thanks for your help. I'm not even sure it's rosacea..I just keep getting really flushed and blotchy cheeks. So embarrassing:/ xxx

  28. Yes I can't wait to be out there with him. Thankyou so much for talking to me. I hope you get paid a lot in LA for what you do! You're amazing! Thanks:) xxxx

  29. I have PTSD for a variety of reasons. It increases my issue with cutting and not eating. I stop eating because memories of what happened cause me to think of my body as bait so there must be as little of it as possible. The cutting becomes a problem after a flashback, when I find a blocked of memory, or when I dissociate. Cutting helps me reign myself in and find a cold sense of peace.

  30. My eating disorder and self harming is how I cope with my past. I feel like those are the only 2 things that I can control. I couldn't control what happened to me growing up so this is how I cope. I tend to internalize everything. I also like you said, feel like I deserve this just like I deserved what happened to me. There are so many reasons why I have my eating disorder and why I cut.

  31. I will download in later tonight. I keep telling myself I hate what I am doing to my body yet I am not so sure if I am ready to give everything up. Its the fear of the unknown..not knowing what life will be like with out those coping mechanisms. For me giving up my eating disorder and cutting is like losing a piece of me even though I don't let these issues define me as a person just like my scars. Each one just tells another part of my story.

  32. Hey I have PTSD and an ED. One of the things I struggle with is feeling dirty. I get physical flashbacks where I can feel the abuse over and over and over again on my body and I need to purge/sh/binge etc. to feel clean…to be able to sit in my skin again, if even for a little longer. How can I feel clean when I feel it happening? Even if I know it's not? And it comes out of nowhere. Thanks for this video…and for you!

  33. hi kati i only started cutting myself when i began to open up. it was the worst and everyone carried on but i couldnt i didnt know how???? i seen counsilors etc. felt blame too which i had since for ever. things are not as bad but i need more help so im greatfull for your site. my anger, where do i store it i keep quite and i guess keep it in.

  34. I used to think that suicide was the only way sense that's what my father did. last year was the last time I self harmed, but I think about it all the time. I want to believe everything wasn't my fault but I do, sense my family never lets me forget. i moved out and into my boyfriends to help myself but none of my family listens. they just blame me for things or they are always putting me down. its hard when your family hates you and your boyfriends family cares more about you.

  35. My friend just died…I definitely consider that to be a trauma. I have anorexia and I don't want to eat because I'm sad that he's gone. But I KNOW that if he were alive today, that he would NOT want me to harm myself in any way, because he valued me and thought that I was an important person in his life… on the Earth! So that's one thing that keeps me from starvation: remembering that he thought I was an important person… and that I should stick around!

  36. I know my ptsd and eating disorder are related. I was raped when I was 22, and that is when I started restricting, then got sick had to stop that. Anger has built and built inside me for years I am 35 now. I just want to hit something, smash something I don't know. If I had been a stronger person and I hadn't frozen in the moment I wouldn't hate myself so much. I gained a lot of weight and so I hated myself more so I started purging, and purging. I know I need help, but I am scared. I am scared of what is inside me, I blow up at people at the worst times.

  37. I was severely bullied for a year became depressed. Parents were fighting all the time and I didn't have any friends at my new school. I developed anxiety. I did a presentation about something and I kept saying "it's just a wall" and I have done any presentations bc I get flashback. I also get flashbacks of the bullying, anxiety attacks and times when I selfharmed. Is this normal? Please answer

  38. I think this is such an informative video. It's especially good because I recognized a lot of shit (pardon my French) that I use as well from this video. I turn a lot of my anger inward, become depressed/suicidal, and then I used to punish myself through cutting. For a brief period after the first trauma, I would snap at anyone and everyone and couldn't control my anger. I got in so much trouble. It happens now and then (the outward anger) but not as frequently, thank god.

  39. This video made me burst into tears.
    It also made me laugh (when you yell at the birds).
    I have a video where I yell at my parrot.
    I think birds love being in YouTube videos.

  40. So what about just plain old fear playing a role in SH and trauma? The "anger in", "anger out, and "punishing self" don't seem to fit me. I am always terrified of everyone and thing and I think I use SH to control that …. Does that still somehow go back to the three things you discussed or can fear be by itself?

  41. How do you know if you have PTSD?
    If you've been abused , but not dealt with it in or out of therapy 
    and your an angry person dose that mean you can have it.
    Dose smell and touch triggers count, what about nightmares related to it?

  42. I deal with all of those. I want to try to become a therapist when I get older and Kati really inspires me to try to become one because she seems to help people so much and she makes people who watch this feel comfortable.

  43. I lost  mine mom this past summer and I been self-harm when I was 24 years old and I have foods prob and I cutting myself when I ate foods and I hated living and I want to cut all the fats out of me

  44. Are piercings a form of self harm?  I've recently become obsessed with piercings.  I never really was before the trauma or PTSD.

  45. I believe I self-harm sometimes because it acts as a form of making me not dissociate. I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorder. The dissociation becomes distressing that sometimes, though rarely, I will self harm in an attempt to "wake up". I have not self harmed in a few weeks as I noticed this and have been using a rubber band instead. I would get scared of the dissociation and then cut and for a bit feel like I was in control and present. I use to punish myself for being "bad." I found this out through therapy. I was not able to solve my reasonings on my own. I am currently still in counseling and working through all of the trauma I've been through. Thank you for this video it helped me.

  46. I self-harmed after an abuse-situation, because I was really losing it and couldn't find another way to let my anger and frustration out. But that was just the first few times. After that, I did it because I couldn't get myself to reach for help, so I wanted the people around me to notice how I felt inside, so that they could help me.
    I don't know how I figured out, that this was related to the traumatic situation i had. I just did. I never self-harmed befor that incident, and I always wondered how someone could want to self-harm, until I also got to this point.

  47. Hi,  after 3 years of searching, here is a young lady who says it as it is. Says mostly what many experience and in a verbal language that is understandable . I am anorexic,  not because I want to be thin ; but  because the person who buys my food, I loathe.   If I go out to eat, and rarely do ..  due to economic reasons .. I eat like a hog !   Well done Jessica and Kati.  YES.

  48. I go through on/ off periods with how frequently and strongly I am getting flashbacks, nightmares and body memories. During the times that it's bad, it's really bad and the days that I can't take off during that time, I'm a horrible mess. No sleep, insomnia related ptsd, nightmares that leave me more exhausted than when I closed my eyes, flashbacks and body memories interrupting my work and conversations with colleagues and triggers that usually come from certain smells, sounds and who is around me and the number of them.

    All of this leaves me utterly exhausted and I honestly don't know how my body manages to keep going when this is happening because my coping mechanism is to stop eating.
    I do this for several reasons. The one I am always telling people, is the one that is easiest to understand for people who have very little concept of ptsd or those who I know won't give me an argument or challenge, will accept it or I don't want to explain my self and my story to; and that is that it's an element in my life that I can control utterly and completely.
    When my sanity is falling around my ankles, one thing I can control, that is very difficult to control, is eating. Our bodies are designed to make it very hard for us to go without food; hunger, light headedness, stomach pains, cramps. As well as the pain in my stomach giving me something to focus on other than the flashbacks and body memories going on, I say to myself; if i can fight this extremely difficult thing and succeed, I have control over it and that gives me just enough to hold onto to get through the shitstorm weeks. Makes me feel like if I have the strength to be able to control this, I can get through this tough time.

    Another strong reason I don't eat is that I'm always somewhat nauseous during these weeks. and nausea itself is a trigger for me and I try to avoid intensifying the sensation. It can get to a point that I'm so hungry and I say to myself to eat for my health and I'll prepare it  all and have it there in front of me, stomach growling, food laden fork in hand and I just can't do it. I just can't bring myself to eat it because I know what it brings. If I don't throw it up, it sits in my stomach and the trauma emotions that come with that certain bodily feeling are not worth it. I know these times always pass and I say to myself that I haven't passed out or collapsed yet, I just need to wait for these weeks to have done their thing.

    Another reason is that when I'm so exhausted by these times, the only thing keeping me going is my backup reserves. The only reason I believe I'm able to hold conversations and get on with work is that there is nothing in my stomach. No food, no blood. When you eat stomach, blood and energy in your body goes to your stomach to help you digest. If I eat something, my brain power drops to 50% and I get very tired and sluggish and can drop off, this is fine when I'm at home. But when there are people around, I can't stand to let my guard down like that. Also the feeling of doziness and lethargy, inability to think and move properly feels like I've been drugged and again the trauma emotions that come with that feeling are too strong for me to handle when I'm in these states.

    There is a very minuscule part of me that enjoys the punishment of being so damn hungry, but it is tiny and is only there because in some small way, I feel I should suffer for the terrible mistakes I made and the awful things I did. But it's so small, it's like a grain of sand among mountains. But I'm not denying it's existence.

    I'm aware that my food restriction is not healthy and a not so good way of dealing with my issues when I'm already so close to dropping the ball, but I have only recently started facing my PTSD properly with therapy and treatment and there will soon be a time when these measures are a distant memory.
    This blog of Kati's is about, healing and sharing and creating understanding on subjects that hold much stigma and judgement. Whether my actions are right or wrong is irrelevant in this context, I'm simply answering the question when have you noticed self harm tendencies and can you share how they are related to your ptsd. I'm sharing my experience so that knowledge on the subject can grow and spread.

    All my love and warm energies to anyone out there who is suffering mental illness, you're never alone and you're freaking champions for fighting this far. <3<3<3

  49. "Tell me how your PTSD is related to your… self harm."

    I've figured this out a few weeks ago, actually…

    Sometimes when I'm about to self harm, I stop and think.. WHY am I doing this to myself.. well, I feel terrible, but why? Why do I feel so bad? Why do I want to hurt myself?

    I self harm by cutting & I have flashbacks from past sexual abuse.

    I've figured out, through a lot of thinking and Paying attention to my thoughts and feelings, that I self harm Because of my PTSD. I have caught myself "in the moment", when I wanted to self harm, and I have realized that I was cutting to stop a flashback, or to make a flashback "go away/stop".

    I figured out what triggered my urges to self harm (usually a flashback), and what triggered my flashbacks (feelings, places, thoughts, etc). I kind of gauged my emotions and thoughts at the time of an urge… IDK if this make sense… but yeah.

    Success story time! 🙂

    One time, I was successful in NOT self harming to stop a flashback.
    It was horrible, but I did it. I went through the flashback during lunch at school, and I just kind of… sat there, staring at my food. I wanted to cut so badly, but I forced myself to stay in my chair. I tried to ground myself by squeezing my empty milk carton in my fist, and it worked, well, sort of… I started to return to "reality", but It took a while for my body to return to the present moment.

    Ever since that success at NOT cutting to stop a flashback, I have been trying to stay clean from cutting. I did make it to a week clean, but I've relapsed soon after that. I have been trying my hardest to find other ways to cope.

    One thing that helps me cope with a Flashback, is to ground myself.
    I focus on something that is part of the present moment, such as focusing on someone talking, or focusing on a specific object in the room. At times, I have counted the seconds as they went by, focusing on the passage of time in the present day.
    Sometimes I have to literally TELL myself to stay in the present (thinking, I am here I am now. This flashback is not real. … It's weird, but it helps me).

  50. Hi Kati, and anyone and everyone. I have/had binge eating disorder from about age 6. I didn't know it was an eating disorder or officially diagnosed until 4 years ago. I am 23, and I lost my mother at age 12. That was one of my biggest traumas I faced. I thought about six months before learning about my eating disorder that something was really wrong with me. I thought it had to do with health. I have since learned that I have PTSD. They have been together hand in hand for years. So I didn't really self diagnose myself.

  51. I wish I could talk to you one on one. I've been struggling with my e.d. I realized since I was about 7. I am now 30. a lot of what you said in the p.t.s.d video hit home. I've been to renfrew. I've lost a husband and am about to lose a boyfriend because if this. I can't keep going to renfrew , I have no money. I am lost. so lost. :'(

  52. I only hurt myself once a long time ago. I have cptsd and INFP. I eat when I'm bored. When I'm anxious I eat so I feel full and can sleep. Maybe to release endorphins associated. I was staved during childhood abuse and had extra condition that if I got caught stealing food I had to watch him choke my sister until she was purple. I was 10 then I'm 46 now

  53. Katie, why do I watch and feel like u gave no real solutions? I need real solutions and suggestions that really help. what do u do when your so stressed and pissed full of anxiety that u black out with rage and anger??????????? what does it mean when u can't remember anything including your child hood. every thought and memory is a struggle to hold on to. why?

  54. hi so i guess this seems a little bit late but anyway. i use to self harm when i was in high school and even when i was out of school. for me it was a form of release. i come from a bit of an abusive home, step parents, crazy mom ect, and when i found myself in that space of just wanting to cut or hurt myself, it was because i needed an outlet. it was like there was so much hurt inside, i was so super sad, that it needed to come out somehow, and i couldnt talk to anyone, i was shy and embarrased and i came from a small tonw and i was scared people would talk. so i cut. it was making the inside pain, be outside pain, which is easier to deal with… so that was my reason..

  55. Katie,
    watched your vid found it interesting. However, I wanted more info on how to stop ptsd getting triggered. I had been in recovery for one year however it got triggered and I have no idea why. I feel like i am slipping back to my old ways of dealing. I self harm, starve and use laxatives with diaretics as well as push all my treatment team away and get snappy at them for trying to help. I was hoping your vid would have talked about ways to overcome and handle all three types of behaviors the inward outward and self punishment. I am asked often what triggered my ptsd again and all I can say is I don't know. Like I said I did find your vid slightly interesting but not as useful as I was hoping. I was looking for solutions dealing with triggers and not knowing what they are since I came from another country and was beaten for first seven years of my life so here I am in a different country and my ptsd gets triggered left and right without knowing why or what triggered it.

  56. +Kat Lyons I feel so sad for you. A trigger could be unconscious(too painful) a smell, a sound, a similar situation. Always try to concentrate on your breathing firstly. Deep slow easy breaths in and out. About 5-10 breaths. Then try to observe colors, shapes, objects, sounds all in your present environment. That is what I call becoming present and becoming grounded. Have you ever been to a psychologist? One most likely can help you. Explore talk therapy along with EMDR. Make sure your therapist is well trained and experienced in administering EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Repolerization) I highly recommend EMDR for helping PTSD. They use it with war veterans with PTSD also.

  57. I feel like cutting is a way for me to take my mental pain away for a little while and make it physical instead. it makes me feel in control of my pain.

  58. That happened to my friend. He's parents were drug addicts and his father was very physically abusive. That's when he started cutting, when he's Dad went into recovery so he wasn't getting hit anymore but he thought he still deserved a 'punishment'. My friend came back from inpatient and I want to help. How should I?

  59. Hello Kati. I was diagnosed with ptsd after my ex husband was arrested, convicted, and sentenced for 2 counts of solicitation of 1st degree premeditated murder of me over custody battle of our son. I was his victim of dv in every way for years prior to this. I became an alcoholic to numb my anxiety. I did seek professional help, but hid my alcoholism for years. I am now 4 months sober, went through intensive outpatient treatment, now am in after care, go to a women's AA group and have a sponsor . I have now turned to anorexia and am sought professional help sooner. For me, the anorexia has replaced my alcohol addiction. I know it is self harm. I want to have control over my body, some control. it is also self punishment. I have so much shame. I know I am the survivor, yet I feel shameful because I know my future is so unknown when he gets out of prison and I can't do relationships or friendships for feat of getting hurt over and over. Kati, please contact me via email. [email protected]

  60. I love your videos darling, you're also very funny. Passionate about your field, you attract like a magnet. Thank you for your video. Cheers!

  61. Its weird watching you in a video like this because (especially evidenced by the cliche examples you use) because of how peppy and neurotypical you seem. Helpful vid though..kinda. I watched the whole thing but nothing really stuck with me. I felt like I didnt get any straightforward advice, besides to journal.

  62. i am so anxious and nervous that i cant eat at times as i feel i'm gonna be sick. have to resort to soup or smoothies at times or salads. bread and meat are a no no.

  63. You're just an angel who came here to try to explain what so many people ignore. I've watched your videos and u r very understanding and chose ur words properly. Thank you for that

  64. Your analogy about poker chips reminds me a lot of the stress diathesis model, which has helped some in understanding why things have affected me more than the same things have others.
    My ptsd relates back to my s/h because at some level I've learnt to believe that what happened to me was my own fault, so I deserve to hurt. Which is why when I s/h I feel a deeper satisfaction the worse it is. Im lucky I have v open dialogue with my psychologist so I was able to take it to therapy that I'd realised the way my s/h makes me feel has changed and with it the frequency and duration and we were able to pin it down as both punishment and anger

  65. Responce to the final question in the video:

    My self-harm/self-punishment is connected to my PTSD, BPD, and anger issues connected (I think) to my childhood diagnosis of ODD – I'm 27, so it's not a diagnosis I have anymore on paper, though I notice it (seemingly my ODD) pops up every so often still, and anger from my BPD.

    To be honest, all of my disorders feed off of each other, so to speak, and intertwine. I can only identify two big life-related triggers/reasons for my behaviors.

    When it's likely my PTSD and some of my self-hate symptoms from my BPD, I self-punish. On overly emotional days, where I can't pin-point specific events for my feelings if need to do this, I often notice a large umbrella reason of the fact that I simply exist in the world (often also there when I can more narrow events down for reasons). While it has never truly been voiced specifically, as I'm not even sure my family is aware they were doing this themselves through their behaviors, I have felt compared to my younger sister to the point of feeling entirely unwanted and replaced by her. "I'll never be good enough. I'm not worthy of this life," are thoughts that often run through my mind. I've honestly been chronically suicidal for 14 years of my life, though that has even more things behind that connected to having depression since I was a toddler, but that's another thing entirely. Part of my self-punishment, though, comes from being to afraid to attempt suicide, as odd as that may sound. "I'm not good at living, and I can't even follow through with this. I'm an ultimate failure," is the best way to explain that factor right now. "If I can't die for them, then I should at least suffer. They deserve better than me," add in for people who actually do care about me, "They just don't see how much easier life will be without me for them yet."

    My best friend and her husband/my other friend are my roommates and know that I think this way and self-punish because of it. 99%-100% of my close friends all have similar struggles, so we do understand eachother and talk about this stuff on occasion.
    With the restricting of food and some of the other things I will restrict myself from (example: not wearing a jacket in 30°F weather, restricting liquids, etc), on really stressful days with it, when it's at it worst and trying to fight the thoughts myself make the self-punishment thoughts stronger in the end, I will ask my roommates for "permission" to eat, drink, etc. I do know that I automatically have "permission" and they also know, though sometimes I need to voice why I'm asking, "is it okay to do this? Was I good?" to them or they'll over-worry about it. They work retail/pharmacy tech (so, crazy customers for 8-10 hrs most days. Lol) jobs and have anxiety and such too, so we all get scatter-brained with each others' "quirks" from time to time. They make sure I already know I don't need permission, as I do have some psychosis – referencing delusions right now, specifically – that can pop up when very very stressed. They'll just say, "yeah, you can do that." And/or "you don't need to ask, but yes." And it will re-assure me and lessen any guilt I may get if I try to push past my "mental illness brain" – as I call my illogical thoughts – with my "logical brain" – how I label the part of my mind that knows I'm sick and have a skewed way of thinking. I'm not sure if it's a "healthy" way to go about this, but it works for me right now. It's not perfect, obviously, but it helps.

    As for my anger causing self-harm/punishment… when I get triggered to a certain point, my adrenaline will spike to physically painful levels. I generally can tell now when I shouldn't be around other people now, unlike when I was younger and would take out my anger on my sister. I try to not hurt other people by taking it out on myself instead, though most of this is walking and primal screams, I also do other – not so healthy – things. Not cutting or burning, but still rather self-violent things. This can be also connected to my PTSD and BPD as much as my other disorders. My sister has PTSD as well from growing up sickly and being in and out of hospitals, and has similar adrenaline rushes with it. The scary thing for me (with my own stuff) is how much damage I can cause from the strength the rush gives me. My sister and I go into to full fight mode, as if we just got thrown into a fight to the death, sometimes. When I had less of an understanding of how and why this happened to me, I easily crushed my sister's muscles in her arms in one hand…holding back. I gave her another source for her PTSD with this. We both understand eachother a bit better. We're both terrified of one another, but generally try to respect our space. We live sperately, so that helps, of course.
    This internalizing of my anger is in the hopes to avoid breaking someone's neck in the heat of the moment. I NEVER want to hurt ANYONE like I used to again! Add in my dissociation (amnesia type), and I am TERRIFIED of what could happen if I ever truly lose control. That being said, I don't have anything I actively do to cope with this part of my self harm right now. I've had a great suggestion given to me from someone I've met that has similar violence issues that I want to try though. He uses a boxing bag to hit and get his anger out safely. I've been told a pillow growing up, but it doesn't have enough density to help lessen the actual adrenaline rush. Has anyone else delt with this? I'm curious to learn and try different coping skills for this type of self-harm motivator.

  66. I noticed when my PTSD came up I would scratch I tried to stop and noticed my eating paterns where unhealthy

  67. I'm a bit late lol, but I just realized that my self harm helps me to release the pain from years of sexual abuse. Not an excuse, and it's something I am working very hard on to not do, but there are times were I do get lost.

  68. I’m thirty… I didn’t know this. Thank you… it’s hard for me to love myself and I didn’t realize my caretaker as a child REALLY distorted my view of my own self even though other people saw her as SUCH a wonderful person.
    I have to go rescue my inner child now, or I will end up killing my own self slowly with drawn out hatred that I didn’t even know wasn’t normal. I was felt so much different than the people around me. I’m so glad to know that I’m not crazy and that I deserve to be the child of God that he made me to be. Loved capable of feeling worthy and kind to myself and others.

  69. I realized I started finding little ways to harm myself when I was 8 as a way to make the internal pain external, because it's not seen as real if it's just internal. I've recognized that it's shifted to a feeling of not being good enough so it's punishment, just like being lashed out at because the person couldn't handle their emotions, even though I didn't do anything.
    It's also when I started struggling with food. I think a part of it is because the kitchen was a common place for the situation to happen, mixed with being told I couldn't eat specific things because they were planned for something else and now I struggle with eating or going into the kitchen.

  70. these are helping me and seeing you have 50 vids on PTSD makes me feel a sense of relief i just want to understand myself im diagnosed with ptsd and full of anger still years on

  71. I think I have PTSD from cutting. Because I never knew it was wrong and when I hear people talking about it or showing me cuts or I smell blood. I have a panic attack

  72. I think my eating disorder really stemmed out of 2 different traumas at different times in my life, and I had different flares following each of the events. After my dad died when I was 12, I withdrew from my mother, and she did the same with me, as she was also struggling to cope. It was pretty slow at first, but eventually I was using it as a way I felt control over my life since I had no control over previous situations. I also felt a lot of responsibility because I was the one that found him, and so it was a way of punishing myself for that, kind of like slowly committing suicide. Later, when I was 18, 3 of my friends and I almost died in a horrific car accident. I was the one driving, and though the accident wasn’t my fault, I felt responsible. The accident left me permanently disabled, and a lot of anger and high came along with that. I was bed bound for months and on tons of medications, so no one really noticed that I was slipping deep into depression and was suffering from horrible nightmares and visions from PTSD. I definitely turned inward, and my anxiety was at an all time high. I had no control over my recovery, so my eating disorder was worse than ever, which made recovery come to a grinding halt. I lost tons and tons of weight and had a really warped body image. I’d like to say that I’ve now recovered, but truthfully I haven’t. There have been other, smaller traumas that have compounded other ones, and I have a really serious flare at least once every 4 or so months. I think I use my disorder as kind of a “cop out suicide” because for me, it’s essentially a manifestation of my suicidal thoughts that I don’t have to take ownership of

  73. this definitely makes sense. i felt sexually abused by my father when i hit puberty and i got obsessed with staying thin, developing an ED. it later occurred to me that it’s probably because i thought as long as i could look pre-pubescent, he wouldn’t see me as attractive and wouldn’t do anything. i think if these types of triggers were looked for more often, a lot of people could recover faster. thanks for this.

  74. I used to do a bunch of cocaine to literally imaciate myself and then after a week binge on a stomach that has had restricted amounts of food a day only to feel guilt and shame. Through work and just being sick and tired of the other effect of cocaine, im just left with binge eating. The punishment for that is usually done subconsciously but I usually wear bigger shirts to soothe the anxiety

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