What If My Self-Harm Reasons Aren't Good Enough? - Tumblr #KatiFAQ Mental Health Videos
Hey everyone! It's Tuesday, and that I'm on Tumblr. So, if next Tuesday, you start to think, "Hey, I have a question that I would like Katie to answer," you can hop on tumblr and give the hashtag #katiefaq, or when you ask me a question in my inbox, if the first little portion says #katiefaq, and then it says, "Hey, Katie, my question is.. Blablablablablabla - question mark," that's the easiest way for me to find it, otherwise I'm reading a ton, and it takes me hours, to, like, sift through questions.
So, just for next time, remember. So, for those of you who did that, I have picked your questions. And, without further ado, my first question: As you know, on Saturday I did a live broadcast with Andrea Bar - Hey, Andrea! - Thanks for being on with me. And we talked about going back to school with an eating disorder. That's why I thought this question was perfect for today. And this is, "How do I cope with NOT going back to school because of my eating disorder or self harm?" And, this is a really tough one, and it actually took me a while, and I thought, "Ah! What should I say to this?" And I've had clients who have had this similar situation, and in my experience, the best thing that we can do is still make plans with our school friends.
On the weekends, on the evenings, if they're things that you can still be involved in, like one of my clients, for instance, really liked to, um, take pictures, and so she was still able to do her photography class after the "after-school" thing she was doing, or guitar lessons, or painting, or whatever. If you're still able to participate in that, I would still do those things and I would still make plans with your friends. However, if you're going into residential treatment, my best advice to that is writing letters to your friends so you still feel connected , you can get online, sharing emails, I think the main goal of it is to still feel connected to your friends. And by your "friends," I don't mean everybody at school that you potentially talk to, but pick like 5 people, or maybe your 2 best friends, or your 1 best friend, and keep in touch with them so that you don't feel like you're missing out on everything. And I know you'll still have those days when you're like, "Dammit, I missed that fun party or that big game or this person or blablablabla," but we have to focus on the relationships, and the most important thing in the long run is that we still sustain those relationships. They wanna know how you're doing, you wanna know how they're doing, so make sure that you take time to either write them letters if you're residential, as well as build your friendships in residential - those can be some of the best friendships that we have. And, if you're not in residential, spending time with them and taking time out so that you don't feel like you're missing things. And if you can go to the homecoming football game, or whatever it is you wanna go to, make sure you make time to go to it! Because I, as your - if I was seeing you, if you were my client, as your therapist, I wouldn't want you missing out on things either.
Because some things are just that important. Okay? So, hope that helps. Now, the second question, is, "How do I stop my depression from getting worse when it's raining all the time?" Now, there are a couple things. First thing, is taking the time that we're stuck inside to work on OUR insides. And that would be journaling, doing art, um, taking the little epiphanies that I say or different quotes you might find that you like and you find it helpful, and thinking about it, taking the time to journal about it, grabbing my workbook at katimorton.com, don't forget, um, and I'll be putting out more soon.
Look out. Also, something that works, and this is kind of weird, you'll be like, "Kati, you're being weird," but, I personally find myself down, I will get what they call "sad," and I know that it's ridiculous, cause it's like, "uhh, sad," but Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is when you get down, when it's, like, not sunshine-y out, and I find on days when it's raining, I'm like, "I just wanna go home and watch reruns of Castle." I can't help myself, I love Castle. And so, what can we do? Something that has really helped a couple of my patients, not every one of them, but I even have a psychiatrist that I actually work with in Tandem, and she has had this has been really helpful for her, and her patients, and at Costco. Which, I'm sure, I know in Canada and the States they have Costco, but Sam's Club, or maybe a Wal-Mart, or whatever your local, big, "I-Can-Buy-Everything-At-This-Store." They have light boxes. Now, not light boxes like, "Hey, I'm filming, and I'm putting up my lightbox," but they're actually light boxes that are supposed to trick our brains into thinking that we're getting sunshine. And you can google and look into those, um, but they're, like, 30 dollars.
And sometimes, they're worth every penny. So when you're sitting, and you're watching my videos, or you're chatting on my website, you can turn on your lightbox, and you can get your vitamin D, and your happy - I call it that happy vitamin, cause it's like what we get from sunshine. So, that's something that we can help with - you know, we can do when it's raining and it's gross out.
Okay, number three, "How can I get over the fear of being okay?" I hear this so much, because a lot of our identity can be wrapped up in our eating disorder, our self-harm, our depression, our anxiety, our addiction, whatever it is we're struggling with, right? Our whole identity can get wrapped up in it, and then we're scared of being okay. And the best thing that we can do for this is talk about it with your therapist - please have a therapist - and group - and I find group to be the most beneficial for this, because other people can share their experiences. And when I say, "Talk about it," I mean I want you to take time at home, I want you to journal - I know you hate me for making you journal, but it's really the best way we can take the time and think about it, and figure out what we're thinking, where we're at, all that jazz. And what I want you to think about is, "What is it about myself that I like?" Cause I won't even say love yet, cause sometimes we're having trouble with our whole how-we-feel-about-ourselves - "What is it I like about myself that has nothing to do with my mental illness?" What is it? Do I like, for me for instance, I love music. I love seeing music, and I like singing, and I like playing music, and I like about myself that I can sing and I can play, um, that's something that I like about myself. I like that I'm really outgoing, um, you know, things like that, and what are the things that you enjoy and you like that don't involve your eating disorder and your self-harm? We need to slowly start creating YOU, a persona - what are you about? What do you think you want to be about? Let's try it on for size. Let's feel it out, let's think about it. All the little quirky things that make you the wonderful you.
That have nothing to do with your mental illness. And that will slowly help you come to terms with being "okay," and not having the issue or the disorder or the urges anymore. And take your time with it, we're gonna have to slowly accept the new and improved us, because we all know that negative voice can be like, "You're terrible! This is stupid. Blablabla." But we don't have to listen to it, right? So, that would be my best advice for that - and leave your tips and tricks for that below! What are things that have helped you let go of the "sick you" and embrace the healthy, you know, quirky, happy, wonderful you? Okay? Now the last, final question - number four: "What if you feel like your reasons aren't good enough for your self-harm? I was never physically abused, nor neglected, I have a stable home and all that jazz, I feel like I'm the biggest reason for my self-harm, but how are you supposed to get away from yourself? I've been the problem all along and I don't even feel like my cuts are good enough to be considered a decent self-harmer, as bizarre as that sounds." That doesn't sound bizarre. I have clients with all sorts of different issues that feel like their reasons for it aren't good enough, and I'm here to tell you that - well, first of all, check back and watch my interview of Brian Cuban, because he, his belief is that we can be predisposed and be more, what's the word he says? Like, more vulnerable, to mental illness than other people, and I also believe there's a huge genetic component. Is it all genetics? No. But, we don't need to have certain reasons to do what we do. We'll have our own reasons.
Everybody's different, that doesn't make you any less, it doesn't mean that you don't deserve help, or that you have no real reason to do what you do. We all have our reasons. And I know that this is going to take a long time. To be honest, this is something I work, like, in stage 6 of my treatment plan with my clients, because we have to figure out what purpose it serves for you - it doesn't matter where it comes from, what purpose does it serve for you? Then we start slowly replacing it with healthy coping skills, then we'll work on, like, self-love-body-image, and this comes kind of after that step, where we're trying to make it okay with you that you're okay being you, you're okay with whatever's happened to you, um, you've kind of processed through and come to terms. And I know, I know that's kind of hard to hear, but the biggest reason for your self-harm or your eating disorder or whatever it is, is your biggest reason, and that's why you have it, and that's enough. And that doesn't mean that any therapist is going to take you, you know, like take anything you say less to heart, or not be as serious, or not think it's as serious, cause trust me, we take it all the same.
It's like that last question I answered about do certain people with different eating disorders recover in a certain, you know, faster than others, and no. They don't. And does it matter if we start our eating disorder for one reason than another? In the end of the day, it really doesn't. Okay? And just keep telling yourself, "At the end of the day, I have this issue and I have to fight it," and it kind of probably in my mind - I'm sorry, I'm rambling now - but, I'm just thinking out loud, because I would think that it might have something to do with self-worth, and just feeling like everything that we do is never good enough. And so, that's probably something we should work on with our therapist, and add to our treatment goals. Okay? So, I hope that those answers were helpful, everybody. I love you all and I will see you tomorrow. So today is Tuesday, so tomorrow is Wednesday, and I'll be on the website, and on youtube.
So if you have a question, make sure you ask it below this video, um, or you can do it on Monday's video - yesterday's video. And just do #katifaq so I know that you want it to be answered in a video, um, and, in my website, you go under "community forums," "Kati Q&A," and you ask in there, and I will see y'all tomorrow. Have a good one.
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