Will I ever have control of self-harm? Website/YouTube Wednesday! #KatiFAQ | Kati Morton
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Will I ever have control of self-harm? Website/YouTube Wednesday! #KatiFAQ | Kati Morton

Hey everybody. Happy Wednesday! It’s Wednesday. When is it gonna be Friday? Because in the states we have a three day weekend, ’cause it’s Labor Day for us this week. I know many of you have Labor Day … is it in May? I forget. But I know that in Europe and stuff it’s like a whole other day. So when it’s Wednesday I am on the website and I’m also on YouTube. And if you’re new to my channel, welcome welcome! We’re happy to have you here. So I have three questions today, because one of them is a little bit longer and I want to take a little bit more time on it. And if you’re wondering if maybe, I already, you know have I been in, did I answer your question? I was already on and I answered a lot of questions, so hopefully your’s got answered, okay. And I’m only one person. I’m sorry if you feel like your questions aren’t getting answered, but I do the best I can. It’s just me. Just one. Okay so first question. “Hey Kati. What tests do you do when a client comes in and thinks they have depression?” Now I personally don’t do any tests. There is a CUDOS rating scale that you can do. You can look it up. It’s C-U-D-O-S, and that can be really helpful because it’s kind of an easy thing for patients to circle and fill out. But there are other rating skills people use. They can use the HAM D, which is the Hamilton Depression rating scale. There is also, what was the other one that I wrote, the Beck Depression Scale. Some of them weigh, I don’t know. I’m not a huge fan of the HAM D, because it tends to put a lot of weight into sleep and how a person’s sleeping. And I don’t always think that that’s the only thing about depression. There also is the Montgomery Asberg depression rating scale. It really just depends on the therapist or psychologist you’re seeing. As a MFT I can do testing as long as I’ve, you know, taken classes and I’ve learned about it or I’m certified or whatever. But some people prefer not to do any testing, and they’ll refer you to a psychologist who specializes in certain testing. Just the same as I could refer to another therapist who specializes in certain testing. If it’s something that you’re seriously contemplating that you want to have done, I would let your therapist know or ask your insurance if they cover someone or call and get referred. And make sure that your’e getting the testing that you want. I personally don’t do any, unless a patient wants to. They want to track their progress. That’s where the CUDOS comes in, because it’s something that you can kind of just follow, and they can refill out. It’s really simple thing. It’s, I don’t know, 20 items. It’s just you know rating scale 1-5, stuff like that. So, very simple. That’s, that’s just the way I do it. Okay. Question number two. “Hey Kati. Is it a problem to sort of enjoy dissociating?” This got a lot of thumbs up as well. I’ve been basing these ones off of thumbs up on YouTube, so if you like a question next week on my Tuesday video, ’cause I’ll do the #FAQ, and you like it give it a thumbs up. And that means that it has a higher likelihood of me answering it on a video. It’s not terrible to enjoy dissociating. Many people do. That’s why it’s a coping skill. That’s why it protects us. We feel like we kind of, you know, separate ourselves from what’s happening. Kind of go in a happy place or a spaced out place or a place where none of this shit really matters and we don’t have to think about it. We can even live in an alternate world that we’ve kind of created for ourselves, like maladaptive day dreaming. Which I talk about in a video with idranktheseawater. I don’t know how long ago that was. Geez Melissa when did we do that? Awhile ago. Anyways, so it’s not bad to enjoy it. It’s not a bad thing. It’s normal to enjoy it. The thing that I would encourage each of you to recognize is if you’re spending more of your day potentially choosing to dissociate or pushing yourself into the dissociation. Wow that’s a mouthful. Then spending a regular, you know, present mentally part of your day. I want to make sure you’re spending more of your day in the reality and not in the dissociative state. So that’s something that I would definitely keep in mind and be aware of. And I would let your therapist know that you do enjoy it. And you haven’t found anything else to help you cope. If it’s something that you’re trying to lessen, even though you do enjoy it, and you’re finding it hard. There are grounding techniques you can do I’ve talked about in other videos on dissociation. So you can look those up. But yeah, it’s very normal. Don’t think that you’re odd at all, but just make sure that your’e not spending your whole day there. Okay. That’s when we kind of need to seek help and try to find out how to get back from it. Okay. Question number three. And this is a longer one. I copied and pasted the whole thing even though there was a lot of correspondence on my website, so I’ll just read you the first portion here. “Hey Kati. My question is will I ever have full control of self harm or will self harm control me for the rest of my life?” I thought that was a really powerful question and a great question. And she goes on to say “I don’t self harm as much now as I have in the past.” Yea! “And I can control myself not to do it most of the time, but it’s the aftermath that’s left behind. Because I have that many scars on my arm. It has left me not able to step out my front door without wearing a long sleeve top. Or even if I answer the door for someone I have to cover up before hand, and it still feel like self harm has control over me. And it feels like I can’t be free from it. It’s been like this since I can remember. It’s always with me. I have tried to step outside without a long sleeve top on, but I freeze and my mind won’t let me do it. As soon as I put my top on I’m fine. So there are only certain people I can be myself with.” And I think that’s important, to say myself. You’re being honest. We all have our shit. Right. “And not have to keep hiding it away. It holds me back so much. This is the last part of my recovery and then I can go back to who I was before self harm took over my life.” I think this is a really interesting question, and I like the term she used. And I like the way she lays it out. You will be free of it. Yes there will be times, like for anybody with any mental illness whether it’s eating disorder, it’s anxiety, it’s depression. There will be times in our life when things get really, we get really stressed out. It gets really stressful. Like when I was studying for my test. I was planning my wedding. I was doing all this stuff, and I had to go to my therapist like extra. I was like crying. I’m like ‘wow, I’m really fucking overwhelmed.’ Like ugh, right? We all get that. Like holy shit balls, I can’t deal with myself right now. And that’s normal. Everybody has periods of their life like that. During those times though, that little voice might say ‘hey, but I can help you if you just choose to cut everything will be okay. We’ll feel better. Remember the old times? Remember the good old days.’ And we’re like ‘there were no good old days. You’re full of shit.’ But that little voice may bup bup bup. It will come up for like a millisecond, and then we squash it. We move on. Or we use our other healthy coping skills. We think where the hell did that come from? We’re not going to do that again. We move on. And that’s normal. That’s a normal part of recovery. And it sounds like we’re hooked on this last hurdle. It’s like I have remnants of things on my body of what was going on with me mentally, and I don’t like it. I don’t want to accept that that was part of my life, because in this she says ‘I wanna get back to who I was before.’ But we’re different. We’re always changing. This is a part of your life. Good, bad, or indifferent, but it makes you who you are. It makes you recognize things now that other people still haven’t. You’ve grown. You’re a bigger, better, more amazing, more self aware person. And I think it may help you to recognize that sort of stuff first. And I find that showing our scars and being okay with it comes secondary. Because what we’re really trying to work on is the acceptance of what we feel is the shame and embarrassment that we’ve tied to our self harm without recognizing that it’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It’s something that we’re going through. It’s something that we’ve worked on. This was something that we struggled with and we’ve overcome it. How amazing is that? What a wonderful story to share. And I know some of us don’t feel comfortable with that. But I’m just putting it in a different light so you can see that it’s not something that we have to be ashamed of and hide in the darkness and be embarrassed about. And the more we start accepting who we are as people, our inner darkest dirtiest spots of ourselves. When we accept it as a whole, because it makes us the wonderful individuals that we are, the more able we’ll be to just show it. Physically, if it’s on our arms or legs or whatever. Yeah, I hope that makes sense. I know that’s like this huge idea, and it’s like really overwhelming. But it’s a process, right. So start with a little extra self love this week. See how that feels. Start talking to yourself about what it means to have overcome it. What does it mean that you used to self harm? I think through journaling and thinking about that, you’ll come out better on the other end about it. And you might feel a little more safe and secure showing that you used to struggle with self harm. Okay? And if anybody has any tips or tricks as well, leave them below. Okay. Now the journal topic today is a quote from Marie von Ebner-Eschenback. It’s quite the name. And the quote is… Oh and it’s from Pop Ponda Hoops. So thank you Pop Ponda Hoops, I think I’m saying that right. Anyway, but the quote is “Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.” And I really like that because there are times where we just feel like we don’t have the where with all to deal with it. Where we’re like ‘ugh, seriously. Seriously.’ But we miss opportunities to brighten up someone else’s day, to brighten our own day, to learn something, to try something new, to call a friend and reconnect, to do whatever the hell it is we wanna do. And we, I mean I personally miss a lot of those opportunities because I’m too stuck in my head or stuck in a rut or tired or busy or whatever. Right. We have all these excuses, but nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity. So let me know what opportunities you took this week. What did you do? And share that with us, ’cause I think that’s really great. Okay tomorrow is Thursday, and I’ll be on Twitter so ask your questions there. I love you all. I’ll see you then. Bye! Subtitles by the Amara.org community


  • Heather McCartney

    #katifaq I have a younger sister who is 15 yrs old. She was smoking and drinking and having sex so I told my parents to protect her. Now my mom wants her to start seeing my therapist. I don't want her to start seeing my therapist that I have been seeing for 4yrs now and my therapist is the one who recommended me tell my parents about her bad behaviours. I'm really confused? Is it okay to feel this way??Or am I just really selfish?? I want her to be able to see a therapist because I know how much it can help but I don't want her to see mine

  • parrotlady84

    I am proof you can conquer your urges. I self harmed for nearly ten years. TEN years. I had set backs, but over time my urges subsided. A week free of self harm is still positive and a step in the right direction even if you relapse. Every now and tthen I still think about it but I know I don't have to act on my thoughts. I am proud to say I have been free of self harm for almost 8 years. I follow my passions in life and do what makes me happy… life is short and I was tired of being controlled by self harm. It can get better.

  • Thais Forte

    I wonder all the time what I would do without your wise words to help me. Thank you for all your kindness and support! You're just amazing!!!!

  • Emily Malcolm

    Umm so i have a question

    A couple weeks ago my friends started to hate me and i dont know why I've been really nice to them and i feel so worthless and i dont know what to do i just want to die and i dont mean just one i mean all of them and i feel so alone i had to switch schools bc i was getting attacked and i just need help

  • 75sadiegirl

    Thank you to whoever asked the self harm question. I totally get how you feel. Kati your response was so helpful, thank you. Also, "holy, shit balls"….thought i was the only one that says that…funny. you made me laugh!

  • Awkward Potato

    #katiFAQ  Hey Kati. I’m going into my senior year of high school and I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for three years now. Although things have been a lot better recently, for a while my grades really suffered. I’ve wanted to teach for a while now but my GPA is now so low that I’m worried I might not get into college. What should I do?

  • kayla hall

    My question is am i just a complete and worthless idiot if im still self harming at 25 years old? I feel so stupid that my past and what happened to me from 9-18 still comes back to haunt me, is that usual, or am i just stupid?

  • Carly but really BATMAN

    Right at 6:00 was probs my fave lol. 

    Also. On a more serious note…those depression "tests" or whatever are total bullshit in my opinion. Or at least the one some nurse practitioner made me do one time. It was so stupid and resulted in such a huge pain in the ass because I had been sleeping a lot around that time. First of all, I generally seem to need more sleep than most of my friends to begin with. Secondly, I was in college at the time (aka stressed in general) and also had been unknowingly walking around for a week on a stress fracture in my foot, which was the main reason I was going to the health center.

     I had slept more than what was usual for me and yes, I had been feeling depressed to the point of wanting to go back on anti-depressants but I was NOWHERE NEAR being a danger to myself or others and they FREAKED THE FUCK OUT and made me go see some stupid "care team" WAY across town even though I didn't have a car and wasn't sure I could find a ride. They wouldn't let me leave the damn health center until I had a friend come in and tell them I was leaving with them…

    When I left the health center I immediately called my therapist who had just seen me the day before and told her what happened…she was PISSED and called them to bitch them out and to tell them how unbelievably unnecessary it was. She tried to get me out of having to go be assessed or whatever but since the university was "already involved" I had to go. Long-er story short, I basically ended up not having to actually talk to the whole "care team" due to a combination of them making me wait for 2 hours in the waiting room before making me late for my foot doctor person appointment and me talking my way out of it. And by "talking my way out of it" I mean that I literally just told them the truth.

    Anyway lol…such a novel comment but that was a super stressful experience and, in conclusion, I loath that depression test lol.

  • Amy Lou

    This week i was invited to a really posh party.  I took the opportunity to stretch waaaaay out  of my comfort zone, and accepted the invitation. Come saturday night, i will be wearing a sexy LBD and dancing and mingling with about a hundred strangers, and a few friends. yikes.

  • punchjumper3744

    ok someone help? lol i understand what dissociating is, i watched kati's video on it also, but like, i dont get it, how can someone "choose" to dissociate? i thought it was something we done sub conscientiously when something traumatic happened, how can one person decide to "dissociate" through out the day? 

  • idranktheseawater

    I looked into it and its been nearly 9 months since we did that vid on maladaptive daydreaming Kati! Crazy how time flies! 

  • Jusss23

    #katiFAQ Hi Kati, I've been struggling with an eating disorder since 1.5 year, (orthorexia, then anorexia athletica and now I'm eating quite normal, but exercise too much…) I have never been diagnosed but I've had all symptoms. Ok, my question is: all people struggling with such diseases are afraid of the number of kilograms on the scale, but I've never been. I only assess my body in front of the mirror without any numbers which don't trigger me, so does this mean I'm not sick enough or don't have an ED?

  • Tiffany Harrington

    Hey Kati. My question is how do you decide if you should be admitted into an inpatient clinic. My psychiatrist told me today that he thinks I should be hospitalised. I have BPD and am struggling severely with anhedonia, self harm and suicidal ideation which is getting worse. Im hesitant to go because I still have to pay bills and I dont want to potentially loose my job. I also dont know if I am 'bad enough' to be admitted…. how do you know when this should be considered?

  • Natalie Riddle

    Kati you always know how to make my day so much better with your great personality!! thank you so much! these videos help me a ton:) I hope you have an amazing week!

  • Emma Blackwell

    Oh my you swore so much hahaha I love it when u swear and love how honest u r haha love u in general
    P.s I'm really struggling right now with everything and finding things super hard so I'm sat here at 11.15pm watching all your videos to help me get through the night.
    "Holy shit balls I can't deal with myself right now" literally me every day.

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