1. katiFAQ is there such thing as turning off your eating disorder for your family, so while your living at home you don’t carry out any ED behaviours? Or does that mean you never had an ED to begin with?? Thanks! xx
2. katifaq Hey Kati! Do therapist ever feel guilty? My therapist tells me to text her whenever Im upset and feel like cutting. So I do. I text her and most of the time she will respond to me quickly and talk me through things. But what about when she doesn’t reply and I go through with my urges to cut? I don’t want her to feel guilty. Do therapist ever feel guilty about stuff like this, or am I just over thinking everything? Have you ever had this happen to you?
3. Hi! This has always been lingering in my mind. Four years ago, I experienced tactile hallucinations that were pretty terrifying. I honestly believed and felt that bugs were living in and crawling around in my skin. I was never treated for it at all – it only lasted for about 2 weeks before I was able to snap out of it, and I’ve never hallucinated since. To this day, I’ve never been diagnosed with anything, but I’ve never forgotten about those 2 weeks either. I guess I’m a bit delusional but nothing that really hinders my life, I think.
My question is: does this make me more prone to hallucinating in the future? Is it possible that what happened back then did have significance after all? I’m just wondering because I never did anything to cause it, I was living a fairly healthy lifestyle at the time.
"Everyone wants love, no one wants pain, but you can’t get a rainbow without a little rain."
I get so many questions about where to turn to for help and I am glad you are asking!!! The great thing about being alive today is that all you have to is ask. Here is a great list that was put together by the Katie Couric show when Demi Lovato was on earlier this week. I hope that you take the time to look through this list. There may just be something that is close to what you are looking for.
Eating Disorder Resources:
Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) A multidisciplinary professional organization that focuses on Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and related disorders. Also sponsors a newsletter and a conference.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Formerly the American Dietetic Association, offers information about eating disorders, including an extensive nutrition reading list and a professional directory that allows visitors to search for Dietitians specializing in eating disorders
American Pregnancy Association Promoting pregnancy wellness through research, education, and community awareness. Working with moms for healthy eating habits to ensure the best pregnancy possible.
Anna Westin Foundation The Anna Westin Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing education, support and referral information to the general and professional public.
Bedaonline.com The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) is the national organization focusing on increased prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for Binge Eating Disorder. Beyond Ana and Mia Our Ultimate mission is to provide a safe place for those with eating disorders to find emotional support, useful information, and ways to creatively express themselves. Essentially we hope to support and encourage those struggling with eating disorders by providing and reinforcing the helpful elements of Pro-Ana/Mia Web sites, without the potentially harmful elements.
BodyImageHealth.org A building healthy body esteem website from the author of NEDA’s Healthy Body Image curriculum.
BulimiaGuide.org A resource for supporting a family member or friend with bulimia nervosa.
CampusBlues This site provides information about the many issues facing students today, as well as other resources to support the mental health and well being of individuals as they move through major life transitions. Dads and Daughters DADs provides tools for fathers to strengthen relationships with their daughters and to transform the pervasive messages that value young women more for how they look than who they are.
Diabulimia Helpline Diabulimia Helpline is the world’s first non profit organization working to help those afflicted by diabulimia, and raise awareness of this deadly disease.
This week’s video is about sexual desire, libido and how our ED can affect it. I had to do some research on this because I had my assumptions, but I wanted to know what the data states. Just so you know, 45-50% of those suffering with AN (anorexia nervosa) and 35-40% of those suffering from bulimia nervosa, EDNOS, and binge eating disorder struggle with the loss of or decrease in sexual desire. So you are not alone in your feelings about this. Infertility is a very common side effect of having an ED and because our bodies do not have to reproduce, it can get rid of our ability to in order to keep other things functioning properly.
Another issue that I want to address is romantic relationships, and how they can suffer from our ED as well. One of the most important things in any relationship is communication. If we do not talk to our friends or loved ones honestly about what is going on with us, than we really cannot have a healthy and stable relationship. I know that it is really hard and can be completely overwhelming, but just work on sharing a little bit of information at a time. Now, we are only doing this if we like the person, think they are worth getting to know, and perhaps trustworthy. Right? So just start little by little and don’t feel pressure to dump all of that information on them at once, but do be honest. For example, if something comes up and all you can think about is how that interferes with your appointment with your dietitian, just tell them you have an appointment that day and if you want, tell them that you see a dietitian. Once you have reached your comfort level for sharing, just say that you don’t feel like talking about it now, but you can talk more later. Leave it at that. But let’s all work together to be more honest and open about what is going and so that we can have people in our lives who we can lean on when we need that extra support. Also, don’t forget to check out my free workbook available on KatiMorton.com and let’s keep working together towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body!!
This week’s video is to address many of the questions and concerns that I hear every day from all of you. That question is “why does it feel so bad when we finally start to try and get better?” To be honest, it is completely normal. Why is that? It is because we have been stuffing things and numbing out from things for a long time, and each one of those experiences needs to be worked through. It takes time. It can be overwhelming, and we will want to stop and just go back to the way it was, but know that if we can push over this hump it will be worth it. Just try to remind yourself that recovery is a process, it is NOT perfection. We will have days when we go right back to our ED and act out, but then we will have days when we feel strong and we push through our meals and snacks. So be patient with yourself and your recovery.
I always recommend that people start by working on my free workbook. By gathering information about our ED, when it started, what triggers it, and what purpose it serves, we can come up with better tools to fight the urges when they come. So check that out (on my website katimorton.com) and let’s keep working hard to push through our recovery towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body.
I know that many of you have been wanting me to add a “submit” option to my blog on here but I have decided not to do that because I already have that option on my website! You can create your own post on there, pick your own image to go with your post, and submit it! There is no limit of characters and you can still get feedback from other users just like you do on here. It is just easier for me to manage one website with a submission option. I hope you will understand and maybe even check it out on my website (you can even create a user name just like on here and no one will know who you are).
I created this video due to some questions that I received from a subscriber on YouTube. She wanted to know what art therapy is, how it works, what is expected etc. Art therapy is used a lot in treatment facilities for eating disorders, substance abuse and pretty much another other type of ailment that we would go into treatment for. The reason for this is because it is a healthy way to express emotions that we may normally want to hide or “stuff.” Especially with self-harm and EDs we tend to think that our emotions are not our own, or that we don’t have any right to have them. That’s why when you are doing art therapy, your therapist may tell you to think of a certain situation or person while you work on a collage or coloring project. When we do that, our art can really show how we are feeling inside and sometimes help us “own” the feeling. I know that calling an emotion our own and trying to accept that we have it and it is okay can be hard, but seeing it in a project can sometimes make that easier. I think that is why it is used so much with ED recovery. It doesn’t matter how good you are as an artist, because I know that I really suck at it, and still found it extremely helpful:)
Also, art therapy is something that can be done pretty much anywhere and it doesn’t tend to cost much, so it could be a great way to jump start your treatment and help you work towards recovery. Please share any tips or tricks that you have learned about art therapy below as we continue to grow our community of supportive and loving people.
Let’s keep working together on our path to a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body!
I know that many of us have worried about people finding out about our eating disorders or have had certain people judge us because we have or have had one. How do we deal with it? How do we make sure that people are not judging us and assuming other things because of our ED? We talk about it! We share the information! We tell them how it is for us and what we know about EDs! There are 8 million people who suffer from eating disorders!! We are not alone! I know that what I am asking you to do can be very scary, but as a group we have the ability to break the stigma. I am only one voice, but together we can reach so many. Wouldn’t it be nice to one day feel that we could speak to others about our struggles and concerns whether it is an ED or just life in general? If we could be honest with those around us about it and enlist them in our support team. I know that what I am asking you to do goes against everything that your ED tells you, but we all know that the longer we keep something a secret, the more power it has over us. So I challenge each of you to just do one thing. Share this video on your Facebook page, like it, tweet about it, pin it. There are a million ways to share things now, let’s take advantage of it. I promise to continue to put out new and relevant information, as we all work together towards a healthy mind and a healthy body.
Need Energy?? Try Breath of Fire! - Breathing Exercise #2 (by KatiMorton)
This video is another breathing technique. I know that usually I give you relaxing ones, but I realized that many of us actually need energy during our day and so I thought this one could be helpful too! This technique is one that is used in yoga a lot and is called the breath of fire. I know it sounds really intense, but I promise it is not too hard:)
The reason that this works to invigorate our bodies is because we are pushing out all of our stale air and bringing in fresh oxygen. This can help our bodies push our any old and less oxygenated blood that could have accumulated and replacing it with oxygen rich blood. Now this technique is not something that cannot be done when others are around because it is a bit noisy, but it does only take 15 seconds. So let’s step away for a bit and give it a try!!
I created this video to continue to address the topic of body image. I know that we all struggle with body image issues and constantly put ourselves down. Our ED’s yell negative stuff at us all day and anytime someone says something nice, it automatically negates it by telling you why it is a lie. So how do we get it to shut up?!?!?! Well, I will give you two tips to start working on in order to begin building back a more positive body image.
The first tip is something that I have already told many of you to do. That is the post it note tip. The reason that I am in love with post it notes is because they can be stuck anywhere and leave no sticky residue behind. So go get some and let’s get started! Start by writing down 5-10 things that you like about yourself. Now I know you cannot think of any right now, but try to think of things that are not body related. We focus enough on our body, let’s focus on who we really are inside. Maybe you are great at drawing, maybe you play guitar, maybe you are always on time to appointments and get togethers. Maybe you are really good at painting nails (if this is true I will meet you somewhere so you can show me how, because I am terrible;) ) Whatever it is, write it down. No judgements over this. We are just trying to change the way our mind thinks about us. It won’t happen over night, but we do have to start little by little.
Many research studies say that in order to have a happy relationship with someone the ratio of good to bad things said and done should be 5:1. So for every one bad thing said or done to the other, we have to do 5 good things. We are building a new relationship with our bodies, and in order to change it we have to start moving more towards that ratio. I know right now it seems like it is more like 0:50 but we have to start somewhere.
The last tip is to grab your journal and write down the top ten things that you like about yourself. These can be the same things that you put on your post it notes, but I want you to write them down again. It can be helpful to simply write down good things about ourselves. After you do this, I would like you to journal a bit about what it felt like to do that. Did you immediately negate every good thing? Did you criticize your choices and want to erase some of the good qualities you wrote? Just notice how you felt. Secondly, I would like you to find 3 people in your life who are supportive and loving and ask them for 3 things that they like about you. I know this will be weird to do, but just tell them that you are working on yourself, or tell them your therapist told you to do it. I am always fine with my clients blaming me:) Than take some time and journal about how it felt to have the compliments come from someone else. Did it make you angry? Did you feel embarrassed? Did you negate them in your head again? Just notice, and by doing that we know more about what we have to fight against in our body image battle. Because we all know it is a horribly hard fight, but if we keep at it we will win!!
So keep working with me towards a healthy mind, and a healthy body!!
This is a video topic that comes from questions and requests that I have received from one of my subscribers. She wanted to know about diet pills and laxatives and what they do to our bodies when we take them. I want to start by saying that this is not a scare tactic. It is not my goal to ever scare any of you into recovery. Recovery is a difficult process, and I know that staying in our ED’s is also difficult. What I wanted to accomplish with this video is to simply share information based on what I haver seen and treated, as well as what the research says about it.
Diet pills are everywhere. If you go into any pharmacy or mega store like Target, you will see over fifteen different options. So how do they work, do they harm our bodies, and what are the potential side effects? Well many of them say that they “block fat” from being absorbed correctly. This is a great selling tactic, to tell people that they can eat whatever, but their body will not absorb any of the fat. Wow, right?!? But what they fail to mention is that when it is “blocking” the fat it is also blocking vitamin absorption. So even if we are eating, our bodies are not getting any of the vitamins that it needs. Also, many diet pills have high levels of caffeine, which can increase our heart rate and put added stress on our cardiovascular system. The reason caffeine scares me in diet pills is because it is often more than what you would find in a cup of coffee or a red bull even, it is an extreme amount of caffeine.
Laxatives are something that many of us take when we cannot fully act out on our other ED behaviors in a timely manner, or our ED tells us that we did not do enough of the behavior to “negate” the food we ate. Like diet pills, laxatives are diuretics. That means that it purges our bodies of water. The reason that this is my biggest concern is because we are already throwing up and drinking soda or other caffeinated beverages so our bodies are very dehydrated. When we are dehydrated our bodies are low on potassium and our electrolytes are low and imbalanced. The biggest worry for me is that having these levels be low or imbalanced could cause a heart attack. That is the scariest thing for me and the reason that they say EDs are the most deadly mental disorder. So please be careful when abusing laxatives. Also, laxatives can damage much of your digestive system and eat away at the lining of our stomachs and intestines. That is why we often get such horrible stomach aches and cramping after we take them. They can also damage our colon and rectum. What this means is that it can slowly lose the ability to control our bowels or make our poop solid. I have had 3 clients who have had to have surgery to remove parts of their colons because of the damage done with laxatives. This meant that they had to either stay very close to the bathroom at all times or wear adult diapers. This is a humiliating and horrific side effect and I would hate to see anyone else have that happen. So read the labels, be careful, drink more fluids and maybe eat a banana or two. I know this is hard and it is not my goal to scare anyone, but I care too much to not tell you the truth.
So help me spread the word! Let’s share this with more people on our Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or whatever. I am only one voice, but together we can really make a difference. Also, do not hesitate to comment below with your own experiences. If you have information that you think could help someone else, let us know!! And we will keep taking one step at a time to a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body.
SWIMSUIT SEASON!!! - Eating Disorder Video (by KatiMorton)
This video was something that I made due to the amount of feedback that I have received from all of you about the stress and pressure that comes along with summer and swimsuit season. I know that this topic and time of year will always be tricky for us, but there are ways that we can be better prepared for it. First, I want you to consider everything that I say and make sure that you put it into your own words so that when someone asks you about your preparations for summer, you are prepared and comfortable with what you are going to say.
My first tip is to set some goals that you want to achieve by summer. That way when someone asks you how you are preparing for summer you have an answer, and it’s not even made up!! Make sure these are small goals that you could achieve each week or so to keep yourself motivated and not add stress to an already stressful time. Remember, this is a progression, this is not perfection. It may even make sense to set a goal to not achieve all of your goals!! I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes when we are perfectionists, it is good to not do it all.
The second tip is to detour the conversation. You have been in conversations with people who do this. You probably didn’t even notice!! When they start talking about swimsuit season or dieting or whatever, you just begin talking about what you are doing for summer. For example, you could say “yeah that’s great that you are dieting, I am working on my New Year’s resolutions now and sort of doing a ‘spring cleaning…’” Then start talking about some of the goals you are setting. Some ideas for goals, if you struggle to think of some, can be things like doing something nice for yourself (not food related). Like getting your nails done or spending time journaling or playing with an animal, whatever makes you feel good. You could also do something nice for someone who is close to you. It’s a funny thing but we often get just as much out of doing something for someone else as we would if we did it for ourselves. Maybe a goal would be to follow your meal plan for a whole day, or week, or whatever is reasonable for you. Just be easy on yourself, there is no need to create more stress and anxiety.
Let’s continue to work on ourselves! This is our own mental spring cleaning. Let’s make this year better than the last. After all, we can’t have a healthy body without first having a healthy mind. Let’s get started and please let me know if some of these ideas work or how you have made it work for you. Let’s continue our walk towards a healthy mind and a healthy body.
Please watch and REBLOG my new video: Hunger for feelings (by KatiMorton) My goal is to see this video reflagged 100 times. Can you help?
This video is something that I wanted to create to get you thinking about what it is that you hunger for. I don’t mean hunger for food, but instead hunger for things in life. Hunger for love, affection, attention, etc. In order to even begin to think about what it is each of us hunger for, I want you to try and access that inner voice that I have talked about in my past video. Sometimes this can be a childhood memory or simply a very nice memory that we return to because of the great significance it has for us. Did you feel joyful? When was the last time you felt joy? Or maybe it was freedom you felt. Can you think of a time when you felt so free from all of the worry and anxiety? Try to remember a time in your life when you felt one of these things, because this can help unearth what it is that we crave and hunger for. If neither of those thoughts work, maybe it is love that you crave. Have you ever felt pure love from someone and given it to them in return? This does not have to be romantic love, but this can be a close friend or family member who helped us through a hard time.
When we begin to dig through these memories and think about what it is we crave we can start to find out why we have an eating disorder in the first place. An eating disorder does not come out of nowhere! It was created to protect us from unhappy times and unwanted emotion. It helps us focus our time and energy onto something else. But it’s reason for being is no longer here and we will have to dig through these emotions as search for recovery.
Take some time, jot down the things that you feel hunger or yearn for. Be patient with yourself, I know that your ED will tell you how shameful each and everyone of those needs is, but IT IS NOT!! We are all human, we all have needs and things that we hunger for. Let’s start talking about this and begin to peel back what it is that we have been hiding from for all this time.
Today’s video is about anger. I know you are probably wondering why I chose to do a video about anger and the reason is because many of us run from this emotion. I know that for many of the clients that I have worked with over the years, they never stand up for themselves or feel able to confront someone who has hurt them. They for some reason feel that they are not worthy or do not deserve to be anger or express that anger to the person who caused it. They even turn their anger in on themselves believing that they do not have a right to feel the way that they do. It is because of this uncomfortability with even the slightest feelings of anger that I am addressing it today.
The first thing I want you to notice is how anger feels in your body. You know your body. Your throat, your hands, your jaw etc. Think about how it feels when you get angry. What do you do to suppress it? When do you know that you cannot suppress it and you are going to explode? What signs does your body give you? Think about all of these things and go grab some craft supplies. You won’t need much, just some paper, an old magazine, markers and/or crayons.
I first want you to color that entire paper red. Let the feelings of anger pulse through your hands as you color. See what it feels like to harness the feeling and use it to do something constructive. Once the entire sheet is colored red, I want you to fill it with words and cut out pieces of things that make you angry. The reason this is a great way to start exploring this emotion is because you do not have to talk to anyone about it. You just get to see what it feels like to be angry and to exert that feeling through constructive motion.
Another way to begin experiencing anger on a more healthy level is to kick a ball, or throw a ball into a cement wall. That can help you express your anger through another motion. You have to kind of figure out what works best for you, but just make sure that you are not damaging anything by doing any of these activities.
You can also listen to angry music while doing this. Put your head phones on and really allow yourself to feel anger and notice how your body responds. If you cannot get outside, maybe scream into a pillow or throw a stuffed animal around. That can give you the same satisfaction as kicking a ball in a much more inside friendly way.
The last option is to write it out. Maybe write some mean letters, that you never send, to people who have angered or hurt you. Be honest! Be mean! Express what you are truly feeling without any worry that someone may read it later. This can really help you begin to see why you are in fact angry and in a way justify the emotion for you that you have had so much trouble trusting.
I hope that at least one of these tips helps you healthfully express your anger and allow you to begin turning that anger outward appropriately instead of inward and harming ourselves more. Leave your comments below and do not forget to subscribe to my channel so that when I post my next video you are notified. So let’s continue to work together as we move towards a healthy mind and a healthy body.