Alcohol and Drug Abuse in relation to ED & SH. Mental Heath Videos with Kati Morton | Kati Morton
Hey everyone, this week’s video topic is something that makes us uncomfortable! We don’t like to talk about it. Ugh! Alcohol and drug abuse. What do we do? Stay tuned So like I said, this week’s video topic is something that many of you have actually reached out to me and wanted to know more and I thought to myself “we should probably just do a video” cause I’m sure that if so many of you have reached out, then there are hundreds that are suffering on their own, and are worried to say anything. And that is alcohol and drug abuse and how it really relates to our eating disorders and our self harm. So, just for the sake of this video, I am going to lump alcohol and drugs together as one and the reason for that is, that these things, alcohol and drugs, are just another unhealthy coping skill and I don’t really want to differentiate them because it just gets too crazy. I was reading the DSM about it the other day and was ‘argh, there is too much information, I can’t put it all in a video’ So, putting it together. So the main difference when we are talking about drug and alcohol abuse is abuse vs dependence Now if you think about the words ‘abuse’ and ‘dependence’, ‘abuse’ isn’t as bad as ‘dependence’ it is just a lower level of a struggle with it, I guess. They describe alcohol abuse as someone who uses too much it and it affects their life, right? So, they have a problem. Dependence is when you have to keep increasing the amount. So, I used to have two cocktails and feel tipsy and now I have four cocktails and am kinda tipsy but six is really where I need…it just keeps increasing over time. It is the same with drugs. Well, I took, I dunno, I’m not very knowledgable about drugs myself. I don’t know what you’d say…a hit? 2 hits? pill? 2 pill? You have to keep increasing, right? I’m not very hip with the lingo, sorry guys But, you have to keep increasing it to get the same effect And so, Shaun is laughing at me. But I’m not very cool. Or I’m extra cool, right? Dare to say no to drugs! Hah! But anyway, so know he just completely lost it So, when we are talking about abuse and dependence, someone with abuse that may use it recreationally and it affects their life but it isn’t completely invading it to the point that they can’t function at a higher level. Like they can’t come to class, therefore they fail their classes therefore they have to drop out and things start compiling. That would be more dependence. And they have to keep using more and using everyday. So, I know this is kind of confusing But can you see the differences? So abuse is like a route to dependence if we keep abusing it. And the way that this really relates to our eating disorder and self harm is that we may not be self harming anymore or may not be restricting or purging or binging anymore But, we are drinking everyday. And you can see why that is not really helpful in the long run, right? Because we can’t be drunk all day, everyday, because our body can’t handle that And, if we aren’t using our eating disorder or self harm, if I was your therapist I would say “Well that’s interesting, because it sounds like you are still self harming or you are still doing destructive behaviours” because that is really what it is, we are trading one for the other. Many of you who suffer with eating disorders and self harm will sometimes tell me “well, I’m not self-harming anymore, but I found my eating disorder getting louder, and so I’ve been using that more” It is almost like a trade-off, right? So if we have given up our eating disorder and self harm, we may find ourselves using drugs more or drinking more and that’s really another way to cope. And so what I would encourage you all to do and this is something that we can all do in general, but specifically for our eating disorder and self harm people who also struggle with alcohol and drugs is to think about what purpose it serves. I know I talk about this a lot, but in my workbook I even try to bring that about because we need to figure out what purpose it is serving us. Our eating disorder, our self harm, our alcohol, our drug abuse, they don’t just come up for no reason. Right? We have emotional stuff going on. We have something that has happened. We have responses to those experiences that we just do not want to deal with. ‘Argh, it’s so hard!’. So, we’ll turn to something else as another outlet There I go with the air quotes again But as another outlet, for those emotions, those feelings that we have and we don’t really have any other way to let them out So, we’ll harm ourselves, we’ll use our eating disorder or we might do drugs or drink. Do you see what I mean how the connection is? And so, because we are just swapping one unhealthy behaviour for another, we have to figure out what purpose it is serving for us. What is the emotion? What is the experience? So that we can utlitise healthy coping skills to help us process through those emotions and that experience And that is why I’m always saying journal, reach out to friends, find a therapist, join a group therapy sessions, cause they do like ten group therapy sessions at a time. But, we have to find an outlet for it. It is okay to reach out for help. I know that it’s scary and everyone gets nervous and are like “Kati, what is it going to be like?” But I promise you, people who are in the mental health field we’re to help. We are there to seek to understand. We may not be taking new clients right now, but we can give you people who could take you We may not specialise in that, but I can give you referrals of people who do. We will make it happen, right? We are there to help and we are there to listen and I promise it is not as scary as it is made out to be And for people who suffer with the alcohol and drug abuse portion, there is AA and NA and I believe that’s worldwide. And AA, for those who don’t know ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ and NA is ‘Narcotics Anonymous’ So whether it’s drugs or alcohol or both, there are meetings all across the world All different days and times, to try and fit with your schedule. So I would encourage you, you can go to what they call an ‘open meeting’. Cause I used to take girls from the eating disorder clinic to some open AA and NA meetings and that is when someone can go who may not be a regular member or may not actually struggle themselves and you can see what it’s like. So nobody would know if you actually struggled with drug or alcohol abuse, you can go and feel it out See what you think, okay? So I would encourage you: find someone to talk to, whether it is a therapist, a group, you join AA, join NA, because we really have to figure out what it is that we are trying to cope with, using that, instead of our self harm or eating disorders. Why are we switching to another unhealthy behaviour? We need a healthy outlet, which can be my website. Hey, you can get on my website and write a blog. And I’m opening up forums soon, so you can talk there But that’s another outlet. We can give each other help, and support and love and all that good stuff because we all deserve to recover, we all deserve to have healthy outlets Live a life of moderation. Not feeling like we have to trade one for another and it is possible. And I promise we will get there and you are not alone. And please leave your comments. What’d I’d really like in the comments section of this video is your experience with AA, NA, group therapy, things like that. Things that you have reached out for help with your struggles if you struggle with this and what it was like. I think that is something that could really help a lot of people. And I know everytime you leave those comments I’m like ‘thank you so much for sharing your experience, you have no idea how many people this will help’. Because really, we don’t know. If someone flutters onto my channel and checks out this video for just a split second they might get that and you could’ve saved a life and that can feel really good, right? So, let’s keep sharing and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel because I put out a lot of videos And if you like this topic and you want more information, like I said, there was so much information in the DSM that I was like ‘I can’t put it all in a video. I have to squish it, compact, right?’ So, you want to subscribe and then you want to like it to let me know to make more So I hope that’s helpful. I hope that you keep sharing and helping each other as we work towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body You really laughed on that one I don’t know drug topics…pills, hits, I don’t know! I need to watch more of The Wire, also maybe, I don’t know, what are some other good drug shows? ‘What are some good drugs show? That is a great segue. I do like CSI That’s ‘Touched by an Angel’. It just sounds dirty when you say it that way. Stop saying it that way.