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← Why are SHAME & TRAUMA so Connected? | Kati Morton

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Showing Revision 1 created 07/09/2019 by Amara Bot.

  1. - Hey, everybody.

  2. Today, we're gonna talk
    about shame and trauma
  3. and why they are so deeply connected.
  4. Before we jump into this
    very important topic,
  5. are you new to my channel?
  6. Welcome.
  7. I release videos on
    Mondays and on Thursdays
  8. so make sure you're subscribed
  9. and have your notifications turned on
  10. so you don't miss out.
  11. As always, let's first begin
    by defining the two terms.
  12. Now, shame is defined as a
    painful feeling of humiliation
  13. or distress caused by the
    consciousness of wrong
  14. or foolish behavior
  15. but I find that many people
    confuse shame with guilt.
  16. Maybe it's because they both cause us
  17. to feel bad about ourselves
    but they are very different
  18. and I think it's important
    to highlight that
  19. before we really get
    into this any further.
  20. Now, guilt is when we judge our behavior
  21. as being negative or wrong,
  22. our behavior, remember that,
  23. meaning that if I told someone
    that I would pay them back
  24. but I didn't, I could feel guilty about it
  25. because I feel that what I did
  26. or more importantly didn't do
    was wrong or inconsiderate.
  27. Now, shame on the other hand
  28. is when we view ourselves
    as being bad or wrong.
  29. It's much deeper than guilt
  30. and it can't be fixed
    by simply making amends
  31. or following through with
    what you said you would do.
  32. As you can see, guilt can in some ways
  33. motivate us to be better
    and to make amends.
  34. Shame isn't motivating and in most cases,
  35. it can actually be debilitating.
  36. It can cause us to believe terrible things
  37. about ourselves and our situation
  38. and in turn make our mental
    health issues even worse.
  39. Many of my patients
    and viewers have shared
  40. how shame has made them act
    in more self-destructive ways
  41. whether it be sabotaging relationships
  42. or engaging in self-injurious behavior.
  43. Guilt is about our actions
    and shame is about ourselves.
  44. Therefore, shame is something
    that we need to understand
  45. so that we can process it
    and remove it from our lives.
  46. Also, as I was doing research,
  47. I've heard shame described
    as a developmental trauma
  48. meaning that it doesn't occur
  49. immediately following the traumatic event
  50. but it grows over time,
    it develops over time
  51. especially if the traumas repeat
  52. or if our PTSD symptoms go untreated.
  53. Now, moving on to trauma.
  54. It is defined as a deeply distressing
  55. or disturbing experience.
  56. In order for someone to be traumatized,
  57. they have to fear for their life
  58. or the life of someone else.
  59. These can be big events,
    big traumas or big Ts
  60. or a bunch of smaller events or little ts
  61. but they can all lead us to struggling
  62. with the symptoms of PTSD
  63. and if you want more information
    on PTSD or what it is,
  64. you can click the link in the description
  65. for my video all about it.
  66. Now that we know the definitions
    of both shame and trauma,
  67. let's get into why they are
    so connected to one another.
  68. I personally believe that shame
  69. is only linked to certain
    trauma experiences.
  70. Now, I could be wrong and
    you're more than welcome
  71. to share your thoughts in
    those comments down below
  72. but just hear me out for a minute
  73. because I believe that
    shame is only associated
  74. with traumas that we
    feel we are responsible
  75. or could have stopped.
  76. This is obviously dependent
    on our own personal experience
  77. during or after that traumatic event
  78. but if we feel that we could have
  79. or should have done something to stop it,
  80. we can feel full of shame as a result
  81. 'cause think back to
    the definition of shame
  82. and how it can cause us to feel
  83. that we are just wrong or bad
  84. and if we felt that we
    could have done something
  85. to stop the trauma from occurring
  86. or did something to cause it,
  87. of course we would struggle
    with feelings of shame.
  88. Does that make sense?
  89. Now, research has shown that
    when we experience shame
  90. as a result of trauma,
  91. it can lead us into having
    more unhealthy coping skills
  92. such as excessive alcohol
    use, complete avoidance
  93. or self-injurious behaviors
  94. which can interfere with our
    ability to process the emotions
  95. that we associate with
    the traumatic event.
  96. Think about it.
  97. Drinking a lot is gonna numb us out.
  98. If we're using self-injurious behaviors,
  99. we've talked about this being
    an unhealthy coping skill
  100. and a way to kinda express
    how we're feeling differently
  101. or numb out from all that
    we may be experiencing
  102. so we just focus on that
  103. and this inability to process emotions
  104. may then contribute to the development
  105. or intensification of our PTSD symptoms.
  106. Also, since shame can be so
    debilitating and stigmatizing,
  107. we're less likely to even
    reach out for professional help
  108. and support when we need it most
  109. and additionally, they
    believe that shame is born out
  110. of the free state that
    trauma can put us in
  111. because when we're so
    overwhelmed and traumatized
  112. that we feel frozen and unable
    to move or help ourselves,
  113. we can slowly begin to believe
  114. that what happened was all our fault
  115. because we didn't do anything to stop it
  116. and that's how shame becomes toxic
  117. and impedes our ability
    to process through things
  118. and move forward.
  119. It doesn't help us see how our
    actions are affecting others
  120. or motivate us to change
    which guilt can actually do.
  121. Instead, it causes us to isolate,
  122. believe that it's all our fault
  123. and something is completely
    inherently wrong with us.
  124. Now, there is so much I could talk about
  125. when it comes to trauma and shame
  126. but I wanna make sure I leave some time
  127. to talk about how we can heal from it
  128. and move past the shame that
    we may feel because we can
  129. and number one, because
    we're dealing with trauma
  130. and possibly some unhealthy coping skills,
  131. we'll need to gather our healthy
  132. and helpful resources first.
  133. Research shows us that
    the free state happens
  134. because we don't really know
    what else to do in that moment
  135. and it pushes us out
    of our resilient zone.
  136. You remember I did that
    video with Alexa a while ago?
  137. And so when we do that,
    when it pushes us out,
  138. it's because we don't have
    any resources to help us out.
  139. So in order to even
    consider talking through
  140. all we may have been through
    and the traumatizing situation,
  141. we're gonna need to
    have internal resources
  142. available to us at all times.
  143. These aren't distraction techniques
  144. or healthy coping skills.
  145. These are resources within ourselves
  146. and in other people in our lives.
  147. For example, a resource could
    be your amazing sense of humor
  148. or your compassion for others
    or your closest friend or pet
  149. or a safe space that you
    have where you can go
  150. and you can relax and feel
    okay, anything like that.
  151. So any resource that you could use
  152. to help you better manage any
    of the hard and icky stuff
  153. we know can come up
    when we're going through
  154. and talking through the trauma,
  155. you need to be able to
    go to that happy place
  156. or to use that sense of
    humor to keep you present
  157. and help you continue to push through
  158. and your therapist
    should also be a resource
  159. but it can take a while
    for us to feel safe enough
  160. to call them that
  161. and know that we feel
    safe in their office.
  162. It takes us a while to feel okay
  163. but coming up with resources
    can take many sessions
  164. so be patient as you put together
  165. the ones that work for you.
  166. Next or number two is
    mindfulness and grounding.
  167. When we've been traumatized
  168. and are struggling with
    intense feelings of shame,
  169. it can be hard to stay present.
  170. This could mean that we're
    unable to stay in our body
  171. and so we'll dissociate
  172. or that we struggle to
    stay in the present time
  173. and have a hard time
    discerning past from present
  174. and I put these two tools together
  175. because they work really in tandem.
  176. Now, first, think about it.
  177. With mindfulness, we have to begin feeling
  178. all that comes up for us in our body
  179. as well as what emotions we feel.
  180. This can start by simply
    tracking your feelings
  181. with feelings charts.
  182. I've talked about that a lot.
    So you can print those off.
  183. You can Google them online
    and print off a feelings chart
  184. but it helps to track that first
  185. and then progress to how an
    emotion feels in your body.
  186. Where is it, what sensation
    do you feel, et cetera
  187. and it can take some time
  188. but the better able we are
    to recognize the feeling
  189. and actually allow ourselves to feel it
  190. and move through it and stay present,
  191. the better able we'll be
    to talk through our trauma
  192. and start to heal and also
    because we have to be present
  193. in order for our brain to have the chance
  194. to reprocess at all.
  195. Talked about that when it comes to EMDR
  196. that we have to be present
    in order for it to work
  197. and that's why figuring out
    what grounding techniques,
  198. remember these work in tandem, right,
  199. mindfulness and grounding,
  200. it's important to figure out
    what grounding techniques
  201. work for you and that will help
    you so much in this process
  202. and remember, grounding techniques
  203. could be snapping rubber
    bands on your wrist,
  204. stomping your feet, clapping your hands,
  205. counting the colors in a room.
  206. Connecting to what we feel in our body
  207. and connecting that with
    the grounding technique
  208. can help us focus on that area
  209. and can be so life changing
    during our trauma reprocessing.
  210. Next or number three, explore the trauma
  211. and situations that created shame for you.
  212. Because shame is often attached
  213. to a lot of other uncomfortable emotions
  214. and could be what's keeping
    us held in our PTSD response,
  215. we have to figure out what situations
  216. caused us to feel shameful.
  217. Now, obviously, this needs to
    be done slowly and carefully
  218. but your therapist should walk you through
  219. and help you see the other
    side of the encounter.
  220. Perhaps we aren't taking
    into consideration
  221. why someone would do
    that to another person.
  222. Is that person an egomaniac?
  223. Maybe they're acting out
    of their own pain or shame.
  224. Would they have done this to us
  225. or someone else no matter we did?
  226. Essentially taking the
    responsibility off ourselves,
  227. it can lead to shame.
  228. Taking the time to reframe what happened
  229. can help us acknowledge how we felt
  230. instead of what we usually try to do
  231. is try to just brush it off,
    push it down and ignore it
  232. and I know talking through each encounter
  233. that may have caused us to feel shame
  234. can seem really, really tedious
  235. but it's important that we do it
  236. so that we can see the other side of it
  237. and then be able to let it go.
  238. It can also help to talk out
  239. what other emotions come up
    for you when you do this.
  240. So maybe you feel anger and shame?
  241. Adding in an emotion word to the shame
  242. can help us better connect
    with what we're feeling
  243. again going back to the tip
    before this about mindfulness.
  244. Acknowledging that we felt other emotions
  245. can be clues to our healing as well.
  246. Now, next or number four,
  247. developing new and healthier relationships
  248. and ways to protect ourselves.
  249. Shame often gets passed around
  250. from hurt person to hurt person
  251. because it's often too
    difficult to deal with.
  252. So instead of dealing with
    it, we inflict it upon others.
  253. One article I read
    called shame a hot potato
  254. and I kinda like that analogy
    'cause it gets passed around.
  255. We're like, ugh, I hate
    this, it feels terrible,
  256. you take it and so we
    push it onto other people
  257. but once we figured it
    where the shame came from,
  258. the situations, the people,
  259. the traumas we may have experienced
  260. and we're able to safely
    reframe these situations
  261. to see it wasn't in fact our fault
  262. and there isn't anything
    inherently wrong with us
  263. then we can develop
    healthier coping skills
  264. and relationships starting with
    our therapeutic relationship
  265. and you can do roleplay within sessions
  266. to practice communication skills,
  267. come up with self-care
    tools and techniques
  268. and work together to
    recognize any of the clues
  269. that we may be slipping into old habits.
  270. Now, I know all of that
    may seem like a lot of work
  271. and in truth it is but I
    always think it's important
  272. that we know it can and will get better.
  273. Finding the right therapist,
    possibly a trauma specialist,
  274. is imperative as well as being
    patient with your process.
  275. Trauma work takes time
    and what's most important
  276. is that you feel supported
    as you were challenged
  277. but not pushed to move too fast
  278. and that's why resourcing was
    the first step I mentioned.
  279. We need to feel supported and safe
  280. while we do all of the
    work we're gonna need to do
  281. in order to heal.
  282. This video has been brought to you
  283. by the Kinions on Patreon.
  284. If you would like to support the creation
  285. of these mental health videos,
  286. click the link in the
    description and check it out.
  287. But as always, I wanna hear from you.
  288. Did I leave out an important step?
  289. Was there something else that helped you?
  290. Do you think shame and trauma
    aren't really linked at all?
  291. Let me know in those comments down below
  292. and I will see you next time.
  293. Bye.