What is TRAUMA THERAPY? Psychology & mental health treatment with Kati Morton licensed therapist

What is TRAUMA THERAPY?  Psychology & mental health treatment with Kati Morton licensed therapist

Hey everybody! I have an amazing special guest Dr. Alexa Altman is here to talk with us about what is trauma and resiliency. Since this is the first of many videos that Alexa and I are going to do together tell my audience a little bit about what you do and what your specializations are. I’m a clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma therapies specifically, EMDR and somatic experiencing and both of those therapies help a person move out of the overwhelm that happens after a traumatic experience back into connection with their bodies, connection with other people, and a greater connection to their life. Very cool. Yeah, and if any of you what EMDR is we’ll talk about it periodically throughout our videos, but I’ll put a link in the description of my old video about it where I talk to you, specifically, about bilateral stimulation and all the terms and what that means. But for today, we’re going to start out with the basics. Start at the beginning. So, tell us what trauma is. How would we define being in a trauma? Yeah, ’cause people throw out that word: trauma this, trauma that. What really is trauma, and how do I know if I’ve been traumatized? So, a trauma is defined, not in the event, but a person’s response, the overwhelm that happens after an event. And it could be one big event, we call that the “Big T”. Kati: Okay Or, it can be a series of of small events. We call those “Little T.’s” that overwhelm a person’s capacity to cope. Kati: Interesting. So, what might be traumatizing for one person might not necessarily be traumatizing to another. Kati: And I’ve heard that from a lot of my viewers. They’ll say, well, I had a sister and we grew up the same and all this happened to both of us. How come I’m the only one struggling? Dr. Altman: That’s right, that’s right, and we’re going to talk a little bit later about: why and how our system… What is that overwhelm really about? Kati: Yeah Dr. Altman: ‘Cause sometimes people think something’s wrong with them that they were overwhelmed. Kati: Yeah, exactly and then there’s a lot of blame and guilt and embarrassment and all sorts of stuff that can go… Dr Altman: “What’s wrong with me?” Kati: So, what we think we’re talking about is when we’re not in the trauma space. We’re not over-charged or had any response to a trauma. Right? We’re in a resilient zone Dr. Altman: Yeah. Kati: We’re doing good and- I’m doing the middle ’cause there’s like a graph kinda of, like, we’re in the good, like, middle Dr. Altman: We’re gonna draw it, yeah. Kati: Yeah Dr. Altman: Right, so when you’re in that resilience zone your system might feel the charge associated with having to meet the challenge of your day. Right? Kati: The charge would be like a being stimulated, stressed. Dr. Altman: Stimulated charge, right. There’s a certain level of stress, like, it’s stressful to get to work on time. Right? Kati: Yeah! Dr Altman: There’s a certain amount of stress that activates our system to meet the challenges of the day, And then… Which is part of that charge. But then our system balances it out with some relaxation/ restoration. That might look like eating lunch with your friend. Right? Kati: Bringing you back down out of the stress. Dr. Altman: So, we see this, like, real… I mean, ideally, right? We see this nice wave of charge and discharge that would be called our resilience zone. Kati: Okay, nice. Dr. Altman: Yeah, so that’s where we’re doing good. Maybe life’s not simple, but we’re able to kind of manage what’s coming at us and come back down. Kati: Got you, and like, almost like re-center ourselves. Dr. Altman: That’s right, that’s right! It’s like, right, that’s the “A Zone”. That’s the zone you want to live in. Kati: Okay Dr. Altman: So, then we think about an event or series of events that bumps us out, well what does that look like? We get bumped out of this nice, even resilience zone. So, an event comes and bumps us out and then we have this huge charge. Let’s say, car accident Okay? A car accident comes and our nervous system involuntarily, it’s instinctual, responds with a huge amount of charge to brace or prepare ourselves for some kind of action, and our nervous system doesn’t quite get back into that range of resilience the same way it would in just driving a normal day to work. Kati: Is that, like, for the… is that why, ’cause I’ve been in a… everybody’s been in a car accident Dr. Altman: Sure. Kati: even like a little fender bender. Is that why when you get back in the car after, even thought it wasn’t that bad maybe, even, but I still am, like, shooken up. Is it that shakiness? Dr. Alman: I’m so glad you asked, so that shakiness is part of what we call that sympathetic, which is that fight-or-flight, nervous system arousal. It’s healthy, life-preserving, but, here’s the thing, it’s supposed to be short-term and time limited. Alright? Kati: Oh. Dr. Altman: So, that shaking that Kati was describing is one way our nervous system shakes out that energy. Kati: Oh, interesting. Dr. Altman: The discharge. Kati: It’s almost like, ’cause I’ve read about, um, I think, it was the EMDR video I did, or I don’t know. You guys let me know. The [unintelligible] was the trauma video, but I talked about how animals, like, [Kati makes a sound imitating vibration] Dr. Altman: Yeah. Kati: They, you know, they shake, and it’s like they’re… one of the therapists that started a certain type of treatment, I think it was somatic treatment. Dr. Alman: Peter Levine. Kati: Yes! Hes talked about -that’s exactly what it was- he talked about how that was like their way of coming back down, and we have our own versions. Dr Altman: We have our own versions coming back down to that resilience zone. Right? That the challenge becomes when we get stuck in that sympathetic you know, fight-or-flight state and we don’t come back down. And some of that there’s lots of reasons why and we can, maybe, get into some of that, like why our nervous system… maybe it’s we didn’t shake it out, maybe we never got to a safe place, so that’s the other thing: is we come back down when we find safety again. Kati: Oh, so if we don’t have a safe place or if there are a bunch of “Little T.’s” -let’s say, right- that happen we can never feel okay enough to go [Kati makes vibrating sound with her mouth] Dr. Altman: That’s right! Kati: and be okay. Dr. Altman: Right, and often times that that safety is in a place or a person. Kati: Interesting. Dr. Altman: So, what if Kati, you’ve had this big event but maybe you’ve never had a safe person. Kati: Yeah, well then, what do you do with that? Dr. Altman: What do you do? So, that’s kind of what we see too is sometimes these experiences get stacked on each other. Kati: Okay., and so it’s almost as if- ’cause I’ve heard from a lot of my viewers, especially, and even some of my clients that they don’t even know what it would be like to not feel on edge. Dr. Altman: That’s right. Kati: or hyper-vigilant or a lot of things that come along with trauma. Dr. Altman:That’s right, that’s right! So we’ve been describing a lot of that fight-or-flight state when you’re super charged up, but what we haven’t defined yet is: there is another state that’s also protective, instinctual, part of our defensive strategies, which is called that freeze state. Sometimes, we’re not in fight-or-flight we’re in what’s more of an immobilizing, protective response freeze, which is dissociation. Kati: Okay and that’s where that comes out of. Is that, if we were to write it… Do we want to draw the thing now? Dr. Altman: Yeah, let’s draw it. Kati: Okay we’re going to draw it, okay. So we switched sides [Kati snaps her fingers and makes the sound of a laser gun] Pew! We did movie magic. And now Alexa is going to draw what we were talking about and the resilient zone as well as fight, flight, and freeze? Dr. Altman: Yep. Kati: Right, so, I guess let us know what we’re doing here Dr. Altman: Yeah, so we were talking about this range of resilience right? Where we might get super charged to get activated and mobilized to meet the challenges of life. Kati: That’s like I’m in traffic, going to work. Dr Altman: I’m in traffic Kati: and then I’m having lunch and dinner Dr. Altman: with my friend, right? And we wouldn’t say this is like a beach in Hawaii like I’m in my happy place here, but we’re still able to cope with the challenges that life brings us, right? So, then we have we’re going to do our 🎵do ta dah do!🎵 traumatic experience or a bunch of little things that come in, right? Kati: “Big T” and “Little T”, right? Dr. Altman: “Big T”, “Little T”, actually that’s a good idea. Okay, little t. Kati: Okay Dr. Altman: Okay, and what what it does- actually I’m going to do it in red- Kati: Okay Dr. Altman: is it bumps us out of this range, right? Right, and then we see this, and this we call the “high zone” Is that writing and [unintelligible]? Kati: Mm-hm you’re fine. Dr. Altman: Can you read it? Man off-camera: Yep. Kati: Can you guys see it? Dr. Altman: It looks like tight zone, “high zone”. Kati: [giggles] Dr. Altman: And then we have this “low zone”. Kati: So is this freeze? Dr. Altman: This is freeze. Kati: Oh! [Katie whispers to camera- unintelligible] Dr. Altman: So this is all that fight-or-flight. Kati: Uh-huh Dr. Altman: fight, flight And this is freeze! So, we call this freeze this is also where you see dissociation, Kati: Oh, okay. Dr. Altman: foggy, numb, cut-off. You can’t feel your body. You feel like you’re in a tunnel. Kati: Okay, so this is like all the senses pumping at once and this is when I just checked out. Dr. Altman: Yeah, I like to think about it like circuit breaker on the house, you know, when all the lights go off- circuit breaker’s off- that’s that freeze response. Kati: That’s down here, yeah. Dr. Altman: It’s more of that life threat response. Fight-or-flight, we’re still mobilizing trying to meet the challenge. Freeze is really that life-preserving, feigning death, you know, playing possum, freeze response. We typically see the freeze response in kids, because they can’t fight or flee. Kati: Yeah Dr. Altman: Right? And vulnerable people in vulnerable situations where fighting or fleeing maybe isn’t the nervous system’s wisest choice, and I say “choice”, but it’s really involuntary. Right? Kati: Yeah, I’ve heard from a lot of you who have chronic illness or are immobilized that this dissociation is really difficult and it’s something that you struggle with because fight-or-flight isn’t an option. Dr. Altman: Isn’t an option. Kati: How interesting. Dr. Altman: Yeah, right, so a lot of the strategies and skills that, I think we’re going to be talking about are learning to bring your nervous system out of the “high zone” back into the range of resilience and from the “low zone” back into the range of resilience. And what we see, and how I really define resilience is this capacity to move from overwhelmed back into this range of resilience. The other word we use a lot in trauma therapies is this is called regulation, balance. Kati: Oh yeah, okay, I’ve heard that! Dr. Altman: Right? So, resilience is moving your nervous system back into regulation, which essentially is balance. Kati: And that would be kind of like I’m sure some people do this without even realizing they’re doing it, bringing themself back. Dr. Altman: That’s right. Kati: Right? Like, “Oh, I’m feeling really maxed out, I’m going to go for a walk, or I’m going to, like, listen to a podcast, or I’m gonna call my mom or…”. Like, it’s all the reaching out and the things that we do to… Dr. Altman: Exactly. Come back into our range, but, I think, some people really have lived a lot of their life up here Kati: mmhm Dr. Altman: or a lot of their life down there, so even the experience of balance, or back in the range, is a new experience. Kati: Might be uncomfortable even? Dr. Altman: It might be uncomfortable, ’cause you know what I hear a lot in the “high zone” being wire and vigilant all the time, the idea of being in balance and not being vigilant… Who’s going to look out for danger, right? Kati: Yeah Dr. Altman: If you’re looking, if you’re used to looking for danger all the time, it’s going to be really scary to turn that radar off. Kati: Yeah, because it was life-preserving. Dr. Altman: It was life-preserving, so it was protective! Kati: Oh wow, how interesting. Dr. Altman: Right? So, we do, in trauma therapy we talk about- this word we use is “titration”. Do you remember in chemistry when you would titrate solutions and you’d do a little bit at a time? Kati: I have to think of medication, but maybe it’s ’cause of what we do. I’m like, if your doctor’s titrate it up or titrating it down. Dr. Altman: So, we talk about this idea of titrating experience for moving something that’s novel, let’s say, being safe or having that vigilance down we do a little bit at a time to get your system used to… Kati: So, bringing it from here step by step Dr. Altman: Step by step. Oh! Could we do a step by step? Kati: Yeah, we definitely can. Dr. Altman: Oh, I’ve never done that Let’s see, like a step-by-step Kati: Mmhm Dr. Altman: a little bit at a time, so you get used to what it feels like to be in balance. Kati: To let it go a little. Dr. Altman: To let it go a little bit. Kati: How interesting, so, then, I guess to finish this video and like I said we’re going to do bunches of videos together. Because Alexa has a lot of wonderful information to share. But I want to let everybody kind of understand, so that this is what we’re working on, and this is kind of like, in a nutshell, what trauma therapy is. Dr. Altman: Yes! Kati: What is the goal of trauma therapy? Dr. Altman: That was such a perfect question, because, essentially, every time we bring our nervous system back into resilience we expand our capacity, so what this will look like… Kati: Oh, does it get broader and broader and broader? Dr. Altman: Yes! Can I make, can I just get it bigger? Kati: Mmhm, of course! Dr. Altman: So, then, your capacity okay, so now we’re talking ’bout life Kati: Oh Dr. Altman: We’re able to meet bigger and bigger challenges of life without getting thrown. Does that make sense? Kati: Yeah! So it’s almost as if we’re working out this muscle and the muscle keeps getting bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. Dr Altman: Stronger and stronger. And, in addition, to not feeling overwhelmed as often we’re also able to take on more and less of our energy is devoted to defense. See, one of the things that happens when you’re bumped out all the time is all of your life energy is taken to protect yourself. Kati: Yeah and to that vigilance ’cause whoever, I’m sure, anybody who’s ever been in an accident or had anything potentially traumatic happen it’s exhausting. Dr. Altman: It’s exhausting. Kati: And that on the edge, it, like, takes everything you’ve got. Dr. Altman: To think about other life things and goals and purpose, whether it’s to be creative or seek partnership or connect in a different way all of those resources are being taken up. Kati: Yeah, interesting. That’s so cool. Thank you so much for sharing! And, like I said, we’re going to do a bunch of videos, but this is just to give you a better idea of the definition of trauma, resiliency, and what is trauma therapy. What’s the goal? Thank you so much, Alexa, for sharing all of your wonderful insights and information! And, like I said we’re going to be in a ton of videos together. So, click over here to subscribe! And turn on your notifications ’cause we’re doing a whole series, and you don’t want to miss ’em. Thank you so much, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!

100 Replies to “What is TRAUMA THERAPY? Psychology & mental health treatment with Kati Morton licensed therapist”

  1. Please share the video on your social media (twitter, facebook reddit etc) By sharing you never know who you might be helping 🙂 Thanks for watching! xoxo

  2. This video is so helpful and interesting and I am experiencing all of this and im going to counselling next week so thank you

  3. Love this a lot.. She has such a calming and interesting way of talking… I really really like it.. Could listen to it for hours.. Great video Kati. Looking forward to the ones to come 🙂

  4. Dear Kati, thank you so much for posting these videos, they have been extremely helpful! I am currently recovering from PTSD, on my own, using yoga and mindfulness, after it got accelerated by bad therapy. I have powerful reactions to triggers from time to time, that last long after the trigger is gone. I could use trauma therapy, the problem is that I am fearful of going to a psychologist because of what happened in my first therapy and because, living in Romania, there is really a matter of hit and miss once you choose a professional service of any type. Can you recommend any serious licensed trauma therapist that would do paid Skype sessions? Language is not an issue, I am a good English speaker.

  5. I think you two hit the nail on the head regarding my response to the trauma I endured from birth to well into adulthood. I have always frozen when traumatized, and I truly had nowhere to run and no way to fight. To this day, at 48 years old, I still respond the same way to triggers. As well, I seem to be resisting my therapist's gentle efforts to bring me into the "A Zone" because 1) it is entirely foreign and 2) I only trust myself to watch for danger (which is everywhere!!!). I hope that whenever I can get my service dog, these things will begin to change.

  6. Thank you so much for this video, Kati. I have no realized that I was in a sort of freeze state that I had no idea how to get out of for a few weeks at the end of the year, and now I will talk to my therapist about how I can get myself back in the resilient zone instead of being at the top or bottom.

  7. I've spent most of my life in fight, flight, and freeze states due to growing up in a toxic environment as well as going through an abusive relationship. I've never known what it's like to feel safe. I've been in therapy on and off since I was 8 years old. Thankfully, my current therapist of 5 years is trauma informed and I think I'm on the right path toward learning to be more resilient. This video was SO helpful. Thank you Kati and Alexa for explaining trauma therapy in a way that makes sense.

  8. I'm currently in college to become a social worker and am so glad I came across your videos. I have so much to learn to help others and even help myself. I believe I've had a lot of traumas as a child and even in my young teen years, and now that I'm on my own in college, I think I've found my safe place, but I don't feel completely normal. I think I will go to therapy to see if I can get it taken care of!

  9. Okay so I have a question. My younger bro has high functioning autism. My dad did not believe in that growing up and so used to try and "beat" it out of him. It would be really intense spankings and yelling. Throwing him around (but never into anything) and I have a really hard time saying that's abusive because in the eyes of the law it was all legal but I'm pretty sure I was traumatized by it. I would try and protect him and after telling my dad to leave him alone I would be shaking so bad. When I was in my room or shower I would hear my brother screaming only to come running out and realize it was just my imagination. I was constantly afraid and would always be sick to my stomach and I never knew why. I was terrified of adults and even at the age of 23 have a hard time talking to people older than me or people in authority. Would you consider me to be "traumatized" and how do you reconcile the traumatic experiences with it being legal. I feel like I'm lying when I tell people

  10. So is flashbacks in the high zone or low zone? B/c when I have flashbacks I'm replaying the trauma but in a dissociative state.

  11. I'm really late so idk if anyone will see this. But with if your safe person is a boyfriend or girlfriend and then the relationship ends? What do you do?

  12. I don't have a safe place and I realized last week that I don't and that I want one. I don't have anyone or anywhere I can go too. It's not fair 🙁 I want someone to hold me and tell me it's okay or talk me through a tough time. But I have to do that for myself and before I was fine with it sort of because I was "strong" but I'm tired of being strong on my own. Sometimes it's hard to tell myself it's okay when I'm in the middle of a storm. And I realize I way overreact to things and it's embarrassing, because I realize what is annoying to some is catastrophic to me.

  13. I love this so much! Your videos are helpful! I am a LMSW and was assigned to watch therapy associated videos for my supervision assignment working toward my LCSW. Thank you much for posting such informative and easy to relate to videos

  14. This video series is wonderful! You two inspire me to continue taking those small steps into the resilience zone. Thank you for helping me to keep going with my inner work and to stay hopeful. I'm so thankful.

  15. What is the difference between the range of resilience as related to say Trauma vs an Anxiety disorder(Social Anxiety, GAD, AVPD)? I guess my question is the treatment the same to expand your range of resilience?

  16. Thank you Kati. I am finding the trauma videos very helpful. I don't understand my trauma and it is really shocking to hear about my emotions from a professional perspective. I think I need some support. I have decided to get some therapy. A heartfelt thank you again.

  17. so pissed neither of my psychologists taught me this. honestly would have been so helpful with when i had my car accident. everything makes so much more sense. explains why i make ec basically my psychologist, because he was my safe place. thank you so much for making this video.

  18. such a blessing I found your channel you have no idea.Im seeing the help I need to get and its makeing it easier to go through with finding it

  19. Thank you! You put into words what I feel. I am hyper vigilant and it brings me a lot of problems later because I can't focus anymore.

  20. Can I ask is EMDR tiring on the eyes? I've had lots of eye surgery so am worried it would really strain my eyes as the eye movements are for long periods. Thank you so much your videos are so helpful x

  21. Thank you both for putting this video together!

    Last Nov. I developed a panic disorder and had no idea what was going on for two months, scariest experience of my life. I had some “spiritual gurus” telling me it was “enlightenment.” Ugh… you can imagine how that freaked me out further. (that’s a story for another time)

    Since Nov. I’ve processed a lot of traumatic memories/feelings that I had NO idea needed processing. I thought it was all in the past and done with. I’m doing considerably better now and am also on meds to give me more room to work through them.

    My question is, how do you know when you’ve processed all the hidden traumatic memories? Is there a way to know? Especially when you’re on meds and more stabilized?

  22. Hi Kati, I don't know if you're still answering questions on previous videos, but I have a trauma specific question.

    I've gone through a lot of trauma therapy recently and have been doing much better since. I no longer suffer with this, but I had developed a panic disorder and acute general anxiety disorder in Nov that was triggered by quite a lot of things, but felt very fast and hard hitting. It was all so overwhelming for me to go through at the time.

    I now worry, even though I'm doing much much better, that there may still be further unresolved traumas that might arise again in a similar way and knock me off my feet. Like a monster waiting to pounce, but I never know if it will or when.

    Is this normal?

  23. I think when I went in for treatment Dr. Alexa was one of my trauma team therapist. The best therapy I've ever received. So thank you.

  24. Hi Kati. At 9:32 you mention people with chronic illness having "difficulty with" the freeze response. Do you mean people with chronic illness do not have the option to run from the thing that is causing them distress, so they freeze (or flop)? I have fibromyalgia and chronic pain from a whiplash injury and was also repeatedly bullied/hazed for 5-6 years from the age of six. This situations have made me feel like I cannot escape. Does that lead to freezing or dissociation?

  25. Kati please make a video about how natural disasters can be traumatic and how that relates to PTSD and EDs. Im from Puerto Rico which means little Internet. It also means i'm experience what Hurricane Maria left us. It was traumatic. Thanks

  26. This is really, immensely helpful, thank you so much for this! I don't feel like I know anything 'safe enough' I'm stuck in the freeze response (Depersonalisation) at the moment. I've not had any success yet with pulling myself back into resilience. I have BPD too which really doesnt help when I've snowballed into negativity. Are there any suggestions for what I can do to get out of freeze response? I really want to work through my Traumas and process them so I can be a better me 🙂 thank you

  27. So I'm walking home from the grocery store in a quiet area of the neighbourhood and suddenly hear "hi everybody!!" I look around and there's nobody there. Oh sheet, not this! (I'm schizotypal) I hear more talking and then pull out my phone and somehow this vid was playing o.o
    Wonder if there's something important for me to learn here.

  28. I think there should be a video talking about the "freeze" and "fight or flight" responses with caracteristics of each and why some people get "up" or "down" and how steps to bring them to the resilience zone differ depending on the "up" or "down" zones.

  29. Is the chart more of an analogy, or is it actually modeling stress response in terms of energy? I get the points explicitly mentioned where areas outside of the horizontal, parallel, blue lines are traumatic stress, and the area between is resilience. Is the area in the middle also stress or just kind non traumatic stimuli?

  30. I went trough 7 years Of emotinal trauma bullying I have Flash backs and I started with walking an exstra 15 min to not go near my old school then It went to fearing going places In case I met people now I am a bit better I Get Flash backs rarly and I avoid some things but not that Much during episodes I Shake too

  31. I have been in a sociopath situation my entire adult life. Im 57, and in the dissociation part i guess. I feel suicidal but just sleep and stay in my room. I need help but have no one i can count on. I have lost everyone. My problem is i have my own apartment finally but live in a olace that is run by either a sociopath or a psychopath and evryone upsets me so i hide in my room. I dont want to do anything and have been this way for years with only a few , very few times in between where i was a little better. I live in fight or flight mode but dont want to do anything and have been feeling suicidal. My worry is i have 2 cats and my bills and what am i going to do with them. The only 3 people that actually half care about me have to work and have their own families. What will i do with my kitties , and if i get behind the nasty jerk that runs this place will kick me out immediately. I need help. Badly. What will i do. Im scared. I cant lose my kitties they love me and depend on me. I have no one and my first ex of 25 years with 3 breaks in the next ten turned all but one child against me with lies and even she gets angry with me and doesnt really believe its that bad. Im alone. What do i do?????

  32. I struggle with BPD and have been in therapy for 2 and a half years. I never knew I dissociated before. The freeze response has happened to me. I had asked my therapist and she didn't even think I had dissociated. I never described this freeze response because I already had a generally good understanding of dissociation. At times, the freezing response can be a helpful coping mechanism. When I'm riding in the car, obviously my brain knows I can't jump out, and therapy has helped me enough to stop ranting orcomplaoning much sooner if I start to, and upsets occur less often when regular problems arrise. I thank God for DBT. I just started EMDR this week. Exciting stuff.

  33. I'm starting EMDR next week and the zone visualization was very helpful. I have gone off the cliff with my trauma. I mean that literally, I really went off a cliff in a car and into a trauma ward. But I did find out my last words would be 'oh, shit!' Big T for sure. I hope this therapy helps me get into the zone.

  34. Wow! This is so informative. I've had various traumas in my life but a month ago I had a traumatic experience at the dentist and I still haven't recovered. Followed closely by another panic attack and fainting episode last week:(

  35. Amazing video, I never got help for my traumatic past and have been dealing with hypervigilence for years. This makes so much sense to me, the feeling of not feeling safe. Thank you now i feel i can take some steps to heal. Any other books or videos you recommend that dives deeper into this topic of safety and how to get there?

  36. Thank you so much for sharing these videos to the world. I have been suffering 24/7 depersonalization for 7 years. I also developed very specific phobias at the same time. After watching your stuff, I realized that there might actually be hope for me in getting out of this brain fog/high. I found someone and was diagnosed with PTSD about a week or so again. And I’m weirdly happy to know that I’m not dying or insane. I’m starting trauma therapy now and while I know it won’t be an instant fix, I feel hopeful that I just might be able to reconnect to my surroundings and feel awake again. Thank you.

  37. Thanks so much for this. I had 4 years of big T's as a child. Over the past few years I have had 3 more big T's which seems to have tipped me full time into the high zone. I am terrified of everything, any noise, people outside, my toaster popping up! I can only eat 4 foods as I feel that others will poison me! I am severely agoraphobic, have GAD and panic disorder amongst other things. I cannot go to sleep until 4 or 5 am incase someone breaks into my house. I cannot have any medical treatment even though I desperately need some, as I am too scared. My life is a living hell. I have never been offered any treatment for my PTSD.

  38. I'm so, so glad I've found out about freeze and dissociation/derealisation. Fight or flight didn't fit my responses and I've always felt like my mental ill health didn't fit into any of the categories I was hearing about which was really upsetting in itself. I feel like there is hope!! Thank you so much for your videos x

  39. I think I’ve lived in the high zone since I was a kid, because I constantly ”attack” people. Not like physically or anything, I juat mean that I get super defensive and go from 0-100 in a second. It’s not like I’m mad, I just REACT to EVERYTHING. Critisism, injust treatment, sometimes even just being looked at or bumbed into by accident. Turns me on like a light switch and BAM! BACK OFF. I feel really bad about it because I’m really a very chill and tolerant person, but then something happens and people thing I’m crazy. I’m barely aware of it, and I can’t control my emotions if someone or something triggers me. I can even take it out on random stuff (which is better of course) so like if I hit my toe on a chair, I would pick up the chair and throw it against the floor until it’s broken. Anything that HURTS me physically or emotionally triggers these reactions. I’ve been like this since I was abused by my parents for 10+ years. It was emotional/mental abuse, a complete emotional neglect, bullying, some physical abuse, there was alcoholism involved, late nights with strangers in our house and loud parties all the time, I couldn’t sleep or do my homework and I was basically hiding in my room 24/7, frozen from fear and anxiety, and that was the state pf mind I was in for all of those years. Constantly scared or worried and on the lookout for ”the predator”. Still to this day I avoid those people all together, as much as I can. Undortunately I’m forced to meet them at some family occasions and that just makes it worse. I would like to avoid completely, but nobody understands, and they don’t believe me and I’m pretty much still being treated like a pile of dog shit by most in the family. I don’t know why. I’ve never hurt anyone. When I ask them they tell me it’s because I am weird, difficult to understand and because I’m not as social as they are.
    I’m think I’m starting to learn to stand up to them though. It’s a fine balance between not exploding and throwing stuff, and not quietly tolerating it, but I’m trying to learn to just say it like: ”That is not a proper way of speaking to someone” or ”I dont’t like it when you say that, so please respect that.” or simply ”Why are you treating me like this?”. But I’ve also shut many of them out completely, and it feels good actually. Like a ”ENOUGH” statement. Then they can talk about how weird I am with each other, but I won’t be a part of that anymore.

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  41. The high zone looks like anxiety. Kati do you think that this is misdiagnosed often as anxiety?

  42. Traumas like: at age 5 being with my parents when they found a guy who committed suicide. A cow trying to trample me at age 7 and at age 8 our family Doctor getting really really aggressive with a suction device as they tried to clean out my digestive system for stomach x-rays. Add to that two parents with explosive tempers. And there’s more. God forgot to insert care and empathy when he made my family.

  43. It’s all interesting, till it’s yours. It’s hard and exhausting. I’m so tired. I just keep checking in with my resilience. Sigh

  44. The whole "freeze" aspect really spoke to me. I notice that I tend to do that a lot when I'm in situations I feel I have no way out of. I can't move and my mind basically says "if I just stay still maybe everything will stop" of course I'm normally never right.
    But the way you guys talked about it made me feel a little less alone that I do it. I always thought it was stupid of me to respond that way and that no one else would do that

  45. Watching Kati's videos is my way of getting back into my 'optimal zone', its like a way of coping in between therapy sessions for me.

  46. Can one be on "freeze" for a number of years? Only to jump to action on the other spectrum for a limited period of time and then down to "freeze" again. Like when one used to have a lot of vitality, but its gone? Add to that loss of husband, loss of job and a country about to go into civil war? – living on the edge financially and on a wing and a prayer after living in fear in other ways before the freedom of leaving a toxic relationship? I go from frantic super focus to sleeping for days and I feel guilty. But I know what happened to us was not normal and what we're facing is not normal. But then …. define normal in an insane world? If I forget to pray in the morning, I'm done! But I do go from total "freeze" to "frenzy" and would appreciate a website or information I can research on what it is I'm supposed to be looking for to help me understand. Many thanks.

  47. I don't know if you would call it trauma exactly, but I wonder if those with Autism and high functioning Autism spend more of their time above or below their natural threshold because they have a much smaller threshold– simply because they are not as socially adept, and spend so much of their time trying to logically work out things that come automatically to the rest of us, and thus they are almost always in a highly charged and defensive mode, and often feeling quite socially vulnerable.  Could this model be adapted for the social stress experienced by those on the Autism spectrum?

  48. This is very helpful at my stage of therapy to understand what’s going on. I wish you could collaborate with her again in DID.

  49. Informative though the delivery is a bit giggly, animated and high schoolish. Makes it difficult to watch and listen to this deep subject.

  50. Do you know anything about brainspotting? Could you do a video about that? Is it the same as EMDR? My therapist wants to do this with me and I'm scared…

  51. Thank you so much for this video!!?❤ The presentation and explanation of the information was amazing!! Will share for sure

  52. omg I need this so bad right now, ive just been through an extremely stressful month of non stop emotional abuse by my mom and exposure to my parents and their extremely toxic relationship. one day i just couldnt physically look or speak to my mom anymore, and i started just flinching at her sight. I have to put it into perspective and recover

  53. This was super helpful because I’m looking into trauma therapy to come to terms with my rape. I’m gonna do it. Thanks so much

  54. Wow. This is the best description I've ever heard. You just explained my whole life in less 14 mins.  I've been living in High Zone/Low Zone for as long as I can remember.  I'm just now beginning treatment for PTSD.  Thank you guys.

  55. I really enjoyed this clipboard and how you broke down the fight or flight experiences. I'm someone who suffers from dissociation and ptsd and anxiety. This episode was so helpful. It explains what I'm going through. Thanks so much. This was helpful

  56. Maybe working on your own resilience and not blaming others might be more helpful? This sounds like made up nonsense for snowflakes 🙂

  57. I'm really glad my therapist doesnt talk like Alexa, I think that would probably bother me on therapy

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