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Archive for January 19th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Encouraging One Another after Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

I’ve read things on this page that discussed topics that I’ve never seen anyone brave enough to take on before and I am amazed. I am 43 and have been in therapy more than 2 years now but even my therapist, who is experienced with multiples, has trouble understanding my polyfragmented system and how it operates. I’m scared there is no place in this world for me. ~ Cam

I have not yet discussed polyfragmented Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) on my blog, so I thought this would make a good series, both for Cam as well as other people with polyfragmented DID who are reading my blog.

So, what is polyfragmented DID? Let’s start by talking about “standard” DID, and then I will tell you the differences.

People with DID dissociate to such a degree that they compartmentalize their memories, feelings, and emotions into different alter parts. People with DID might have only two alter parts, or they might have several.

The difference between standard DID and polyfragmented DID is a matter of degree. Rather than splitting into three or four alter parts, someone with polyfragmented DID might fragment into 100 or even 1,000 alter parts. Many of these alter parts might be personality fragments, which means that they are more one-dimensional than three-dimensional.

For example, an alter part might feel like a “separate personality” with more depth. A personality fragment might only hold one memory or one emotion. It is generally more challenging to integrate an alter personality than a personality fragment. The terminology “polyfragmented DID” simply helps to describe a more fragmented reaction to severe abuse.

While many people might assume that polyfragmented DID is harder to heal from, that has not been my experience. By being polyfragmented, I was able to heal a little at a time, whereas friends who only had two parts really struggled with the “all or nothing” integration process, which was excruciatingly painful for them.

I have been successful in healing from polyfragmented DID, so I know that it is possible. If you have been diagnosed with polyfragmented DID, you can heal, too. The key is learning how to love and accept each part as “me.”

Suggested Reading:

Safe Passage to Healing

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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