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Posts Tagged ‘multiples’

Thatched RoofOn my blog entry entitled Aftereffects of Child Abuse Beyond PTSD but not DID, a reader posted the following comment:

I would not work with any professional whose view was so simplistic they did not understand that all classification systems have no value other than to appease insurance companies. ~ Michael

I am glad that Michael wrote this because it is an excellent springboard for the next topic I want to cover.

Labels such as dissociative identity disorder (DID), dissociative fugue, dissociative amnesia, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DD-NOS) come from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). I do understand that mental health professionals need a way to categorize what they are viewing from the outside. However, as I see DID from the inside rather than the outside, I personally see more similarities than differences in all of these disorders. I suspect that might be why some readers find my blog helpful even without a DID diagnosis.

A mental practitioner is going to go down the checklist when diagnosing a patient. Loses time? Check. Has more than one part inside? Check. I suspect that reactions to child abuse are more complex than can be quantified through a checklist.

Over at isurvive.org, a member once called DID a “create your own disorder” disorder. I, personally, think this is the most accurate description of the aftereffects of child abuse that go beyond post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and I would apply this descriptor to all of these other ways of splitting that go beyond PTSD but don’t fit the label of DID. (Yes, I am aware that some readers disagree with having “chosen” the way in which they split.)

I use the term “healing from DID” to describe myself because that label no longer fits me under the DSM-IV-TR, yet I did once fit the label. My internal experience has not changed – what has changed is that I am continually in the process of healing, so I no longer exhibit the same symptoms that I once did.

I have always said that if a label is helpful to you, embrace it. Otherwise, don’t let a label limit or define you. My therapist felt it was important for me to recognize the label of PTSD as applied to me, and he was correct. However, he has never worried about a DID label for me. His focus was always on encouraging me to love and accept myself as well as talk about what happened until I no longer feel the need to talk about it any longer.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Here’s a new one for you – Have any of you experienced a form of “switching” after healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)? I think that is what I have been doing, and it is really strange.

Let me explain what I mean. Read Nansie’s comment, which I quoted in this blog entry. Now, imagine that “carousel of emotions” taking place but from a “singleton” perspective. That is what has been going on with me, and it is bizarre.

When I was badly triggered as a multiple, different parts would come out and switch repeatedly as the multiple system tried to figure out how best to respond to the threat. I described one such scenario in this blog entry when I was in conflict over choosing to trust a friend. I was in such conflict that it felt like a carousel was spinning in my head as one part after another came out to try to restore order.

This is how I have been feeling since the recent incident that upset me. (Don’t worry about this lasting for a week and a half. I am writing ahead because I am going out town soon. I sure hope what I am writing about today will not still apply when this publishes!)

Over the course of several days, I have felt shock, anger, and sadness, decided to leave the relationship and decided to stay, decided to play mental games and decided to be indifferent, felt such deep despair that suicide seemed appealing, felt completely okay, felt like binge eating (after losing 14 lbs and being “on the wagon” for months), etc. It feels like I am constantly “switching,” but most of these emotions are no longer “parts.” I feel like there is a dial in my head that releases various emotions, and a toddler has gotten a hold of that dial. I makes me feel like I am losing my mind!

When I was a multiple, eventually one of these parts would drive my reaction. If it was the angry part, I might leave. If it was the sad part, I might sink into a depression but take no action. However, there is no one “part” to take over any longer. It is only me, a (mostly) singleton being hit by one powerful emotion after another, and I cannot seem to make a decision about which way to go because my emotions keep shifting in powerful ways.

Have any of you experienced this? Do you have any advice? If I am still feeling this way after my trip, I will make an appointment with my therapist.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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