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notes to self by FaithinWrongthings on Wed May 29, 2013 8:28 pm
quoted:To understand Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) you should start with an understanding of dissociation, the underlying act that is familiar to us all. Dissociation is a mental process that produces a lack of connection in our thoughts, a separation of emotions, physical sensations, memories, actions or even our sense of identity. Most of us experience mild dissociation in our everyday lives. We call it daydreaming, getting lost in a movie or a book, or driving home on autopilot. These examples of dissociation are normal, and a mild form of amnesia.: end quote one
^what is dissociation^
Dissociation can become a disorder when it begins during a person's developmental years and becomes habitual and ingrained. I developed DID as many others have: from enduring a tragically violent childhood. When I was attacked, I instinctively dissociated. Because the experiences were too traumatic for me to deal with, I cognitively left my body and observed the incidents from outside myself. I watched from a distance as if the assaults were happening to someone else. Even while an attack was happening, I was filing the experience away into a mental room, as if it were a movie clip. Then I closed and locked the door. :end quote two
^how it was formed^
quote three:Children most commonly use dissociation, as I did, as an extremely effective defense against acute physical and emotional pain - or even anxious anticipation of that pain. I often refer to this in my presentations as a superpower. It is considered a highly creative survival technique because it allows an individual enduring hopeless circumstances to preserve some areas of healthy functioning. While a person is dissociating, some information - particularly the circumstances surrounding a traumatic event - is not associated with other information as it normally would be. It is held in some peripheral awareness. In that way, it is kept at a distance from the child's immediate awareness, ideally until the time when he or she has the strength or perspective to confront the experience.
If the abuse continues, over time dissociation can become habitual, reinforced and conditioned. This effective strategy can become a way of life: an automatic response to being "triggered". In other words, the person automatically dissociates when a particular environmental cue or event is similar to a previous traumatic event. The person triggered feels threatened or anxious even if the situation doesn't seem threatening to anyone else.: end quote three
We all have multiple parts to our personalities. You refer to yourself as "I" or "me" even though you act differently at work or school than you do at home because you experience yourself as a single whole. You feel comfortable moving from one part of "me" to another, just as you would walking from one room in a house to another.
What makes the mind organization of someone with DID different is that instead of having open doors between the different "rooms" of their personalities, they have walls called amnestic barriers. The differences among personality states are therefore experienced as stronger than usual, making each state feel like a different personality. So the part that gets angry in the grocery store experiences itself as separate from the part that behaves politely at Thanksgiving dinner. The personalities of people with DID are organized more like apartment buildings than single-family homes--everyone lives in the same building, but the walls keep them from being aware of each other in the same way they would be in a house.
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