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Remembering who I was

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Remembering who I was

Postby Mosaic Butterflies » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:20 am

Hey everybody,

I've just been reflecting on my medications lately and how they haven't been working as I hoped they would. I know I already made a separate post about that, but I wanted to take some time to reflect on the person that I used to be, before the medication I'm on silenced my alters.

Before the medication, I was the Apparently Normal Part who acted as normal as possible. For me, that meant basically trying to seem neurotypical. I guess it's because of me that I'm so high-functioning when compared to others who struggle with the same things that I have. I was also the part who served as an empty shell through which other alters would express themselves. It was rather miserable when I was left alone since I have no hobbies of my own, but at least I did my job well.

Then there were my alters. They were all very colorful and charming in their own ways. They all had a range of likes and dislikes, they loved to come out and play from time to time, and most importantly, they helped to protect me from the things in my life that were scary or overwhelming.

Then there was one other part. He doesn't have a name or even a really stable identity that I can really describe (he evades any attempt at trying to identify him), but he was someone who I could lean on when I was struggling. We had a bit of a toxic dynamic together because he was so mean to me, but I truly believe that somewhere on the inside it was because he is feeling scared and sad about things that happened to us and he has no other way of expressing himself. But even despite all of that, I have to say that I truly do miss him ever so much. Not a day goes by where I don't think of him and wish that he was back here with me. Sure, he could be really awful to me, but there were times where he would be nice to me too, just like in a movie... If you really knew him, you'd probably say it's better that he's not around me anymore, but even still, I wish he were here with me again so I could try to help him help himself. I want him to be happy and healthy, then maybe we'll be able to live peacefully together once more...

...But, with the medication that I'm on now, I'm not sure that I'll be able to see him or any of my other alters ever again. And that's absolutely heartbreaking for me. I'm trying to get the medication changed, but we'll have to see if the psychiatrist I've been going to see will actually listen to me next time we meet...

...Ever since I lost the ability to talk to my system, I haven't known what to do with myself. Like I said before, I was mostly an empty shell for the others to talk through. I had no discernible personality, nor did I have any real hobbies. And today, that still rings true. I have not once engaged in a hobby that felt truly enjoyable ever since going on this medication a few years ago. Everything I do to try and have a hobby or a personality is just me mirroring how my other alters used to behave when they would come out. It's all just a ruse, and I didn't talk to my psychiatrist about any of this "not engaging in any enjoyable activities" business until a visit or two ago. But since it's not in her charts, she's kind of confused with why I'm bringing this up now.

Prior to figuring this out, I thought that maybe not having any enjoyable experiences was all my fault. I thought maybe I just wasn't trying or focusing hard enough, but... I think maybe it's just because it was never my job to have any hobbies. It was my job to be a vessel for the others, and in order to be a vessel, you have to be empty on the inside.

If I were to continue to live my life like this for years on end, I'd probably be okay, but I wouldn't be living my life to the fullest for sure. I just want my parts back. I want each and every last one of them back... Maybe someday I'll get them back, if I'm just assertive enough with my psychiatrist. But until then, I'm just here. Alone.
Dx: PTSD, Bipolar 2, OSDD-1b

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Stella (22), [Mother] (43), Autumn (22), Diana (25), Alice (15), Aliza (19), Abusive Alter (??), Hurting Alter (??), Kyle (15), Peter (17), Luna (6), Beverly (8), Hungry Child (??), Babushka (??), Baby (??)
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Floralie » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:22 am

I remember already posting this to somewhere, but to say it again.. I was using antipsychotics for few years too, earlier. At first I wanted to, it made my head more silent, and I thought when others go away, I will start to live my own life and do my own things. It didn't happen. Removing parts (back then I thought them to be imaginary) don't give a host any new skills. So I wanted out of them, out of meds. I was feeling empty as well, like a zombie, without any creativity or ability to dream or make my thought fly and get exited.

I was having SSRI meds at the same time, and I stopped meds I didn't like on my own. I wasn't in any active care, I just had someone to give new prescription, but no one controlling what I need and what I don't. I didn't find talking useful to me after being in one therapy for 3,5 years and it felt like a burden, not help at all. Later on I stopped SSRI as well, after realizing my depressions come and go as they do, and if I have meds for it or don't, doesn't change that rhythm.

I now have a different medication, which was wonderful at first too, but with bigger doses there are the same problems, me losing connection with inner world, although I do have others and meet them when they come close or out, I just can't see inside. Meds keeps everyday anxiety away, and it does increase my ability to do everyday things better. Not normally, but better. I couldn't work full time. But in a way I think I don't want meds keeping anxiety away, because it won't be dealt with in therapy, if most of it is silenced away. I need stronger anxiety medication sometimes, but I'm talking about the kind of medication which is taken every day. I do need those "first-aid-anxiety-killers". Or I don't, but Fourteen does.

I don't believe in treating symptoms, other than what is necessary. I believe in treating reasons, treating trauma in therapy.

In my own case I'm so used to the fact I can't do what others can and my life is very limited, I can't have friends, can't work full time etc. I think it may be a bit blurred what is normal. Maybe I do need those meds, I can't do those things with them either. So I don't know if they help me, or if it's just symptoms going up and down with or without medication.
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Sarandipity » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:20 am

When I was on meds (anti-psychotic and / or anti-depressants) I felt like a robot but I filled my life up. I had had a psychotic break and I was glad of them for 6-12 months. I've since worked out I do have "crazy" parts. If the others can't cope then they have to. They're mostly asleep so when they're left or woken up they're still half asleep. I've had them awake for months now and still functioned because the others have been awake too. They start off basically half asleep and dreaming so they believe the dreams, the dreams seem real. After a couple of weeks they're getting into reality a bit but it's boring to them so they hold on to a few delusions. A couple of months on I've noticed they read too much into things and take things too personally - basically paranoid I suppose. I'm at that point with them now. I'm hoping if I keep them awake or they stay awake a while longer that'll stop too. They're very creative and I've avoided in engaging in anything really creative for years because of that waking them up and I end up in hospital. This time because they were woken for non-extreme reasons it hasn't been that bad. I can still function and work, it's just been a bit annoying being told people are aliens or other weird stuff while doing all normal stuff.

When i was on the meds and basically a robot I engaged in loads of stuff,tried it basically. Hobbies don't interest me unless they're making me money. But reading and learning about religion did. I researched like it was a job lol because it was so interesting. I read, I met people from different faiths, made friends with them - Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, Seikh, (I'm not still in touch with any of them except I visit the witches very occasionally because I found them to be most open, witches are used to people turning up out the blue occasionally and don't hold it against you or wonder where you've been).

So I know you're saying you can't find anything to be interested in but a hobby doesn't have to be a typical hobby. It was literally my hobby to look into religion. I didn't want a religion, I wasn't seeking anything, I wanted to know what other people believed and why. Then I got side tracked and went deep into looking into why some Christians were "reverting" to Islam - clever the psychology of Islam btw because they claim we're all born Muslim and that you revert to your original faith, your parents baptised you Christian and by going to Islam your reverting back - clever psychological hook for the Catholic guilt. Anyway a hobby takes many forms.

I also liked going to "groups" any groups. I went to AA to see what that was about even though I rarely drink. They didn't mind me there.

A hobby can be anything. Doesn't have to be an expected hobby. Maybe your enjoyment lays somewhere outside of the box.
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Floralie » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:11 pm

My interests have always been very specific, and I get very deeply into them. Usually they are about some part in the end, but I've been interested in many things people would find weird. I'm been into blood diseases. I've been into autism. I've been into African geography. I've been into martial arts, theoretically, not doing them. I've been into palliative care.

There's been many interest I've known A LOT about, but don't remember anymore. My interests are really specific, only one interest is common, it's animals (pets mostly) and everything related to them. But I'm not the type of person who would have a house full of animals just because I like them. I truly care about them, which is why I'm very specific with their care. Now I haven't had a dog for years.

I agree your "hobby" can be something else than what is usually considered as hobbies. I don't know what the starter of this thread meant, but for me, getting interested in something specific wasn't what I meant, when I thought I would start living more, when I don't have all fuss in my head. I meant something that has to so with other people, something you can share with other people or talk about and sound normal. It's really hard to be part of the conversations, when you spent your whole days at computer, and there is nothing normal to talk about in your own life. You can't start talking what interesting detail about palliative care you just found out. So it means staying as an outsider.
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Mosaic Butterflies » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:33 am

Funny you should mention religious studies being a hobby. As it turns out, I actually had an affinity for studying other religions myself. Quite a strong pull it was, actually. Only, here's the catch: When I was actually looking into all of these other religions, it wasn't exactly me who had the interest to look into these other religions. In fact, it was a different personality fragment that managed to push through my medication's muting barrier at that time. She was out for a few months off and on before retreating back into the head space. I must admit that it felt fun when she was out and doing her thing...

But, the other problem with her is that we were actually looking to join the particular religion we were looking at and she happens to contain a lot of OCD characteristics. So I had to stop letting her come forward as much. She was causing a lot of issues, trying to "get rid" of all the other alters who she deemed were sinful and such. It was just a toxic combination. And she's not the only one either. There are other fragments who are each assigned their own religious affiliation and they pop out sometimes too... but they're the only other parts who can come out. Otherwise, it's just me. Everyone else is dormant.

But getting back to the point, I couldn't have a hobby even if I tried (and I have tried). As presented here, even when I try to have a hobby, another part has to come out in order to let me enjoy anything since I am but a hollow shell with no actual personality... And the "personality" that I do display is very shallow and not well-defined at all. I only pretend to have a personality because I must. Otherwise, I can't do anything...

...I really can't keep living like this. I hate this inner silence with all of my heart. I'm almost at a point where I think maybe I should just quit my medications altogether. But I know that I probably won't since I need them in order to stay awake at all (thanks chronic fatigue).
Dx: PTSD, Bipolar 2, OSDD-1b

My System
Stella (22), [Mother] (43), Autumn (22), Diana (25), Alice (15), Aliza (19), Abusive Alter (??), Hurting Alter (??), Kyle (15), Peter (17), Luna (6), Beverly (8), Hungry Child (??), Babushka (??), Baby (??)
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Sarandipity » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:37 pm

I don't know what to say. The only thing I can think of was when I was in psychotherapy with a woman who said similar to you - she pretends everything (happy, sad, enjoyment)..

I said to her "if you pretend it enough don't you eventually believe it?" Because if I pretend something I start to believe it, like when I was a kid, so I avoid pretending or lies. But it wasn't true for her, she didn't genuinely feel because of pretending. I don't know what the case is for you.

You say you're an empty shell, I don't like that term about anyone or any of my parts I find it upsetting. Also I believe that even empty shells with shallow personalities can be nurtured into growth and be deeper. If I didn't believe that then some other people in my life and some parts of myself would become depressed.

One part of me is quite shallow, like physical appearance and stuff but the therapist pointed out that she has creativity with clothes - it's her way of being expressive. So although she seems shallow to other parts because it seems superficial to us to care so much about cloths and shoes it is a creative outlet for her. And to be fair we do look better if she has her say but she spends more money - can't have it all ways though I suppose. For me my parts are more the reverse. They're about taking or calming really deep emotions. They sort of sweep them away and can focus in a calm way. Sometimes I just let myself have emotional days - down days - because it's not healthy to sweep it all away and put on a "brave face" all the time.

So this shallow hollow shell you have that does have some shallow personality - what does she do in life? What are the shallow traits she does have?
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Floralie » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:05 pm

Being shallow personality is having a personality. Describing it as shallow is how they are like. But being an empty shell is not same thing. It's not having personality, identity or anything you are like. It doesn't mean there are shallow traits, it means there are no traits.

That's what it meant to me at least. I lived without identity more than 30 years. No one knew it, because I could choose which kind of person I will pretend to be in different situations. I tried to explain it to my first T. I don't have identity. I don't have feelings. I have these others who have. If you ask me a question, I need to ask from who are you asking it from. There is no me to answer, but I can tell how others would answer. But they are not me. Answering was just guessing about who are we talking about.

She claimed I do have a personality, and tried to make me feel. It meant she didn't talk to parts or about parts. To me it meant we didn't talk about feelings, but about that shell that keeps them in one place. After 3,5 years there were no connection between me and T, empty shell can't have a connection. To have a connection you need to be someone, to have an identity, you need to be certain kind, I mean ANY kind, but some kind, without needing to decide it intellectually and then play the part. She tried to make the shell feel something, but of course it didn't lead to anything. She should've been interested on the feelings we had, they were not gonna go out thru that shell.

I do know what is it like to have no identity, but it's true you can form it. I did too. I have feelings and opinions. They sometimes mix with the feelings of others, but I think it's a good thing. It's way better than being no one and only parts being real. And people expected ME to be real. I wasn't. I was guessing what are the right opinions and I copied personalities and traits of other people, agreed with them. And went to be with someone else, and then agreed with them, and had no clue which is the truth.

Before there was no me, only parts. Then I created me, our system created me. Now I am there too. I can communicate with parts. I know what you mean.

Is your psychiatrist on the same page with you? Does (s)he understand others are part of your system, not symptoms to get rid of? Is (s)he trying to do the same thing you wish to happen, or something else? I know there is no expertise on DID, but are you being heard and believed?
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Mosaic Butterflies » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:40 pm

Sarandipity wrote:So this shallow hollow shell you have that does have some shallow personality - what does she do in life? What are the shallow traits she does have?


Well, I (the hollow shell) mostly just sleep since nothing else really grabs my interest or attention. Could be just me or the depression doing that. I'm not entirely sure. But in any case, all I do is sleep as a "hobby". As for things that I like... well, they are things that are very few and far between. For the most part, I like audio books because it feels like there is someone there to talk to me. I also like depressing sounding music. Things that sound far away or just sad. And finally, I like laying down like dead weight and pretending that my soul is not here anymore... So I guess maybe I do have a few interests of my own. They're very few and limited, but they exist.

Floralie wrote:Being shallow personality is having a personality. Describing it as shallow is how they are like. But being an empty shell is not same thing. It's not having personality, identity or anything you are like. It doesn't mean there are shallow traits, it means there are no traits.

That's what it meant to me at least. I lived without identity more than 30 years. No one knew it, because I could choose which kind of person I will pretend to be in different situations. I tried to explain it to my first T. I don't have identity. I don't have feelings. I have these others who have. If you ask me a question, I need to ask from who are you asking it from. There is no me to answer, but I can tell how others would answer. But they are not me. Answering was just guessing about who are we talking about.

She claimed I do have a personality, and tried to make me feel. It meant she didn't talk to parts or about parts. To me it meant we didn't talk about feelings, but about that shell that keeps them in one place. After 3,5 years there were no connection between me and T, empty shell can't have a connection. To have a connection you need to be someone, to have an identity, you need to be certain kind, I mean ANY kind, but some kind, without needing to decide it intellectually and then play the part. She tried to make the shell feel something, but of course it didn't lead to anything. She should've been interested on the feelings we had, they were not gonna go out thru that shell.

I do know what is it like to have no identity, but it's true you can form it. I did too. I have feelings and opinions. They sometimes mix with the feelings of others, but I think it's a good thing. It's way better than being no one and only parts being real. And people expected ME to be real. I wasn't. I was guessing what are the right opinions and I copied personalities and traits of other people, agreed with them. And went to be with someone else, and then agreed with them, and had no clue which is the truth.

Before there was no me, only parts. Then I created me, our system created me. Now I am there too. I can communicate with parts. I know what you mean.

Is your psychiatrist on the same page with you? Does (s)he understand others are part of your system, not symptoms to get rid of? Is (s)he trying to do the same thing you wish to happen, or something else? I know there is no expertise on DID, but are you being heard and believed?


Hmm... well, when you put it that way and after my analysis of myself above, I think I have to agree with you on the part saying that I must have some sort of personality. After all, without one, I don't think I would be able to exist within the system. But I think I'm just hollow enough for other parts to be made out of. That was another one of my purposes; to be the mold for creating other parts, I mean.

I don't know if it is possible for me to be able to create my own personality, personally. I've tried but even with my best attempts, I haven't been able to gain any new hobbies. I've been faking having interests for two years now and it still hasn't stuck. I think I might be ready to just give up now, honestly... looking at what I've been typing so far, I sound incredibly depressed. Sorry about that. I'm trying not to sound so bad here.

As for my psychiatrist, she doesn't even know that I have alters. Actually, she thinks that the "voices" in my head are like the voices you would hear if you were Schizophrenic. So every time I bring them up, she sends me off for blood tests (which always come back normal, by the way). And I'm afraid if I bring them up again, she will keep me on antipsychotics to keep them away forever and that might just end up killing me on the inside. So no, unfortunately we are not on the same page exactly. Maybe I should try looking for a new psychiatrist, but I'm scared to since this one is actually nice to me and she charges me what is in my pay range and for the most part she tries to listen to me I think.

Maybe I need to shut the heck up and just stop whining about things. It's clear that I'm not doing enough to try and fix things, because if I was, none of this would be happening. Not having too much of a personality and not having the right medication; Both of these things are my fault. I just don't work hard enough, that's all. It would just be better for everyone if I stopped making such a fuss and just continued through life like this. Then I wouldn't be annoying everyone with my problems and I could be happy... happy... what even is happiness anymore, though?
Dx: PTSD, Bipolar 2, OSDD-1b

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Stella (22), [Mother] (43), Autumn (22), Diana (25), Alice (15), Aliza (19), Abusive Alter (??), Hurting Alter (??), Kyle (15), Peter (17), Luna (6), Beverly (8), Hungry Child (??), Babushka (??), Baby (??)
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Sarandipity » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:30 pm

I agree that you sound incredibly depressed.
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Re: Remembering who I was

Postby Floralie » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:26 pm

You are not whining, you are having real problems and a treatment to a wrong disorder. Of course that doesn't help you. If you can't even tell your symptoms, how could it work. And to be able to do things and do more work, well, you can't if you are too depressed. It's a solution people with DID tend to use, when something feels too much for us, we decide not to see it anymore and shut up. Don't. It doesn't take you to a better place. You don't have to stop seeing there are real problems in your life that needs to be fixed, and it is VERY WRONG, you should first somehow cure yourself to feel well enough to have strength to fight for right kind of diagnose and treatment. System should work the other way round, that depressed people could go search for help and professionals would actually do their job. But it's not how reality is. That is why I'm in real kind of therapy now that I'm 40. I needed to figure out myself what is wrong with me, and then fight for treatment. I was able to, because system created me to do that. But it is not right you need to create new part to do the job you pay professionals to do. It's also a symptom of depression you can't see the ways out of your situation, although there can be many.

I have 3 ANPs who all have different jobs. The one whose job was to take care of me and all related to me, didn't function well at all. Maybe, because she was a teen, but because she didn't have a sense of self, she didn't fully understand it. Work me has always done good job, but before being with people was overwhelming, because we weren't really anyone. Third one is the nurturer one, her job has been take care of my dogs, and she has made a good job, regardless of all the other problems. (For example she also always cleaned the house, so my dogs don't live in messy environment. But after having no dogs anymore, cleaning up for ME.. it was home-mes job and she couldn't.) Being interested in animals has always been "my thing". But all of us 3 (at least) ANPs kind of feel we are the same me. We look like body, we go by body's name etc, we share all memories etc. We are same personality, but still we are separate. The one who was empty.. maybe some of that feeling was depression, but we never felt depressed. Boy inside us was depressed and we cried for him. I can talk about us with using the word me, but it's a bit inaccurate, because I am new one, the one system created, but because I still have so much common with old me, I sometimes use me and sometimes her, when I talk about old me, or old mes, because back then I didn't realize here were several of us too. Sorry if it makes this hard to understand. We remember what other us have done, also previous ones, but I've read now, it's normal that ANPs are in contact to each other like this.

I couldn't heal myself either, I just started to grow after understanding why am I like this and after finding people who are like me. And for the fact we had spent half of our life without constant trauma, and I think parts were ready to come out as themselves. I think I was created to take us to therapy. At the same time system created a new teen boy, who is very happy and active and outgoing. When he comes near me, I have way more energy to take care of myself because of his passive influence, and sometimes he comes to make dinner or do dishes with me etc. I don't know if we could have made what we have done now, any way back then. Maybe we just weren't ready. That is why I can't tell you what you should do and help you out like that. I believe too it's impossible to create new version of you just because you want to. It's not how DID works.

Seeing my old photos from the time I was no one, makes me emotional. I can remember how it was compared how it is now. So I do hear you. Although back then, when I didn't know about anything else, I was feeling bad, but I didn't know fully what was I missing. I'm still very early on my way. I am nowhere near to be normal functional adult, who could work full time AND have a family and maybe even hobbies on top of that. I don't believe it's realistic ever to be true, so I don't aim to that. I aim to feeling better.

Are you in therapy? Right kind of therapy with someone who does understand DID? Do you have a diagnosis of having DID (or OSDD if that's what you have)? Or have you found your way in here yourself?

Don't give up. If your symptoms are even a little bit there because of depression, depressions usually come and go. It feels bad when you are in the bottom, but I've learn to trust it does get better. It has always before, and when you are at the bottom, you don't need to do anything than keep yourself alive and survive for how long that lasts. Medication has helped me sometimes to get myself out of the pit, but it doesn't prevent it coming again. Then to get out of the pit, dose was doubled. And it helped, and then I was in that pit again. And the dose was doubled. And after some time it came back again. Doctor was talking about maybe adding new med on top of it, because I was having as much as you can take the first medicine. But I realized it won't really help. They come and go as they want to. I know it happens, I'm used to it, I need to forgive myself when I can't do thing right and remind it will go away anyway, and come back. That will happen as long as I get real help for the reason of depression. Medicating symptom didn't work. It works with bad anxiety, but no meds can cure DID.

I think you need to really think about if you are being depressed now, and that is why your situation looks hopeless to you. And is it that kind of depression that comes and goes. Or if it is really about you not being in contact with your other parts. Because if you find out that, it's easier to decide what to do next. There are lot of things that come to my mind, but they depend on the situation now, about if you have dx, a T, etc.

Have you told about your DID to your psychiatrist, and if, what kind of response did you get? Or did you go there to be diagnosed, and you were dx'd with psychotic symptoms?
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