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Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

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Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby walden » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:13 am

Hi everyone, hoping someone may have some insight as to what might be coming..I've been very concerned with "me"/the host disappearing for a while. The way things have been lately only reinforces this concern. Looking back, DID had a huge hold on my life as a child, and I wonder if it will return to that before things get better.

So here goes- I started seeing a psychologist again in December because the dissociation, amnesia, nightmares, and PTSD symptoms returned after a couple years of being more or less benign.

I blame the holidays for this.

Over the past 3 weeks, the Amnesia and dissociation has become much worse. All "I" know is that I suddenly feel super dizzy and feel sick to my stomach and then I'm *back*.. sometimes I notice that "I" have done things by seeing evidence of these events (i.e. today at work - long story short, "someone" (no idea who) deleted work I had done! I felt dizzy and sick just prior to the amnesia, and when I came back, I remember thinking that my hands looked/felt like someone elses.)

Sometimes I don't realize that there was amnesia/things happening without "my" awareness until days later or until someone points it out. For example, I was emptying out my rock climbing bag after a climb a few weeks ago- I had stowed my Timex watch in one of the compartments (A little boy part LOVES to rub the velcro of this watch)..When I put my hands on it, I suddenly felt dizzy and sick, and that's all "I" remember. The following Monday I reached into the drawer where I always put this watch and found it was missing. All I know is that I had my hands on that watch for a few seconds before there was that sick and dizzy feeling, and I haven't been able to find this watch..perhaps M put it somewhere only he knows about??

Anyways, those are some example of where things are at. I should note that the new Psychologist has been honing in on some tough stuff, so perhaps it's been triggering this response..It just kinda sucks, I haven't felt grounded at all since our appointment with her yesterday. Even super hard workouts and listening to Cat Stevens and James Taylor isn't bringing back a sense of self; it feels like the super Protective parts Peter Marcus and Cheetoh are more "in front" of "me" than I can be now. "I" am trying to go with the flow and remain as present and conscious as possible, but it really gets old to feel so alien to what "everyone else" is feeling!
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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:53 am

Sounds like therapy might be moving too fast. You might want to have the psychologist help you focus on grounding and stabilizing your present life. I don't exactly know what it means for her to have been "honing in on some tough stuff." It makes it sound like she is trying to lead the process rather than letting you be in charge of what you talk about.
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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby SeveralCrows » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:32 pm

Seconding The Gangs' post, definitely let your T know that you're experiencing this much destabilization. Do you have a communications notebook where you can write to ask the others what is going on? It's possible that a part that had been dormant awhile is active again. For us, we have the worst symptoms switching to parts who we have poor communication with or whom we have deliberately avoided acknowledging in our system. We get really bad headaches and blurry vision and disorientation with those parts, where with other parts it's just a light, temporary dissociation. We also experience more switches where someone takes over when we're in the middle of doing something when their needs aren't being met or even acknowledged. The communications book might help you to find out what that other part needs that they're taking over when you're in the middle of work and took and hid the watch you need on your climbs.

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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby Una+ » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:19 pm

Yes, this T definitely is going much too fast. Are you pushing to go fast? Most new DID clients are in a big rush. Once we decide to get therapy we want to get it done ASAP. I've been there, done that, learned from my mistake. Therapy doesn't work that way. DID expert Richard Kluft says "the slower you go, the faster you get there" and a lot of posters here on the DID Forum have learned he is right.

Grounding takes work and involves learned skills. That is why the international consensus treatment (PDF available free on the ISSTD website) involves 3 phases of work, starting with phase 1 safety and stabilization. Trauma work is phase 2. Many clients need to do phase 1 work for a year or more before they are are ready to work on traumatic material without the kind of problems you are having now.

The slower you go, the faster you get there.
Dx DID older woman married w kids. 0 Una, host + 3, 1, 5. 1 animal. 2 older man. 3 teen girl. 4 girl behind amnesia wall. 5 girl in love. Our thread.

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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby walden » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:59 am

TheGangsAllHere wrote:Sounds like therapy might be moving too fast. You might want to have the psychologist help you focus on grounding and stabilizing your present life. I don't exactly know what it means for her to have been "honing in on some tough stuff." It makes it sound like she is trying to lead the process rather than letting you be in charge of what you talk about.


Moving too fast is my fault- This is my third attempt at working on this, so I went in with the attitude of "I am sick of dealing with DID on my own; Here is what is happening, and here are some examples of similar past events that make it clear that this is DID.

So a few weeks ago, she asked me to write down everything I can about the other parts. When I shared this with her, I dissociated badly and kept going from a protective part to little kid part, with a troublesome teen part coming in with it's nihilistic punky attitude. She spent the rest of the time doing grounding exercises.

SeveralCrows wrote:o you have a communications notebook where you can write to ask the others what is going on? It's possible that a part that had been dormant awhile is active again.


I do. It seems like all the protector parts have come out of being dormant.

SeveralCrows wrote:We get really bad headaches and blurry vision and disorientation with those parts, where with other parts it's just a light, temporary dissociation. We also experience more switches where someone takes over when we're in the middle of doing something when their needs aren't being met or even acknowledged. The communications book might help you to find out what that other part needs that they're taking over when you're in the middle of work and took and hid the watch you need on your climbs.


Same here on the headaches, for me they usually feel like a brainfreeze type headache- do you experience head/brain sensations that feel like a tingling electric sensation that moves from one pare of your head to another?

Do you have a communications book?

Una+ wrote:Yes, this T definitely is going much too fast. Are you pushing to go fast? Most new DID clients are in a big rush. Once we decide to get therapy we want to get it done ASAP. I've been there, done that, learned from my mistake. Therapy doesn't work that way. DID expert Richard Kluft says "the slower you go, the faster you get there" and a lot of posters here on the DID Forum have learned he is right.

Grounding takes work and involves learned skills. That is why the international consensus treatment (PDF available free on the ISSTD website) involves 3 phases of work, starting with phase 1 safety and stabilization. Trauma work is phase 2. Many clients need to do phase 1 work for a year or more before they are are ready to work on traumatic material without the kind of problems you are having now.

The slower you go, the faster you get there.


Wow yea that about nails it. Definitely pushing. This psychologist has a solid background in childhood trauma, but she doesn't have experience with DID. Her input has already made improvements in my life, but I am still unsure if she is knowledgeable enough to treat this..Should I be seeing someone with more expertise in DID?
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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby Una+ » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:11 am

Walden, yup, situation normal. When I was first diagnosed I too had symptoms like yours. I had very frequent sudden massive piercing headaches, intense pressure, weird sensations that seemed to be inside my head, etc. It helped me a lot, relieved my anxiety about all the strange stuff that was happening, to find others here on this group who had similar experiences. Paste "cephalic aura" site:www.psychforums.com/dissociative-identity into a web search engine and you will find some relevant discussion.

Those symptoms all stopped rapidly after I found a therapist who was firm about slowing down and concentrating on phase 1 work as long as necessary.

As you have just experienced, surveying your system in the manner you describe is likely to stir things up.

Apart from letting you go way too fast, your T sounds okay. It sounds like this is a new therapy relationship, so your T is not yet in a strong position and your going too fast isn't entirely her fault. Also, she responded very appropriately to your florid switching. That is a really good sign that she is a competent therapist. She likely just needs support as she gains experience. ISSTD can help with that. Also, if you feel comfortable doing it, you can direct her here.

Believe it or not, you---and I am talking to all of you now---have already done what for many of us turns out to be the hardest part of our recovery journey: coming out to a therapist. Well done and carry on!
Dx DID older woman married w kids. 0 Una, host + 3, 1, 5. 1 animal. 2 older man. 3 teen girl. 4 girl behind amnesia wall. 5 girl in love. Our thread.

Is your dx DID (or MPD/DDNOS/OSDD)? Join the 2017 survey: Time to diagnosis?
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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby SeveralCrows » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:19 pm

Our T is a trauma specialist but not a dissociation specialist. We're her first client who's a multiple. She consults with a dissociation specialist as needed and it's been working out great. As an example: when we brought up wanting to eventually integrate - at least partially - she reassured us that we don't have to. So, even without it being her specialty, she has been able to supplement her knowledge enough to be a really great support. Probably not every T is up to that, but I wouldn't discount a T with trauma experience just on a basis of not having DID experience.

walden wrote:I do. It seems like all the protector parts have come out of being dormant.


Might help to talk to them to explain that the current day situation is safe and that you're revisiting the dangerous stuff only in context of therapy. It still makes sense that they'd be more active, to protect you from memories that are being stirred up, but it might still help them to chill out.

walden wrote:Same here on the headaches, for me they usually feel like a brainfreeze type headache- do you experience head/brain sensations that feel like a tingling electric sensation that moves from one pare of your head to another?


Not sure if we get brainfreeze type, but I think it could be likened to that. Sensations that move from one part of head to another do occur, as do headaches that occur in specific spots for specific parts. The majority of our switching headaches occur in the front right and feel like liquid being pushed really quickly in too tight of a space, like inside of a water balloon style toy.

walden wrote:Do you have a communications book?


Yes! We use a sketchbook because several parts like to draw or paint, so this is the most universal option. I admit that we're not using it as routinely as I wish we were. There is still a lot of, "I wish I could just get on with life things and not spend time on this!" within the system, and we know that's unhelpful. If we spent a little bit of time on communication each day, we would have fewer interruptions from alters whose needs aren't being met. Some of our parts are very self-attentive and self-aware in terms of needs, and it is usually those parts who are not being as attentive to using the comms book, but others really need to be asked or given the opportunity to ask for things. We do at least make a good practice of going back and reviewing information, there just needs to be closer to daily writing in the first place. Things are better since starting the comms book though, and we have fewer instances of surprise takeovers in the middle of tasks.
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Jake (protector/caretaker, 32, he/him)
At least 18 others, including fragments
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Re: Stomach ache and dizziness followed by amnesia

Postby walden » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:58 am

Una+ wrote:Walden, yup, situation normal. When I was first diagnosed I too had symptoms like yours. I had very frequent sudden massive piercing headaches, intense pressure, weird sensations that seemed to be inside my head, etc. It helped me a lot, relieved my anxiety about all the strange stuff that was happening, to find others here on this group who had similar experiences. Paste "cephalic aura" site:www.psychforums.com/dissociative-identity into a web search engine and you will find some relevant discussion.

Those symptoms all stopped rapidly after I found a therapist who was firm about slowing down and concentrating on phase 1 work as long as necessary.

As you have just experienced, surveying your system in the manner you describe is likely to stir things up.

Apart from letting you go way too fast, your T sounds okay. It sounds like this is a new therapy relationship, so your T is not yet in a strong position and your going too fast isn't entirely her fault. Also, she responded very appropriately to your florid switching. That is a really good sign that she is a competent therapist. She likely just needs support as she gains experience. ISSTD can help with that. Also, if you feel comfortable doing it, you can direct her here.

Believe it or not, you---and I am talking to all of you now---have already done what for many of us turns out to be the hardest part of our recovery journey: coming out to a therapist. Well done and carry on!


Thank you very much, Una+. Ran that search and found a lot of relevant info, including some conversations we had back in 2013. Definitely have crossed a few bridges since then. P & C have mostly been in front since Wednesday, with N the host being very ungrounded and lost. Interestingly enough, Happy Girl seems free to roam when N isn't as present.

Things are more back to normal when functioning this way. This is how it was back then. N does a great job of acting normal, but there is too much self-hate there, it's just simply too much for him/us as that part to endure..Considering the amount of control/time loss over the last few days, the concerns expressed of disappearing seem very valid now.

Well to wrap it up, it feels like a weight has been lifted by coming out to her. Suppose it makes sense that everything has become so much more clear after exposing everything to someone else, let alone a psychologist.
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