Our partner

DBT and danger cues

Dissociative Identity Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderator: Violarules

DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:53 am

We've been learning a lot about the polyvagal theory, like the latest research on trauma and the nervous system.
basically it says that we leave the safe and social system when there are cues of danger and enter either flight/fight or freeze, depending on the circumstances.
Strictly speaking the 'hard' or high level DBT skills are danger cues.
inflicting harmless pain, cold pads, smelling salts, chili or intensely sour stuff, bright lights...
they kind of work but then ...
We feel like there is a limit and at some point it will just be perceived as another danger cue that will increase the dissociation/stress response.
Before we write an essay on that we wanted to ask you about your experiences with the high level DBT skills. are they helping? when? when not? Do you prefer to use something else?
Asti&L
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:20 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby fireheart » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:16 am

For us, they work/are needed when the depersonalization/dissociation doesn't make "sense". When it is unpleasant and I desperately want to connect again.
They make things worse when the dissociation is trying to protect from things like body memories.

Sometimes when hyperarousal is going crazy they work to focus the mind again. But I prefer "lighter" skills and actually focusing on calming down - I didn't have the words for it, but the high level skills do send danger cues and I guess that's why I'm reluctant to use them. It seems unnecessarily harsh to me at times, when just cuddling up with a blanket and soft music would work better.
fireheart
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:39 am

so you are saying that sometimes the dissociation is useful and needed and if you use DBT Skills then, it's not helpful?
Like if we dissociate to avoid our inner experience DBT Skills won't help?

we kind of teach DBT Skills but at the same time... we don't use the big ones at all. we use movement mostly. everything from sun salute to qigong to burpees and jump squats. on some occations it was not possible to avoid smelling salts but we haven't needed them in several years now.
having autistic parts who react with a meltdown when they get overstimulated doesn't make DBT Skills the tool of choice...
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:20 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby BeccaBee » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:24 am

I would never do anything in the list there. but I do use cold for grounding. i used to live in a very hot climate and I think something cold is very grounding to place me in time.

the other stuff sounds terrible and would be upsetting to me.
Female, 37
Dx: DID, C-PTSD, TES


We are the Bees

The Rabbit Hole
User avatar
BeccaBee
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:40 am
Local time: Thu May 23, 2019 10:26 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby fireheart » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:25 pm

birdsong87 wrote:so you are saying that sometimes the dissociation is useful and needed and if you use DBT Skills then, it's not helpful?

In my experience, yes. Because it will just make me dissociate more. And now there are even danger cues coming from the present, so it will make me feel more unsafe.
birdsong87 wrote:Like if we dissociate to avoid our inner experience DBT Skills won't help?

Well... I think it would mainly be about trying to solve depersonalization/derealization in moments when they are actually "protecting" from flashbacks. So, I guess, my experience is super specific? :roll:
birdsong87 wrote:we kind of teach DBT Skills but at the same time... we don't use the big ones at all. we use movement mostly. everything from sun salute to qigong to burpees and jump squats. on some occations it was not possible to avoid smelling salts but we haven't needed them in several years now.
having autistic parts who react with a meltdown when they get overstimulated doesn't make DBT Skills the tool of choice...

I like this. It made me realize that we also use movement. Movement and sometimes even play can be very effective. We can find play in exercise at times.
Personally, I've started to wonder about autism, too. And I think recognizing the cause/origin of being overwhelmed is key (and knowing what will work for that part). Some of the system need absolute quietness, and others prefer the sensory feeling of loud music. But maybe a difference could be that in autism it's more likely to be about sensory things - and/or for the solution to lie in sensory things.
fireheart
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:07 pm

'the inner experience' covers quite a few things, like awareness of alters but also memories and flashbacks and conversation and whatnot. so going into dp/dr to avoid that is totally common.

I think that some depends on how hard we are dissociating. because there is a level when we shut down so badly that nothing else but hard skills will get us back. we've discussed DBT with a cPTSD patient who felt like it was all too harsh for her, but she also didn't have a lot of dissociation and didn't need that stuff. when you are dissociating hard enough you barely feel even the tough stuff...

I will probably ask a T about this too.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:20 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby fireheart » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:15 am

Cool, thanks for clarifying about the inner experience. That makes sense.

I have had dissociation bad enough where I wouldn't feel anything and probably even the harshest skills wouldn't have "worked". Back then, I tried using these skills with varying rates of success. Nowadays, I don't like that idea of having to "shock" yourself out of it rather than doing a mixture of acceptance and more mild stuff. Maybe the dissociation isn't the same level anymore, maybe I have better emotion regulation in general... not sure.

Anyway, I think it's a great idea to talk to a T (or multiple Ts) and see what they think, as they may have experience with a greater variety of people.
fireheart
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:43 am

I agree with the shock... but it does make me wonder if maybe it is meant to be that way so we would return to a defense system of flight/fight. physiologically that is the way out...
for us some of the high level skills are close to or the same as stuff that abusers did to keep us from dissociating or just generaly aversive stimulation to make us obey. so DBT gets that very dark element where it reminds of the dark side of behavioralism and behavior therapy.

in the trauma clinic we go to one of the highest ranking docs preaches the power of a hot drink. just sitting down to counter the freeze with some warmth and social connection and not going crazy over being a little dissociated. I like him very much. it won't be enough for total shutdown but it is good advice for mild dissociation and dysregulation.
our own T works with essential oils and scents a lot. but she does have spiky massage balls in her office and we hate those...

we have friends who are shutting down so severely that they don't feel the DBT Skill anymore. I saw them use the most intense stuff without reaction. it used to work but they got used to it, like they always got used to bad treatment. that is... kind of terrible

sorry my thoughts are not all sorted. I am just trying to figure out what I think...
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:20 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby fireheart » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:07 am

Yes, it somehow has this tricky element.

To be honest, it reminds us of abuse and self-harm. Probably because we used self-harm to counter dissociation.

(( Trigger warning: self harm:
I laughed at the Ts who said to snap a rubber band or hold ice cubes or something, because I wouldn't feel anything of that stuff. At some point I hurt myself more than I wanted because I was looking for that point of feeling, and it never came. I was only thirteen years old and it scared me a lot.
That was a bit of a turning point where I realized that sometimes you're "too far gone" and SH won't help.

End trigger warning.))

And with self-harm there is a lot of desensitization going on, just like it can be with these skills.

For me personally, the big thing that works at the moment is to go climbing. You are in a different environment, with relaxed people; the sport itself can be quite rough and you usually end up with some minor injuries; it requires balance, coordination and concentration; it takes at least two hours; in the end you do stretching/yoga. It's like magic.
fireheart
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: DBT and danger cues

Postby birdsong87 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:48 am

We are searching for information and found something we didn't know about. the science article about it was published in 2018.
they added the polyvagal theory to DBT to change it for people who are over-controlled instead of under-controlled (still doesn't make it proper trauma treatment, but it is closer to being helpful!)
with the under-controlled patients the goal is always more control and distance to keep them from their chaotic relational stuff.
the over-controlled patients get a different programm that is aiming for interpersonal relationships, expressing themselves and feeling connected.
:shock: what!
why didn't we have that back in 2014!! cause damn it, many trauma patients are over-controlled, that is how we cope! adding more control won't help at all. that is exactly how we felt the last time we were stuck in a DBT unit.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:20 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:26 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Dissociative Identity Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GKOKD, Majestic-12 [Bot], tanay, ZodiacDragon and 74 guests