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I'm unsure but would like input

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I'm unsure but would like input

Postby Brianna » Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:32 am

I am unsure if I am having panic attacks or symptoms of DID. I will be scheduling an appointment with a therapist in January but have been worried for over a month. I would appreciate any input or thoughts. I am older, married, nearly grown children, and just finished my first semester in grad school (counseling). I have always had periods of amnesia but considered them normal. I have very little memory of my childhood until around age seventeen but I know that bad things have happened. My memory blanks have become so bad that my husband and kids will sometimes tell me about conversations that we all held that I can't recall (usually when we are making plans and I've completely blanked on them).

I have different 'faces' that I present to people (that I've never considered DID). My 'scary moment' in November was part of a class assignment that involved speaking in front of the class. I am a bit shy so in class I present with a bold personality. (I didn't realize how bold until one of my professors mentioned that I was larger than life which confused me as I'm really not.) It's hard to explain but it was as if it was me (shy) and the bold personality side by side for the presentation. The bold me was doing the talking and the shy me was going through mental notes and prompting the next response. My presentation had a huge error in it (my fault through a misunderstanding) and the professor asked a question. Shy me realized that I needed to back down, but bold me had already asserted our belief in our answer. The professor became upset and raised her voice and I froze. I felt a 'bubble' push me backwards and I was no longer able to control the answers I gave. I also couldn't see well. I felt as if I were a little girl (complete with viewing myself with long dark hair) with very thick eyelashes, so thick I couldn't see well but my vision was distorted. I can't remember what was said but I remember trying hard to be very polite and apologetic so I could leave the situation (which lasted about fifteen minutes). After class ended, my professor wanted to talk with me some more and I know that I apologized continuously and was very polite, but I'm not sure what she said for about thirty minutes. I cried all the way home because I was upset that we did that to her (the little girl). I was still 'not myself' the next day and realized that I had to get myself under control as I couldn't function. I pushed that 'emotion' away but once it went away that's when I realized that I couldn't remember any of the feedback or discussion from my professor. (And, I'm a bit too embarrassed to go back and ask).

I do not have panic attacks but I'm not sure if this was one or a dissociative moment. I worry that my counseling coursework has stirred up memories of my childhood. During a session where a classmate had to interview me for an assignment, I had another 'blank' moment. Luckily we video-taped everything and when I watched it, I was talking about things that I'd never discussed or remembered. It makes me very uneasy.

The only other thing I wanted to mention (and now I think I'm becoming paranoid from having thought about DID so much) is that since that incident I've had recurring dreams where the little girl (she says her name is Dee) leads me into a big room with a fireplace and sofas. There are other people in the room but I can't remember their names.

Any thoughts? I'm not sure what's going on and I'm a bit worried that it will cause concern with my professors if they find out. At the same time, everyone is supposed to go into a counseling session (free at the university) during our grad school time. I've decided to go ask when school resumes but part of me feels a bit silly since I don't think I have DID. The 'bubble' that pushed me away though, was a very real, physical feeling. And my remorse and grief afterwards were also real. (I wouldn't grieve over a botched assignment. It's unfortunate and uncomfortable, but not the end of the world. I was grieving for the little girl.)

Thanks - Brianna (not my real name but one I've always loved)
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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:53 am

From a perspective of experiencing this similarly I would say "DID" but obviously you need to see a proffessional.

From my experience of psychiatry they would say something along the lines of "adrenaline rush" when giving the presentation. Then under pressure you experienced a normal level of dissociation for a typically shy person. Dream analysis you're coming to a higher understanding of yourself (the tower, going up), it's a warm and welcoming understanding (fireplace) and the other people do represent parts of you and you are achieving a positive connection to yourself. You're experiencing normal human growth of the psyche due to your learning.

"What about the memory gaps" you may ask, to which they will most likely tell you many people don't remember their childhood and the forgetting convos falls into you having to learn alot a college and is therefore normal forgetting.

This is my experience of psychiatry. They either talk to you for an hour and label you healthy or talk to you and label you with something they prefer like BPD or Schitzophrenia. I had one psychiatrist give me meds that made me hallucinate - turned out he was writing a paper on hallucinations (he is a particularly bad example) but even the reasonably ok ones do not like to see DID, it's not recognised by all of them and also it's a specialist field which most are not in. The best psychiatrist I saw, imo other than my long term psychiatrist, was a genuinely caring one but his field of choice was the elderly, which is better than the really bad one being interested in the elderly but still a loss for everyone else.

Not enough psychiatrists and too many fields of expertise.
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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby Amythyst » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:52 am

Hello Brianna, welcome to the forum.

Several of the experiences you described are similar to the sorts of things we've experienced, that we consider symptoms of our DID.

We're glad you're planning to speak with a councilor. If you aren't sure how to approach the subject with them, you could print out what you've posted here & share it with them.

Good luck,

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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby Skaya » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:13 pm

Hey!

Well, nobody here can tell you with any certainty whether you have DID - but, having said that, there are certain things that sound familiar. It's absolutely worth talking to a counsellor about what you're experiencing, in any case. Whether or not it's DID, you're certainly experiencing things that might benefit from advice and help from more qualified individuals.

Well done for seeking help and advice, it's a big step. Let us know how it goes, if you feel up to it!
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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:45 pm

//what you describe does sound a lot like symptoms of DID. talking to a councellor does sound like a good idea.//

//if I may advise something, which will not hurt either way, it would be to start keeping a journal about what you do and feel everyday. and use it also to communicate with the hypothetical other system members. keeping a journal does not hurt. it could also help you "fill in the blanks" of your amnesias. and communication with other system members is important too, if it turns out that you do have DID.//

//I know it can be scary at first. but, you managed so far with little trouble. understanding what is going on can only improve the situation on the long run.//

//best wishes from Ulysses//
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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:54 pm

Hi Brianna,

Welcome to the forum. I think you're right that the coursework and assignments have stirred up things from the past that you've successfully kept out of awareness until now. I think that if you're able to find a therapist outside of your program to help you with this, that might help keep your personal life separate from your academic pursuit.

I didn't find out about the others until 2 1/2 years ago--I'm also married and my youngest child is an older teenager. This is a difficult thing to deal with without having it completely disrupt your life, and if you can find someone who is very experienced with dissociative disorders, they can help you pace things slowly.

It helped me at first to read a lot on this forum, and there is a book called The Haunted Self that I found very helpful (even though it's written for therapists).

Your experiences of other people/identities inside you is not what is seen in panic attacks. I'm sure anxiety increased your dissociation, and that's very common, but what you described is much more than anxiety.

You're brave to reach out--I was very scared to post on here at first.

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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby IainEtc » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:38 am

Hi Brianna,

Welcome to the forum.

Everybody else has said good things so I'm just going to say I agree with them. This is a safe place so you can post here.

Good luck!

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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby MakersDozn » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:51 pm

Hi Brianna,

Welcome to the forum. We're glad you're here, and we agree with what the others have already said here.

We're glad that you're going to see a counselor. Is this counselor fully licensed or another grad student? (FYI, one of the best counselors we ever had was a grad student, so we don't want to lump all in one basket.)

Also, what is this counselor's area of expertise? And how many sessions will you receive? If you get into the topic of dissociation, it's probably a good idea to approach the issue in general terms, especially if the number of sessions is limited. You may want to ask for a referral to someone with specific expertise if you need additional sessions.

Good luck.

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Re: I'm unsure but would like input

Postby Zor » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:58 pm

IainEtc wrote:Hi Brianna,

Welcome to the forum.

Everybody else has said good things so I'm just going to say I agree with them. This is a safe place so you can post here.

Good luck!

Iain


I am gonna echo this (and many others') and say welcome and that this is a wonderful community of people here. We're glad you reached out here and hope we can help ease your mind on some things, and maybe help with perspective- people here have been like totally amazing for that for us since we found this place.

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