Posts Tagged ‘Activism’

On Therapy and Survivorship

As I have stated before, I’m in therapy, for a variety of reasons. There is really nothing wrong with that. I see both a psychiatrist and psychologist. For me, it’s helpful for my issues. I’m diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADD. I am on Adderal for the ADD, and am not taking anything else for the other disorders. However, I have not talked to my therapist at all about my multiplicity. I’ve been told I should get a “Proper Diagnosis”, but I don’t think I want to bring it up. It would be nice to have Celeste and Eris be able to work out some of their own issues with a therapist, but of course, I’d rather not deal with the fallout from it. I wonder what would happen if I brought it up, and could convince him that the DSM is not accurate in regards to multiplicity. I think a step towards fixing the problem of being labeled unstable is to get therapists on our side. I don’t know how to do that, without the fear of being put in a mental hospital, or at the very least being labeled crazy.

My therapist is actually a pretty awesome guy. He listens to me, and helped me get past my emotionally and sexually abusive relationship, which is where a lot of my issues come from. (Aside from the ADD). Of course, you can’t be dependent on a therapist. You need to work on things yourself too, and you can’t go to your therapist with every little thing. (Like when my mom brings up my slight freak out the other week, even though it was because I was stressed and tired because life was being a bitch, and I didn’t feel that it was a problem) Sometimes you just need to deal with life. Honestly, you shouldn’t be absolutely dependent on anyone, because it can be really unhealthy.

There’s nothing wrong with therapy, as long as it helps you. There is also nothing wrong with medications if they help. Hell, Adderal has been a big help, not only for helping me focus, but because of my chronic fatigue, which made me live life in a fog for a good 3 years. Medications aren’t a cure-all, but they can help a lot. The only problem with therapy is if you rely on it to fix all of your problems. You can’t just think therapy or medications will fix everything. Life doesn’t exactly work that way. Life is difficult, and they best way to get through it is to live.

In regards to my multiplicity and therapy, we’ve all talked about the pros and cons of bringing it up. Eris has wanted to work on anger management, and Celeste has a lot of issues to deal with that she feels like getting help for. However, we’ve come to the same impasse, which is what would happen if we brought it up. If he treated Eris and Celeste as people, not as fragments of my personality, then if they chose, they could get help. However, the more likely response might be that he thinks I’m just crazy, and need medication, or you know, a padded cell. I’ve brought it up in a general sense, and I couldn’t gauge his response at all. I even brought up healthy multiplicity, and he really didn’t say much. So for now, it’s probably not something we are going to bring up. However, if anyone has a good way to broach the subject, that’d be awesome.

Also, moving on from that. A lot of people get the wrong impression that empowered multiples are anti-survivor. We’re not. I’m starting up a sexual assault support group at my university, and I have the utmost respect for survivors. You can be empowered and abused in the past. I was. I went through emotional and verbal abuse, as well as sexual abuse. I’ve been triggered by shit on TV, I’ve had panic attacks, the works. My ex threatened to send someone to put me in the hospital, and I am still uncomfortable around my neighborhood sometimes. However, a lot of survivors get stuck in a victim mindset, and can’t get past that. I was co-dependent, and took the asshole back, not once but twice, and let him play mind games with me. He shouldn’t have, and it’s his fault that he’s an abusive piece of shit, but I was also so in love with him that I couldn’t see it. It took a massive wake up call for me to finally realize what a piece of shit he was. No one has the right to hurt and abuse you, and when you recover, it’s hard as shit. I still have some bad days. But becoming dependent on therapy isn’t going to help get your life back. Therapy can help, but like everything else, it’s not a cure all. To get your life back, you need to make an effort and say I am not going to be a statistic, I am going to show that bastard that he lost.(Or she, women can be abusers as well. Either way, it’s wrong) It takes a lot, and there are days when I brood and dwell on it, but I’m fine most days. I found a lot of joy in life, despite having baggage. I write, I listen to music, sing, and I work at helping others. It takes a lot of work, but it’s possible. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. Whatever it takes to get back to living, do it.

The biggest help has actually come from my friends and partner. I’ve been able to talk to them, and it helps a hell of a lot.

Anyway, that’s my piece. To any survivors out there, you guys are strong as hell, even if you don’t realize it.

-Air

Dissection of Psychology Today by our Esteemed Ameturasu

Our wonderful friend Ametrasu has this lovely dissection for us to share, from Psychology Today: (Her comments in blue) Original Article found http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditio … y-disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in—and alternately take control of—an individual.
… And the thing that linked me to this article was Multiple Personality Disorder. Is Psychology To-day confused? (They are, but we’ll get to that later.) See, the identity/personality thing is contradictory. An identity is not a personality. And they don’t take control of an individual. The body is a shared vessel. If you want to think about it in a certain light, the “alters” are other souls – sharing a body.

The person also experiences memory loss that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
Not entirely true. Romanticised by Sybil Moment: 1 Not all Multiples experience such extensive memory loss. I know I didn’t. To think that all Multiples experience such extensive memory loss is rather ignorant and mostly comes from a lack of research and, you know, thinking.

DID is a disorder characterized by identity fragmentation rather than a proliferation of separate personalities. The disturbance is not due to the direct psychological effects of a substance or of a general medical condition, yet as this once rarely reported disorder has become more common, the diagnosis has become controversial.
No. No. Motherfucking NO. Epic fail in the research dept. On Psychology To-day’s side. (Romanticised by Sybil: 2) This ‘disorder’ as they so generalise it, isn’t “identity fragmentation”. That suggests a “scared side” as an alter (and so forth). Here’s another beef I have with this paragraph: They jump from a ‘disturbance’ to how controversial this ‘disorder’ is. WHAT?!
Let’s move on.

Some believe that because DID patients are easily hypnotized, their symptoms are iatrogenic, that is, they have arisen in response to therapists’ suggestions. Brain imaging studies, however, have corroborated identity transitions in some patients. DID was called Multiple Personality Disorder until 1994, when the name was changed to reflect a better understanding of the condition—namely, that it is characterized by a fragmentation, or splintering, of identity rather than by a proliferation, or growth, of separate identities.

Okay, that first sentence is true. Some people do believe that Multiples are easily hypnotised. However, I want to stab the author of this article in the chest for skipping again. First, he (she?) is talking about transitioning, then to the history of the name.
Again, Multiples aren’t “fragmented” or any of that shit.

You know, what gets me is that they have the truth right in front of them and they can’t see it. This person seems to think that a Multiple has different personalities as opposed to separate identities. Yes. There is a difference.
A personality is numerous traits cobbled together to create one part of a person.
An identity is a separate person. Complete with likes, dislikes, personality traits, and many other things.

DID reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness in a single multidimensional self.

Wait…what? Multiplicity doesn’t reflect a failure to keep your you one person. Multiples have entirely separate identities. Not just cardboard cutouts as this selection suggests.
Usually, a primary identity carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent, guilty and depressed.
This makes no sense to me. A primary identity is….what, exactly?  Is it an alter who has been there for a long time? Is it a front-runner? I don’t know because this article isn’t telling me anything!!

When in control, each personality state, or alter, may be experienced as if it has a distinct history, self-image and identity.

Because they do.  Most of the time. Funny story behind that, reader. I’ll tell you one day when you’re old enough.

The alters’ characteristics—including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, and predominant mood—contrast with those of the primary identity.

Not always. Some alters are quite close to the front-runner; for a variety of reasons, really. One of these is because the alter really isn’t too different from the front-runner by default. Another reason could be because the alter doesn’t want to be found out but wants to come out for a bit.

Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge.

True…-ish. The words “a particular alter” can mean anything. The vibe I’m getting from the first page of this article is that a “particular alter” is a two dimensional “protector”.

The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.

Again, true. But wait! In one moment, the writer said that the alters were not identities. Now he’s saying they are?
Explain, movie! EXPLAIN!!

The individual experiences two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self).
NOOOOO. Identities and personalities are not the same thing! That’s like comparing apples and oranges. It doesn’t work. But, aside from that inaccuracy I’m probably going to murder chipmunks over, this is true. Alters do tend to perceive things differently than front-runners do.
The reported range of identities is from 2 to more than 100. Half of the reported cases include individuals with 10 or fewer.
Again, this is true. But please, Psych-To-day, please stop using “identity” and “personality” interchangeably. Please?
At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behavior. Each may exhibit its own distinct history, self-image, behaviors, and, physical characteristics, as well as possess a separate name.

Not exactly. An alter takes control of the body not the behaviour. To me, saying the alter takes over the front-runners behaviour is like saying the front-runner is acting. The alter takes over the shell not the front-runner.
Particular identities may emerge in specific circumstances. Alternative identities are experienced as taking control in sequence, one at the expense of the other, and may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict. Transitions from one identity to another are often triggered by psychosocial stress.
This is partly true and already gone over in the last page. So I shan’t bother you with my explanations now. But I will beat into your head one more time that not all transitions are caused by negative psychological stressors.
Frequent gaps are found in memories of personal history, including people, places, and events, for both the distant and recent past. Different alters may remember different events, but passive identities tend to have more limited memories whereas hostile, controlling or protective identities have more complete memories.

Again, no. Well, partly no. It is true that different alters remember different things, but alters can fill the front-runner in on things. BECAUSE THEY CAN COMMUNICATE. Out there, isn’t it? And what the hell is a passive alter? Is it an alter that hangs out and doesn’t do much? Explaaain. And putting hostile and protective alters on the same level is…not a good idea. That, and while alters can be aggressive/hostile, that tends to be a violent one and the other alters don’t let it come out too much, if at all. There’s also no “protective identities”. (Romanticised by Sybil: 3)

Symptoms of depression, anxiety, passivity, dependence and guilt may be present.

Okay, yeah. I’ll give you that one. But ask yourselves: Why is Multiple Bob depressed, anxious, passive, dependent, and/or guilty? Those emotions shouldn’t really be used to diagnose someone with Multiplicity, in my opinion and if you use them then that’s as bad as thinking BattleField Earth is a good movie.
In childhood, problem behavior and an inability to focus in school are common.

Eh….numbers and dependable studies, please?

Self-destructive and/or aggressive behavior may take place.

Again, I wouldn’t doubt this, but I want me some studies!

Visual or auditory hallucinations may occur.

Please tell me what this means. We’ve all fucking hallucinated. You know when you hear your name but nobody called it? HALLUCINATION. Talking to your alters (or seeing them, as that’s how I’m reading this) isn’t a goddamn hallucination. If you want hallucinations, look up positive schizophrenia.

The average time that elapses from the first symptom to diagnosis is six to seven years.
WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS?!? I don’t understand why you aren’t citing your sources! (*possibly * Romanticised by Sybil: 4)

The disturbance is not due to the direct psychological effects of a substance or of a general medical condition.

THIS ISN’T A SYMPTOM!! Explanation of a cause is not a fucking symptom.

I hate the writer of this article.  I really do and I’m not even done with this. Ugh. Wish me luck. > <

Why some people develop DID is not entirely understood, but they frequently report having experienced severe physical and sexual abuse, especially during childhood.

THIS MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE. They’re talking about some people. Not the Romanticised by Sybil (count: 5) Multiples? Or maybe they are. I DON’T KNOW. Are they talking about the some they choose to listen to? Or are they talking about the minority? They aren’t telling us, so we don’t know!

Though the accuracy of such accounts is disputed, they are often confirmed by objective evidence.

What objective evidence?! Hypnotherapy?! What evidence?! Where are your sources, writer? Huh???

Individuals with DID may also have post-traumatic symptoms (nightmares, flashbacks, and startle responses) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Flashback, in this (like many other) instances simply means ‘reliving’.
I suffer from PTSD (nightmares and startle responses brought on by the source that has nothing to do with my Multiplicity) and I feel that the parenthesised words in the above passage are just too vague. We’ve all had nightmares, but that doesn’t mean we have PTSD. Yes, I realise that the passage says ‘symptoms’ in one part, Douchey McNitpick, but tell me the eye-opening, mind-blowing difference these two things have when the damned writer is using “identity” and “personality” interchangeably. In my honest opinion, this guy probably doesn’t know the difference between the two.

Several studies suggest that DID is more common among close biological relatives of persons who also have the disorder than in the general population.

This…isn’t making sense to me. Are they saying that Multiplicity is genetic? And, again, what studies? I want to know.

As this once rarely reported disorder has grown more common, the diagnosis has become controversial.

You already said that. Also, thank you, writer, for telling us why this diagnosis has become controversial. I’ll give you a hint, reader: IT’S THE FUCKING MEDIA.

Some believe that because DID patients are highly suggestible, their symptoms are at least partly iatrogenic— that is, prompted by their therapists’ probing.

SYBIL.

Brain imaging studies, however, have corroborated identity transitions.

You already said this, and yet you’re obfuscating the issue by giving us false information and buying into the stereotypes while acting like you don’t. Yeah. Right.

The primary treatment for DID is long-term psychotherapy with the goal of deconstructing the different personalities and uniting them into one.
I hate you, writer. So fucking much.
Integration should never be the goal unless a system is to unbelievably crippled that the front-runner cannot function in everyday society. Telling Multiples to integrate is telling them to MURDER. I do not want Victoria and Dorian to be me anymore than they want to be me. I don’t want to kill them.
If you’re going to treat these other people as simple personalities that are 2D then Multiples  (and alters alike) wouldn’t be crying at the thought of integration.
So if you want to be responsible for death go ahead and integrate. Take control over someone emotionally vulnerable you money-hungry therapist. Fuck you.

Other treatments include cognitive and creative therapies. Although there are no medications that specifically treat this disorder, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs or tranquilizers may be prescribed to help control the mental health symptoms associated with it.
There are no medicines that properly “treat” this “disorder” because every system is different.
Any of the drugs listed here are likely to sever communication and fuck everyone in the system. If you have a psychiatrist who wants you to take these then kick him in the balls. Promptly.

A note:
~It’s not a disorder until the front-runner’s life (or the whole system) is screwed over and unable to function properly. A Multiple’s system is a lot like a clock. It cannot work properly if something is missing. Be it a spring or something bigger.

This is not ours, and we give all credit to Ameturasu, who spent a long time dissecting this. She wins infinite internets for this.

-Eris

Edit: Put Ameturasu’s handle. Have no idea why that did not show up when I edited it two days ago… -_-;

A Message to Violent Residents and Their Systems.

For violent residents,

I have been there. I have been the one who put the body at risk for harm. I almost put a hand through a car window. I am still an insomniac. I still become triggered. I am still a bloody mess.

You do not have to live that way. You are family. No matter how you came about, you have people there to help you. You can work together to make sure you do not end up in a mental hospital. They’ve not changed since the Victorian Era. You also have those damned psychologists who make it seem like you have to fit into some role, people see you as batty because you are not alone in your own head, or because you have been through horrors that no person should go through. I remember when I could not speak a word, and would lash out at others in the system. I would have ended up harming the body and others, if I had the chance. However, I had so much support from others in the system, and from some outsiders as well. I made an effort to change. Now, I am not perfect. I still have very bad days, but I have good days, as well. You can change, too. I believe that. It is not going to happen over night. It is going to take time and patience on behalf of yourself and your system. You may feel alone, scared, and helpless. You may even feel worthless. However, you are not. I know I thought those sort of things about myself. You just need to work through it, any way you can. You will get through it.

-Celeste

For those with violent residents.

Celeste came around last year. In a role play class, we had to work with masks, and look in a mirror and act. I remember that day clearly. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling like I was not in control anymore. Eris and Isis were in the background, monitoring, and making sure that everything was kept in check. Nothing happened, and we’ve never had an incident of self harm with her. We were afraid of her, and she was impossible to communicate with.

We were unsure of what to do. Then we talked to her. We were finally able to get her to communicate. We found out why she was so fucked up. And we were able to help. She’s part of our family now. You don’t have to fear the violent ones, if you have them. They’re part of your family, too. Give them the same understanding as you would with your outer family. They have their own stories, their own history. They’re still people, and they may frighten and frustrate you, but you can try to talk to them.

I know, it sounds preachy or whatever, but it’s upsetting to see so many people who have this kind of problem. It’s upsetting to see our family not considered people, not worthy of help. It’s sad. One of the reasons we started this blog was so people who are multiple don’t need to feel like they’re crazy, and that no one gets it. There are a lot more of us out there. Hopefully soon, People won’t see you as a freak, or feel like one either.

-Air