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Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Yesterday I wrote about the D in D.I.D: Dissociation. Today I want to talk about the other D: Disorder. I want to explain why I dislike this D and why I will only use it as a ‘technical term’ rather than what I actually feel it should be. You see, I don’t personally believe that D.I.D. is a disorder.

The dictionary defines disorder as the following:

noun

A state of confusion.

verb

Disrupt the systematic functioning or neat arrangement of.

Dissociative Identity Disorder technically is a disruption of the normal cognitive function of sense of self/identity, memories, thoughts, feelings etc, however the very word disorder gives the impression that the person is broken and ‘out of order’. And I don’t believe that’s the case.

D.I.D. is an amazing coping mechanism given to some children to be able to survive the most horrendous insult and abuse against their bodies, minds, emotions and intellect. To call it a disorder somehow minimises the mind’s remarkable ability to adapt and survive. Calling it a disorder implies brokenness, and inadvertently indicates that there may be no total healing from the condition, which simply isn’t true at all. I personally feel that calling this incredible gift a ‘disorder’ insulting to those who have it. It’s telling them that they are less than people who don’t have it. That somehow they are incapable of living a fulfilling and happy life as a multiple. People who don’t have the condition would see it as a disorder. As someone who does have the condition, I see it as an amazing survival mechanism.

You’ll notice that I call it a condition. The dictionary defines ‘condition’ as:

noun

A particular mode of being of a person or thing; existing state; situation with respect to circumstances. State of health.

Although still not the best word to use, at least condition is stating a fact rather than stating a misguided and misinformed opinion. ‘Mechanism’ would be an even more accurate word, but condition works.

I would love to see the name changed again to remove the word ‘Disorder’ and replace it with a much more accurate word, but that’s my own personal opinion. Calling it a disorder leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It makes me feel inferior to others just because I have this ‘condition’, and I’m not inferior. Unique, yes. But not inferior. Not superior either. Equal. My personality is intact; I just have a lot more of them than the average person. That’s not a disorder; it’s survival and adaptation. And that’s badass!

I’d love to hear what you think about this. Do you agree or disagree? Leave me a comment either at the bottom of my Home page, or drop me an email or post your thoughts on my Facebook page. Links are on the Homepage.

Stay safe!

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Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Dissociation. What is it? Why did Multiple Personality Disorder have a name change to Dissociative Identity Disorder? When did it happen and who decided it? All good questions. Most people, if you ask them if they know what Dissociative Identity Disorder is, won’t have a clue. But you mention Multiple Personality Disorder, and they’ll immediately know, or at least have heard of it. But they, like so many other people, will be confused as to why it had a name change.

So let’s look into the Dissociative part of D.I.D. and why it’s important.

First of all, what is Dissociation?

The Better Health Channel characterises Dissociation as a “mental process of disconnecting from one's thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity. The dissociative disorders that need professional treatment include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalisation disorder and dissociative identity disorder.”

Having multiple Parts, or Alters, is a symptom of Dissociation, not the other way around. When the person was subjected to horrendous abuse and trauma at an early age, the child learned to disconnect themselves from what was happening to them in order to survive. The child’s unintegrated personality remained unintegrated. Integration is the opposite of Dissociation. Where Dissociation is when the Parts drift further apart and amnesic barriers develop between the various Parts of self, Integration is the coming together of Parts and the lowering of those barriers. Total Integration, or Fusion as we now know it, is when those separate Parts of self merge, or fuse, to become a Whole in the way they should have done in childhood if no trauma was present.

The child’s only coping strategy was to completely disconnect from reality, and the part of self that was able to deal with what was happening became an Alternative state of consciousness to the core personality. Alter is short for Alternative state of consciousness or self. And this is the result of dissociation.

When leading specialists in the field of psychiatry worked all this out, they made the decision to change the name from Multiple Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder to better reflect the dissociative aspect of the condition. It’s a much more accurate description than M.P.D. The name change took place in the early 90’s and was added to the DSM-4.

What does Dissociation feel and look like? This can vary from person to person. It’s interesting to note that every single person on this planet dissociates. Everyone. Daydreaming is the most common and basic form of dissociation and everyone has daydreamed at least once in their lives. It becomes a disorder when the dissociation severely interrupts a person’s life in every aspect. Not all forms of Dissociation means a person has D.I.D. or multiple Parts/Alters. Only those with D.I.D. or OSDD (Otherwise Specified Dissociative Disorders) have Alters. There are many dissociative disorders, and as always, if you suspect you are dissociating and losing time at a level that is uncomfortable for you, please visit a health professional for evaluation and assessment. Here is a list of the most common symptoms of dissociation:

  • Feeling disconnected from yourself

  • Problems with handling intense emotions

  • Sudden and unexpected shifts in mood – for example, feeling very sad for no reason

  • Depression or anxiety problems, or both

  • Feeling as though the world is distorted or not real (called ‘derealisation’)

  • Memory problems that aren’t linked to physical injury or medical conditions

  • Other cognitive (thought-related) problems such as concentration problems

  • Significant memory lapses such as forgetting important personal information

  • Feeling compelled to behave in a certain way

  • Identity confusion – for example, behaving in a way that the person would normally find offensive or abhorrent.

Treatment usually involved some form of psychotherapy with a trained psychiatrist or psychologist. Symptoms can be managed in time and by learning good grounding and coping strategies.

So in conclusion, the thing to remember is that D.I.D. is a Dissociative disorder not a personality disorder. People with D.I.D. do not have broken personalities. Their personalities are intact and fully functional… they just have more of them than a person without D.I.D.

Hope this was helpful in understanding Dissociation.

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Updated: Aug 11, 2021

If you have D.I.D. you’ll know what an Inner World is. But for those who have never heard of it, here is an explanation:

An Inner World is basically a place inside the mind of a person with D.I.D. where the Alter Personalities “live” when they are not Fronting. The Outer World is everything we see, hear and touch around us, but the Inner World is purely in the mind. It can be as plain or fantastical as a System wants it to be. I’ve heard of some Systems only having a black void, and other Systems have an entire universe or multiverse inside their minds. It really is only limited by imagination.

The main purpose of having an Inner World, like I said, is a place for the Alters to live when they aren’t Fronting. But also, it seems to help with System stability and cohesion to have one. It’s not a requirement, but it does seem to help Systems to grow, develop and work on communication better. It really doesn’t matter what a System’s Inner World looks like at the end of the day, as long as it’s something everyone agrees with and likes.

We have agreed to share a picture of our Inner World. We’ve had several over the years, but this is the one we have now and it seems to suit us.


Below is our OLD Inner World map.


Below is our NEW Inner World map.


Hope you like our Inner World drawings :) Thanks for reading!

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