Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Personal Story and Diagnosis of Dissociative Disorders

Sometimes, it takes a major triggering event for dissociative disorders to present themselves. For me, my triggering event was a cancer scare in December 2006. After two follow-ups, that included ultrasounds, barium imaging, MRIs, etc. - I was given a clean bill of health. But you see, during the wait time between me seeing the doctor and getting the clean bill of health, I was faced with my own mortality, and my life flashed before my eyes - such as it was.

I began having horrible nightmares and flashbacks of images of abuse and molestation that I'd already known about to some degree, but now was seeing in detail. I had frequent anxiety attacks and had migraines everyday - all day for weeks on end. My concentration and memory decreased significantly. Yes, sometimes I spaced out, showed little or showed no emotion, had bouts of insomnia - but who doesn't, right? I often found myself in places and didn't remember how I'd gotten there, and I began to lose time...sometimes only a few minutes, sometimes whole days at a time. I mentioned several times to my husband that I suspected I had Alzheimer's, and I even mentioned it to my family doctor, who ruled it out because of my age.

In the past, I'd already been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD) and had undergone behavioral and drug therapy for it. THIS was something all together different. One voice that I heard internally pretty often I'd nicknamed 'Chatterbox' because of her incessant talking had suddenly become several voices, some male - some female - some childlike. At first, I thought that it was all just my subconscious, especially one female voice that constantly berated me; but I noticed that these voices spoke even when I wasn't intentionally trying to get them to do so. I had my own thoughts, and apparently they had theirs.

In the midst of all this internal chaos, my marriage was falling apart. How could I explain to my husband what I was hearing, seeing in flashback, and remembering? What would he think of me and my family if he were told. I didn't want him to look at me with disdain. I was ashamed...scared and ashamed. I asked him for time for me to sort through all this new chaos, these new and horrible thoughts, the voices. I needed time. In the end, I waited too long. He moved out and although we tried to work things out - it just wasn't possible.

Things were progressing and severely impacting my employment. I suffered from migraines so severe, they were giving me small seizures. When I'd turn my lights off in my office, my superiors were told I presented an image of being unavailable. All I was trying to do was remain at work. I was eventually prescribed a medication that served the dual purpose of helping minimize the occurrence of migraines and stopping seizures. Fun stuff boys and girls!
Confusing Times

Months had gone past, there I was trying to hold down a top management position while not remembering what I'd said or committed to the day before or finding myself in a meeting without a clue as to what the meeting was about. I'd find stick-it notes on my computer screen with a name of a colleague or superior, and a time and sometimes the date. So, I had to gleam from this half-written note what I was suppose to do 'with', 'for', - whatever this person. Ultimately, I'd either completely miss the missing (in cases where the stick-it stopped sticking and fell under my desk) or I'd show up completely unprepared. My job performance plummeted. I lost the minute respect I'd earned from my peers, superiors, and staff. Hell, if they had bothered to point and laugh, I don't think I would have remembered why they were doing it. I was eventually asked to resign from my position still without knowing what was truly going on with me.

The voices were non-stop now since I was no longer employed and they had plenty to say. I was blamed for allowing the molestation occur. I was shamed for knowing that at times - what was being done to me my body responded to positively. I'd never been so suicidal in all my life. But god help me - I didn't want to seek professional counseling because I just knew - knew the person would want to put me away in a 'nut house', so I endured...day after day, week after week - panic attacks, heart palpitations, nightmares, daymares, and internal criticism the likes of which I had never experienced before. I hit rock bottom one evening when I picked up a razor blade and starting cutting. Each cut felt like a small scream - a shout to god, a plea for relief and I cried and cried deeply - finally for myself, my kids, my husband, my childhood.

The next day, I was able to get in to see a clinical psychologist who specialized in trauma. I played games with her, but can't tell you why. I'd arrive late to every session, sometimes as much as 20 minutes late. After a few sessions though she diagnosed me with severe depression, depersonalization disorder, c-PTSD, and Dissociative Disorder, not otherwised specified (DDNOS). After a series of particularly bad sessions where we'd started talking about my mother, I flipped out on her and she refused to continue our therapy sessions. I never did tell her about the voices.

It was more than 4 months later when I finally tried to reach out again. I found a therapist who specialized in dissociative disorders and trauma. She was very cool in her manner, not falling for my 'usual' bag of tricks. I told her of a particularly horrible memory, that with past therapists - would have their mouths gapping open. Not this gal. She called me a survivor and asked me how she could be of service to me. I started answering her question and the next thing I know, she was handing me tissue and directing me to try to re-ground myself in the present. She gave me some exercises that I still use today to help with re-focusing my consciousness, quieting the voices. In her diagnoses, she agreed with the previous therapist on everything except one - she diagnosed me with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

So that's my story in a nutshell. Currently, I know of at least 10 others all living inside us. We've survived because we had each other. Now we have to Live.

Check in with me daily - I'll be posting some useful tips that I learned from my therapist, as well as other helpful websites and information specific to dissociative disorders.

Together - we can LIVE.


  1. Very interesting. Dissociative disorder makes people suffer even without knowing. Really good to know that you are able to overcome that. Hope you will continue sharing your experience with other people, which will definitely help many others to help themselves.

  2. Be hopeful forever..

  3. Thank you for sharing your story - wonderfully written. I would like to see your daily tips on dealing with dissociation, particularly how you ground yourself.

  4. hi,
    I came across your site because i am dealing with things very similar and i don't know how to talk to my therapist about it. he brought it up at the very end of our last session but not in a good way. it was like he was making fun of me which just made me angry and ashamed and embarrassed. I am so tired of looking for help. I have all the symptoms of DID and yet I am so afraid to talk about it because I'm afraid I won't be believed. What do I do?

  5. I am so incredibly apologetic for responding to your comment so so late. Have you gotten around to speaking with your therapist about things? How have you been doing? Have the symptoms changed? I know it is scary to talk about it, but if you suspect you are indeed DID, you need to try to get on the road to stabilization or you will have melt down after melt down after melt down. DID is a disruptive disorder for every aspect of the person(s) life. Please let me know how you're doing?

  6. Just diagnosed, now what? People think your crazy to even say it out loud. I knew I was different all my life. The way I feel. How I act towards situations. Seemed nothing like other people. at times I have to force reactions because I know I am supposed to feel a certain way or act a certain way. Not wanting people to think I am crazy I pretend to be moved. I have woke in hospitals, not knowing how I got there and don't remember. Last time was the worse. I ended up having 7 blood transfusions. Don't know what happened, only know it took months to get out of there. Now almost a year later, homeless living in a transitional housing. No job. On a walker after getting hurt this black out. Change or whatever the hell this is!!! They say DID? Can't say I want to get my life back. Because I only know this one. I am just not here all the time is the best way I can explain it. I don't understand how can someone other than myself ?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. hi there... please I hope you changed the therapist. just go to the secretary and say that you don't feel comfortable with this therapist and would like to see someone else. but people like this until this changes. a therapist relationship should always feel comfortable. they should have reactions that make you feel comfortable - but it could be that your therapist isn't a bad person, just that you guys aren't matched up well and this happens all the time.
    the other thing this could be is, that maybe you are just feeling the shame because you are thinking about what you want to say? were other discussions you had with the therapist good? did they feel good? did you walk out at the end of the session and feel better somehow? lighter to have unloaded something heavy of a secret, or taken off a mask in there?

    the thing is the things that you say to your therapist WILL make you feel uncomfortable and you're bound to feel uncomfortable and ashamed, but if I learned anything is that you got to stay with the process (unless your therapist is saying the wrong things and making you feel worse through that, then you have the right to change them).
    so yes, as difficult as it can be to come face to face with the reality of things, it is the path to salvation, and you have to stay on that path and trust it with every cell in your body.

    Bless + love


  9. It is no secret that I have a very deep and personal relationship with God. I have pushed and resisted that relationship this past year through all the bullshit I have had to go through living with Herpes but once again, God is bigger than my stubbornness and broke through that outbreak cold sore and all I had Genital Herpes. For me personally, hearing over and over how I am not good enough has really invaded my mind in the worst way possible. I completely shut down and I was just waking up like is this how life going to end this temporary herpes outbreak “fuck everybody with herpes if you know what I mean” but let's be honest here...
    It is a cowardly to say no to herbal medicine. It is fear based. And it is dishonest to what my heart wants. Don't build a wall around yourself because you are afraid of herbals made or taking a bold step especially when it's come to health issues and getting cure. So many young men/ women tell me over and over that Dr Itua is going to scam me but I give him a try to today I feel like no one will ever convince me about herbal medicine I accept Dr Itua herbal medicine because it's cure my herpes just two weeks of drinking it and i have been living for a year and months now I experience outbreak no more, You can contact him if you need his herbal medicine for any such diseases like, Herpes, Hepatitis, HIV, Epilepsy, Infertility, Love Spell,. Email..drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com then what's app.+2348149277967.... My advice to any sick men/women out there is simple... Be Always an open book. Be gut wrenching honest about yourself, your situation, and what you are all about. Don't hold anything back. Holding back will get you nowhere...maybe a one way ticket to lonelyville and that is NOT somewhere you want to be. So my final truth...and I'm just starting to grasp this one..

  10. My life is beautiful thanks to you, Mein Helfer. Lord Jesus in my life as a candle light in the darkness. You showed me the meaning of faith with your words. I know that even when I cried all day thinking about how to recover, you were not sleeping, you were dear to me. I contacted the herbal center Dr Itua, who lived in West Africa. A friend of mine here in Hamburg is also from Africa. She told me about African herbs but I was nervous. I am very afraid when it comes to Africa because I heard many terrible things about them because of my Christianity. god for direction, take a bold step and get in touch with him in the email and then move to WhatsApp, he asked me if I can come for treatment or I want a delivery, I told him I wanted to know him I buy ticket in 2 ways to Africa To meet Dr. Itua, I went there and I was speechless from the people I saw there. Patent, sick people. Itua is a god sent to the world, I told my pastor about what I am doing, Pastor Bill Scheer. We have a real battle beautifully with Spirit and Flesh. Adoration that same night. He prayed for me and asked me to lead. I spent 2 weeks and 2 days in Africa at Dr Itua Herbal Home. After the treatment, he asked me to meet his nurse for the HIV test when I did it. It was negative, I asked my friend to take me to another nearby hospital when I arrived, it was negative. I was overwhite with the result, but happy inside of me. We went with Dr. Itua, I thank him but I explain that I do not have enough to show him my appreciation, that he understands my situation, but I promise that he will testify about his good work. Thank God for my dear friend, Emma, I know I could be reading this now, I want to thank you. And many thanks to Dr. Itua Herbal Center. He gave me his calendar that I put on my wall in my house. Dr. Itua can also cure the following diseases ... Cancer, HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Inflammatory Liver, Diabetis, Bladder Cancer,Colorectal Cancer,HPV,Breast Cancer,Kidney Cancer,Prostate Cancer,Weak Erection,Love Spell,Leukemia,Lun,Fribroid,Infertility,Parkinson's disease,Inflammatory bowel disease ,Fibromyalgia, recover your ex. You can contact him by email or whatsapp, @ .. drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com, phone number .. + 2348149277967 .. He is a good doctor, talk to him kindly. I'm sure he will also listen to you.


Follow Me on Twitter