Saturday, March 7, 2009

*T* Ritual Abuse - Causes of Dissociative Disorders - Part 1 *T*-

Before I begin, I would like to warn anyone reading this that the following post might be triggering. I'll always surround the titles of my posts with '*T*' when I know it might be triggering. That way, you can chose right from the start to pass over the post if you're not ready. What I've decided to do is cover some specific causes of trauma from which some might development a dissociative disorder - one posting at a time.


The What of It?

[Definition]: The very general (and narrow) definition of Ritual Abuse is sustained, sadistic abuse of a person (usually a child) in a secretive, methodical method that usually includes mind control. This abuse is used to perpetuate certain group ideologies.

Dissociative disorders have a root cause in trauma. Two people might experience the exact same traumatic event but only one might develop a dissociative disorder behind it. Just like no two people are exactly alike, here to no two people process trauma exactly the same way. Let's take a look at one form of trauma the almost guarantees the development of dissociative disorders - Ritual Abuse - also known as Cult Related Abuse (CRA), Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), and Occult Ritual Abuse (ORA). Dozens of police departments around the world have special tasks forces that deal only with these types of crimes including Los Angeles, San Diego, Richmond, Virginia, and Salt Lake City. The complete list is extensive. And there are four states that have laws that address ritual abuse specifically - Louisiana, Idaho, Texas and Illinois.

All over the world though, ritual abuse is being committed in the name of Christianity, Satanism, White Supremacy, Santeria, Paganism, almost any social movement or religion can be used as a reason; however, the most common religion ritual abuse is associated with is Satanism.

Physical and psychological abuse are common in ritual abuse and can come in the form of torture, burnings, beatings, confinement, forced sexual intercourse with both parents and other non-parental adults, deceit and other mind games... anything the demented the mind can create can and sometimes is done to the child. This abuse is always accompanied with trickery, deceit and always - always blame.The child's sense of self is completely torn down and rebuilt as the abusers sees fit. Along the way, the child is lead to believe that the abuse is their own fault, further degrading the self-worth. Sometime the child is penetrated with religious items and other ritualistic items and is forced to drink and eat blood, urine and feces. The ritual abuse occurs often and that the child will develop some type of dissociation is a given.

For more information about ritual abuse, please go to:

Different Types of Dissociative Disorders

First - let me say that I'm no expert. I'm just one woman who went searching for answers to this 'thing' that has both saved my life and changed it so profoundly.

There is a term for the progression of dissociation called the Dissociative Continuum. The presence of this continuum is now widely accepted by those psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who are familiar with dissociative states. Let's take a look at this together. I will present them from least to greatest - in terms of the dissociation only. In no way am I minimizing the impact of any of the disorders.

I. Psycogenic Amnesia
[Definition]: A sudden inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to merely explain away by normal forgetfulness and is not associated with an organic mental disorder (like Alzheimers Disease).

There are 4 classifications psychogenic amnesia:

  1. Localized - where all memory is loss that occurred in a specific period of time
  2. Selective - where some, but not all memory is loss of events that occurred during a specific period of time
  3. Generalized - where memory of important events that occurred over the course of life is loss
  4. Continuous - where all memory is loss for the entire past and the memory loss continues into the present
Psychogenic Amnesia is the most common form of dissociative disorders and appears to be caused by either blunt trauma to the head or as response to an immediate traumatic event.

II. Psychogenic Fugue
[Definition]: A sudden act of traveling far away from home or place of work, and having no recall of doing so or why. Many assume a new identity or personality trait completely uncharacteristic of the 'norm'.

Research has shown that this new identity is usual really 'free-loving' and less inhabited than the 'normal' identity. This dissociative disorder does not include those moments when we all drive from point A to point B without recalling the road or things around us. Those occurrence fit better in the Psycogenic Amnesia category. It appears that people who suffer from psychogenic fugue states have no memory of the actions and experiences done while the 'free-loving' personality is present.

III. Depersonalization Disorder
[Definition]: The chronic experience of a profound loss of sense of self, of feeling unreal - as if in a dream. The experience of feeling like your are completely outside of yourself.

People who have depersonalization disorder have memories that feel like dreams that sometimes cannot be recognized as real versus fantasy. They can easily tell themselves that certain real life experiences didn't happen because they [the memories] feel like dreams. Because of the ability of the person who has depersonalization disorder to mentally step outside of self, past memories can be seen as occurring to someone else. The onset of this disorder is abrupt; however recover can be very slow.

IV. Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS)
[Definition]: This is a bit of a 'catch all' category for any dissociative behavior that doesn't fit solidly in the definition of the other categories. There is still marked dysfunction in memory, identity and consciousness.

V. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD))
[Definition]: The presence of at least two distinct personalities within the body of one person.

People with DID typically display symptoms of other categories of dissociation. People tell of loss time, amnesia, profound feelings of being outside of self, and hearing internal dialogs that are not those of the primary identity. DID is a chronic, but allegedly treatable disorder. This dissociative disorder holds the most societal stigma than the others and if often mistaken for Schizophrenia - a disorder that can be controlled with drug therapy.

From everything that I have read thus far, there are no medications specific to treating DID. Drugs are given to assist with symptoms of things like insomnia, depression, and anxiety; however these drugs cannot address the disorder itself.

In my next post, I will speak about various forms of trauma that cause dissociative disorders. Until then, friends.

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