Now the World Knows! World Mental Health Day 2016

About a year ago, I was contacted by a media group in the UK asking if they could interview me and possibly publish an article about my experience with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Well, a year later, it’s here.

The Sun, UK has published the interview, as well as the Daily Mail.

What the fuck.

I have mixed emotions…

My main concentration is to raise awareness- with mental illness, DID, suicide prevention, rape… I mean, just things that I’ve personally dealt with. That’s my entire focus. I want people to inform themselves, to know that DID specifically isn’t this silly little game, but it’s YEARS of personal turmoil. It’s trauma, it’s real life pain, confusion and work.

When I started this process of being interviewed, I was in such a different place in therapy, in life, with myself. Now that this has been published, it is actually quite trippy to see my progress.

(I’d also like to point out that there are definitely a few errors on the articles. One of them being that Rogue is a “sex addict.” So not true. )

ANYWAYS, there’s lots I could say on the subject.

And to new readers, yes, I am real. 
Yes, DID is actually a real disorder.
No, I’m not like Sybil. I’m a relatively normal person just like everyone else.

Overall, if you’re curious about Dissociative Identity Disorder, I encourage you to educate yourself.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote regarding DID from a personal standpoint- https://lazarusandlithium.com/10-things-we-want-you-to-know-a-letter-from-a-multiple-to-a-singleton?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

And here’s a link off of NAMI: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Dissociative-Disorders

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Question for My Readers: SAMe to Treat Depression?

Good morning fellow bloggers!

Has anyone here tried SAMe to treat severe depression? Also, are there any women here that have used it to treat PMDD? If you have, how did it help you? How long did it take for you to feel the effects?

A few friends of mine have been promoting SAMe for depression. I have found a lot of success stories on forums since beginning to research it a couple of nights ago. I’m looking for personal stories on here. I’m willing to test drive it…. I need to alleviate this sludge of depression before it gets worse.

Thanks in advance!

Suicidality Isn’t Normal

Last thought for the day…

While I was browsing articles last night such as “How to Convince Yourself Not to Commit Suicide,” I came across a very interesting point. It kind of blew my mind.

“Wanting to kill yourself is not normal. It may feel normal because you have lived with the ideality for so long. But it is not normal.”

What? You mean everyone else around me isn’t constantly thinking about how’d they off themselves? This isn’t NORMAL?!

Is it just me? This seriously shocked me.

My Cathartic Coat Rack

This is going to be a rather cathartic post regarding my iatrogenic state. And of course, it’s just going to be a long bitch-fit list because we all know how I love listing things.

Dear DID, fuck you.

Things I hate:

1. Responsibility. I’m not supposed to use my…. disorder… as an excuse. I don’t. However, in the comfort of my own blog, I am going to briefly slip off the weight of personal responsibility and leave it on the sofa for just a fucking second. I am TIRED. I am blaming everything that is going wrong at this particular time on the fact that I am not one complete person. Well, I may be complete, but I’m certainly not pieced well together. I always hold myself accountable for my faults and weakness. For the next ten minutes, I’m a victim of unfair trauma and shitty brain chemistry.

2. Nobody fucking knows what DID is. Even if I WANTED to open up and tell people what’s happening, I can’t because as soon as “multiple personalities” slips out of my mouth, the inevitable looks of societal-manufactured skepticism sweeps across their faces. Yes, I do have my close support network of people who understand me, who understand dissociation. However, this net of 4 people becomes nearly more intimidating than my own selves, which brings me to my next point.

3. The constant feeling that I’m burdening others. I know I’m frustrating to deal with sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. I’m frustrated with myself, too. You ask me to tell you what’s going on in my mind…. I wish I could. I really do.

There’s this phenomenon that’s been manifesting since my hospitalization this year: sometimes I think TOO much that it actually inhibits the muscles in my throat and mouth. It’s awful. Recently, I just learned that the reason I’m unable to speak at times is because they aren’t “my” thoughts, only. In stressful times, especially during heavy conversations, everyone else’s thought FLOOD into my head and all I can do is just sit there and try to recognize MY thoughts, pull them out of the stream, process them, and then discuss those. But by the time I’ve collected about three of my own original thoughts, it’s too late and I’ve already pissed off the person in front of me.

I’m not being quiet to piss you off. I’m being quiet because it is so fucking loud in my head and I’m trying to just be still.

4. Feeling. I am overwhelmed. I haven’t slept in the 3 days, with the exception of about 2 hours. I’m feeling EVERYTHING. Again, it’s not just me. I’ll have almost unbearable suicidality out of nowhere. Then I want to crawl beneath my stuffed animals. Then I want to go to a bookstore and get lost in Dylan Thomas.

5. My body. I noticed I was slightly underweight, so I made efforts to gain. I’m 5’2 and I successfully gained ten pounds to reach a “healthy” weight of 110. No big deal, right? Someone within me is PANICKING about it.

From the ages of 14-17 I struggled with an eating disorder. At 5’2, my lowest weight was 88 pounds. I starved myself. When I was 18, thanks to a psychotic few months and drug addiction, I somehow managed to climb to 130lbs. So, I’ve had my share of body dysmorphia.

*I* feel alright at my weight now. Sure, I think I could lose a couple pounds and be fine. But overall, I’m okay with myself. Lately, my anxiety has been kicking up around food. I can’t eat in front of people- it’s so extreme that I find myself preferring to eat in my car. I have to count my chews. I have to investigate calorie intake, fat percentages. Compulsivity.

6. Mood swings. It’s a roller-coaster, fuck the swing analogy. I’m totally good one moment and then WOOSH, I’m plummeting into the ground and unfortunately the first coping mechanism that comes to mind is planning my suicide- whether that’s an actuality or not.

How do I explain to someone it’s NOT them? All of this, all of what I just said, is of my own disorder and it’s not anyone else’s fault.

Wow, that was cathartic, wasn’t it? *puts responsibility back on her shoulders* Thanks, guys.

In other news, I’d like to throw my appreciation out there for my weekly Depression and Bipolar Support Group. I really don’t know what I would do with them. I’ve made some great friends there and I always feel so welcomed.

A very good friend of mine is allowing me to house sit her place for a couple weeks, and I’m also really looking forward to the peace and quiet. I plan on taking bubble baths, burning incense, and watching the sunsets.

And on a last note, my heart is still breaking for Orlando. There is so much love to go around though, we must all persevere and stand together.

10 Things We Want You to Know: A Letter from a Multiple to a Singleton

10 Things We Want You to Know: A Letter from a Multiple to a Singleton

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Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition wherein a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities. Sufferers of this rare condition are usually victims of severe abuse.

1. We’re not faking it. DID can be very complex and difficult to understand. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of stigma against it- not only in the general public, but in the medical profession as well. Please believe us when we say DID is VERY real. It is as real as the trauma that caused us to split.

2. Please be patient. We know sometimes it gets difficult and frustrating. Try to remember that it is also difficult and frustrating for us. We appreciate you being there for support.

3. No, DID is NOT the same thing as schizophrenia. They are two completely different disorders that are totally unrelated to the other. If you would like to know what DID really is, just ask!

4. Switching isn’t always as obvious as you think it is. Thanks (no thanks) to media productions like United States of Tara, there seems to be a misconception about what switching between alters looks like: drastic wardrobe changes, speech alterations, etc. Most of the time, you may not even notice a switch has occurred.

5. Please don’t make us feel bad if we don’t remember something. We can at least speak for our system on this one. Sometimes we just don’t remember things. It’s usually because someone else in the system experienced it. More often than not, later on we will remember.

6. We are not a circus act. Please don’t ask us to switch on command; it doesn’t work that way. Our disorder is not meant to be used for your entrainment and it is incredibly disrespectful to ask for such.

7. It’s okay to ask questions. As a matter of fact, we urge you to ask! The more we are able to talk about it, the more opportunity we have to fight stigma.

8. Please don’t share our DID with others that we haven’t explicitly told ourselves. As with any mental or health illness, it is inappropriate and may cause us to break our trust with you. No matter how open or closed we are about our alters, it isn’t in your place to share our personal information.

9. Don’t be discouraged if you have never met our alters. Like we mentioned above, we don’t switch on command (at least, I have never heard of a multiple who was able to do so!). If we don’t introduce ourselves to you, don’t take it personally.

10. It’s not all bad. Sure, therapy is tough, flashbacks suck, and amnesia is a drag. But sometimes, having multiple selves can be kind of fun. There’s always someone to talk to! We get to experience happy moments multiple times! We can unlock hidden talents that we didn’t even know about!

 

Additional Do’s and Don’ts for Singleton Friends of Multiples

DO speak to our inner children like children.
Do NOT ask “Who’s here now?” If we wanted you to know we would tell you.
Do NOT tell an alter that you don’t know to “go get” the host.
Do NOT expect consistency of feeling, thought, or action on any subject.
Do NOT tell anyone to go inside because you do not like their views.
DO set healthy boundaries.
If you are uncomfortable with something said or done, say so, and do NOT avoid us in the future without an explanation.
Be HONEST.
Be understanding that we have many crisis situations in our lives of healing from our abuse, i.e.: flashbacks, panic attacks, body memories.
Laugh, make jokes with us, really, it’s OK!
Do NOT assume anything if you honestly want to know about our “disorder” please ask, we’ll tell you the truth.
Do NOT treat us like “the freak you happen to know” around your singleton friends.
Do NOT use our difficulties as a subject of conversation with your singleton friends.
Sometimes we are paralyzed with depression, and cannot call you, clean our house, or get out of bed. Don’t take it personally.
We will fight being hospitalized….. even though we actually show that we need it at the time. Hospitals are extremely frightening for us.
DO be supportive of our healthy behaviors no matter how small the accomplishment may seem to you.
DO be encouraging.
When we ask to talk to you, we aren’t asking you to come up with answers to our problems. We don’t expect you to FIX it. Sometimes we just need someone to LISTEN… that is the greatest gift of all!!
DON’T tell us that the abuse happened a long time ago and for us to “just get over it!” That is a HUGE insult!!

 

For additional information regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder, please visit: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Dissociative-Disorders

http://www.fortrefuge.com/DIDfacts.html

 

 

A Puzzle Piece Poem- What does my DID mean?

You look at me and see
One whole piece
But what you don’t understand yet
Is you’re looking at me: 3, 5 and 13

Welcome to DID.

D is for dissociative.

For most, It’s when you finish the chapter to the new book and have to go back and look, to reread it because you weren’t paying any attention in the first place.

For most, It’s the moment you catch yourself behind the wheel of your car and you have no clue how you got so far

For some, It’s the moment you fall and skin your knee and tears start pushing out from your eyes until you realize. you feel alright, even though youve stopped feeling altogether

For me, It’s the moment when I had to find a hiding place in the bathroom, angry voices tangoing back and forth in hot and unforgiving Spanish, it’s me at 5 looking down at my wet dress from the plummeting sadness begging for my dad to come home to save me from the sounds of an alcoholic monster. Only to look up and find her- my first friend. The southern belle with the little pink bows. My best friend who no one else can see – this is DID.

It’s the moment my new best friend told me “honey everything is okay.” And then I stopped feeling that day because she started to feel for me.

It’s the moment when he walks into
The room and i know he’s coming for me
Yet all I can do
Is pretend to be asleep as he peels
Off the sheets and splits my little
Legs open like his Christmas doll.

It’s the lull of the eyes
When a hand flies to meet my
6 year old cheeks because my bedtime was at 8.

It’s the rate of my heart beat
When i hear my father has died
On the streets of LA
Probably with a heroin needle in his arm, anyways …

This is DID.

I is for identity.
That’s easy enough… But…Who is me?

Identity is the funny little cloud that has been following me around, shifting, twisting, sometimes white, on Sunday’s black, lightning licking out of me with anger and confusion.

It’s the constant trust issue because i never know if it’s going to rain, or snow, or be bright.

It’s the moments I wake up in someone else’s clothing in the middle of the night.

It’s the reason why I’ve been a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, and a slew of other worshipping devotees.

It’s the reason why I come to and find coloring books scattered around me like a beloved book fair.

It’s my hair how’s it been red and black and purple and shaved.

It’s how I have ten different names

This is DID.

D is for disorder.

It is the carousal of diagnoses, medication, clip boards and hospital gowns.

It’s being on lock down after I tried to end my fragmented life.

It’s groggy mornings when my eyes won’t open from my slurry Seroquel state.

It’s seeing shadows and voices and feeling men’s hands running down my thighs in the middle of a flashback.

It’s checking into rehab, withdrawing from pills.

It’s the thrill of going to group therapy and trying to explain that THIS shit is DID.

My DID.

My DID is a novel of childhood, trauma, rape, incest, brainwashing, addiction, suicide attempts, lost relationships, lost money, lost time, lost me, my selves and I.

If you must know, no it’s not all bad.

My DID is an intelligent narrative of poetry, calculus classes, a published book, a theatre admission to Juilliard, it’s the reason why part of me can drum and the other part can’t use chopsticks.

It’s tucking myself in at night with stuffed animals and sippy cups. It’s wearing cowgirl boots on Monday and a combat boots on Tuesday.

It’s always having someone to talk to.

It’s being the most colorful crayon in the box and knowing even if I’m broken, I can still color the entire rainbow.

You look at me and see
One whole piece
what you might understand now
Is you’re not only looking at me: we are system of multiplicity.

This is DID.

Comments from Readers

I was going through my emails from my website and came across some really moving comments people had written me. I wanted to include some in here.

Thank you for reading, always!  ❤

about a month ago- my doctor diagnosed me with bipolar and ocd…but that was before I told her about the hallucinations
i have on and off auditory hallucinations which are absolutely horrifying and i thought the voices would be mad if I told anyone about them
after a lot of back and forth debating in my mind, i did end up telling my therapist about the hallucinations and she now believes i have schizoaffective disorder

these last few weeks have been pretty gnarly…but it is really comforting to know that everything i’ve been going through is legitimate and i’m not just straight up crazy hahaha.
the psychiatrist that i’ve been seeing has prescribed me lamictal but i’m hesitant to take it because im really scared that it would turn me into a ‘zombie’ and take away my creative ability
i find sanctuary in poetry and art and if i lost those outlets i dont know what id do..
the main reason i’m contacting you is to thank you
i’ve watched your videos, and it is extremely comforting to see such a well adjusted beautiful girl able to handle exactly what i’m going through
for the first time in my whole mental health rollercoaster, i finally have hope…
 i cant even begin to put into words how much that means to me.
thank you — from the bottom of my heart.
-ZA
I diagnosed with schizoaffective and dissociative identity disorder.

I read some of your blogs, viewed your videos on youtube, and they so inspired me..

you helped me come out to my family about my mental health. Thank you for sharing your story. You have changed my life.
-TR
Hey, I watched your video and was touched.. I was diagnosed with DID 3 years ago. I’ve been struggling a lot with accepting it for what it is. You are very brave. You have opened my eyes a lot to what DID is. I showed my husband your blog and now he is grasping my situation, as well as me.
-SB
wow! i thought i was alone with this!!! everything you explained is what Im going thru right now! Im so happy to have come across your website!
-Anonymous
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DID- a Personal Interview

I’ve been wanting to write an update, but every time I sit at my keyboard, I lose focus and have no idea where to start.

I’m okay. Things are better. I’m more stable. I have a new psychiatrist. I have a new scrip for Buspirone. My mom is talking to me. I haven’t been feeling the need to swallow a bunch of pills to kill myself. Work is going well. My social life is going well. The system is okay- though we are working through something at the moment.

Everything is okay.

I didn’t want to just leave a paragraph update, so I decided to post an interview regarding DID  that I recently did (which the article itself will hopefully be published within the next couple months!).

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Age:
24

Location:
California, USA

What’s your current profession?
I currently work in HR. When I’m not bustling around the office floors, I’m writing. I recently published my first book ever! It’s called, Solipsist, and it is a collection of confessional poetry that I’ve been writing during my journey in therapy. (Self promoting! It’s available on Amazon and on Kindle!)

When were you diagnosed with DID? What was your journey up to your diagnosis like?
I was diagnosed in the early summer of 2015. Before that, I had been diagnosed with both Bipolar I when I was 16 and Schizoaffective Disorder when I was 22. I struggled a lot with the latter. I had checked myself in to outpatient services once I was hearing malicious voices. It was really intense, frightening, and confusing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and the misdiagnoses of SAD really set me back a little bit. It was difficult.

When did your different alters start to develop?
This is a tricky question. I suppose they really began developing around 4-5 years of age. My first alter, I suppose you could call her, was Allie. She’s been my best friend ever since. I’ve been told by friends that even in high school sometimes I would act oddly, or would even introduce myself by a different name.

How many alters do you have in your system? Can you tell me about about each different alter and their character traits?
So far, I’ve come to know 6 main alters. However, I know there are at least 3 more and a possible co-host.

Victoria is 24 and loves to write. She’s the host, typically.

Allie is a southern belle. She manages the system and works time out for everyone. If someone has an issue within the system, she is the go-to.

Goldie, or Marigold, is my protector. She’s from New Jersey, she’s tough, and she absolutely has no problem telling someone how we really feel.

Senka is 5. She’s sweet, loves dinosaurs, and likes to color.

Dee is 16, although I think she may age-slide. She’s a typical teenager and enjoys a good party.

Rogue has no identified age. She was angry abusive, and hypersexual. Now through therapy she seems to just bob around in the background.

Those are the 6. The others are:

Citizen, who is quiet and observant.

Lucy Lovelace, who is a more recently realized alter and I don’t have much information on her as of yet. I know that she was “born” in a mental institution.She has been taking on co-host responsibilities and traits.

Celia. She’s what I call the “emotional accountant” of the system.

How does Marigold protect all of you?
Goldie possesses the quality that I wish I always had: She doesn’t take abuse from anyone or anything. If something hurts the system, she’s usually the first to come out. To anyone who has met her, she’s been described as a little “rough around the edges” due to her brutal honesty. However, she is loving. She offers advice to me when I need it, even if I don’t want it.

How often can you switch between alters? Are you aware of what’s happening during a switch or when you’re a different alter?
To be honest, I don’t know how often it happens. 99% of the time, I don’t think I’m aware. I don’t feel that I even switch. Sometimes, I just feel fuzzy and my eyesight starts to shift. My girlfriend is usually the one to let me know, “so-and-so just came out.” Besides her telling me, I don’t know. However, there are times when they are louder, and there are times that I feel that I may be co-fronting, but I still don’t have any way to confirm that that means I’m switching.

Can you tell me a bit more about your day-to-day life is like?
I wake up, sometimes I’ll have a morning “meeting” with everyone depending on how we’re feeling. I’ll drive to work and Goldie typically drives with me. Every now and then Senka will be in the backseat. I work a full-job. I’d be lying to you if I said it’s not stressful because there have been moments where I’ve switched at work. Senka came out once that I know of- imagine working at your desk and then all of a sudden there’s a 5-year-old and no one knows what to do with you!

When I get home, I like to write. I blog. It’s therapy for me. I’ll spend time with my cat, Rita. I’ll play guitar sometimes. Then, bedtime!

Everyday is so different, but this is basically what it looks like.

When and why did you start vlogging and blogging about living with DID?
I started blogging a little over a year ago. I didn’t begin my blog focusing on DID. I had been battling depression for years, as well as drug addiction and rehabilitating from suicide attempts. My blog was created with the sole intention of helping other people by sharing my story. Then of course, as time went on and therapy opened up my trauma, I decided to spread awareness about DID.

The vlog came about 6 months after.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I have two goals:

1) I want to spread awareness, not just about DID, but about mental health and specifically the stigma against suicide. I’m astonished at the lack of information on the topic of DID and I would LOVE to educate people!

2) I want to continue writing and publish my autobiography.

What are the positive aspects to having DID, is it comforting to have the company of your alters?
Even though it’s scary and painful, my alters have shown me so much about myself, my past, and what I am truly capable of as a survivor. There’s not one boring day with all of us. When I’m really depressed and feeling lost, Allie is there by my side, ready to comfort me. When I feel threatened, Goldie protects me. There are a lot of positive aspects.

How did it feel to be finally diagnosed with DID in 2015? Did you feel a sense of relief or elucidation about yourself after your diagnosis?
I had mixed emotions about it. I think I had just been getting used to accepting Schizoaffective as my diagnoses and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t do any research at first. Then, slowly after working with my therapist, I realized that DID was not a fluke in brain chemistry; rather it is an adaptive and coping disorder. This is when the relief set in, because I knew there could be an “end result.” Integration. I began delving into books and forums. I picked up the DSM-V for the first time. I was so incredibly surprised to see how textbook my case was! There was definitely a sense of relief. I finally feel confident in the accuracy of my diagnoses.

I think you made a really moving point about how your alters have helped you survive trauma in your life and you hate to call DID a disorder. Can you tell me a bit more about this and describe how your alters have helped you?
I had coined this term in my blog when I first began writing- Glitter Rainbow Imagination, in lieu of the word disorder. I feel that “disorder” implies something that you want to get rid of, something negative and that is harmful to your psyche. My experience is quite the contrary! I had suffered through a lot of abuse, both verbally and physically. If I hadn’t have split, I promise you I would not be here today. Some of my alters, specifically Rogue, carry a lot of intense trauma.

I suppose if you look at it for a more psychological viewpoint, each of my alters are kind of like a filing drawer, and I’m the cabinet itself. Each drawer contains information and memories that are unique to that drawer. My brain has compartmentalized my childhood up until now. Through therapy, I am learning how to unlock the drawers safely, how to read through the files and accept the information.

 

What happened when Senka came out at work and did your work colleagues realise what was happening?
I don’t think anyone really noticed except for one co-worker. At the time, my girlfriend was working at the same office and Senka asked for her. So, the receptionist called her and my girlfriend took Senka for a drive. I don’t think she’s been out since then; she knows she’s not allowed to be out at work.

What sort of things do you discuss with your alters at your morning meetings?
We do a quick “scan” of how everyone is feeling usually. More recently, we discuss if anyone needs to take over for a while. For example, Goldie likes to drive in the morning and smoke a cigarette. Sometimes Senka wants to color after work. It all depends.

Do you have to buy or do certain things to accommodate all your different alters? e.g do you buy toys for Senka or different clothes for your some alters?
Senka definitely has a lot of stuffed animals. She loves dragons and dinosaurs so we have plenty of those! I wouldn’t say that the alters have different clothes- however, when we go shopping, they will come forward and give their opinions on what we should buy, or not buy. So, you can imagine how indecisive I could be!

What’s the most common misconception about DID?
Well, first of all, I find that the majority of the population doesn’t even know the term DID. They know Multiple Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, the extent of their exposure to MPD/DID is what they’ve seen on screen- i.e Sybil, United States of Tara, etc.

The common misconception is there are wild switches and that’s it. One day you’re Jane, the next you’re Rachel. At least in my own experience, it’s not like this. Sure, I switch sometimes. But there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that. It’s complex, it’s painful, there are so many layers. DID is not a little thing to work through. Honestly, I believe I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.

 

DID- Lesser Known Symptoms

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The most common known symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder include the presence of two or more alter personalities (with this comes switching alters), loss of time, amnesia, depression, mood swings, sleep disorders, flashbacks, psychotic-like symptoms (such as auditory and visual hallucinations), drug abuse, and anxiety.

What about the lesser known symptoms? It took me quite a while to do my own research on DID once I was diagnosed. I’m not sure if I was anxious, scared, in denial? Perhaps all of the above. Slowly, I began to pick up books and read thirstily on the internet from forums and psychology resources. I was surprised, actually, to find how little information is out there on the topic. It seems that every web page I read from was just recycled wordage from WebMD and a Wikipedia page. I’ve mentioned this on my blog before- when I picked up the DSM-V for the first time and read about DID, I was seriously surprised at how textbook I am in regards to all the symptoms, well known and lesser known symptoms.

I’ve found some really great data on Reddit. Personal experiences have helped me tremendously. I posted on Reddit the other day and asked my fellow multiples and systems to share any of their lesser known symptoms. I’d like to share some of their responses here to bring some more awareness and understanding about Dissociative Identity Disorder, or at the very least, an interesting read:

Allergies
I seem to be allergic to seafood, pineapple, and Caesar dressing. It is noted that different alters can have, or not have, varying allergies as well.

A redditor brought up an interesting question: “Acute anxiety, of the sort experienced when people with severe PTSD are triggered, can absolutely cause a histamine reaction, but a blind grid scratch test, where the patient doesn’t know which potential allergen is on which part of their skin, would behave differently from a conventional allergy if the mechanism is psychosomatic.”

Differing Eyesight
“One of my alters has differing eyesight… He’s the only alter of ours that wears glasses. He rarely fronts.
Two of my friends with DID have similar problems regarding eyesight, though to more dramatic degrees–I haven’t had full blindness occur, just lost peripheral vision.”

“We have different eyesight. I know this for a fact because the last time we got glasses it was a really stressful time period and someone who doesn’t usually handle front stuff took that exam. The glasses we got didn’t work for any of us, although some more than others. I couldn’t wear them at all, I actually had to squint to see out of them. This last eye exam we made sure to have the right people show up and the new glasses work brilliantly. Like night and day difference.
We also have varying degrees of color blindness, which is kind of an annoyance being in graphic design.”

Hypoglycemia
“…pre-existing hypoglycemia would impair attention, which would make dissociation easier, but not directly cause it. Conversely, dissociation could make it difficult to keep track of eating or even from feeling hunger, and the causal relationship between trauma and eating disorders is well established…”

It kind of clicked for me after I read this response, in regards to trauma and eating disorders. When I was teenager I struggled with an eating disorder. Without ever thinking about the correlation, I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia about 2 years after the eating disorder developed.

“We’ve had on and off hypoglycemia and strange allergies. We didn’t know those could be linked.”

Pain Dissociation
I suppose this sounds like a no-brainer, but again, I had never made the connection. I’m able to turn off my pain receptors, for lack of a better explanation. For example, when I’m really cold, I’m actually able to kind of pull myself away from my body and not feel it.

“…how much pain I can feel in my arms varies depending on the alter co-fronting with me. I work as a fry cook. It’s not uncommon for accidental burns to happen, and I shake them off real quick, which freaks out a lot of people. Well, if Li, our traditional child alter is around, I can’t. I’m as pain-sensitive as everyone else.”

 

Other symptoms and phenomenons that were mentioned were different handwriting styles (including alters being left-handed while others are right-handed), dream-like states, out-of-body experiences, co-morbid diagnoses for  alters, self-persecution, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

Thanks to the Redditors for providing feedback and being such a supportive online community!

Published and Promoting! Plus, a Prize Contest!!!!

Solipsism: (noun) The belief that all reality is just one’s own imagining of reality, and that one’s self is the only thing that exists. 1871, coined from Latin solus, “alone”

I have been published! Solipsist, my collection of confessional poetry, is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

book

***SHARE ON WORDPRESS THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIFTCARDS TO BARNES AND NOBLE, COFFEE BEAN, AND MORE!!!
I will be sending out thank you gifts to randomly selected WordPressers who share my book on their blog! Please be sure to link lazarusandlithium.com so I can include you in the prize selection! I will be sending the gifts on Friday, January 8th, so please make sure you share and link my blog before then!***

For those of you that don’t follow this blog, in 2010, I hit rock bottom. After struggling with crippling depression throughout my adolescence and heavy drug addiction, I attempted suicide. Thankfully, it wasn’t my time to leave. It has been an uphill battle towards recovery ever since. Every day I needed to make a conscious decision to hang on and get better. Slowly, with the love and support from my family and friends, I began to rehabilitate spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful to say that I have been sober (and plan to be!) from the drug that had nearly destroyed me.

Through my arduous recovery process, I had turned to writing for healing. These poems that I have published in Solipsist were deliberately handpicked, as each one was written during a crucial point in my therapy. They are raw, unfiltered. I understand that some of them can be hard to read. They are difficult to share.

So, why open up to the world? Unfortunately, suicide is such a stigmatized topic in our society, along with mental health. I painfully remember not wanting to reach out for help for this very specific reason. All too often, people who are struggling with the above mentioned are labeled as “weak” and “attention seeking.” Then, when someone we love takes their own life, we wonder why we never saw the signs.

I lived through my experiences and I know that my purpose is to spread awareness. If I am able to save one life, my purpose is fulfilled.
That being said, I am VERY excited about my first published book. I am inviting you all to share this moment with me!

 

In dedication to:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
https://www.afsp.org/

The Trevor Project- providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

RAINN- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
https://www.rainn.org
Thank you all in advance!!
Laz