Mental health and “coolness”

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Had a few conversaions recsetly about people faking mental illnesses, specifially people faking DID. Now whenever these topics come up the first thing I think is “why would anyone fake this?” and the most common reply is “attention” or “be look cool”. Now ok the attention one I sort of get, but to look cool? really? How exactly is essentially saying “so ye, I was raped and abused as in infant and so my mind sort of split as a defence mechanism, so now I don’t remember large chunks of my life, I get awful headaches, doctors don’t trust me with medication, I can’t hold down a job and I get confused by really simple stuff” cool? Maybe I am just out of the loop and misunderstand the meaning of the word “cool” but to me the fact that a person was ABUSED is not a “cool” thing :/ and pretending that you were abused just so that you have something to say when conersations start to die is also not a “cool” thing.

I don’t know, I just don’t get it… living with this is HELL 90% of the time. The constant noise, the never knowing what day it is, the never being able to plan anything as you’ve no idea if you are going to be functional let alone “you” on any given day, the “waking up” in unknown places and haing to go into a shop to ask “excuse me, thais may sound like an odd question, ut what city is this?”, not to mention the flashbacks, the nightmares, the insomnia, the “flashes” that make nosense, the fact that no therapist will touch you with a barge pole so you are constantly being bumped from one psych to another, etc…

Just some thoughts… Also if anyone I’ve been talking about this with reads this: none of this is a critism or anything like that, it’s just basically me thinking out loud and wanting to get some peoples opinions in order to help me to understand.


Some petitions

My Truth

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I’m very passionate about mental health and abuse awareness, mainly due to my own expieriances. I am very open about my past, which I know is something that many do not like, but I do not see why I should stay silent – afterall that’s what the abusers told me to do and I can’t let them win can I?

I don’t want nor do I expect pity or sympathy. I do not deserve it, and I do not want it, what happened happened and I am only who I am today because of it. I do not want hugs and people saying they are sorry, what I want, what I fight for every day, is for OTHERS to feel safe that they will not be judged. What I want is to make it so that those who currently suffer in silence scared of what may happen if they open up know that they are not alone, and maybe make it so that they no longer have to fear judgement and blame.

I know that my work and my speaking out will not end abuse, discrimination and suffering, but if I can just let people know that they are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence and maybe if I can make a few people stop and think then I am happy with that. I cannot stop abuse, I cannot change the world, but maybe I can help to plant the seeds of change, plant that idea in to the minds of others, and then they can help that idea to grow until one day change can and does occur. Maybe one day the things which I fight will no longer exist, but I doubt that I will see that day. I can do so little, but it’s the best I can do, I just have to hope that human nature is not as bad as I fear and that these seeds if change and the glimmer of hope will take root.

I tell my story, my truth, not for pity, but for the hope that I can help to ignite change in this world. I know most will not believe this, but I know my truth and I hope that a few of you know this truth too. This is why I spend so long creating websites, writting letters, speaking in schools, raising money and trying to spread awareness. It’s an inconvenient truth I know, but it’s a truth that needs to be known, I cannot just sweep it under the carpet when I know that it could help others. So I fight and strive with the hope of helping, of making the suffering of others that little bit better that bit more bearable.  I wish that this truth was not there, that it did not need to be spread, but it is and it does. And for this I am sorry

This is my truth

DID is real, it can be hell, but it also can be fun.

I know that a lot of people don’t believe in multiple personalities. I find that interesting. I’d rather not believe in it myself 😉 However, given that I live with a group of people in my head who insist they are real, and who take control of my body on a regular basis, I’m trying to learn to accept the fact that they’re real, and have been real since I was about 6 years old.
I’ve wrestled a lot of long, lonely, difficult hours with this.

  • They’re not imaginary.
  • They’re not because I’m malingering.
  • They’re not because I’m well-read about DID.
  • They’re not there because I’ve seen movies.
  • They’re not there to get me out of anything.
  • They’re not there because its “convenient.”
  • They’re not made up.
  • They’re not invented so I can stay in therapy longer, or to get attention, or to be cool, or anything like that.

You know why they’re there?
Because stuff happened that my own mind couldn’t handle. And maybe because I was a little too creative, and a LOT too sensitive…

I promice that this is real, I do experiance this, all of it.

  • It sucks sometimes.
  • I’ve lost friends.
  • I’ve lost support.
  • I have to take responsibility for things that I didn’t even know I did.
  • I have to fix mistakes that I dont remember making.
  • I forget things all the time.
  • I never know what time it is
  • I can’t remember almost 14 years of my life
  • Its inconvenient.
  • Its a pain in the butt.
  • Its terrifying.
  • The headaches are AWFUL
  • It takes us hours to make a simple decision as everyone refused to agree
  • Sometimes I loos a few hours and end up in a different city with no idea where I am or how I got there
  • Acting like a child when in an adults body never ends well…
  • “coming back” to being yelled at by people when I have no idea why is upsetting and SO confusing
  • Its full of flashbacks and pain and loneliness and fear.  Sometimes having noone, no company other than the others you share a body with as all the “singletons” can’t understand and end up leaving you
  • And having people you might not even like take up residence inside your head.
  • Some of these people may have different mental illnesses to you, so on a day to day basis the body can go through anything from self-harm to purging…
  • You end up having items in your woardrobe that not only do you not rememmber buying but that don’t even fit

Basically, imagine taking 9 or 10 (and in some cases, many more) people from different walks of life, with completely different personalities and histories and likes and dislikes, and putting them all in a verysmallroomforaverylongtimetogether and see what happens. ell them to share this space for and endless amount of time, add one therapist standing outside the door of room who can see inside through a very small window, shake the room up, and enjoy…

Telling us things like “multiples personalities do not exist”, “stop acting, you’re fooling noone”, “stop looking for attention”, “this self pitty thing is getting old”, “there is no such thing as DID, next time you fake a disorder make sure it’s a real one”, etc. really doesn’t help… it is real, we experiance it, if it’s not real then what are we? why are we here?

Though truth be told there are some good points… like for example you are never truely alone… and it can result in some fairly funny siturations once you learn to laugh about it (which you have to do or you’d robably end up crying or suicidal). You’ll also never be short of clothes, something for every possible situration lol. If you can’t handle doing something then you can ask someone else to take over, though I feel bad for doing this… And it’s also a great excuse for things, you always have someone else to blaime events on 😛

DID can be good

Post traumatic stress disorder – stigma

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PTSD affects up to 30% of people who experience a traumatic event. It affects around 5% of men and 10% of women at some point during their life, and can occur at any age, including during childhood.

PTSD first came to prominence during the First World War after soldiers suffered harrowing experiences in the trenches. Their condition became known as shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome. It has not been until fairly recently that it has been accepted that traumatic events outside of war situations have similar effects.
As recsently as the 31 Jul 2009 there was a TV programme  (Panorama – the trauma industry) which heavily implied that anyone claming PTSD due to a none military event was mearly after an insurance claime. The programme implied that people see PTSD as an easy disorder to fake as it’s an “invisable illness”

But this is not true. After all any traumatic or life threatenng event will shatter your world view, making the “safe predictable world” that you knew a distant memory, and replacing it with a dangerous, unpradictable world with threats around every corner. This could be any event from a car crash to a rape, no one can judge what is or is not traumatic to anyone else, and noone should be seen as “weak” for reacting in this way to an event.

Life with DID

This diagnosis carries a lot of controversy among people with “multiplepersonalities”, doctors and other mental health professionals. Thereare many distorted media depictions of life with Dissociative Identity Disorder which has created fear the general population. There are books written on the subject suggesting long tedious recoveries and not muchhope of normalcy. Most of this information stems from a few groups andhow Multiple Personality Disorder was originally presented and notbased on modern-day research on the subject.

What I, and my system, have learned after losing everything precious to us (employment, respect , normal rights) because of a misunderstood label, is you canhave Dissociative Identity Disorder, you can be multiple and stillmanage as a healthy citizen, parent, wife or husband and so on…as longas your system learns tools to communicate and manage the symptoms ofthe disorder. We are learning to properly use inner dialoguing, journaling , and sharing body space and time. We are aiming for a happy, co-consciously existence, sharing memory together.

Another option is integration of alters, but we decided against that.

As we learn to work together more it is no longer odd when a ’switch or transition’ between one alter or another occurs. It is becoming moresubtle, normal to. We do not dramatically or sharply switch because we no longer fight and fear it, nor does it come with announcements, calling attention to switches or ’switch on-command’ like circus show entertainment. Of course now and again the old version of switching does occur, but in time and with more work we hope that we will eventually be able to work together at all times so that no one feelsthe need to force their way out.

Multiplicity is another way oflife and usually becomes a disability only when the person becomeshighly stressed over being a multiple; fearing it, trying to control orstop switches and remaining hidden – furthering secrets and shameassociated with the stigma of Dissociative Identity Disorder. DID is not an illness, it is an effective defence mechanism that only becomes troublesome when the needs or wants of the system are ignored.

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