DID: When It’s A Diagnosis – and When It’s A Disorder

(inspired by Sam I Am‘s Post: The Ugly Side of DID)

DID.  Sometimes it’s a diagnosis; sometimes it’s a disorder.  Some might even call it a “disease” of the mind.  Whatever.  We know what we are talking about.  After all: we’re the one’s with the diagnosis and/or disorder in mind.

What makes DID a diagnosis?  Now we’re not looking here for the ‘standard answer’: what makes a person “DID” (which, by the way, has become such a broad term that it makes no sense now; it’s kind of like saying someone has a “Mood Disorder” – it tells you something about them – but nothing of the kind, since you don’t neccessarily know what mood they’re in.  And yes, my good people: “Mood Disorders” exist now, by the way.  Look them up.  They’re in the new psychiatric guidelines . . . everyone has them now and again.  Welcome to the New Age: The Age of Disorder – where everybody’s got one.

No, here we’re looking at it from an internal standpoint; the ‘point’ of a DID person (or host, since I’m the one ‘speaking’).  DID is only a “disorder” when something goes wrong; up until then it’s just a diagnosis; like one that says “Hey, you got freckles.”  Not such a big deal.  We get along just fine in life, doing everything wrong (or right – depending on which way you’re looking at it) – stumbling along just like everyone else: no big problem here.

When it DOES become a problem, though – wooooo Boy!  Watch out there.  It definitely goes from “diagnosis” to “disorder” – and disorder is what it’s all about.  The “system” becomes ‘disordered’, whether due to outside stress or internal conflicts about something.  Either there’s a ‘threat to survival’ (aka happiness sometimes) due to unpaid bills, medications overdue . . . or inside – someone else crying or demanding something be done about this thing or that . . .

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for someone ‘without’ DID imagining what it’s like ‘inside’ – but you can try.  And actually it’s not that hard.  Here: let me guide you (we have ‘smiles’ going on all around – grim, wry smiles, knowing how hard this sort of thing really is):

First of all, a disclaimer.  I cannot speak on behalf of any DID ‘patients’ except myself.  I cannot claim to know what is going on with ‘you’, or your spouse and things.  I can only know what I know and I only know a little – meaning ’nuff said, and moving on….

The reason I say this is because every DID patient is different.  Some of us are multiple; some of us are not.  Some of us have ‘multiples’ inside that have multiples inside of THEM . . . and the list and / or chain goes on and on.

Things I’ve noticed with MOST DID patients I’ve come into contact with (and that, by the way, is very little – relying on what I’ve read through some of your blogs) is that MOST of us only allow – or CAN allow – or HAVE – “3 on top”.  Meaning “three” ‘personalities’ either active or running things – or ‘hosting the show’.

Some of us (me included) have more than one host.  (See “Two and A Half Men“).  Some (like me) can form up “hosts” on-the-fly.  Some of us (like me) can come up with hosts (and new personalities) to match and meet (and sometimes beat) the situations that we come in.  I know for one, I started (immediately upon arrival) ‘building’ a new ‘host’ person when I arrived in PR – I was gonna be a Puerto Rican – accent and all.  That’s what “we” do – and it took all of us to ‘get there’ (forming up a new personality) – and all of us to get out again, LOL!!!  Learned a lot of things ‘about us’ when I was there; that much was for certain!

But when it becomes a disorder – and it becomes a disorder for some (we’re not sure how many – most folks that have DID aren’t complainin’ – many of them may not be aware at ALL – some of them even have host personalities and whatnot and may best be described by the now defunct term “borderline personality disorder”) – but we’re thinking there a lot of ‘them’ out there who simply are not having any problem with it – or simply don’t know what’s going on . . .

After all, when it’s in your own head, it seems kinda normal.  Especially when it’s been going on for years.  Maybe even a lifetime or so!  (Thinking of abused children, which we are/were – and how WE thought it was all normal at the time – and thinking of all the time how we thought in terms of “we” and “us” and “our” – when all along people have been thinking in terms of “I” and “me” and “Mine” – and we didn’t know the difference, LOL’ing!)

But anyway, getting back to “when it becomes a disorder: well, then something goes wrong.  The system gets outta whack.  “Someone” (perhaps a child, perhaps a grownup thing) wants to “off themselves” or “you all” or someone . . . anger issues build between countries; tempers flare; ‘fists’ fly (razor’s are coming out) – and someone ends up shooting someone in the head . . .

and that’s how it ends up becoming a “disorder” some of the times.

Now I don’t know how it works for YOU – but for US it’s usually “majority rules sometimes” (meaning most of the time).  But there can be ‘factions’ and ‘gangs’ which can ‘gang up’ on ‘you’, the host being – and there can be trouble.  Or the sadness and grief FROM one or OVER one can lead to some trouble – it’s like “We don’t know how to fix this; we don’t know why you’re crying” – all kinds of things.  And that can drive you ‘crazy’, too.  Imagine living with this internal eternal dark sort of sadness emanating from somewhere inside of you – and ‘you’ can’t figure out what or why – or maybe you DO know – but you can’t “approach” it … slips right ‘out’ and you feel nothing else (meaning the feeling ‘goes away’ – the ‘person hides’ – and hides that ‘feeling’ from you – all kinds of stuff!!!)

And the hosts – the poor hosts!!!  Sometimes ‘we’ get tired of ‘this mess’ – and (sighing, Matthew and I) – the mess can be hard.  Little ones to deal with; angry teenagers inside – nothing you can ‘do’ for them; they are ‘locked’ and/or ‘trapped’ in their pasts . . .

But on the other hand . . . there IS a lot “we” can do for them WHEN WE GET AROUND TO TREATING THEM LIKE REAL PEOPLE.  And this is a key session that many therapists are missing – a key point in things.  These are not ‘living beings’ as you may have come to understand them – but think “colony creature” instead – with a single ‘way’ of expressing (the human body thing)  and when one of them gets mad or sad – it can be a ‘living thing’ – causing a nightmare inside.

Think an organism ‘gone wrong’ – and organism ‘eating itself’ – and you can see where anger and depression in a multiple (colony) being would be “bad” – where there is a “disorder” going wrong. . . .

This is a really rambling post . . . didn’t get what I wanted to say said right . . .

But here’s the thing:

It’s a cool thing when everything is ‘running right’ and everyone ‘inside’ is respecting everyone else – then it’s a “diagnosis”.

But when the ‘system’ runs wild; when ‘someone’ takes over; when depression ‘takes hold’ – and runs in groups; when a ‘majority’ of the system ‘feels bad’ – or
when there’s someone in the system mad at someone (for instance, our long-going and on-going war with Mikie – that was won, by the way, on his behalf – Good going, Mikie!  Tough kid – but during that war we came CLOSE – and I mean CLOSE – to killing ourselves over half a dozen times – and hurt ourselves much more often . . . and it was all due to some misunderstandings; opening some of our insider’s eyes – getting a new way of thinking – that we ‘came together’ and everything has been pretty much fine ever since.

And that’s what we call a “diagnosis”, when it’s no longer a disease – and we are fine with our self.


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
This entry was posted in Alters, child abuse survivor, DID, dissociative identity disorder, mental health, Mental Health Professionals, therapy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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