DID: When Is It A Disorder, Diagnosis, or Disease?

We are going to take another stab at this subject – and hopefully a less ‘wandering’ and more rational one than last time.  We feel it is important that people should know the difference – both ‘normal’ folks (singletons and/or monominds) and those who are MPD (or BPD, meaning borderline personality disorder.  If someone is Bipolar, then I’ll say so.  Not “BPD” which is sometimes confused with “Bipolar (BP) Disorder (D)”)

The reason it is important to me is that there is a lot of discrimination and false ideas surrounding “DID” (the current umbrella term which is being used to cover disassociation (from one’s feelings and/or self), BPD (a ‘single’ person who has alter personas or ‘masks’ – and who, when under pressure, ‘feels’ as though they have become this persona or ‘person’ they’ve “become” – e.g. an actor sometimes, when he has a role: haven’t you heard of them sometimes saying that they must “become” the character first in order to do the role?  Same kind of thing.

And finally there’s “MPD”, a hotly debated term sometimes in both historical and modern psychiatry.  It’s a state of mind your “not supposed to be born with” – however, things happen.  Like abuse and things where the child learns to adopt certain ‘alter egos’ in order to get by or through certain things.  Like we – we used to ‘zone out’ sometimes – LOTS of times – when things would get “most certainly interesting” (interesting being bad sometimes, and not always good).  That developed into full blown DID (by the time we were four or five years old: I remember doing that thing; or that is to say, I can “feel” Mikie (that sub-set of memories) “doing” that thing: see those times: THAT time; feel in his ‘head’ – those emotions are still there; that dread of certain things; that desire to want them . . . . lots of things.

However, (going on – I’m rambling again): when is “it” a disease, and when is it a ‘disorder’ – and when is it just something going on?  (Like sickle cell anemia, or diabetes – under control, manageable – nothing going on . . . people treat you right.)

In the first case, it becomes a disorder when ‘someone’ in the MPD system ‘runs wild’ – when the ‘system’ attacks itself for some reason or another, OR when “someone” in the system engages in either a) self-abusive and/or destructive behaviors (whether physical or mental doesn’t matter – and that includes financial as well, since “somebody” going out and spending the money doesn’t help when someone “else” has gotta go pay the rent).  OR
B) When “someone” (or a ‘group’ of ‘them’) in the system has a problem with someone ‘else’ – or with the ‘system’ as a whole (confining them).  This can result in this ‘person’ seizing control and ‘lashing out’ at the system for one reason or another – or lashing out at someone else sometimes.  This shit happens.

In our case, since “Mikie”, our ‘main’ inner child (and the host during our childhood years), begged for the abuse (the sexual one) – “he” was “sealed up” along with his shame (there was none, and no reason to be, we are now – and have been for some time – realizing) – and ‘guilt’ – though the guilt was not his; it was the fault of several people or no people, depending on how you want to look at it.  Parents being parents; humans being human – you know what I mean (or at least I hope you do – it goes a long way towards forgiving them – which reduces our anger at them next to nil.)

But here’s the thing: along comes “Matthew”, our teenager being (though there is about a four or five year ‘hiatus’ between personalities – that is the ‘person’ we are missing) – who ‘hates him’ (our inner child being), blames him … shadows him with guilt feelings – lots of things.  None of it any good.  And therefore, the “disorder” started – and it started when I was young (about in my mid-20’s) – and kept on up until late this last July.  That’s twenty years and some folks: a long time to live with a ‘disorder’…

But it wasn’t a disorder all the time: fact is, we kept it pretty well hidden inside.  Most of the time “Mikie” existed – HE existed ‘deep’ within our head; hidden, silent, going away …. “we” as a whole couldn’t stand him …

But (wandering again, I see!) – when that system ‘attacked’ itself . . . well, “we” went on the warpath.  Blame it on a psychiatrist; tell me: we were cooked; we were done: stick me with a fork momma and pull me outta here.  Cutting and abusing – using office tape sometimes for ‘stitches’ (emergancy items at work) – downing waaayyy too many sleeping pills – that kind of stuff. . . .

and that’s what I call and “emergency”, that’s what I call a “disorder”: a disorder of the system.  “We” were … messed up pretty bad (and yet! – still functioning in the society that we were in – going to work, making it on time; getting things done – smiling and being friendly to everyone . . . while secretly going into the bathroom and punishing ourselves . . . anything would do…)

When it happens again and again – when you have a resurgance of nightmarish symptoms (the system begins fighting itself) – then you have what some would call a Disease.  And a Chronic One at that.

That’s what our system had, for many many years.  I’m not doubting that we may go through another hard time one year or another – this last one has been a doozy! (Just ask my wife.  She cares.)  You never know sometimes . . .

But we’ve learned lessons along the way.  For one thing: the system has to ‘get along’.  Everybody has to share something.  Everyone is “okay”.  They got there the best they could – even while doing some pretty crazy stuff.  (that ain’t the word I meant to use, but I’m trying to clean up this diary).  And if there’s a ‘new’ one on board: we gotta welcome ‘him’ (or her, as the case may be) – with open arms, understanding and love . . .

Then the system gets along.  Then it’s no longer a “disorder” – and maybe if we use it like insulin (Sugar.  Get the pun?  Get it?) – we can ‘inoculate’ ourselves against the system running wild.

The problem is: the rest of the world doesn’t “get  it”.  They don’t realize: there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with us – not really.  “We” get along.  But I’m willing to bet that if I walked down to the local social asylum and announced to them that “I’m a multiple personality” – they’d wanna lock me up again.  Seeing it as a ‘social disease’ – in that being “multiple” (or different) is something most folks find socially wrong (“gotta isolate that diseased one!  He’s scaring me!  Because I don’t know what he’ll do . . . because I can’t understand him!  Lock him up officer!  Forever, if need be!”).

And that’s the way it is (hearing old Walter Cronkite’s voice in my head) . . . this day and age, 2011 . . . (shaking his head sadly) . . . and who would want to believe. . .


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)
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