Treating alters like seperate people- good or bad?

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Every now and then these debates on whether treating alters like seperate people is encouraging sufferers of DID/DDNOS to “stay sick” or not. I thought I’d share my thoughts on it.

Delusions or “false beliefs” play a big part in many mental illnesses. A depressed person might think that things will never get better (it probably will), a paranoid person believes that someone is after them (which is quite unlikely), people who suffer from social anxiety might feel like everyone is staring at them (they probably aren’t), someone who suffers from compulsions might believe that “if I don’t do *this*  *insert something horrible here* will happen” (it most likely won’t) and so on. If someone close to the sufferer was to play along with these fears, it would obviously make everything worse. Can’t argue with that, right? 

Now, the thing about multiplicity is that isn’t a false belief or a delusion. On the contrary, a DID/DDNOS diagnosis is a confirmation that what you are experiencing actually is real and that your alters really do exist. Other peoples opinions on the matter does not change the fact that your alters actually are there. Because that is what this disorder is all about, right? Having two or more distinct personalities taking control over the body is the very “definition” of multiplicity.  From my point of view, treating alters like seperate people is just acknowleding and respecting the fact that this condition is real and that they are real.  If you, on the other hand, were to treat us as one person and start blaming me for things my alters have said or done, being pissed at me for constantly changing, accusing me of faking or attention seeking, forcing me to hide my alters and being unsupportive, that would be making things worse for me.  That would feed my depression and anxiety. That would make my conditon a bigger problem than it has to be.

What you should do is respect my decision to work towards integration or cooperation and support me on my way towards whatever goal I choose. What you should do is respect my wishes on how I want you to approach me, my condition and my alters. 

This is just my personal opinion, feel free to disagree but do it respectfully and constructively. Oh and forgive me for any misspelled words and stuff, I’m tired.

/ Phemie

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6 thoughts on “Treating alters like seperate people- good or bad?

    Clusterfawked said:
    February 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    This is kind of a touchy subject for many of us in this system. Our T insists on using words that invalidate many, our kids are creeped out by some so they feel the need to hide, things like that… can be a big mess. A big, uncomfortable, depressing, infuriating, lots of things mess.
    “What you should do is respect my decision to work towards integration or cooperation and support me on my way towards whatever goal I choose. What you should do is respect my wishes on how I want you to approach me, my condition and my alters.” <—— LOVE THAT. Agree 1000%.
    Really enjoyed reading this. If I could multi-click like I would for everyone in here who is pleased by your words.
    Ari

      litenselleri responded:
      February 12, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Oh, thank you very much 🙂 Yes, it’s truly is a touchy subject. I know my psychologist thinks that it’s best to treat *us* as one person. However, I have been feeling the need to have my alters recognized as their own grow stronger and stronger, and so I’m working on that! It really feel like a huge, scary step to ask people around me to acknowledge my alters as separate people, but I hope it’ll get easier in time.

    willowabba said:
    February 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    My wife wrote something to you, and she is the one with the word power, but if your healing and your choice is integrating, hey its your party, go for it.

      litenselleri responded:
      February 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      Hi there!
      I think there’s been a misunderstanding, we’ve chosen co-operation, not integration.

    Sam Ruck said:
    February 6, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Just to let you know, I have done the very thing you are talking about. There are 7 girls (including the host) in my wife’s network. I treat each of them individually, calling each of them by the name they have chosen (or I inadvertantly gave her in the beginning and she wanted to keep it!). I have a unique relationship with each girl. And I firmly believe it’s the reason my wife as a whole has experienced NO suicide issues and very little depression. She hasn’t needed any meds either.

    We are in our 7th year of the healing journey and they are learning to communicate and work together more and more. From what my wife tells me she is further ahead of almost anyone she has ever read about or interacted with.

    I’m not saying there are zero drawbacks to using this approach, but so far they seem to be far fewer than those who follow the more typical route.

    Take care, and by the way, good point on your post about confirming reality by this approach.

    Sam

      litenselleri responded:
      February 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Hello there!
      Thank you so much for sharing! It really gives me hope hearing about you and your wife’s experiences! I think it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to accept her condition and embrace alters. And it’s great to hear that it’s working so well!
      Again, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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