I thought I’d post a link to our youtube channel. It has videos on it about our life, diagnosis, videos of our dog, and from the alters. I hope some of you will subscribe to it and watch them.
the link is below.
I am starting a series of vlogs on did and my experience with the disorder. The first vlog is on my did diagnosis. Hope you enjoy hearing about how I came to my diagnosis of did.
So as most of my readers know, I have dissociative identity disorder. Initially I was diagnosed with it in 2001. My then psychiatrist diagnosed me initially, along with the therapist I was seeing back then. In fact the therapist I was seeing is the one who first knew something was very wrong. She’d been recieving emails from the alters, this was before any of them even started coming out in our sessions. She did talk to a few of the child alters too. She is the one who said we needed to be assessed for a dissociative disorder. When we were assessed in 2001 she came with us to the assessment. After we were diagnosed our then psychiatrist left shortly after diagnosing us. We started with a new, male psychiatrist. For years we saw him and he did know but he never really treated the did just medicated us and sent us to anxiety management, relaxation group, got us in with a community psychiatric nurse, etc. Then in Marchh 2005 during one of our appointments I came out to him, I told him I wasnt Shirley that it was actually me Carol anne. After that he was great, and made a point of getting to know the insiders, and eventually, when we were hospitalised in 2006 he tried to make the nurses in the hospital accept our did and treat us as separate people. Unfortunately that didnt go very well though. Mostly the nurses in the hospital have a hard time accepting the did label. That psychiatrist left in 2007 and we started with a female psychiatrist. I should also say that while we were under the male psychiatrist he had looked into getting specialist treatment for us for our did. He looked into a few inpatient hospitals in the UK, but none would take us due to our other disability of blindness. When we started with the female psychiatrist in 2007, we also started with a new therapist. We saw her for four and a half years. In a lot of ways she was bad for us, but she also did a lot of positive things for us, including getting us some funding to have a formal diagnosis done by did experts. The did experts came over to diagnose us in December 2010. We spent a day being assessed, doing interviews, and filling out questionaires. We did the structured clinical interview for dissociative disorders too. From all the interviews and questionaires, a report was made up and we were diagnosed with did. We stopped seeing the therapist who helped us get the did diagnosis in 2011. It was purely our decision to stop seeing her, she had no boundaries, the relationship had become unhealthy, and we were not progressing in therapy. We started seeing Eileen who is our current therapist in 2012. And we’ve been with her ever since. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse for 27 years, is trained in EMDR, has her bachelors in counselling, and a masters in treating trauma survivors. So she is very well trained. We’re still seeing her to this day. We also started with Dr Barry our current psychiatrist in 2013, after the last one left to go to Australia. Dr Barry is an amazing psychiatrist, she is compassionate, a great listener, great at her job, warm, kind, caring, intelligent, shows concern, empathy, is emotionnally always available, and most importantly is real. She treats all of us not just our host. She will talk to any of us about absolutely anything. She is not afraid to show her emotions either which I like. So that is how we were diagnosed with did, in a nutshell.
So where to start. I guess I’ll tell you about how we came to be diagnosed with did. Its a long story so I’ll try to be brief. We initially went into therapy at age 17, after a serious suicide attempt that ended us up in the hospital. We were with our first therapist for about a year. She mainly focused on our then very serious eating disorder, and our depression. After a year she was retiring, and our then psychiatrist thought we were doing better so she said we could stop going to therapy. We didnt go then for about 18 months. Then we had a very serious relapse. I know now it was because there were a lot of ritualistic abuse memories coming out and to the surface. We started with a new male psychiatrist and a new therapist shortly after the break down. Really early on our psychiatrist diagnosed us as having did. We were only formerly diagnosed in 2010. For our formal diagnosis, two did specialists came from the UK. They assessed us and diagnosed us after we completed the structured clinical interview for dissociation and a few other tests. We were in therapy back then with a different therapist to who we have now. We are now seeing E and we have been for 2 years almost. E is fabulous. She really gets it and gets us. She knows her stuff and all on did and dissociation and trauma. We’re very lucky to have found her. She’s been a blessing.