dr barry, can you hear me? will you listen?
eileen, you too.
i need a mommy. i know you think i have one. but i dont. she is the bodys mom yes, but not mine.
she doesnt want to knoe or see me. it makes me sad. i need a mom.
can you be my mom? both of you? then I’d have two mommys? Please?
my heart gets happy when i talk to you. because you care. your special. i love both of you.
eileen because you listen to me even when i’m angry, or scared, or pissed off. Dr Barry because you give me good advice, your kind, even though your a doctor you dont act like one.
i need a mom and i’m picking both of you to be that special person for me.
will you take care of me? will you wipe my tears when i cry? will you soothe me when i’m sad, and get mad with me when i get mad? will you hear what it is i have to say?
i just need a forever mom. i know you cant adopt me so i can live with you, but can i be adopted in your hearts? please?
love, alicia 9
So I’ve been thinking. About how lucky I am to have Dr Barry. About how she will bend over backwards for me, and not just me, but all of her patients. There arent many psychiatrists like her. Of course it helps that she’s young, and keeps up to date with training and such. But I think anyone who has her as a psychiatrist should feel blessed. And any psychiatry student who she mentors should also feel blessed. Its not every day you meet someone so passionate about their job. And she really is passionate about it. Over the years I’ve had my fare share of psychiatrists. I’ve had both males and females. I can honestly say none of them were as good as Dr Barry. She’s one in a million. My previous two psychiatrists were female, I had one for only 2 months, and I hated her. She did not get our did, she refused to deal with the insiders, she was just not good at her job. Yet now if I run into her when I am going to see Dr Barry she makes a point of saying hi to me, so I guess I did make an impact on her. The psychiatrist I had before her I had for 5 years. I found her to be ok, she was fine with the did and she would talk to all of us, but oh my gosh did we have some run ins. Especially her and Liz. Liz even threatened to kill her one time. Of course after Liz did that she never saw us alone again, she always brought a nurse in with her. Even after liz wrote her an apology letter, she still refused to see us by ourselves. We had other run ins with her too, mainly about being hospitalised, and because she did not understand the ritual abuse part of our history. But overall, I liked her. I found her to be approachable and friendly, warm and empathetic. Now she’s gone to work in australia. I also feel very lucky that I always get to see Dr Barry. Of course it says in my diagnostic report that I am to only see the consultant, but if Dr Barry never read that then she wouldnt know that, and I wouldnt get to always see her. Of course being the fabulous doctor that she is, she did read the report thoroughly. I also think its cool the way Dr Barry gives me ample time, and she never rushes me. Thats how it should be with all psychiatrists. No psychiatrist should ever rush a patient. Dr Barry always makes a point of asking me at the end if there is anything else I need to discuss. If I had something, it would be fine for me to say that. I just think that all trainee psychiatrists should be mentored by someone as awesome as Dr Barry. The world of mental health is a better place because she’s in it.
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 as I mentioned in my about me page, I suffer from mental illnesses. I have a couple different ones. I am going to try and explain some about them on my blog. So, here goes.
First I have depression. I’ve had it since my teens. I was first hospitalised at 17 because of it. I saw my first psychiatrist, and started on meds at age 17 too. My depression comes in waves. For months I can be ok, then all of a sudden I can go very low, I rarely get highs. I have attempted suicide on a couple of occasions. Mostly by overdosing on meds. When I am seriously depressed, my judgement is impaired and I am very impulsive.
I also have PTSD. Again I got diagnosed with this at age 17. It is due to child abuse during my childhood. PTSD stands for post traumatic stress disorder. Its very debilitating. I get nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, etc etc. I hate it. Its probably one of the worst mental illnesses a person can be diagnosed with.
There is a third more serious mental illness that I suffer with. I’m hesitant to say what it is, for fear of judgement, or freaking people out. But I’m going to be brave. I’m going to just come out and say what it is. I have dissociative identity disorder or did for short. It used to be multiple personality disorder. However the name was changed a couple years ago. Did stems from severe and prolonged child abuse. It means there are other personalities or alters that share my body and head and share time with me etc. Its a very misunderstood illness, and the media makes it even more so. In the media people with did are portrayed as monsters, psychopaths, killers etc. In fact people with did are normal people. We just happen to share our bodies with alters or some people call them parts. We just happen to have suffered abuse. We are not dangerous and in fact mostly we are quiet, scared, timid…Did is nothing to be afraid of.
I got diagnosed with did a few years ago by some experts in the field. They came over from the UK to diagnose me. I am now in therapy for the did and the other illnesses I suffer with. I take medication and I see my awesome psychiatrist Dr. Barry each week.
If you have a mental illness and are afraid to talk to someone about it please dont hesitate to contact me. You are not alone and it is really ok to talk about whatever your going through!
A new year, finally. I actually cant believe it. Its like it whirled in so suddenly. I didn’t do much for new years eve. I just celebrated it with my parents. We watched a new years eve concert on tv and had a few drinks and some food. It was nice. I felt good. I spent some time looking back on 2014. That wasn’t so good. 2014 was such an up and down year for us. So many hospitalisations…even two in the locked ward. I think that was one of the hardest parts of the year…being in a locked secure ward. I hated it. I never want to go in there again if I can avoid it. Your dignity is stripped away. Your privacy is gone. Thats really hard to take. As I said recently in another post, I hope 2015 is going to be a good year, with none or very few hospitalisations in it. Last night I sent some people some text messages wishing them a happy new year, and I got a lot in return also. I felt sad but it wasn’t sad as in upset. It was nostalgic I suppose. My sister sent me a lovely text saying happy new year and I love you and putting lots of hearts in it. When new year rang in my parents both wished me a happy new year and kissed me. I couldn’t believe it. For all their faults, I know they both love me and care about me and want the best for me. I’m gonna make this year the best year I can for myself. Thats all I want out of this year, for it to be good and stuff.