Diagnosing DID/PTSD and Body Sensations*

Trigger Scale: (1/5) *

After my last session I spent about three days in shock (Read about it: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). I had the following sensations:

  • Increased pain in known injuries (back)
  • Increased pain in jaw and constant clicking (I have Lockjaw/TMJ)
  • Extremities going numb, especially my left hand for some reason
  • I feel like I am in a very thick skin, and cannot feel anything properly, like my nerves have retreated and made everything dull
  • Hazy vision, like a white blurriness (foggy feeling) OR
  • Vision warping in the middle, making it impossible to read text. Looks like my world has been pinched in the middle OR
  • Everything looks like it is vibrating against each other…like I can see the molecules that make up everything constantly fighting
  • Slowed responses
  • Out of touch with surroundings
  • Feeling disoriented
  • Derealization

NOTE: Now that I have read more about dissociation, I realize that the first list of ‘body sensations’ are also all dissociative symptoms as well. It was very loud in my head at that time, with my different ‘voices’ were most likely fighting for expression of feelings, thoughts and ideas. I had to lie down often and just listen to everybody, validating and understanding all positions, to get things to quiet down.

Other issues that have increased or started over the last week:

  • Increased amount of time spent holding my body in uncomfortable positions. I have done this with my neck, shoulders and back for some time when agitated. I have now begun holding my arms, hands, legs or feet in uncomfortable or painful positions for long periods of time before I become aware of it
  • Increased picking (read a great post about this on Blooming Lotus). Mine centers around picking any thing that makes skin un-smooth, especially in the middle of my back
  • Increased limb tapping, twitching, jiggling. I especially wiggle my right foot, almost constantly right now
  • Extreme fatigue all day
  • Insomnia or sleep avoidance (drinking coffee right before bed, coming up with things to do, eating, not taking Tylenol PM, not lying down for bed, etc.)
  • However, when I do finally sleep I am over-sleeping
  • Increased problems with eating; not eating at all or binge eating
  • Increased issues with body image; seeing a distorted self in mirror, uncomfortable in my own skin and/or in loose clothing (feels too tight)
  • Increased depression and isolation
  • Increased avoidance of feelings, not allowing flashbacks; flat emotions
  • Increased drug use (which means days without use to make up for it, leading to increased agitation)
  • Increased agitation and irritability leading to a couple temper outbursts
  • Spending more time pacing, just petting cats or staring off into space or tuning out
  • Not being involved in the present; missing parts of conversations
  • Increased need for cleanliness and order
  • Urges to spend money I do not have (purchased two healing books, but had many more urges)

Wall

I have somehow always known that DID fit me, but it still shocked my brain and brought a flood of feelings, brief flashbacks, emotions and thoughts. I think I knew that DID would eventually be used to describe me because I have had many issues with memory in my past. My therapist says she thinks maybe, but I know. We both agree that I have PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.

It is weird to discover the DID diagnosis now, when I think I have somewhat integrated myself already. Even with this being the case, it is still very hard to accept, but comforting at the same time. Comforting because it makes so much of my experience, such as the way I think and feel, make sense and not feel so foreign. I am sure I will talk more about this in my future session splashes, but here is a partial list of why I have suspected DID:

  • Lost time as a child/teen (read about one account here, last three paragraphs)
  • People in junior high and high school:
    • Recounted events I had no memory of
    • Told me I said things I had no memory of
    • Acted as if they knew me, but I had no recollection of who they were
    • Acted knowing, or asked “Are you ‘My Name’?” and would look at each other knowingly, like they knew something I did not
  • Can recall lost time after triggering events (such as receiving gifts, which is especially hard for me) which I have now verified by reading old journals
  • My thoughts are split into separate voices. These have different thought patterns and often different conclusions, feelings and emotions. Some are more distinct than others:
    • Small voice is very hard to hear unless I try to listen – most distinct and most disturbing. I have a feeling my anger is associated with the personality part, and it may be one of my only FULL alters
    • Sometimes when I try to talk to the small voice I can get answers, but usually my questions are answered with questions. Recently this voice asked me “Why weren’t YOU there to protect me?” when asked what she wanted to say
    • Sometimes when trying to communicate with the small voice I get the following repeated image/video, which is more disturbing than it sounds:

At first I am just trying to talk to the small voice, then get an image of a very scary creature/voice in my brain. She looks like a combination witch/demon and moves in a very fast paced, blurry dis-fragmented way. She reminds me of a combination of the Queen in Snow White when she turns into the witch to give the apple to Snow White and the junk-collecting character in Labyrinth who can take the main character to a fake home.

So this character almost always interrupts when I try to get in touch with the little voice, asking me “You want her?” and promptly grasping the little voice by the arm and putting her on a huge wooden chair (out of proportion, Alice in Wonderland style). The witchy/demon character is running around and and screaming nonsense and suddenly the little me turns into a doll, but with real eyes. Her eyes look so sad and trapped, but she is terrified of the character and will not come out.

NOTE: Just writing this I am feeling VERY creep-ed out. My skin wants to crawl, I am getting easily startled, I’m suddenly afraid of what might be under the bed, and did not want to look at my notes about this dream (I had written it down in my journal before I fell asleep one day). I also get the feeling that I am not allowed to look at these thoughts or talk about them. I also got an immediate migraine.

    • Another more distinct voice, or I should say non-voice, is who I call ‘Stoic”. I think this may be a full alter or close. May have helped me to go through the worst of things, such as severe ritualized abuse or surgeries reminding her of that abuse
    • I could go on, but I will stop…

I hope that this post helps anyone who is struggling with questioning their sanity when it comes to handling the healing process, and being newly diagnosed with DID and/or PTSD. Even healing can be stressful, and cause PTSD/DID symptoms, if you are pre-disposed to it, as I am. It is not a matter of sanity, but a matter of symptoms. That’s just my opinion.

Even though what I went through this week was horrible, and it is still in process, I am left with a sense of hope. Hope that there is an explanation for why I am the way I am and because I know others who suffer with the same issues who have recovered. Not just recovered, but moved on to build a happy, healthy life. I know I will not give up until I get there, no matter what the process takes.

So I am always left with some form of hope…

Related Resources

My Monster Has A Name… actually many. This blog is a safe place for me to share my healing journey from childhood abuse. The topics covered are at times controversial, offensive, horrific, and hopefully sometimes inspiring. Thank you for sharing in my journey.

2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your support. And thank you for this picture. Perfect and beautiful!

  2. It’s great to see you working so hard at figuring out how you are put together. Congratulations! I look forward to reading through your other posts. Paul.

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