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The Pandemic and Mental Health

I remember when the news first started covering covid-19 in January. I immediately thought that we needed to shut down travel from other countries, but I knew it wouldn't happen because our government didn't want to lose money (in the end, we lost more money and more people). One of my random interests has always … Continue reading The Pandemic and Mental Health

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What Therapists Need to Know About DID: Working With Child Parts of the Patient

It's difficult for me to listen to my kids. (My inner children, not my daughter). Most of the younger parts are in a great deal of pain. There are a few that want to play, laugh and connect with others, but most of them are suffering. Some of them cry, and it often sounds horrible. … Continue reading What Therapists Need to Know About DID: Working With Child Parts of the Patient

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Ghosts

Today I feel the pain of lost ones,Life and death, bloody remembranceBelly full and body screamingPausing my sleep with agony It's like she's still a part of me,Phantom firefly, feeling flutters,A faint dance before there was stillnessAnd red streams flowing endlessly A voice replays the words on loop,There's too much blood, a flood of life,Colour … Continue reading Ghosts

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How to help someone fighting addiction and also protect yourself

There's a famous study about rats and heroin that shows why decriminalization and mental health intervention is the way to treat addiction. To summarize, they gave lonely rats the option of food or heroin if they hit a lever, and guess what they usually picked? Yep, heroin. Like humans, many animals need social connection. If … Continue reading How to help someone fighting addiction and also protect yourself

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Trauma and Addiction: A Futile Attempt to Escape the Pain

It's been six months since I drank alcohol. I never really thought I had a problem with it, until it almost killed me. My alcohol abuse wasn't as obvious as some people's. In clinical terms, I never got to the dependency stage. I wasn't the obvious alcoholic who is always drinking. I didn't need medication … Continue reading Trauma and Addiction: A Futile Attempt to Escape the Pain

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Putting the Pieces Together

I think some people find multiple personalities (DID) fascinating. It's really not. It's just a daily hell to be honest. My memory is full of holes, and my mind is in pieces. These pieces think and live autonomously, and they make it difficult to function. Sometimes it's simultaneously confusing and funny as hell. The other … Continue reading Putting the Pieces Together

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Medical appointments and hospitals are difficult for people with DID and PTSD

I'm sitting in the ER again today. I guess I'm grateful it's not for mental health reasons, but I've had serious physical health issues lately. Obviously this makes my usual anxiety much worse. I've always been afraid of the doctor's, ever since I was a kid. It was weird and unfair that my little sister … Continue reading Medical appointments and hospitals are difficult for people with DID and PTSD

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Severed Ties: The Grief of Losing My Abusive Parents on the Path to Healing

The reason DID exists is so that someone can continue to live a relatively normal life in extremely difficult circumstances. I was depressed and anxious all my life, but I had parts that did well in school, made friends and dated, and played sports. For most of my childhood, until my depression worsened as a … Continue reading Severed Ties: The Grief of Losing My Abusive Parents on the Path to Healing

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A Fire-Eater, Hypnosis, and a Gun

I don't even know how to start this post. I've been afraid for a week to write it down, especially in a blog for anyone to read. Although to be honest, I'm realizing that I've been afraid to tell this story since I was a little girl. I'll probably post it privately first, so if … Continue reading A Fire-Eater, Hypnosis, and a Gun

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Sitting With the Pain

This is a concept I've heard many times in therapy, but I only partially understood it. The therapist I had in my 20s (the one who lost her license for unethical boundary violations), tried to help me understand this. But she didn't explain it in a way that clicked for me. It was only recently … Continue reading Sitting With the Pain

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Trauma and Boundaries

My therapist sometimes jokes that I'm like a cat because I hate when people show me attention. I'm shy, but there is more to it than that. When I was a kid, my father and his friends raped me and passed me around to other disgusting men. I learned that I was an object and … Continue reading Trauma and Boundaries

Compassion and Healing Trauma

We all have bad days, regardless of what we've been through in life. Last night was rough for me. A random picture on the internet that was supposed to be funny ended up triggering me a great deal. It was a meme with a picture of a medieval torture method. This set off the parts … Continue reading Compassion and Healing Trauma

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I Want to Help People Who Have Experienced Trauma

Welcome! This blog was created to hopefully explain the things about trauma and healing that people want to understand. With my personal history of chronic trauma and dissociation and my professional training as a therapist, I want to help others access information that can inform them or their loved one's care. Trauma is pervasive in … Continue reading I Want to Help People Who Have Experienced Trauma

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Being Vulnerable Enought to Fight Stigma

I have a rare mental illness that is extremely misunderstood. It makes me feel isolated and alone, so I'm hoping maybe some people will read this and learn something. I have a dissociative disorder caused by chronic childhood abuse. When I say "dissociative disorder," people usually don't know what I mean, and I'm scared to … Continue reading Being Vulnerable Enought to Fight Stigma

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Treatments for Chronic Trauma

Many studies over the years have shown that the best treatments for chronic trauma include outpatient therapy, group therapy, and psychiatric medications. It is not recommended to treat trauma with medication only. Outpatient based interventions Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or other collaborative and relational approach to therapy. (If someone is diagnosed with, or suspected to … Continue reading Treatments for Chronic Trauma

Trauma, Attachment Styles, and Adult Relationships

Art by L7matrix I was fascinated by attachment theory in grad school. My favourite professor was a woman from Germany who taught Developmental Psychology and also loved talking about attachment. She liked my paper on attachment so much that she read it to the class, much to my dismay. But in hindsight I take it … Continue reading Trauma, Attachment Styles, and Adult Relationships

Conditions Caused by Trauma and How They’re Diagnosed

It may help to think of trauma related disorders on a continuum. Although it's not quite as black and white as that, I will cover each condition starting from least to most severe. I'm using overall functioning as a measure of severity, but obviously this does not factor in individual differences and resiliency. Also, it's … Continue reading Conditions Caused by Trauma and How They’re Diagnosed

A Calm in the Chaos

I had given up on therapy when I met T. My two long term therapists crossed boundaries by having dual relationships with me, and one of them lost her license to practice after the Board of Health and Human Services read her emails. These experiences damaged me more than I can explain. As I mentioned … Continue reading A Calm in the Chaos

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How Does Someone Develop Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Well, the answer is not an easy one, and it's somewhat painful for me to write about. DID is caused by chronic childhood trauma, usually starting at an early age. My first therapist, the only one to ever interview my parents, speculated that my abuse probably started in infancy. This is based on bizarre stories … Continue reading How Does Someone Develop Dissociative Identity Disorder?