Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Disorder?

My poem "The Psychiatrist" was published this week in the provincial newsletter of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, the first issue for the provincial society and not just the Edmonton branch. Also three of my photos were featured, I note, although they didn't give me credit for them (that's okay, I submitted them to the Branch for their use after a BBQ this summer).

Writing is one of the few vocations where people don't look at you strangely if you say you're not paid, haha, but I still am waiting to hear about my book on SZ I co-authored with Austin Mardon and sent to a publisher a few weeks ago. It's called The Insanity Machine and watch for it because I'm sure it'll be published eventually. There's another one called The Jive Hive that's being reviewed by some middle readers as that's the market for that book, not about SZ at all, a SF/fantasy. I'd like to get a short story published, too. So far good luck with articles and poetry although haven't been paid for poetry.

I'd love to talk to an old friend of mine to whom I caused a great deal of grief in my crazy days. I had a dream last night that I was explaining to her the progress of my illness and it was comforting to me to at last be able to articulate and also of course, if it weren't a dream of my own making, I'd hear her side of it. Nothing can be done but patience in the case of a serious breakdown like I had 20 years ago, but apparently OCD had a lot to do with my behavior, and that makes a lot of sense now.

I also wonder, as I've wondered before, if I truly am SZ or if I'm multiple personality disorder or what they call dissociative something or other now? A friend mistakenly thought the book "Sybil" indicated that one of Sybil's personalities was SZ, and it wasn't, but perhaps one of mine was or is? And it's something I want to discuss with my excellent psych so I think I'll make an appointment tomorrow to see her at the end of the month if I can. If I'm patient everything may fall into place and I seem to make new inroads every week or two with understanding where I've been and where I may be going.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed with transcription work but surely that's normal considering the amount of work I have to do keeping up the writing end of my career, the fact that I'm older and perhaps slower now, and also I've been transcribing for many years and maybe just maybe am a little tired of the focus and repetition necessary. People who envy entrepreneurs who work at  home don't understand the discipline and cost needed. Emotional cost as well as financial, as I get paid only for the hours or minutes I actually work, and of course there's no vacation time or sick leave, and any time I take time off is time away from a paycheque. It never fails to amaze me how many people think it's easy and take a few months instruction then plan to make their fortune, I presume. 

Back to multiple personalities, I broached the subject with my psych way back in the 1980s and he didn't comment, just asked me if I had a name for my personalities and I said yes, one was The Buccaneer (a rather nasty individual) and the other gentle soul was named Mary. But my psych didn't pursue it nor did he comment further, and I just thought of it the other morning after I'd had the dream in which it was brought up again.

I understand that Dissociative Disorder is brought about by traumatic events in one's childhood so that the child tries to protect herself by isolating her personality that is being abused inwards and allowing another persona to take the brunt of the abuse. That's what I understand, if I'm explaining it properly. It results in a split. That could very well have happened. The theory is not accepted by every expert in the field and some say there's no such thing as Dissociate Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder. I'm not sure if it's present in every culture but I've read that it's more prevalent in North America. It might be a case of over diagnosis.

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