Thursday, 9 December 2010

Did I do that or just think about doing it? Thoughts on the 'Dissociative Experiences Scale' Questionnaire

For some reason my blog is not letting me comment on any of my posts, I hope no one else is having the same problem. Anyway, I can't respond to any comments at the moment but I will say here: thanks for the comments peeps!

The thoughts on PTSD are very interesting and make sense (as are all the others).

It explains why I have so many symptoms of PTSD. I remember reading a leaflet on it in the doctors once and couldn't understand why I had all the symptoms when I wouldn't have said I'd experienced any trauma.

I feel like I wrote all of this already. Maybe I did. Apologies if so. I can never tell if it's just my brain playing tricks on me.

Which leads me on to my next question (actually I hadn't planned a next question but now that I said the above, it reminds me of something)....

Did you ever get asked to fill in the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) form where you have to rate how often certain things happen to you?

Here is a link for it if you want to know what I'm on about:

What are your thoughts on it?

Personally I had A LOT of trouble filling it in, for three main reasons:


If you have DID, you might feel that your answers to some of the questions could be entirely different on one day to the answers you give the next.


I don't know how much of the time I do some things because I'm not always aware of what I'm doing.


I don't think the scale is a good way of measuring some experiences. An answer of 0% means the thing never happens to you where 100% means it always happens to you. For some experiences it wouldn't be possible to rate them that way. Take this question for instance:

"Some people find that that they sometimes sit staring off into space, thinking of nothing, and are not aware of the passage of time."

If you put 100% for that answer, that would mean that 100% of your life is spent staring off into space, thinking of nothing and not being aware of the passage of time. That would be impossible, because you wouldn't be filling in the questionnaire in that case: you'd be staring off into space. You wouldn't eat, move, speak, sleep... you wouldn't last long. LOL.

Another example of an experience you can't rate that way is:
"Some people have the experience of being in a familiar place but finding it strange and unfamiliar."

A score of 100% would mean you would never know where you are! There are others but I think you get my drift. Maybe I am being too picky, but I have a scientific thinking brain and things like that don't add up to me.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what other people thought of it. However; what I especially want to know your thoughts on is this....

There is one question about whether you ever can't remember if you did something or just thought about doing it.

"Some people sometimes find that they cannot remember whether they have done something or have just thought about doing it (for example, not knowing whether they have just mailed a letter or have just thought about mailing it)."

This happens to me loads; it's the story of my life! I didn't realise that this is to do with dissociation though.
Does anyone know why this is a thing that the DES asks? I.e what causes this confusion? Is it specific to DID or other dissociative disorders and what is going on in the brain when this happens?

Also, if you don't have DID or dissociative problems, do you find this happens to you and how much? I'm always trying to compare myself to other people now that I know I have DID. I always presumed the things I experience are what everyone experiences and now that I know they are not, I'm curious to discover how other people experience thoughts. I often remember saying to my therapist about the chatter in my head and how it gets out of control sometimes. He asked me about it and I was like: "but everyone has that though don't they?"..... and then he kind of looked at me strangely and informed me that not everyone does. LOL. That was a surprise.

OK so you may not have all the answers I'm looking for but it's interesting to hear other people's thoughts about these things. Having other people like me in my life (if only via reading your blogs) is so new and wonderful! I always thought I was just really weird and there was no one in the world I could relate to and now I feel like I've found my species.

LOL, I just remembered what I wrote in the previous post or two ago about not being able to relate to others with DID at the moment and feeling like I've turned up at a party in the wrong dress code! Well, I guess some of you may understand where I am coming from with my fickleness.

Is 'fickleness' a word? LOL

I have written 'LOL' too much so I will end this post.



Bee said...

"I always presumed the things I experience are what everyone experiences and now that I know they are not, I'm curious to discover how other people experience thoughts."

This statement couldn't be more true!

Ethereal Highway said...

I took that test in a psychologist's office once. I lied SO BAD. I couldn't help it. There were just some things I was much too afraid to admit to. I worried that if I told the truth she would think I was psychotic and have me locked up.

Unknown said...

I found that test so difficult to answer..because like you say on one particular day you may answer differently or on a good day the answer would be totally different, or some of my parts act out sometimes and they were trying to get me to answer in a different way,ie the cagey one didnt want me giving too much away. That test threw me/us into complete chaos and for days afterward too the noise in my head was deafening.:-(