Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Questions for my therapist

I had a session at psychology today which for my standards went very well. I was nervous about going in function mode but T has been really good about it. She kept things at a tolerable level and didn't try to talk about 'parts' too much. Instead we chatted about function mode itself and why it happens. I also got to ask some more of the questions that I've been wanting to ask for a while. I had gathered a list of questions which I never really get a chance to ask and last week I suggested that I would like to ask them. It has been a good time to do this because it gives a focus to the sessions where we are taking a step back temporarily from the more intense work we have been doing while I am in function mode.

Last week I asked about the plans for T's leaving as she hasn't talked much about it (I'll tell you about this some other time).

This week I asked about EMDR. T had talked about doing EMDR with me a long time ago and had actually tried it out briefly but I had become really anxious at the time and she didn't mention it again afterwards. I've been unsure as to whether it is going to happen or not so I asked about that today. T told me that it is still on the cards but would be later down the road as there is work that needs to be done with 'parts' before it can happen.

I also asked about my first ever appointment at clinical psychology. You may remember that I had looked at the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule recently and recognised that the psychologist I originally saw had asked me questions from it at my first appointment. I was curious as to why I was asked these questions as my referral was for 'depression'. I wanted to know if the psychologist just routinely asks these questions or if something I said even back then made him suspicious that I had DID.

T was not sure; she said that the psychologist I saw then worked a lot in the field of trauma so may have noticed something. She looked back at my notes from that day and read out that my first description of myself and my problems included that I had suffered depression on and off throughout my life and that I had memory problems which had been getting worse in recent years. I'd also said I didn't feel normal and felt different from other people. She said that the memory problems could have triggered him to ask me about dissociation.

It means a lot to me to think that my dissociative disorder may have been evident to the psychologist even back then at the start. I know it's silly, but even after all this time I still occasionally have periods of doubt about if I have DID. Sometimes I am just so separate from my memories of childhood that it seems impossible to believe that anything traumatic could have happened to me. Sometimes I just feel fine and like one single person and I think I must have been making up stories.

It's reassuring to find evidence to suggest I may not have made it all up after all. It may be hard to understand how a person could think they have made something like that up if they haven't, but DID in itself means a person can have so many different states of being that it is entirely possible that one alter could be so separate from the others that to them they are the only one. At those times, when I reflect that I have been going to therapy for four years I marvel at this fact and wonder what on earth I have been doing wasting valuable NHS time when there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. At those times I am blind to the others. I don't realise that they are not far away. It doesn't take much to bring back the part that sees life differently. I forget that not too many weeks ago I was passing the time by tying ropes around my neck and thinking about how appealing the bannisters looked.


JustEliza said...

I read that EMDR isn't good for people with dissociative disorders until they build up a quality therapeutic relationship and feeling of safety. I wonder if it's the right time to start EMDR with your current therapist going away?

Candycan said...

i don't think she is planning on starting it any time in the near future. I got the impression there is a lot of work to do before that stage. At least I know she's not planning on giving me the boot any time soon!