DID vs. Psychosis

Psych meds are a tricky subject, especially when you’re dealing with the ‘rare but serious’ DID issue.  I just finished a month-long course of prednisone for a physical issue, and the side effects from that made me think about psych meds.  Prednisone causes bloating, sweats, joint pain, and this lovely thing they call moon face in which your face literally rounds off like a moon.  Fun.  Unfortunately, that particular med is what helps when the physical issues I have creep up.  Prednisone rant over– I’m past that now.

My official psych diagnosis is bipolar I disorder.  I presented with what the shrink termed severe paranoia and extreme mania.  Bipolar or schizophrenia seem to be the going socially-accepted diagnoses for people who actually have DID, and I truly doubt their comorbidity.  My mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, et c. certainly *look* like bipolar mania and depression sometimes, but they look like different people internally.  That’s it– tell the voices in my head they’re merely chemical imbalances.  *That* would be interesting.

Based on all of that, I cycled through various atypical anti-psychotics with horrible side effects before landing on Seroquel which only had minorly horrible side effects.  I’ll agree that the Seroquel was probably necessary until I got back into reality, but now I don’t see the point in taking it.  In fact, I’ve only taken it three times this year.  While the side effects certainly aren’t as bad for me as they were with the other anti-psychotics, Seroquel still causes my heart to race and *really* drops my blood pressure.  Yeah, I’ll take my chances on being crazy with a functioning heart.  I’ve discussed this with the shrink, but she insists that Seroquel is necessary as a maintenance drug along with Lamictal (which really does help) because of my level of paranoia.  I hear voices, you know.

So here’s my question– how do you distinguish between ‘normal’ DID stuff and actual psychosis?  Based on my SRA background, I don’t doubt in the least that some of my hallucinations come from outside the realm of DID.  Neither do I doubt that some of my fear really could be paranoia.  I’m willing to bet, though, that the largest majority of it comes from DID and just trauma in general.

I’m able to recognise the voices of my internal folk, and when I hear a new person, it’s reasonably easy to tell that this is part of me.  Still, sometimes I get those voices that are distinctively Not Me, and they aren’t typically suggesting I take time to do something pleasant.  It’s probably due in part to a handy SRA technique called complex poly-fragmentation that causes alters and/or fragments to be so separate from the overall system that they seem part of an entirely different person in a physical sense.  That’s really hard to explain.  But, on the other hand, it could just be psychosis at that point.  I truly don’t know.

Merely being out of my tiny little mind would certainly be easier to conceptualise, but where’s the fun in that?

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One thought on “DID vs. Psychosis

  1. Oh, I just love the little injections of sarcasm in your post – sounds just like a sarcastic but scary-smart part of me, who does the same thing as I write. I just love it – a witty voice from nowhere editorialize on what I write.

    “Telling the voice in your head that they are chemical imbalances – THAT would be interesting…I hear voices you know.”

    Good stuff. Reminds me of a particularly sarcastic post by my self-proclaimed goddess of brilliance and wonder about being told that she is a “coping mechanism.” Didn’t go over too well. 😉

    http://emilyfirstgirl.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/hi-my-name-is-coping-mechanism/

    I just love her post – I can read it over and over and laugh each time…perhaps when I integrate, *I* can be this funny and witty, too.

    My best
    Emily

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