Now what?

That was my question for the shrink this morning.  I thought she was adding to my list, but she is changing the diagnosis from bipolar I to depersonalisation disorder.  My reaction to this is confusion.  It’s good that she is acknowledging the trauma and the dissociation, but acknowledging the trauma reinforces the fact that it did, indeed, happen.  Having a medical professional acknowledge it is scary.  It makes it more official, for lack of better terms.  I told her I felt like I was to blame for this behaviour.  Bipolar disorder is chemical; depersonalisation is a response.  She said it was simply a logical response at the time to overwhelming trauma.  It made me want to cry to hear her say I’m not to blame.

Depersonalisation is that feeling like you’re watching your life pass before you.  I describe it as sitting in the audience watching a play in which you are an actor.  Even when I’m situated firmly in my personality– no switching involved– I often feel like that.  The shrink said she was in a meeting with the therapists and one happened to mention reading about depersonalisation disorder.  After a bit, she said it was like a light bulb went on, and she knew, right away that my disorder belonged in the dissociative category.  Interesting.

So my question was about how to treat this nifty little bugger.  We all know the DID bit has to be involved, but, since neither the shrink nor the therapist believe in that, I need to know how they’ll work with the dissociative disorder they *do* believe in.  She just said we’re in this together, as she hasn’t diagnosed a dissociative disorder in 20 years.  Medication wise, we’re not changing anything.  She said the techniques in therapy might change, which worries me.  The therapist flat told me she does not want to work on trauma, so I’m confused about how we’ll work on the trauma response.  It’s where my dissatisfaction with the use of straight CBT pops up.  I think CBT is a great method, but I also think it needs to be augmented with others.  On the other hand, I do feel like this therapist isn’t particularly compassionate.

I have a feeling this long, strange trip is just beginning.


One thought on “Now what?

  1. Hi Englishrain,
    I have depersonalization, too. After all these years of therapy and working through my abuse, my depression, PTSD, and DID, the Depersonalization seems to be the hardest mountain to climb.

    What makes it hard is coming back into the body that was abused and making the connection that it was my body. My therapist of 13.5 years told me that depersonalization is, typically, the last disorder to heal. That is good news. I will be happy to have put this all behind me and be at peace with my history.

    Are you feeling better these days? I want to share with you that DID and Depersonalization are the way your brain protects itself during an abnormal behavoir. Even if you tried to be responsible for your Depersonalization, it is impossible b/c you cannot consciously control your brains defense mechanisms.

    I have been using CBT for all my years in therapy BUT also, EMDR. It would be easier for you to google it than me explain it. Without getting to involved with this reply, I want to tell you to follow your gut. It sounds like you have doubts about this therapist. Trust yourself.

    Thinking of you.

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