Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dissociative Identity Disorder..a good explanation


Alters are highly distinct, dissociated personality states
with amnesia between at least two of the states

The DSM-5 uses the term, personality state, when referencing the alternative selves found in dissociative identity disorder. Regardless of the terminology used, the determination is that individuals with this disorder have highly distinct and dissociated personality states, as opposed to the continuity experienced with multiple self states in others. [Boon, 2011, p.25]  In dissociative identity disorder these separate states that make up the personality are called alters, identities, personalities, sides, selves, ANP, EP and so on. . The difference among alters can be distinct and dramatic, but an individual is the sum and synergy of the sytem.(Gillig,2009)
I. Personality

A sum of our parts
An individual with or without dissociative identity disorder is a sum of all the parts of their personality. (Howell, 2011 p.7-8, 32)

There is no original personality 
The personality is made up of the ANP and EP, and sometimes parts that are a mixture of both, and all are dissociated aspects of an individuals one personality. (van der Hart, 2006, p. ) No one part is who the person was meant to be. To make this perfectly clear, no part is the original.  (Miller, 2011, p. 21)

Distinct sense of self 

Often EP and ANP in those with dissociative identity disorder have a sense of self that is separate from other parts of the personality system.  (Howell, 2011 p.55) This separateness can be seen in speech mannerisms, physical behavior, handwriting, somatic illness, sense of body and history.  (Howell, 2011 p.55-57).
Amnesia - dissociative boundaries
Dissociative boundaries that are highly impermeable are responsible for the amnesia that is present between the parts in those with dissociative identity disorder to one degree or another. [Howell, 2011 p.134] Not all parts in those with dissociative identity disorder have amnesia between them. (Howell, 2011 p.4) In fact, by the time an individual is an adult, or at least after they have done a great deal of therapy, they have probably obtained coconsciousness between many parts. (Howell, 2011 p.7-8)
Third reality - inner world
ANP and EP both exist in what is called a third reality, (Kluft, 1998, 2000) although not all parts are active inside. The parts that often are not are the ANP, and it's very common that those who experience the inner world have no recall of it when they are in executive control. The inner world can be extravagant and is only limited by imagination or what researchers call trance logic. Trance logic simply means what the part in the inside world feels is real to them. (Howell, 2011 p.70-71)

The concept of personality 

Any alter, ANP or EP will experience major deficits in self-awareness and functioning. No part of the personality is complete in those with dissociative identity disorder, including the ANP that function in day to day life.  (Howell, 2011 p.134)
Switching between alters.  When one distinct state takes over for another it's called switching.  This is usually an involuntray occurance that can result in total amnesia for the state that was in executive control, or this later part might be watching but have no control or just have a little control.  This is called coconsciousness.II. Switching

Switching of states is also known as full dissociation 
Those with dissociative identity disorder tend to switch, replacing the one in executive control with another, when there is a perceived psychosocial threat. Switching allows a distressed state to retreat while a state who is more competent comes forward to handle an emerging situation. (Herman, 2012) Full switching is between states that have full amnesia between them. (Howell, 2011 p.4-6)

Partial dissociation
When parts inside influence the part in executive control, this is known as partial dissociation. (Dell, 2006) Examples include limbs and the face moving on their own, smelling an odor, emotions and so on. They can also be the withdrawal of experience resulting in the one in charge not experiencing thoughts and emotions. (Howell, 2011 p.4-6)

III. States making up the personality 
Most authors are moving toward using the terms ANP, apparently normal part, and EP, emotional part. Apparently normal parts are who are in control of an individual the majority of the time, at least once the individual is an adult and safe from an abusive environment. ANP do not hold trauma memory, but instead go about the business of daily life. They are usually oblivious to having the disorder, and even after other parts are well known, ANP may not be. ANP can be so similar that they switch between themselves all day and no one has a clue this is happening, including them. EP on the other hand, are the parts that hold trauma memories. EP took over for a child during abuse and can still act childish and react with childlike emotion. EP can intrude that emotion onto ANP without taking over fully so that ANP feels like it is their own emotion. (van der Hart, 2006)

Apparently normal part (ANP)Back in the 1980's most referred to the usually presenting state as the host, but the term host is misleading for many reasons, including the fact that all states can act as the host, and all states in the personality system are equally important. It is more accurate to use the term ANP. The ANP has normal emotions and is usually in charge to a greater extent once the individual is an adult and out of their abusive childhood environment.  (van der Hart, 2006, p. 30, 73-88) These states usually do not have access to unprocessed trauma memories. It's not that they have forgotten anything. It's that the specific part was not aware during the period that the abuse was done to the individual.  (Miller, 2011, p. 22) ANP normally have no idea they are not the whole self, at least until they become aware of their illness. There are often many ANP that answer to the birth name, and even in individuals that fully experience many of their dissociative states do not realize that there are more than one state switching back and forth, making up the part that is in executive control the majority of the time. To not be aware is due to the ANP's denial of what is going on, and their extreme dissociation, rather than EP or other ANP hiding from them. (van der Hart, 2006, p. 80) Reassociation or processing trauma memories. Processing a trauma memory involves taking the memory through the hippocampus to the cerebral cortex.  Once a full memory is processed the emotions and body sensations caused from that memory will be gone, but the narrative of the memory will remain and integration of personality staes will begin.

Emotional Part (EP)These states hold unprocessed trauma memories, (Ross, 2013, p. 82) and they can be simple or highly evolved states. They are easily triggered by unprocessed memories and will react in a way that is entirely out proportion to the situation.  They may take over completely or may intrude their feelings onto ANP, and the dissociated ANP usually has no clue what is going on and thinks  irrational feelings are their own. (van der Hart, 2006, p. 73-88)

Mixture of ANP and EP
If a child is under constant threat, a complex mixture of ANP and EP can result. These children will almost always have an over abundance of dissociated states compared to most with dissociative identity disorder. When the child is rarely safe, they confuse the usual boundaries of the states, at least in appearance. When looking closely the properties that make the states distinctly EP or ANP are present. (van der Hart, 2006, p. 78)
Internal self helpers, observers. Everyone has an observing part, but in those with DID the part is distinct.  We can view this state as an integrative attempt of the mind to create a sense of cohherance across its own states through time and context.  A child's early relationship with their caregivers develops the observing part.
Observing EP Everyone probably has a part of their personality that passively observes, but like all states in dissociative identity disorder the observing EP is more evolved, distinct and of course dissociated. (van der Hart, 2006,p.67-70) These EP have described themselves as being able to hear and see all other states in a personality system at one time - if and when they want to.

Mind control 
The observing EP might be confused with "Recorders. (Miller, 2011, p. 254-255)

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