A bit of a guide to how i talk and what the heck i’m saying.

1. Multiple: My preferred word to use with regards to my diagnosis. No easy explanation of why, but a bit to do with running from the suggestion of MPD/DID for so long. Add in that it’s more inclusive of the people who live in my brain with me than DID and less clinical sounding than MPD, and i guess that’s close enough to why i use it.

2. Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD): a personality disorder that is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct and complex identities or personality states each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the others and results from disruption in the integrated functions of consciousness, memory, and identity.

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

3. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): previously known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by the maintenance of at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states. The disorder is accompanied by memory gaps beyond what would be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. The personality states alternately show in a person’s behavior, however presentations of the disorder vary. Other conditions that often occur in people with DID include post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, depression, substance use disorders, conversion disorder, somatic symptom disorder, eating disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and sleep disorders. Self-harm, non-epileptic seizures, flashbacks with amnesia for content of flashbacks, anxiety disorders and suicidality are also common. DID is associated with overwhelming traumas, or abuse during childhood.

Specialty:Psychiatry, clinical psychology

Symptoms:At least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states, trouble remembering certain events

Duration:Long-term

Causes:Childhood trauma

Differential diagnosis:Other specified dissociative disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder especially bipolar II, PTSD, psychotic disorder, substance abuse disorder seizure disorder, personality disorder

Treatment:Supportive care, psychotherapy

Frequency:~1.5–2% of people

(Source: Wikipedia)

3. Sliding: The term i use to describe levels of dissociation that are not a full switch. I maintain some level of awareness during a slide, which varies according to how dissociated i am.

4. Switching: The term i use when i’m not “conscious,” yet fully functioning. Another aspect of me is in control of my behaviours; including actions, choices, speaking. When i’m aware again, i have no memory of what occurred when the other part of me was acting in my stead.

5. In the face: Refers to what part of me is currently in charge, i.e. aware and running the show. The part that is seeing, smelling, tasting, talking, moving, doing, reacting to people and surroundings, etc.

6. The Bin: The Crazy House, Box Full of Cuckoobirds, Barmyville. AKA a mental health care facility of some stripe, whether a section/floor of a hospital or the entire hospital.

7. Losing time: Periods when i’m not conscious or aware, but still fully functional, i.e. some other art of me is “in the face.”

8. Down the rabbit hole: What i call it when obsession grips me so hard i switch and lose time.

9. Fall: A loss of time precipitated by drinking. More than your typical blackout drinking, as i’m not “in the face.” This isn’t a couple of alcoholic beverages, this is binge drinking, what i call “going on a bender.”

10. My System: The parts of me that split off during severe childhood trauma, that developed their own sense of identity. Some are more evolved than others. There are parts that are only manifestations of a particular emotion (e.g. fear, rage, shame), some that are caught in a moment of time from my past, living it in a loop, over and over, and some that are fairly well-fleshed out and somewhat organically operational.

I dissociate from a lot of the words typically used to describe and explain multiplicity (see what i did there?) I hate the word “alter, ” and prefer to use words like: people, others, parts, aspects. I often call myself multifaceted and histrionic, both of which are referencing MPD/DID.

11. Bits N’ Pieces: My name for my entire system.

12. Peanut Gallery: Refers to a sub system, consisting of parts that never take the face. They talk though – all the time.

13. Bipolar Disorder: (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

There are three types of bipolar disorder. All three types involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very “down,” sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes).

Bipolar I Disorder: defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depressive symptoms and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

(Source: National Institute of Mental Health)