For, by, and about people with multiplicity, dissociation, and amnesia

Hello and welcome to the first DI newsletter of 2015!

A lot has been going on this year. We have some new and updated resources online including:

I’d love to hear your feedback, criticism, or suggestions with these resources, particularly if you have personal experience or care about someone who does. If you don’t have access to a printer, please remember I am more than happy to print and post our free Welcome Pack to you, or other pages. All the website is public content, please print, share, email as you wish. Let’s get the word out there!

We also have an opportunity to put the board back together and restore the DI to function as a Not For Profit organisation. There is currently a group of people here in South Australia who wish to grow and develop the Hearing Voices Network of SA (the other free network I support through my business). We are considering several options, one of which is to dovetail the DI and the HVNSA together and use these people to rebuild the board and relaunch the DI, creating projects and resources for both. There are some pros and cons with this possibility and I would like to hear your thoughts! Here are a couple of the benefits and risks as I see them:

Upsides

  • Similar Values & Resources: The DI has always been developed from the Hearing Voices Movement approach. It’s behind our values of diversity and peer based resources, collaboration between experts by experience and experts by training, and a focus on plain language information and access to groups. So the DI and the HVN overlap considerably in values, structure, and resources, they’re just directed towards specific experiences. Keeping the networks separate doubles the workload in building resources such as phone in support, or professional referral directories, and in raising awareness about who we are and the work we do. In fact when we wrote the DI constitution we specifically included the possibility of supporting people who hear voices or have other ‘psychotic’ experiences.
  • More Support & Reach: Due to so many of our members being closeted because of the severe consequences of stigma, most of the public and many of those in mental health are unaware of how many people are needing support with experiences of multiplicity or dissociation, or how severely people are affected by this huge gap in services. The Hearing Voices Movement is international and widely established! This is a massive network of people to share resources and support with, who are interested in hearing and learning about us. They have an international conference every year, a presence in the media, and research to provide evidence for their approaches. They also already have people with dissociation or multiplicity in their hearing voices groups – and we could help them to provide a language and meet the specific needs of these members. That could make a massive difference in the lives of hundreds or thousands of people – far more reach than a local multiplicity and dissociation support group here in South Australia.
  • More Funding Opportunities: As a Not for Profit we can organise our own funds and proritise the projects that are most urgent or achievable. We can grow much more than if we stay a part of my personal business, and we can seek out grant opportunities to fund resources.

Downsides

  • Mixing up Different Experiences: Some of us, especially those who find the clinical models such as Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia useful may be distressed by linking services of both areas together because we are often tired and frustrated by how poorly understand both of these conditions are and how frequently they are mixed up!
  • Losing Focus: All the people currently interested in becoming part of the DI have come from a background of passion for the Hearing Voices Movement. It’s possible that linking the DI and HVNSA together could see the DI aspect fall aside if those involved are inexperienced or simply lacking awareness of the need for dissociation and multiplicity resources. The DI aims could be overshadowed. (Obviously, not while I’m around!)
  • Different Areas: The DI has national and to some extent international focus, while the HVNSA is a specificly state based project. This could cause conflicts in aims and projects.
  • Different Needs: While some people’s experiences of dissociation, multiplicity, voice hearing, or other ‘psychotic’ experiences overlap, others do not. The two communities are not identical. In some ways they have very different experiences and needs. For example, while some people with ‘psychotic’ experiences struggle with forced treatment and hospitalisation, people with multiplicity are more likely to report being treated badly because of their ‘attention seeking behaviour’ and even being exited from services or hospital while in crisis because someone doesn’t believe that multiplicity exists. Spokespeople and resources would need to be sensitive to these differences!

What are your thoughts? We all together are are the DI, I want you to know what’s going on and have a voice in decisions that may impact you.

If you would like to learn more about the HVNSA, proposed projects which could include those of us with multiplicity or dissociation, and the plans being developed there, please check out the latest newsletter over on the sister site: Hearing Voices Network: New Projects and Plans

In other news – some food for thought from our Facebook Group:

And a quote:

Some days you will be the light for others, and some days you will need some light from them. As long as there is light, there is hope, and there is a way.

~Jennifer Gayle

Take care all,
Sarah
sarah @di.org.au

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Comments on: "Changes, updates, and a big decision for all of us" (2)

  1. I totally relate to the “Me, Me, Me, and My Therapist” article with regard to having a inside and an outside part. I find the inside part annoyingly fragile and illogical and at time the thoughts that arise from that part are scaaaaaaary because Im trying so desperately to be a grown up and those thoughts dont fit in a grown ups world. The hard thing is that (so far at least) I dont identify that part as a person or a definable entity. It just feels like my own thoughts – but from a part I don’t understand, so I found that article helpful in putting a different label on the “parts” than the conventional DI way of seeing it. Thanks for the link

    • That’s great! I’m glad you found it helpful. A lot of people start to hear their stories once we open up the conversation about multiplicity. 🙂 Your comment brought a particular book to mind that you might like – Go Only as Fast as Your Slowest Part Feels Safe to Go. http://www.amazon.com/Only-Fast-Your-Slowest-Feels/dp/0615717004 Brene Brown also has some wonderful work on how to cope with that sense of not being grown up and good enough, at least I’ve really benefited from it. 🙂

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