I’m the founder of the DI, and I’ve a lot of lived experience in this field. I have suffered from severe dissociation, once partly deaf & blind, physically numb, enduring acute and chronic derealisation, and bewildered by switching. Chronic physical illnesses confused the picture, and it would be many tests, diagnoses, and years of profound affliction before a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder was made and dissociation was understood to be part of the picture.
Since then, I have done extensive research in this field, and talked or worked with hundreds of other people who have experienced severe dissociation, amnesia, and/or some form of multiplicity. I’ve become involved with the international Hearing Voices network and found their non-clinical frameworks, discussing people’s experiences rather than symptoms, and emphasising diversity and freedom for people to make sense of and navigate their lives in their own way to be liberating and broadly applicable to the whole mental health sector. Once described by a psychiatrist as the most ‘severely dissociative patient’ he’d met, I have developed my own understandings and approaches that have led to massive improvements in my life. I identify as a healthy multiple (not DID), with a system of around 30 of various ages, gender identity, sexual orientation, interests and skills. We get along pretty well. 😉
I also write a personal blog in which I share openly about my life, including my experiences of dissociation and multiplicity. To explore those posts, try:
I have attained a Cert 4 in Mental Health Peer Work, founded the DI, facilitated many groups face to face and online, written and delivered talks nationally, and written hundreds of articles. I am also an artist, poet, and writer living with a disability. I run my own business part time, offering face painting and other art for parties and events, exhibiting and selling fine art, running workshops, as well as my mental health talks to help fund my community networks such as this one.