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Dissociative Living

Stim toys are a way of life for some of us with dissociative identity disorder (DID). If you’re living with a mental health condition such as DID, you might already know how important it is to have stim toys ready and waiting to be used whenever you need to get grounded. How does using stim toys help people with DID, and what is stimming?
Choosing no contact (going no contact, enacting a no contact rule) with a toxic friend or family member who has been in your life for an extended period of time can be difficult. That being said, it can be even more challenging if you’re in the process of healing and living with mental illness.
What is it like to hear voices in dissociative identity disorder (DID)? Hearing voices, sometimes known as auditory hallucinations, and having DID does not mean one is psychotic or delusional. Hearing voices is actually common with the disorder, but it is also a complicated topic for which a one-size-fits-all answer does not work. However, we can still understand the phenomenon of hearing voices when we examine how our alters influence us.
My name is Krystle Vermes, and I am extremely excited to become an author of the Dissociative Living blog. As an individual living with dissociative identity disorder (DID), I feel like I can make a difference by sharing my personal experiences and knowledge on everything the condition encompasses.
I've found overstimulation is common with dissociative disorder. We with dissociative disorders have a "special" nervous system that is more reactive to stimuli. Our propensity towards dissociation and anxiety creates an ideal combination that is overwhelmed with excessive stimuli, also known as sensory overload, or overstimulation.
Is it necessary to dialogue with your parts in dissociative identity disorder? What are the benefits of dialoguing? What exactly does it mean to dialogue with your parts? In previous posts, I have written how important it is to communicate with your parts, or headmates as I call them. However, dialoguing with headmates is something more. What does dialoguing look like, and why should you try it?
An alter in dissociative identity disorder (DID) is always assigned a role or a job. For example, an alter might be a host, protector, persecutor, rescuer, gatekeeper, etc., and the alter usually has his or her job from the time he or she is created. As a result, it is an important question to ask if it is ever appropriate to assign an alter a different job. What if the role for which the alter is responsible puts the DID system in harm's way? What should you do then? Should you tell the headmates they are not needed anymore, that you can perform their jobs and take care of yourself?
There are truths about dissociative identity disorder (DID) and me that I want you to know. I have held back sharing them with you, not because I am ashamed, but because I did not want to dishearten or discourage you about your own journey to wellbeing. Since I began writing for HealthyPlace, I've shared my stories of strength, courage, and hope as someone living with dissociative identity disorder. However, I must admit there is one story, one truth, I have not shared. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Should a loved one or a friend ever be allowed to force a switch in someone with dissociative identity disorder (DID)? What does forcing a switch mean? Let's go back to basics first.
Persecutory alters are something that can exist within a dissociative identity disorder (DID) system. We, ourselves, live with this kind of alter. We can feel threatened, taunted, and condemmed by this kind of alter. We are harassed with negative messages in our head, screaming that we deserved the abuse and the mistreatment and that we are worthy of death. These cruel messages are ones that persecutory alters in DID offer us. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)