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Old 11-18-2018, 11:49 AM
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Trig Integration

I added the trigger icon just as a warning to others that this thread is about integration, a topic that can trigger others.

As I see more and more long time members here in this board ask questions due to being curious, fearing it or feel they may be going through this, I wonder if now is the right time to share what I went through and what I know about this topic.

As it was explained to me by my treatment providers and what I went through...

Back story... I was a college student in a psychology class. The instructor required a class activity of doing a psychiatric test during the first class session. then we had to take that test to a mental health treatment provider of our choice, enter therapy, go through formal evaluations for mental disorders, Then participate with one semester of therapy based on the test results. This was an activity meant to demonstrate to the students both sides of the desk, There were many students that planned entering the mental health field of careers.

I did my classroom test, found a mental health treatment provider. After a few sessions this treatment provider set me up with a referral for a psychiatric evaluation with a psychiatrist. I spent many sessions with the psychiatrist completing a very lengthy evaluation process, I released my medical records and educational records.

When the tests results came in months later, my therapist, psychiatrist and I met at a joint session. At this joint session the results of my psych evaluation complete with scores of all the different scales, tests, and recommendations were explained to me. I also received a copy of the report. Among other problems I had DID.

One of my first questions was... how do I get rid of this?

answer....Integration...

What's that I asked.

I was told the definition first...

integration is the mental process humans use to connect thoughts, behaviors, objects, putting concepts together to form one.

I asked another question.... wait, what? Wasn't this in the movie Sybil where she was hypnotized or when in the 3 faces of Eve alters died. you are not hypnotizing me or killing me off?

Answer yes thats how movies portrayed this back in the 1950's through trough the 1970's, much of whats in those books and movies is not what this is now. We dont hypnotize and we dont kill anyone off. Here let me show you with this apple. this apple is your personality.

A personality is a persons memories, emotions, how you react and behave, how you think about yourself and everything around you. What your preferences for likes and dislikes are, how you dress, walk, talk, whether you are shy or outgoing, everything that makes you who and what you are is right here known as your personality. (psychiatrist is holding up the apple and pointing to it.)

my reply was something like ok I'm following what you are saying.

psychiatrist continued by literally smashing the apple with a paper weight while saying along came your childhood trauma's before you were old enough to understand what was happening and why, I believe your records said around 4 or 5 years old you were hospitalized with some major sexual assault mental and physical damage.

All I could do was stare at this now smashed apple on his desk.

the psychiatrist continued Integration is the whole process that we will be doing together, you your therapist and I, to put you and your personality back together into one whole personality again.

I pointed to the smashed apple and said ...We are going to put that back together again, are you a miracle worker? (this got a bit of laughter which lightened the mood)

Psychiatrist said yes we are all going to work together to discover you again. We are going to be learning all kinds of good stuff like what your preferences are, how you think, how you react and behave, you will be learning how to manage your day to day life, what your dissociation symptoms are, what causes you to dissociate, you will be learning how to use therapy techniques to counter those triggers, like breathing, grounding, by the way do you like to take walks?

my answer yes I love walking in the woods and along beaches and rivers.

Psychiatrist reply see how easy that was, we now know you like to walk and where. how does walking in the woods and along beaches and rivers make you feel, what do you do when you do this?

my answer It makes me feel calm and I pick up things that I find interesting.

Psychiatrist reply....let me ask you right now while telling me this were you visualizing your last walk?
my reply yes

psychiatrist reply....... right there you did the integration process. you put together your thoughts with my questions and your memory, emotions, behaviors and gave me an answer.

Thats integration. the process began with your entering college, taking the classroom exam, seeing out your therapist, being referred to me and taking the psychiatric evaluation tests, and now hearing the results. it takes integrating all elements of this to be able to do this.

human beings naturally integrate thoughts and behaviors and emotions when they are very young. a child learning their first words had to hear the parents say the word, integrate that together with their thoughts and then integrate that together with how it made them feel, then that childs brain helps the child to mimic the word ma ma or da da. integration is a never ending cycle of learning about our selves and our world around us.

now lets look at that apple again. everything about your personality is apart and functioning on its own based on what causes you to have your dissociation symptoms. when I smashed that apple how did it make you feel?

my reply scared for a moment I felt far away like I was sinking.

Psychiatrists reply... that's being triggered and what you felt was called dissociation. Did you completely sink?

my reply no I listened more closely so that I could hear you.

psychiatrist reply.... thats grounding. you did something to ground yourself back out of your dissociation symptoms. thats great you already have some skills to help you heal and do the integration process.

My reply ..So all I have to do is go to therapy, talk about myself and my problems, learn how to take care of myself and my problems, Im already doing the integration process. Whats it going to be like when its all done?

psychiatrist reply... you are going to be able to do the same things that you already can do and on top of that everything that is these separate functioning parts of your personalities you will be able to do those too. by the way we call all these separated parts of your personality "alternate Personalities"

my reply... wait a minute why call it alternate when you already said its my personality that got smashed.

psychiatrist.. just a formality, the term began back in the 40's and 50's and continued and hasnt caught up with now. What matters is that apple/ your personality was whole and now its smashed and we are going to make it whole again.

As you relearn all this information and coping skills about you and taking care of you and your problems your smashed a part personality will heal back together again to form one whole personality again.

That was the beginning of my DID integration process. lots of info and personal experience more to come later when I have more time.
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