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Old 09-17-2005, 04:05 PM #1
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Default Telling primary doctor...

In another thread I saw a post where the person was not sure about seeing the doctor because She would have to explain about having DID. So I thought I would post how I told my doctor. Hope this helps a few people here.

I was diagnosed MPD (which is now called DID) back in 1989. From then on I refused to see my doctor for physicals and so on. then in 2001 I entered therapy after years away from it and this therapist and I were working on my DID and I had to see my primary physician (who is also my gyn.) for a physical and meds. I didn't want to go for many reasons my having to tell mental health history was one of them. She explained to me that I don't HAVE to diclose to him my DID but It would be in my best interest for example I always lose time during the internal and my records show that one time I laugh hysterically to the point where the equipment is pushed out, other times I stiffen up What happens if one of these time Margo (a violent memory piece) gets activated. I could get seriously hurt or transported to a mental health unit because my doctor does not know what is going on. I agree with her and say ok so how do I tell him?

She said think about what you know about DID, the basics.

Ok DID starts with dissociation.
yes. what is dissociation?
Daydreaming yourself into a mental safe place when there is no physical escape.
yes. what are NORMAL acts of dissociation?
Riding or driving a car and thinking about other things instead of hit the break here, turn the corner there, daydreaming during a boring class, getting so involved in a movie that you don't pay attention to anything outside the movie.
Yes. Do you think your doctor does any of those activities.?
Yea he drives a car and likes watching movies and he had to have had alot of boring classes to become a doctor.
So...
I get him talking about daydreaming during those activities first then tell him that I daydreamed to get away from my stepfather so much that now the Dissociation testing shows that I am a 9-10 on the dissociation scale.
You got it.

So I went to my doctor. First I had to get him to talk off the record because my lawyer told my therapist not to disclose my DID to the DHS caseworker at that time. That was easy. he's used to my saying "officially Im doing ok" since the DHS case has been going. So he did his official exam then hams it up by leaving the room and enters again saying oops wrong room I'm not here right now.

Then I told him just like my therapist and I rehearsed - I got him talking about daydreaming while working and so on then said theres tests called DES and DDIS that I took a long time ago and I was a 10 then.

He looked at me and said and now?
havent taken the test, lawyer says no because DHS will have access to it.
uhhuh hmmmmmmmmmm Can I have your therapist name and number since I am prescribing your medication for depression it won't ring any bells for her and I to confer about your depression/PTSD treatment plans.

I smiled and gave him the information and signed a release form so the two could talk.

Now during internals I take my walkman with me and his female nurse stands right next to me so that the two of us talk through the exam. at the least uncomfortable feeling, flashbacks and so on my primary physician ends the exam.

I have not lost time, or faded into my tunnel area during exams since and I am no longer afraid or dreading the internals.
 
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:21 PM #2
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

WOW. Thank you so much for sharing this. I know I got something out of your experience and I do not have DID. What you have done here is very, very brave and I commend you.

In addition, you have given me more insight about DID and the effects. Thank you so much for this.
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:32 PM #3
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You're welcome and thank you for the compliments. Glad I could help.
 
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:52 PM #4
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

that's so wonderful, myself. thank you for sharing.

i believe you were talking about a post that i made. i've not told anyone IRL my "offcial" dx. i never will. those close to me (hubby, youngest daughter, etc) wouldn't know what it was anyhow. i've explained very elementary things to them regarding dissociation.

i've decided this. within the last six months i've been able to tell those closest to me (even oldest daughter who has her BA in psych) that i'm a dissociator. i think that's as far as i'll go and take it from there. i'll test the water's. if my gyn asks for more, i may give. i may not.

i will say that i have PTSD and am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and subsequently am a dissociator. that's as far as i'm willing to go. if it feels safe, i may or may not say more. i doubt that i will. there's so much professional stigma and disbelief regarding DID that i can't make myself that vulnerable. oddly enough, dissociation doesn't seem to be an issue of belief/disbelief.

thank you again for the post. i feel brave enough that, when i go, i'll tell that i have ptsd and am a dissociator so to please be prepared. i've never done anything more than "froze" during internals. that's what we did as a child, so don't expect anything more now.

thanks again,

kd
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:44 PM #5
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

you're welcome and Yes kimmydawn my heart was pulling for you and I wanted to tell you this. I just didn't know if posting this in the other thread would have fit in there. When I saw your post I realized I wasn't the only one dealing with dissociating during physicals and how scared I was in the middle of it, I also figured if you and I were going through this then there were probably more out there dealing with it. I wanted to let them know they were not alone either.

You don't have to tell anyone you don't want to about having PTSD with dissociative features or even DID. Take your time and do whats right for you.

My family didn't understand either. Some how through the family gossip line my DID got twisted around to my having lost total touch with reality and should be committed to a nut ward. Until a family member had an accident while alone and in order for her to get help for herself she had to totally separate the physical pain from the mental logic of get to the phone. With many broken bones and concusion she stood up, walked to the phone and called 911. When they got there she walked out climbed into the ambulance. once at the er she finally became aware of the reason they refused to let her walk - she had been walking on a foot that was totally twisted the wrong way then the pain hit and she passed out. While she was in the hospital in traction she asked why and how she was able to do that. She has memory of doing this but like she was in a slow motion movie. They explained to her about dissociation during traumatic situations. She now understands how a person can dissociate and how DID is created and no longer thinks I belong in a nut ward. The rest of the family don't understand and probably won't until they too expeience a trauma situation requiring separating the mental aspcets from the phsyical aspects. But you know I don't let them get to me. The way I see it. They are going to believe what they want to believe all that matters is that I do whats right for me and that is continue moving ahead while ignoring their efforts to bait me into family arguements and so on.

Another friend on the east coast deals with her internal exams by seeing a female gyn and just telling her she is a sexual abuse survivor and may need to go slow or stop the exam if it starts triggering emotions. and having a friend or the female nurse hold her hand during the exam helps. She never disclosed she had DID to that gyn.

No there isn't an issue of if dissociation is real or not but yet there is stigma for those that fit outside the normal scale. Someday maybe society will wake up.

Take care
 
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:59 PM #6
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

(((((((((((((myself))))))))) good post. yes, i hope for that "someday".

be safe,

kd
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:02 PM #7
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

What an excellent post! Your story is so helpful, I'd even like to see it pinned at top of forum so other folks can easily find it whenever they want.
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:52 PM #8
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

Thank you SarahL.. I don't know how to "pin" posts but I can keep "popping it up" for people through posting. Glad you like this thread. Take care.
 
Old 09-20-2005, 03:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

Telling primary doctor... Many thanks Kimmydawn for pinning this. Telling primary doctor...
 
Old 09-24-2005, 09:25 AM #10
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Default Re: Telling primary doctor...

Telling primary doctor... (((((myself)))))
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