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Anonymous29319
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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 04:05 PM
  #1
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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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 05:21 PM
  #2
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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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 05:32 PM
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You're welcome and thank you for the compliments. Glad I could help.
 
 
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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 07:52 PM
  #4
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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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 08:44 PM
  #5
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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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 08:59 PM
  #6
(((((((((((((myself))))))))) good post. yes, i hope for that "someday".

be safe,

kd

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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 10:02 PM
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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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Default Sep 17, 2005 at 11:52 PM
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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.
 
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Default Sep 20, 2005 at 03:00 AM
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Telling primary doctor... Many thanks Kimmydawn for pinning this. Telling primary doctor...
 
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Default Sep 24, 2005 at 09:25 AM
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Telling primary doctor... (((((myself)))))

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Default Sep 24, 2005 at 02:25 PM
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I have told my primary Dr. He has been treating me for about 20 yrs and knows more about me than my T does. It is hard to talk about it, but T and I thought it was a good idea to tell him being he knows I'm a survivor and working through eating disorders and in the past tried to harm myself. I usually see him every month or two because of a medical condition. He thanked me and appreciated the information. My gyn dr. doesn't know. He's great and I have had him for about 15 yrs. I only see him once a yr.
I know I am one of the lucky ones who has a great PCDr. I can tell him nearly anything.
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Default Sep 30, 2005 at 03:19 AM
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I would expect any primary care physician to be extremely insulted by the method you suggest.
What kind of moron wouldn't know what dissociation meant !!!
Let alone one who has already finished a medical degree !!!
This is a recipe for totally antagonizing your primary care physician.

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Default Sep 30, 2005 at 04:17 AM
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the key here is "medical degree" which is schooling and a diploma in medical problems - physical -bones guts and so on.and medicinal. not psychological. I know that it is hard for you to believe but alot of primary physicians do NOT know alot about mental disorders. Their schooling is primarily medical not mental work. When they do do their internship in ER's and so on and they encounter a mentally ill person the hospital protocal is they get a psych consult not diagnose it themselves. Once they are out of medical school they keep up on the things that they specialize in family medicine, surgery and so on. They don't keep up on psychological terminology because they don't deal with psychological problems 24/7. I personally have had well over 50 primary physicians through out my life and each time I approached them with a problem associated with dissociation I was medicated, cat scaned for memory loss due to possible tumors, ECG, for heart attack because of numbness, tested for epilepsy, hospitalized as a suicidal when I was having flashbacks, x rays you name it just about every state in the USA has a complete medical work up on me from head to toe. The word Dissociation is also relatively new to the psychological world let alone the world of medicine. All dissociative disorders used to be thought of as schitzophenia and or PTSD and Multiple Personality Disorder But none of them contained the word Dissociation in the diagnostic criteria or the name of the disorder. That is why the psychological world changed the name Multiple Personality Disorder to the name Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Your primary doctor may be offended only you know what would offend your primary physician but My doctor was not offended and neither were those primary physicians that have read this post here and on other websites.

As for antagonizing a primary physician all physicians that I know welcome input from their clients no matter how they word it. They always said to me tthe only way they know how to treat their clients is if the client talks to them in what ever ways they are comfortable doing so. and if that means the client breaks down what they are learning in therapy into easy to talk about steps that will prevent needless tests and hospitalizations then thats what they accept from their clients.
 
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Default Sep 30, 2005 at 08:16 AM
  #14
from personal experience, the drs we dealt with, just for son's bipolar, were very ignorant of mental health. wish it were required for them to take a few classes to learn. as far as dissociation. if they dont know about bipolar, can assume they dont know dissociation as well.

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Default Sep 30, 2005 at 10:38 AM
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My T asked me the last session if my doc knew of my Dx'es? I said I didn't think so because it wasn't in my chart. I read my medical chart often. They always hand me my chart and tell me to sit in the lab waiting room when I have lab work done. I read my chart and not the mags. A lot more interesting. I've never seen any thing about my mental health except in my initial paperwork because of being hospitalized for OD's. But T said maybe I could let her know of my Dx since she's handling my medications now. I have a wonderful Doc and T. I'm thinking about telling her my Dx and then saying if you have any questions talk to my T. Just so unsure because I hate answering a bunch of questions. My next doc appointment is in 2 weeks and I see my T next week. So maybe I'll go over it with T. Unsure Telling primary doctor...

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Default Jun 21, 2007 at 12:06 AM
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Hi "MySelf" WE are new to this site but have been dx for over 20 years with DID plus several other mental disorders. We have always been very up front with my primary doctor or any other doctor that we've seen about our DID.They usually are very nice and just what to know what they can do if another comes forward so that we stay safe. We are lucky because there are only 6 of us I know how lucky we are because our fried has over 70.
We understand that most people are very quite and private about their DID. This is a way of staying save and not having to deal with other people prejudice. Hollywood has made people think we are all murders'. We had a nurse in the ER back up from us when taking our medical history.She asked me if I ever hurt people.We wanted to say, "Only when I'm asked stupid questions?" but figured she wouldn't get the humor of it.

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Default Oct 06, 2007 at 08:00 PM
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how did you stop being afraid of the gyn? i stopped going, the flashbacks and panic is so bad, i refuse. i had told them that i have an abuse history, but still, i feel like i'm giving permission for it to happen all over again.

kiya

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Default Dec 17, 2007 at 02:17 AM
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HI Guys.
I just had spinal fusion surgery and after being diagnosis with DID in 1988. After all these years and many doctors visits later. I decided to face it head on with the doctor and the hospital. I came out a few weeks ahead and explained it all and told them what was probably going to happen. That Katie my 5 year old alter who always took the pain for me would probably be out before surgery when they IV was started and would probably be out in recovery. I could just see the RNS thinking i was in shock with me talking like a little girl. I was in the hospital for 5 days and the first 3 days i was doped up on morphine katie was in and out alot but with me telling the doctors and taking control of the situation the doctors and nurses were on the same page and they worked together for my pain management and talked together. Instead of me feeling like a freak i felt like they understood.. In fact, my doctor and surgeon told me that he learned so much during my stay in the hospital that he was going to be able to us with his other patients and he appreciated me telling his ahead of time. He was appreciateive of me sharing it with him and the nurses were too. It was such a positive experience. ALL around.
Just wanted to share.
Kathi
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Default Mar 12, 2008 at 08:27 PM
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Im new to the DX; but I react the same way at the gyn, I always thought that all woman did, I feel very strange during the exams, and I tense up so much that they have to coach me into breathing. Not to long ago I told my GYN about my past sexual abuse, I did not tell him everything, just that I was, and I only told him because of a problem I have and I was so scared that what happend to me as a child caused it, he said no, that there would be no physical symptoms, just mental. I just went to thearpy a few days ago, I have been before, but was never completly honest, a part of me takes over and makes a joke out of everything, so people wont see me in pain, I have done that since I was a little kid, well, I finally opened up,and she told me I was D.I.D. There is a part of me that can hardly remember being told, I just froze and did not know what to do or say, and now Im starting to question myself, but I know I heard her say it.,
oh well dont mind me, I do this in my head all the time and now Im typing it.So I will end this bc im getting so nervous I cant evan think how to spell or type.
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Default Jul 05, 2008 at 11:15 PM
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aint no way i'm telling my doctor she's bipolar and i can't never tell which way she gonna swing she's so off the wall. nona

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