Please send your responses to The Lost Girls:

To Lost Girls,

I was so sad when I read your letter. I am a 59 year old woman and have been under some type of therapeutic or psychiatric care since I was 16. I have been diagnosed with severe depression, Bi-polar, PTSD, etc., etc. I have had many hospitalizations and suicide attempts. The most recent was in May, 2003 when I wound up in ICU for a week (pill overdose) and then off to the mental hospital. I do not, to this day, remember what triggered it or why I did it.

I have been on probably all of the psych meds and am currently taking Seroquel, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Neurontin and Trazadone. I am in a Dual Diagnosis group where I met the first and only man that accepted DID as a diagnosis but for the first time in my life I feel I can trust him.

Unfortunately I have found many "Therapists" and "Psychiatrists" who neither understood DID nor did they take me seriously. I have been addicted to many pain medications, alcohol, am anorexic and have spent a lifetime being abused by men, both physically and mentally. I have also had many hospital stays due to this form of abuse as well.

I believe that if I had known better when I was young, I would have shopped around until I found a therapist who not only understood my disease but who took me seriously and who I could trust. I too am on psychiatric disability and have been for about five years. I have no memory of my childhood and no longer feel I have to go there unless I am ready.

I still "lose time" but do not seem to be abusing myself when I am in that "state". I keep a journal which helps me and have read my writings from other alters and am currently concentrating on integrating them into my whole personality. As I have been told, it is not bad to have alters but only if they are all an integrated part of me so that I can become aware of what I do and do not lose time.

Good luck, I pray you will find some peace before I did. It is a long journey but I truly believe it has made me a more understanding and compassionate person.

Lucy B.


To lost girls

-As a multiple myself, I can definitely say firsthand that the medical community has a lot to learn about dissociation and multiplicity-a lot of times DID/MPD is misdiagnosed or simply medicated to mask the symptoms. If you feel there are others within you-it is likely there are. I denied my own multiplicity for years-and sometimes I still try-it is scary sometimes to be haunted by spectre shades of yourself, that manifest as other folks. Therapy was a dead end-most of my greatest work i have done on my past issues was done by myself and my others. I suggest perhaps trying to open up to your other selves and begin communication with them. It certainly helped me. I have been keeping diaries for years of our dialogues. Therapy is wonderful if you can find the right person to give you validity and support-but first and foremost these things have to come from you. Best of luck to all of you,

Tim and the Troops :) :)


To The Lost Girls,

Hi, it sounds like you have been going through a lot and haven't been able to find the right help - we understand how discouraging this can be as we went to several therapists who wouldn't believe we had MPD.
Back when i was 29 yrs old we saw our first therapist and immediately became suicidal - for us, this was a part of the programming we received which began at a very early age (not saying you have programming but simply that this is something we know about us). Then we saw another, then another and they just wouldn't believe us. It seems there is a percentage of psychiatric professionals who simply don't think MPD/DID is for real.
The shrink that was assigned to us at the hospital we went to after a suicide/"mercy killing" attempt (we were so messed up that a part took over trying to relieve us of our pain) did not subscribe to MPD as a valid diagnosis either. Though we would switch while seeing him, he refused to see what was happening - but to other staffers it was obvious (and they told us so).
There are parts within our system that could easily be labeled bi-polar, OCD, schizoid-affective, autistic, etc-etc. We also went through a period of cutting - these were cult parts that had programming (again we must emphasize this is our experience).
When you mention the age regression and parts talking about other parts who have names, all i can say is that sounds about as MPD as MPD can be. Other classic markers you talk about: "While I am very dissociative (I believe I have auto-hypnotic experiences, i have amnesia for my childhood, and I have many confusing symptoms related to memory and identity, as well as sexual orientation childhood amnesia)" along with your general history make us wonder about the "help" you are getting.

Our suggestion to you would be to trust your instinct about your DID and try to locate a therapist who will believe you. By refusing to seek help from those who were in denial about our self-diagnosis, and MPD in general (there is an angry part coming up saying this is a type of abuse) we were eventually led to a real professional; one who was willing to work with all of us.
Getting this kind of support is critical as alters need to be recognized so that healing can occur. We do understand how hard it can be find the right therapist, a couple years ago our therapist had to move out of state - our life ended up spinning out of control - and we ended up hospitalized for a short time.

But recently we were lucky enough to meet a therapist who is experienced with MPD/DID - and we are growing stronger and healthier in many ways.



Dear Lost Girls,

I can see why you use the nick you have chosen! What a frustrating path you have been on! It sounds like you have definitely been thrown around by the mental health community. The first thing that comes to mind for me is what area of the country you are in. I'm wondering if any of the hospitals you have been in had a dissociative unit?

I myself am not diagnosed as MPD, but as Disociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Mainly because I am co-conscious with most of my parts. I am fortunate to have an outstanding psychiatrist whom I located through the ISSD(International Society for Study of Dissociation.) She also reports my diagnosis as major depression although it seems that the meds I am taking work well for bi-polar treatment. I actually had a brief manic or maybe hypomanic episode over the holiday for about 6 days, so I suppose she is right. The meds I take are effexor, tegretol, seroquel, serzone, syntroid.

Anyway back to your situation. I wonder if you can get a referral to a therapist who has experience treating dissociation. I had a great therapist, but she moved up north. She treated each part as an individual patient and they got well. I am seeing a LCSW now who my old therapist referred me to and she is really good as well. I have however seen therapists that were totally off base in my symptoms. I too was called "Borderline". I had a therapist that told me I was telling her and the psychitrist she referred me to different things and that I was lying. She obviously did not understand my system! I would see if you can locate a competent caring therapist.

As for the cutting, I have been doing it since I was 13. There have been times that I stopped for several years, but as my symptoms worsened I began again. My doctor said to me "Would you cut a child outside your body?" I of course said absolutley not! She said the inner kids don't deserve to be abused in that way. When she put it in that perspective, I was able to reduce and then stop the behavior. I hope this helps and I am sorry you have had to go through all the trouble. May you find some peace soon.



Dear 'Lost Girls',

Like most who are said to have Dissociative Disorder Identity (DID), I've had many diagnoses. I find that I still want to slot myself into a more conventional diagnosis. It would make it easier for me to talk about my experience to others for whom DID is less well understood, to those who would might suspect family members of abuse, or judge me for believing in DID. Hollywood gave people with MPD/DID a profile but took away much of our credibilty by its inevitable stereotyping.

I believe that I have DID for reasons that might help you to recognize it (or not) in yourself:

1. The therapeutic approaches which come out of the diagnosis of dissociation *help* me. Other diagnoses and other therapists (operating on different therapeutic models) never worked so well, even when they were based on the evidence of obvious moodswing etc.

2. A wide understanding of dissocation makes sense of *all* of my experience. This is the first time that one diagnosis has done that.

3. Identifying as having DID (or, more accurately I think, DDNOS - Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, because I don't lose time) enables me to see myself in a consistent way.

4. I have worked with a lot of therapists and psychiatrists, many of them excellent, but I have never achieved as much as I have with my current psychiatrist. I should note, that I have also seen one psychiatrist who specializes in DID whom I would never recommend to anyone.
I have seen documentaries on "False Memory" that horrify and scare me. I have yet to understand or reconcile those images with what I have come to know. It is only because of the four points above that I feel essentially calm in this diagnosis. And that is the final point really. No other diagnosis makes me feel like I've come home.

It seems like a cop-out not to acknowledge to you that I also have a condition that parallels my DID and for which I too was thought to be Bipolar. It is called "manic defense" and is, as the name suggests, an emotional defense against feeling other hurtful or negative feelings. I become hypomanic under stress--from the stress of daily living, to dealing with major crises. It is contained (but not altogether controlled) with anti-epileptic medication (Sodium Valporate), anti-depressant (Prozac), semi-regular Valium and meditation. Lithium and other psychoactive drugs never helped. My present psychiatrist has said that if I were truly bipolar, Valium alone, or even just the meditation - which can work brilliantly at such times - would almost certainly not help me to come out of one of my "highs". I am surprised, however, that no-one seems to have heard of "manic defence" and that it is separate to bipolar.

I hope that you can find it in yourself to know what diagnosis (or diagnoses) feels right to you. I hope that you find the right questions to know that. And I hope that you always find support wherever you are in your struggle. You are a whole person, worthy of respect. No diagnosis can change that. :)

Good luck and Happy New Year!



Dear Lost Girls,

Oh my goodness! I can only go by what you present, but my impression of your first paragraph is that you've been whipped around a bit my the mental health system. It's bad enough to have to struggle with your problems, but when you've got a number of supposed "experts" who are jerking you around, I can imagine how you feel crazy. Stand your ground, girls. Ultimately you are the only one who can say multiple or not. You tell them who and what you are. You know yourself better than anyone else. Get a therapist who respects you as your equal. Heck, you are their equal and then some! Blessings to you in your journey. You're not crazy. You've been hurt.



Dear Lost Girl,

Your post reads like so many of ours did when we first started out on the internet. Let me suggest a book which is worth getting. It's a simply written book for dissociates, their family and their therapist who have never worked with a multiple before. (Actually most have worked with them--they just didn't know it.) The book is called "The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook" by Deborah Bray Haddock, M.Ed., M.A., L.P. , published by McGraw-Hill (c 2001).

As far as your diagnosis-- it's a known fact that most people are in therapy for many years and go through all the diagnosis in the book till they run out of ones to give us. If you have any doubt about being multiple, do what a doctor had me do years ago. Go to the library and look up in the Physician Desk Top Reference , Multiple Personality Disorder, MPD. You'll find it is now called DID (Dissociate Identity Disorder). Read through the whole thing. I swear that was my story they wrote there.

I've been on the internet for a few years now. I've talked to hundreds of people through the many groups of us and I've yet to meet one who suddenly realized they weren't. There is no acting involved. There are many degrees of what is referred to as co-consciousness. The more you learn about yourself and the more you learn about this condition you will answer all those questions for yourself.

I don't think you could fake this. And who the hell would want to? Any one who would want to fake having this is certifiable.

Stay safe and keep asking questions. Join a group and talk to others; you'll find your answers there.

Lady J