Please send your responses to CH:

Dear CH:

You mentioned you had questions about medications. When I first started therapy, I'd never taken ANY psychotropic drugs, ever. Over a 10 year period, my doctor and I tried a number of different kinds of medicines, alone and in combination. At various times I took Endep and Prozac for depression, Xanax (to reduce anxiety), Ritalin (to help me focus & slow down rapid switching), and a bunch of others I can't remember. My doctor was very careful to start the doses off low & watch to see how I responded to each one. This was a good thing, because it turned out I had a bad reaction to a common beta-blocker (Inderal) which she was trying for rapid switching, and now I know to avoid beta-blockers, even for circulatory problems. For me, the medications helped me stay functional at work during the toughest parts of therapy. I don't think I could have kept working without them. Later on, after I left therapy, I tried St. Johns Wort on my own when I was feeling depressed & it helped. But I eventually stopped it because (a) I was feeling better and (b) I was concerned that it might interact with other medically-necessary medicines I now take.

I think medications can be very helpful at times. & for me at least I didn't have to take them "the rest of my life." Just be sure your Doctor is alert & monitoring what goes on. - Susie


Hi there, CH -

Regarding the flashbacks........the truth is that was helped us on our road to recovery. I had no memory of my childhood and scattered memory after that. The flashbacks came and when they would hit too fast and too hard I opened a little safe internally where I picked up the lid and dropped the memory quickly inside it to be opened at a later time with the help of a therapist. To be honest, there are many still in that box and probably won't get released - I also had two signs up one in my bathroom and one on my fridge during an extremely tough time during my therapy.......they read call l. a friend (name and number), 2. call therapist 3. call local hot line for emergency.....I generally would freeze during a tough time, the sign in itself could jolt me out of it......actually just about any change in my behavior (i.e. glass of water, change of seat, put on tv, shut it off, et) could sometimes walk me out of the flashback. Breathing - practise over and over breathing in and breathing out...puffing it out through the mouth helps greatly. It is calming and the memory can slowly leave. Medicines...I didn't take any. I am very into meditation, vitamins and herbs.........Happy Camper, is one natural mood balancer I have used, also Bach's White Birch takes obsessing out up into the sky somewhere high......If I needed to be on medicine I might have but one experience was with Prozac and after two days only I nearly drove my car off a major highway............that was the end of medicines. The B vitamins are wonderful, calcium and magnesium due double and triple duty especially if you take a few of them at night before bedtime. I went through 11 years of memories finding it shocking, as though this was a joke that I was involved in......denial and I were a couple but the road to healing needs to be (for me anyway) a Spiritual path and having someone to give my stuff too made it that much more liveable. There is no magic to flashbacks - they are my past and as much a part of me as my eyes, nose and so on. They were my short versions to my life and needed to come to me and tell me that we are really one........

M. F.


About ECT:

There are three types of memory: immediate, short term, and long term. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can affect all three types of memory, but it returns. With the important exception of memories formed during the time that the ECT takes place: they may never come back. Otherwise, memory comes back in that order: immediate, short term, then long term.

Out of the hundreds of ECT patients my doctor has had, only 2 have had long-term memory damage. However, medications also affect memory. For example, lamictal and lexapro can cause problems. Additionally, depression/anxiety/PTSD all affect memory. (I'm not dealing with "lost time" here or memory impairment due to having alters, but impairment to the "whole person" from these illnesses.) In these cases, medication can sometimes help improve memory.

My feeling is that ECT is definitely worth looking into, because it helped me with a very deep depression. It's worth talking over thoroughly with a doctor and raising concerns first. But also keep in mind that medications and being sick in itself may impair memory. ECT is an undertaking because of the cost and the possible need for hospitalization while it is being performed. But I think ECT can help people recover when medicines and therapy just aren't working.

By MaryK


Hi -- we have created a "safe house" with sunny rooms, lots of pillows, etc., Sometimes, when we know we are going to be "working" we (t and I) that anyone who feels the need during the memory, can leave and go to the safehouse without permission. This in itself makes those in the system that may or may not be involved, feel safer. Our t also is usually sitting very close and will simply touch our back, or arm and sometimes, though "I" am not aware of it, insiderz must be. Obviously there are times nothing makes us feel safe. More than anything I think it's relationship - inside/outside. When I am triggered and T is not to be found,we now seem to have someone who knows or remembers the "safe house" and while I still go through the memory, it seems to be less and less "destructive".

I stopped taking virtually everything years ago -- WHICH I AM NOT RECOMMENDING FOR ANYONE WITHOUT GUIDANCE -- and was determined to do it drug free. I recently got into such a state I begged my MD to help. Oddly enough, all he put me on was Lexapro which is an anti-depressant but it has changed our lives.

Now, I can't tell you if it's someone inside who came to the front or if it's the drug but I am in the best place, feeling better, finding hope and feeling like we're going to make it for the first time in years. It simply takes the edge off without inducing a fog or zoning me out. My employees are all recognizing the diffference in how I handle situations.

I also started taking Ambien at night and while it is not recommended long term, I have been on it for several months. I sleep better. I feel better. Getting more sleep has made a difference too. Just a couple of suggestions. I know there are lots and lots of drugs for people with DID but sometimes, simple basics does wonders. Of course, a lot depends, I think, on the place you are in regarding your therapy and how your system is handling your life. Such complications, eh? Nothing is easy. But, I promise, there's light at the end of the tunnel. God has a plan for all of us, and for some of us, DID was a gift to help us survive until a time we could face the trauma and He knew we could work through it and grow even stronger. It's a long hard journey, but, hang in there... His plan hasn't changed. The seasons do.



Dear C.H.,

I went over to WebMD with msn and ECT sounds a bit riskier then medication. I've seen some pretty good results with some therapy on patients with muscular illness but I'd be real worried about some treatment that could possibly cause long term memory loss. I have enough trouble with short term memory loss/dissociation that I'd be lost with out my long term.

I know for sure that I wouldn't lose the memories that have been there long term because I do believe that we store them in a very secret place other then our normal longer term memory place. I'd have to have exhaust every medication alternative first. Even at that it appears that every few years my system seems to become to tolerant of some meds and I need to try something new. Each one of us are different. I don't think that I know less then 10 out of 100 people on the web who's systems use the same combinations I do. And like I said that's an every changing process.

My first need was to be aware when medication seems to stop working. Years ago they would just start upping the grams of what ever I was on. That was only a short time fix. but as it goes the companies are forever "new and improving" their drugs. Sometimes I secretly think that they lesson something in the attempt to have you need something new. but that's just my theory. It's right up there with as soon as their patent is up and other companies can make a generic form, they always come out with something 'new and approved'. To be fair with the drug companies, they have kept up with the times and needs.

They sure have come a long way since the 80's in understanding what we need from medications. Medications we take now actually allow us to have a real life instead of looking the walking dead. As clients in the mental health field we have a larger role in our medications. If a medication is not working we need to talk to our doctor or therapist about how we are feeling. Most of us need a combination of different things. It takes time to come up with a workable combination sometimes, but when you got it, you'll know. Good luck and if you haven't already go to the WebMD sites and research a lot before deciding on that ECT .

Lady J