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Glossary of D.I.D.

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As you continue on with your research of D.I.D., it will be helpful for you to be able to recognize the vocabulary and what each of these phrases, words and terms mean.
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bullet Dissociative Identity Disorder - Is a mental condition created in childhood when the child is forced to dissociate as a means of escape from his or her surroundings over and over until it eventually becomes his or her primary defense mechanism.
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bullet Dissociation - The process of changes in a person's consciousness, which causes a disturbance in the normal functions of identity, memory, thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
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bullet Abreaction - the experience of recalling an event that has been repressed because it was consciously intolerable. The experience is one of reliving the trauma as if it were happening in the present, complete with physical as well as emotional manifestations.
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bullet Post traumatic stress disorder - (P.T.S.D.) - A condition that one may have as the result of being subjected to a horrendous event causing emotional stress. Someone who suffers with P.T.S.D. may react in a protective, defensive or "shell shocked" manner when faced with sudden threatening stimuli such as a quick loud noise.
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bullet Alter (Alter Personality or Part) - A distinct, separate part of the mind that manifests itself as a unique person with it's own personality and characteristics. Alters can be different ages and genders, and they can even be objects that have their own memories, likes and dislikes as well as physical illnesses that may or may not be shared with other alters.
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bullet Memories - Memories are so fragmented that each alter personality acts age appropriately (the age of that one personality or part) as separate individuals who have their own duties within the system. Usually an alter personality will simply stop growing and "go in" for good, at a time when the trauma or abuse has gotten too bad for him/her to cope with anymore.
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bullet Dissociation - The process by which a persons mind switches from consciousness to sub consciousness. While still awake and functional, a person drifts off into a daydream like state of mind but can still perform usual tasks, such as driving a car.
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bullet Flashbacks - A sudden recall of a memory or an event! The person relives a traumatic event with no awareness at the time (or maybe even later) of the connection between the flashback and the past trauma.
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bullet Fusion - the process of breaking down the barriers that separate the individual alters. One may experience a "partial fusion" or consolidation of clusters of alters into a few desecrate personalities. The fusion process lays the groundwork for integration.
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bullet Grounding - The process of disrupting a dissociative episode and is accomplished by tugging on an earlobe, rubbing the hands together, or shuffling the feet back and forth. This type of physical stimuli can bring the survivors mind back to awareness of their surroundings, and helps to make them feel less animated.
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bullet Host - The alter personality who dominates the control of the body most of the time and is often unaware of the other personalities. The host is usually the alter personality who will initiate control of the body after experiencing symptoms of mental distress, such as panic attack, anxiety, triggers or recovered memories.
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bullet Inner Self-helper (I.S.H.) - Usually the alter personality who has a good understanding of the system and how it works. The I.S.H. is also among the typical group of helpers or protector personalities.
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bullet Integration - The final stage of fusion when all of the barriers of the conscious mind have been broken down completely and the whole system is united into one personality and can function "as one" on a long-term basis.
bullet Losing time - The period of which an alter personality is in the sub-conscious mind and has no recollection of the time that is being utilized by the alter personality who is occupying the conscious mind. Therefore when the alter switches into the conscious mind they realize that minutes, hours, days, or even months and years have passed since they were last aware of time.
bullet Switching - The process of an alter coming out from the sub-conscious mind into the consciousness mind while the other alter (who was already in the consciousness mind) slips back into the sub-conscious mind.
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bullet Fusion (or internal world) - The structure of relationships between the alter personalities who live within the internal world of a survivor with D.I.D.! Every system is created and operates in it's own unique way, just like every family living in their own homes run their households different from the next door neighbor.
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bullet Transference - The sub-conscious assignment to others; of feelings and attitudes that were originally associated with important figures in one's early life. The clinician can use this to help the client understand the origins of emotional and mental problems.
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bullet Trauma - An episode or event that overwhelms the minds defenses and causes lasting emotional harm. Psychological trauma include natural disasters, accidents, or human actions which cause the victim to be terrified, helpless, and under extreme mental and physical stress.
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bullet Trigger - An event, object, person, sound, etc., that sets a series of thoughts in motion or reminds a person of some aspect of their traumatic past. A trigger could be something as innocent as the smell of baby powder, and if abuse occurred during infancy then that odor could possibly cause a trigger (or bring a memory to the surface).
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Information on this page was referenced from: Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out by Cohen Barry (1991-09-27)
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