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alt.support.dissociation FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) ========================================================= === 1.0 Contents/Overview Section 1: alt.support.dissociation 1.0 Contents/Overview 1.0.2 Notes 1.1 Acknowledgements 1.1.2 Copyright Notice 1.2 Purpose of Newsgroup 1.2.1 History 1.2.2 Who should post here? 1.3 Posting guidelines and etiquette 1.3.1 Spoilers 1.3.2 Flaming and Harrassing Posts 1.4 Posting anonymously to alt.support.dissociation Section 2: Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders (formal) 2.0 Overview 2.1 Dissociation 2.1.1 Definition of Dissociation 2.2 Dissociative Disorders 2.2.1 Multiple Personality Disorder 2.2.2 Psychogenic Fugue and Psychogenic Amnesia 2.2.3 Depersonalization Disorder 2.2.4 Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified 2.3 Related Disorders 2.3.1 Personality Disorders 2.4 Treating Dissociative Disorders Section 3: Dissociation and Multiplicity (informal) 3.0 Overview 3.1 An Essay on Dissociation 3.2 Problems and Issues 3.3 The Multiplicity mini-FAQ Section 4: Abuse and other Trauma 4.0 Overview 4.1 Abuse 4.1.2 Different Types of Abuse 4.1.3 Effects of abuse 4.2 Trauma 4.3.2 Stress Section 5: Resources 5.0 Overview 5.1 The Internet 5.1.1 Newsgroups 5.1.2 Web Sites 5.1.3 IRC 5.1.4 MUDs 5.2 Publications 5.2.1 Books on Multiplicity 5.2.2 Books on Dissociation 5.2.3 Books on related topics 5.2.4 Other Publications 5.3 Organizations *** 1.0.2 Notes The posting of the FAQ is broken into several parts due to its length; I have tried to avoid breaking in the middle of subsections and will break at the beginning of a section whenever feasible. Currently, the FAQ is broken into 4 parts, thusly: Part 1: Contains section 1 Part 2: Contains section 2 Part 3: Contains section 3 Part 4: Contains sections 4 and 5 Within each part, you may search for the name (or number) of a section to go to its beginning; to do this in trn, while in an article type g, then the word you are searching for. In tin, while in the article type a / and then the word you are searching for. (Thanks Valerians.) * Abbreviations There are a number of abbreviations you are likely to see on this newsgroup. This is a list of some of the more common ones: DID: "Dissociative Identity Disorder" EA: emotional abuse IRC: internet relay chat, a world-wide network of real-time chat channels MP: multiple personalities MPD: "Multiple Personality Disorder" PA: physical abuse RA: ritual abuse SA: sexual abuse aar/a.a.r.: alt.abuse.recovery aat/a.a.t.: alt.abuse.transcendence asar/ASAR/a.s.a.r.: alt.sexual.abuse.recovery asd/a.s.d.: usually, alt.support.dissociation. asdep/a.s-dep/a.s.dep: alt.support.depression, another support newsgroup asdis/a.s-dis/a.s.dis: alt.support.dissociation; this form is used due to possible confusion with === 1.1 Acknowledgements Primary Author and Editor: Discord (email@example.com) Many people have helped, both directly and indirectly, with the writing of this FAQ. Not the least of these have been the readers and posters to the abuse support groups, the users of the IRC support channels, and the users of SANCTUARY MUD. Some of these people contributed sections or aided in their writing, while others made suggestions for things to include within the FAQ. I appreciate all of them, but at this point to list everyone who contributed suggestions might take a whole section in itself (and besides, I'd forget them all). That having been said, in the case of people contributing sections of the FAQ, they are credited in that section, except in the case of those wishing not to be credited. All sections not otherwise marked were primarily written or compiled by Discord. The book list is a compilation of many many people's suggestions for additions, however, I would like to thank Anita Easton, who provided a rather large section of the booklist. The mini-FAQ on multiplicity was co-written by myself and Sapphire Gazelles, based on my original (very incomplete) multiplicity FAQ from ASAR. I have since edited it beyond the original co-writing, but her (their) contributions were of immeasurable help. Some of the information in the formal section on dissociation is taken in part from the DSM-III-R. I do not own a copy of the DSM-IV at this time; some of the information might therefore be considered outdated by some people. *** 1.1.2 Copyright Notice This FAQ is copyright (C) 1995 [as a whole] by Discord; the multiplicity mini-FAQ is copyright (C) 1994 by Discord and Sapphire Gazelles. Reproduction -in whole- via electronic means [email, newsgroups, and the Web] is allowed provided this copyright notice remains intact. Reproduction in part via electronic means is allowed provided that the source (this FAQ) is credited and the copyright notice is preserved. Individuals may produce and retain a single hardcopy for personal use only. Any reproduction for profit without the permission of the FAQ maintainer and section author(s) is a direct violation of this copyright. To obtain permission to reproduce this FAQ, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic archive maintainers: a notice of inclusion on your archive is appreciated. Please contact me for the most up-to-date copy of this FAQ. === 1.2 Purpose of Newsgroup *** 1.2.1 History In mid-1994, I suggested (anonymously) a group for the discussion of multiplicity (aka MPD/Multiple Personality Disorder, aka DID/Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka multiple personalities). It had not, at the time, occurred to me to discuss the rest of the range of dissociation, but in discussing the need for the group, someone (I've forgotten who) brought up the possibility. I thought that this was a very good idea, and altered my proposal thusly; with no serious objections, the group was created as alt.support.dissociation (and my thanks to Jonathan Grobe, who newgrouped it for me). It is important to note that from the outset, I did not intend this to be a discussion of multiplicity in and of itself, but rather for the discussion of the issues surrounding multiplicity (and, later, dissociation in general). That is to say, while the world at large might consider the dissociation itself to be a problem, I consider that to be a secondary issue; the newsgroup is primarily for the discussion of how to deal with the problems that might be caused by dissociation, as well as any other issues surrounding dissociation, even if one might not label those issues "problems". Other psychological states or disorders with similar issues and/or problems will probably be mentioned here from time to time, and are welcome to be discussed here. *** 1.2.2 Who should post here? Anyone with an interest in being here, of course. A more specific list is: people with dissociative processes, including but not limited to multiple personalities; their SOs (that's "Significant Others" btw), friends, colleagues and the like; therapists/psychologists with insights into dealing with problems and issues arising from dissociation, and other interested parties. === 1.3 Posting guidelines and etiquette Do not ridicule others. Because many of the posters here will be multiples, they may come across as odd to others. Be understanding that some of the people posting here may be letting, for instance, a younger alter post, or one who is severely depressed, and so forth...or they may describe things that seem unreal to you, but it is what they are experiencing. Do not suggest that, because someone has not been diagnosed with a dissociative disorder, that this automatically makes them wrong about what they are going through. This rule applies to therapists/psychologists as well as other posters. Especially for therapists/psychologists: do not attempt to diagnose someone, unless they are asking for an opinion on what they are experiencing. Those of us who are multiple who will be posting here don't want to be told we are not...don't you think we'd know? [OK, it could be something related instead, but if the multiplicity model fits us, and it works for us, why not let us use it?] Many people do not consider their dissociation, no matter what the degree, to be in and of itself a problem, and for many people it is not. It is merely a different way of dealing with the world, in their case. They might, however, seek out a group such as this for suggestions on how to solve issues related to their dissociation. *** 1.3.1 Spoilers Do not post about potentially disturbing subjects without giving some sort of spoiler. A spoiler is a caution/warning that the contents of the post may be disturbing for a specific reason, followed by about 20 blank lines to make up a page of text, giving people a chance to skip that note. When discussing the reasons that one dissociates (whether it is multiplicity or other forms of dissociation), it is sometimes helpful to examine the events that led to dissociation (or, with multiples, initial splits and later splits). Some people reading this newsgroup may not be at a stage where they can handle particularly blunt descriptions of some of the more common incidents that lead to people dissociating. So that people can participate even if they have a number of unresolved triggers, certain topics should be spoilered. These topics include but are not limited to: sexual encounters (both positive and negative), all forms of abuse, suicide attempts, cutting/self-harm, all religious topics (both pro- and anti-), and integration/fusion. The fact that a topic is not listed in this FAQ does not mean it necessarily may go unspoilered; if several people request that a topic be spoilered, these requests should be heeded. Please note: although on ASAR discussion of multiplicity itself is often considered spoiler material, obviously this will not be the case here. *** 1.3.2 Flaming and Harrassing Posts Please try to curb your desire to flame people. If you disagree with someone, express it in a rational manner. This is in keeping with general USENET etiquette, but given the recent problems on ASAR, I feel it bears repeating. At least twice. Posts of a harrassing nature will be responded to by e-mailing the administrator of the site of the harrassing poster, with a copy of the harassing post, as well as a brief explanation of why I find the post to be harrassing. A copy of the note will be cc'd to the poster. While not considered harrassing, posts that are seriously off-topic will be responded to with an explanation of why I feel the note was off-topic. Repeated posts on that topic by the same person will be forwarded to the administrator of the poster's site. If you find a post to be harrassing, please refrain from following up to it with a flame; if you feel you must do something about it, forwarding a copy of the post to the administrator of the site in question is not a bad idea, however. Following up to the note, while it may relieve your anger/outrage, will not help the newsgroup. If you receive harrassing e-mail due to a post on this newsgroup, my suggestion is for you to do the same; forward a copy of the e-mail to the administrator of the site of the harrasser. If you are not sure who to send the post to, a note to root@<site.domain> will usually be sufficient. Many sites have a specific news administrator, usually news@<site.domain>. === 1.4 Posting anonymously to alt.support.dissociation Because of the sensitive nature of the topics to be discussed here, some people may not feel comfortable unless they have a way to post anonymously. With the closing of penet.fi, however, the only suggestions I can offer are the following. Firstly, Fuzzy -- a long-time regular from ASAR -- runs asarian.org, where you can get accounts under a pseudonym. While mail sent to those accounts is in the clear -- i.e., it does NOT anonymize sender the way penet did -- it does protect the account holder. e-mail email@example.com for information on how to get an account. Secondly, there is twwells, information for which is posted periodically by the person who runs the service. I personally have severe problems with that service's reputation, but it's up to each of you whether or not you feel it's justified, and I'm not going to go into my reasons here. I include the information because it IS an option, despite not being one I personally recommend. Lastly, there are a number of remailers, which do not allow anonymous e-mail, but will allow anonymous posting. I don't have information on exactly how to go about using them, and the list of which ones are actually available changes regularly, so my suggestion is that you read through alt.privacy.anon-server and keep current that way.