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Subject: alt.support.dissociation FAQ 1/4
This article was archived around: 15 Mar 1999 13:22:16 GMT
alt.support.dissociation FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
=== 1.0 Contents/Overview
Section 1: alt.support.dissociation
1.1.2 Copyright Notice
1.2 Purpose of Newsgroup
1.2.2 Who should post here?
1.3 Posting guidelines and etiquette
1.3.2 Flaming and Harrassing Posts
1.4 Posting anonymously to alt.support.dissociation
Section 2: Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders (formal)
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)
3.1 An Essay on Dissociation
3.2 Problems and Issues
3.3 The Multiplicity mini-FAQ
Section 4: Abuse and other Trauma
4.1.2 Different Types of Abuse
4.1.3 Effects of abuse
Section 5: Resources
5.1 The Internet
5.1.2 Web Sites
5.2.1 Books on Multiplicity
5.2.2 Books on Dissociation
5.2.3 Books on related topics
5.2.4 Other Publications
*** 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.)
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
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
*** 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
*** 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
=== 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.