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The Story Behind 'The Hidden'

Пост обновлен 1 янв. 2019 г.


Many of you will be wondering "What's the meaning behind 'The Hidden'?" which I understand, after all it seems like a very dark domain to obtain. However, it really isn't. It is based on the idea that millions of individuals face personal issues, many being mental health issues, which are regularly diluted down in the hope that they will subside. This process is the exact process I followed until recently. Before I delve into my personal journey, I need to make it clear that no-one should be made to hide mental health issues. They should be expressed freely, whether that's through vlogging, blogging, speaking to family, ringing helplines. Speech is a powerful coping mechanism, and shouldn't be restricted. Don't let mental health be the hidden implication, it is just as important as physical health.

For many years I had been receiving treatment under the diagnosis of Depression, Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, it came to light that symptoms and repressed implications that I kept hidden lead to a mis-diagnosis, leading to the incorrect medication and cognitive treatment. 2 months ago, my psychiatrist and I pondered on the idea of a reassessment due to the lack of development I seemed to have made in 3 years. After 3 psychiatric assessments, the governing board assessing my case and psychotic testing taking place, 8 years of being

diagnosed as a 'manic' depressive, it came to light that I was actually suffering from OSDD. It isn't a very common disorder, it can be researched and it is more commonly known as Other Specified Dissociative Disorder. I failed to acknowledge this diagnosis, I ignored my psychiatrist and his advice until my behaviour was explained through the symptoms my psychiatrist had verbally described to me. The symptoms of Other Specified Dissociative Disorder can be described through the American Psychiatrists Diagnostic Manual;

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria Code 300.15 "This category applies to presentations in which symptoms characteristic of a dissociative disorder that cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning predominate but do not meet the full criteria for any of the disorders in the dissociative disorders diagnostic class. The other specified dissociative disorder category is used in situations in which the clinician chooses to specify reason that the presentation does not meet the criteria for any specific dissociative disorder. This is done by recording "other specified dissociative disorder" followed by the specific reason (e.g., "dissociative trance"). Example presentations that can be specified using the "other specified" designation include the following:

"1. Chronic and recurrent syndromes of mixed dissociative symptoms. This category includes identity disturbance associated with less than marked discontinuities in sense of self and agency, or alterations of identity or episodes of possession in an individual who reports no dissociative amnesia.

2. Identity disturbance due to prolonged and intense coercive persuasion: Individuals who have been subjected to intense coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, indoctrination while captive, torture, long-term political imprisonment, recruitment by sects/cults or by terror organizations) may present with prolonged changes in, or conscious questions of, their identity.

3. Acute dissociative reactions to stressful events: This category is for acute, transient conditions that typically last less than 1 month, and sometimes only a few hours or days. These conditions are characterized by constriction of consciousness; depersonalization; derealization; perceptual disturbances (e.g., time slowing, macropsia); micro-amnesias; transient stupor; and/or alterations in sensory-motor functioning (e.g., analgesia, paralysis).

4. Dissociative trance: This condition is characterized by an acute narrowing or complete loss of awareness of immediate surroundings that manifest as profound unresponsiveness or insensitivity to environmental stimuli. May be accompanied by minor stereotyped behaviours of which the individual is unaware and/or that he or she cannot control, as well as transient paralysis or loss of consciousness. The dissociative trance is not a normal part of a broadly accepted collective cultural or religious practice."

For those reading the symptoms and are now perplexed... that was my response also. However, once I learnt to digest this diagnosis it became more understandable. My dissociative stages occur through trances, these usually occur through extreme emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, and anxiety (Number 3 according to the DSM). It was also explained to myself and my mother that the reason I can not remember these reactions are because I have an element of Amnesia, the process where memory is eliminated which can be applied to the 4th element of OSDD.

These trances can occur at anytime, the duration can fluctuate along with the severity. However, these trances can be shortened through interventions from the right individuals. I have not always had this second identity, it has manifested over the years which would have been diagnosed earlier if I had been honest and not ashamed to admit that my hormones and electrical impulses in my brain were somewhat different.

If I was more open and less introvert through my counselling sessions and cognitive therapy, I would have received more suitable treatments and therapy. What I'm trying to convey is don't hide behind the curtain that society has made, don't mould into what other people expect you to be. If you need assistance with your Mental State, go and get it. Don't hide your issues.

If I had thrived to receive the correct help when I was younger then I would not have OSDD now, it would have remained as Acute Anxiety and PTSD. However managing this disorder is achievable - although I'm not allowed to drive for years and my opportunities are now limited - my life isn't over. If anything I feel more revived. I have answers and explanations to questions I was too scared to ask, its given me an aspirational awakening, a reason to live life to the full and delve into the unknown. For my purpose is to live and not to be limited by this diagnosis. The people within my life are the backbone to my strength, they don't expect an explanation, a change or filter. They allow me to thrive in my strange ways, how obscure they are.

Now this doesn't mean I'm "Psycho", it doesn't mean I'm going to wake up as 5 year old Johnny. I am still Nola, I am still that loud and annoying girl, I am still the girl who loves dogs and babies, the girl who loves the smell of old books and a girl who loves cuddles with anything fluffy. It just means I have a secondary identity - who I have nicknamed Patricia - who only arises through those stressful situations. She is very violent and intimidating, along with confident and confrontational. A personality extremely different to me, in fact a complete polar opposite. Patricia doesn't define me, and she doesn't place a cap on my life. A broken leg wouldn't limit your life for ever so why should a mental illness. Don't let your mental illnesses or possible condition rule your life. It doesn't last forever, it can be managed effectively.

Take care of your mental health like you take care of your physical health, don't be afraid of assistance.

It doesn't matter how severe your condition may be, how long it has been effecting you, or if your family member or friend has a worse state of mind. You are just entitled to receive the same level of help and support. Don't stay hidden. Don't be the hidden. Be seen and be heard.

Head over to my Seek Help Page for further details.

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