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How do I support my friend?

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How do I support my friend?

Post by Guest on 5/23/2012, 1:42 pm

Hi, I am new. This is my first post here. I am happy to find a place where I can talk to people who understand.

My friend just found out that she has DID. She just got out of the hospital. I can tell that she is scared. She was having trouble before, but no one really knew what was wrong.

Now, she is coming home. I am not sure how to talk to her. I want to be supportive, but am afraid of offending her or just saying something stupid.

Help?
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Allie
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1,000+ Posts

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by Allie on 5/23/2012, 1:49 pm

Well, first off, welcome to the group!!! I understand wanting to help a friend, I have a couple of friends with DID and we find ways to be supportive, but not take care of each other...

But just want to make sure that you are getting support too, and here is a great place to do that, everyone is wonderful,

as for your friend, maybe you could sit down and have a discussion about what you are concerned about and anything she is concerned about?

Not sure if that would be helpful to you or not, just a thought,

Glad you are here, we look forward to getting to know your better!
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krathyn
krathyn
krathyn

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by krathyn on 5/23/2012, 9:04 pm

we have sort of "things that help when you talk to newly diagnosed DID friends" and "things that are not helpful"
They are pretty basic, and the most important thing is to be validating and show your caring as openly as you like.
Newly diagnosed is a difficult stage for many people, so the kinds of supports that are obvious are really appreciated by most.
Things like take her out to eat, offer help with a household chore, do things together that do not "pick" on her. Talk about the DID, if she wants to, in a private place. Get to know the alters and treat each with respect.
Consider the DID as part of the person, very much as hair color.
Some things not to say to your friend? stuff like "get over it already!"
"that happened years ago!" "I can tell when you have switched because you are so nasty then!" References to how fast she should heal are not a good idea, nor are references to improvement due to religion. Everyone heals at different rates.
Healing with DID is often something that will take months or years.



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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sasha69
1,000+ Posts
1,000+ Posts

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by sasha69 on 5/23/2012, 9:51 pm

please be kind to your self, most people do not realise that when they are warn out that they can not be there for the other person either.

there are some books out there that are good to read. the one you may want to check out is . .
The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook by
Deborah Haddock

this book is really good and gives help for both of you and understanding how things work for someone with DID.

the one thing that helped me was having someone do journal of events that helped us to learn that today we are safe and not being hurt.

but doing it based on how comfrotable you two are together.

but the main thing is looking at each other and speaking honestly to each other.

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Guest
Guest

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by Guest on 5/23/2012, 11:16 pm

I agree w/all the previous responses. Read as much as you can, and learn along w/her.
Whatever you do, don't act like she has a contagious disease. Treat her as you always have, and talk about it w/her when she's ready.
What offends me the most is when I e-mail a "friend" or post something about my disorder on FB, and my "friends" will respond to anything BUT what I mentioned, as a way of avoiding or skirting the issue, because THEY are more uncomfortable or more in denial than I am. Remember, take it from "me", that's one of the fastest ways to loose a friend. I removed a whole ton of people (even those I'd known for years) from my friend list, because they'd find plenty of time to post silly sayings, but couldn't respond to a single personal e-mail about my struggles w/DID. Always remember that, even though it may be very awkward for you at times, it's even moreso for her. She's the one living with it. She needs support, and friends that don't enable her to stay in denial, because of their own discomfort w/it.

If she switches alters, then back, you need to alert her of what happened. However, make it brief at first, to "feel out" how comfortable she is about discussing it, but let her know that if it were you, you'd wanna be informed of what happened in a "black out period". Then, leave it at that, unless she wants to discuss more.
When she does switch alters, act like you would if you met a new person. Introduce yourself as her friend and get to know him/her, and let that one know you are safe to be with. Whenever the situation gets uncomfortable (with a new alter) call your friend to come back.

Good luck!
Cathie
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sasha69
1,000+ Posts
1,000+ Posts

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by sasha69 on 5/24/2012, 4:45 pm

I wanted to second that, to what cathy said.

so much truama and abuse can be prevented by being open and honest with each as you both gain confidence in each other.

the biggest hurt and betryal that those within me feel is not being told the truth and then being treated as if we have no long term memiory.

be firm but gentle with each alter that is able to communicate with you.

when different age groups appear dont talk down to them some may still be young but have been that way for a long time.

the hardest part is allowing each part to learn that things are different, that safety can be real.

we did journaling and even did recording to help each other learn about each other. now a days you can vedio tape it.

The one thing we can not stress enough is to let her know that there is no such thing as a "Good Multiply" each of us is unique in our own way!

Pegasusangel
1,000+ Posts
1,000+ Posts

Re: How do I support my friend?

Post by Pegasusangel on 5/24/2012, 5:12 pm

Everybody has given you such great ideas. I can tell you kind of what would help me. If your friend disclosed this diagnosis to you then she really trusts you and wants you to be able to know more about her and her different selves. There is only one friend I have told in depth about what I deal with on a regular basis, plus my therapist. You should definitely help her keep her therapy appointments once a week. You could even help her find a counselor that is just for DID that she can go to and not be doubted about her diagnosis. I am glad to see how hard you are trying to help your friend and for that I am thankful you are in her life. I can understand some of the frustrations you may face as well. Just keep being there for her. Like someone said get to know all her alters, treat them with respect, if you start recognizing them you could see if they are alright with you calling them by name. My alters prefer to be called by their real name because it is really hard for them to answer to my name when someone is talking to them. I also think you should be aware to help her when she is ready be able to find triggers. I do not know any of my triggers, but since I have also been told that I might possibly have DID I have been switching a lot. If your friend asks you to help her connect the dots then help her with what you know. Sometimes blackouts can be very scary and everyone needs to know what is said or done during the time loss. Good luck and I hope you continue to be a great friend to her.

pilly13
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1,000+ Posts

How do I support my friend?

Post by pilly13 on 6/3/2012, 8:24 am

Hello and welcome,

You have already received some wonderful suggestions. What helped me the most was for my support people to treat me normally, basically as they did before(assuming that they were kind and supportive then, of course.) It is important to know the line between support and caretaking. If your friend is ever in crisis, then unless you are her therapist or psychiatrist, you are not in a position to help other than to be there as a friend, and it may become important for you to know and assert your limitations to keep both you and your friend safe. If they are fragile now, just out of the hospital, you may want to have quick access to your local crisis line or the local ER...just in case. If you ever have the honor of meeting an alter, just meet them the way you would anyone else, with acceptance, sincerity and authentic responses appropriate to the personality, genuinely sharing what you have in common. That's how we like to be treated and it is what seems to make our DID friends feel most comfortable. Best of luck. Your friend is blessed to have you.
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