Co-Consciousness #SoCS

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) is “Co-“. I immediately thought of co-consciousness. This is a term in the DID (dissociative identity disorder) / multiple personality community referring to more than one personality sharing memories or other information. It is often desired as a goal in treatment. Another one is cooperation, in which alters are able to work together for the betterment of the entire system of personalities and the body.

Co-consciousness is often implied to mean a system has less severe dissociation. I mean, since amnesia (inability to recall important information) is a criterion for DID, technicallyy those who are fully co-conscious cannot be diagnosed with DID. Then again, there are a lot of degrees of amnesia. For example, one is time loss, where someone “wakes up” to discover their alter has done something they have no recollection of. However, identity amnesia also counts, where a person forgets their name, age, etc. Loss of skills also counts, where a person cannot for example ride a bicycle or car when a young alter is out in the body.

There is also this phenomenon called emotional amnesia. I have yet to find out more about it, as it seems to be very common in our experience. For example, last Wednesday, we were aggressive. Though I do know that we kicked a wall, I do not actually remember it or the feeling attached to it. That belongs to one of the other personalities.

We do aim to share information amongst ourselves. However, usually we cannot all be present at the same time. That is, of course we can, in that we’re all in this body and when for example I give someone my hands, another alter cannot be simultaneously holding our hands over our ears. That’s what our psychiatrist explained last year and it was so fundamentally new to us!

Co-consciousness and cooperation can be an end goal in DID treatment, but some systems choose to merge or integrate. There are also different degrees of integration or so I understand. I recently joined a support group on Facebook specifically for DID systems looking to integrate, even though that’s always been a very scary idea to most of us. It feels as though we’re getting rid of some of us, when really all of us are part of this system, inhabit this body.

As a side note, I can totally understand most regular #SoCS readers cannot fathom the concepts I just wrote about. I was even once told by people in a Dutch DID community that I knew too much for someone who’d only been diagnosed for a few months, when I mentioned the term “co-consciousness”. Clearly those people had never ventured out into the English-speaking DID community.

6 thoughts on “Co-Consciousness #SoCS

  1. “Clearly those people had never ventured out into the English-speaking DID community.”

    No, they hadn’t.

    Or if they had they hadn’t gone there in the last 25 years.

    I remember when co-consciousness was still shiny and new – and yet so very possible.

    That moment when you all discovered that other alters could not hold hands over ears – not even in the mind you share.

    That really says a lot about consent and agreement/permission.

    Is Jace the keeper of the wall-banging? Or someone else?

    “However, identity amnesia also counts, where a person forgets their name, age, etc. Loss of skills also counts, where a person cannot for example ride a bicycle or car when a young alter is out in the body.”

    Yes – loss of skills. The car and bicycle example is understandable. And Milou, for instance, can she ride a bike?

    Hope you do find out more about emotional amnesia.

    My feeling is that it’s connected to alexithymia [the part where you can’t name your feelings].

    On the other side – lots of memories I only remember by feel – usually humiliation or injustice. This is when my mind goes away and my body stays [is enforced to stay].

    Yes – integrating would be like losing a friend or having a friend move away – if you have that type of relationship with any/all of the alters.

    Who tends to work well within the system?

    Liked by 1 person

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