Frequently Asked Questions
Thanks for stopping by! This is a conglomeration of questions that we have been asked over the years, most of which have been asked multiple times by those around us. So we decided to put them all together in this FAQ. If there is anything you want more of an explanation on anything, or have your own questions, just send us a message!
Mental Health and DID Questions
We want to create a safe place for everyone, especially those that have not felt heard or feel like their struggles are impossible to overcome. We want to show personal, real-life examples and outlooks on our struggles and help inspire others to get through their struggles. If we can make one person smile or save one soul, we have done our job.
Professional Diagnosis vs Self Diagnosis
Professional: Also commonly referred to as prof-dx. Can range from a verbal confirmation of an individual’s suspected disorder to an official diagnosis confirmed by a team of therapists.
Self: Also commonly referred to as self-dx. This is when a person is suspecting that they might have a disorder, but they have not seen a professional yet or are still working out possibilities with their professional.
Being diagnosed in general is also sometimes shown as “dx’d”
According to the American Psychology Association, “Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is. This is a normal process that everyone has experienced. Examples of mild, common dissociation include daydreaming, highway hypnosis or ‘getting lost’ in a book or movie, all of which involve ‘losing touch’ with awareness of one’s immediate surroundings.
During a traumatic experience such as an accident, disaster or crime victimization, dissociation can help a person tolerate what might otherwise be too difficult to bear. In situations like these, a person may dissociate the memory of the place, circumstances or feelings about the overwhelming event, mentally escaping from the fear, pain and horror. This may make it difficult to later remember the details of the experience, as reported by many disaster and accident survivors.”
Everyone experiences and has experienced some form of dissociation during their life. What makes it a disorder is the cause of the dissociation (I.E. watching a movie/reading a book vs some sort of trauma inducing event).
Dissociative Identity Disorder and it has formerly been known as Multiple Personality Disorder. It was reclassified from a personality disorder to a core identity disorder after more research was done into it.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), DID is defined as follows: “Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, this disorder is characterized by alternating between multiple identities. A person may feel like one or more voices are trying to take control of their head. Often these identities may have unique names, characteristics, mannerisms, and voices. People with DID will experience gaps in memory of everyday events, personal information, and trauma. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, as they more frequently present with acute dissociative symptoms. Men are more likely to deny symptoms and trauma histories, and commonly exhibit more violent behavior, rather than amnesia or fugue states. This can lead to a false-negative diagnosis.”
That being said, it can manifest and present in millions of different ways. Each persons’ DID is not the same, and they do not deal with it in the same way. For example, we have excellent communication within our collective. This makes it easier for us to deal with stressful or traumatic situations. This also makes it so that we do not have that many gaps in memory on a daily basis and we are easily able to pull someone out and have someone else take control depending on the situation.
We enjoy using less clinical definitions as well. So we see it as simply a coping mechanism for some sort of extreme trauma or ongoing stressor that was imposed upon us as a very young child. We also like explaining it as a toolkit or a tool on our toolbelt. Our therapist has even said that it is “a healthy way for the brain to deal with extreme trauma or ongoing stressors.”
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) the causes are “Dissociative disorders usually develop as a way of dealing with trauma. Dissociative disorders most often form in children exposed to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Natural disasters and combat can also cause dissociative disorders.”
As more research is done and more of us come out and seek help and speak out about our experiences, it becomes clear that there are other causes as well. Long-term isolation or neglect can cause this, as well as living in a turbulent and chaotic environment (as a young child) of any kind.
Sure, see our DID Glossary of Terms. There are way too many things to list under one question. Note that these are terms that we have personally come across and/or identify with. This is not a full list of the potential terms as that would require a text book.
There are 9 of us currently. You can find out more information about each of us here.
Back in high school, and through to the first year of college, we had a concurrent total of 39 personas (one of which was Alex).
Any type of triggering, stressful, overwhelming event can cause our subconscious to create a new one or awaken a dormant one. They would appear to give us more support as a collective or to fulfill some kind of need. More information can be found in our Glossary.
The stressor, trigger, or feeling of being overwhelmed goes away, our subconscious determines that they are no longer needed, or our environment or situation in life changed. More information can be found in our Glossary.
For the most part we can due to the level of communication within our collective. When we are not overly stressed or unstable, switches are very well controlled. If we are stressed or unstable or not in a good headspace, this can cause rapid switching. More information can be found in our Glossary.
We know or recognize some triggers before they happen. Other times we can feel ourselves getting triggered and try to mitigate it. However, some triggers are unexpected or unknown and this can easily cause switching or rapid switching. More information can be found in our Glossary.
We are working on something special for this and trying to describe it. More information can be found in our Glossary.
This is different for everybody as everyone has experienced some level of dissociation at one point or another. There are also multiple mental health disorders that have different kinds of dissociation. This is how it is for us.
Dissociation is intense. Depending on what causes it, it may only effect the one who happens to be in control or it can effect those that are also close to the one in control. Those that it affects kinda just go into a different space in our mind and become unaware of what is going on internally and externally. From the outside, it looks very similar to when someone is intensely focused on something or staring off into space. This makes it hard for outsiders to tell what is happening.
More information can be found in our Glossary.
Nothing really solid before college. High school is spotty and vague, but some memories exist from that time period. There is absolutely no memories before high school.
We cannot speak on this as we do not remember, but from talking to our parents and family, we did not really have any prominent imaginary friends that stood out.
This depends on our mental state and such. Artemis especially has an excellent memory; however, if something triggers us or we begin rapid switching or we are generally unstable, we will have small memory gaps. We do not experience large memory gaps often though. More information can be found in our Glossary.
One of the personas started a journal and everyone added their info to it. We were in high school when there were 39 of us. At that time, it looked like everyone had different birthdays and vastly different and wide-ranging personality traits and quirks. Without this journal, we would’ve never known about each other and any previous ones.
This is an interesting question. The short answer is yes, but generally only 1 or 2 people can be in the front of the house and in control of the body at once. Any one of us can project our energy outwards and leave the body and go for a walk or play outside and such; however, this does not allow us to physically interact with the world around us, its merely a means of getting us out of the inner world (our mind) and keeping ourselves or others (like the littles) from going stir crazy. More information can be found in our Glossary.
For us, as long as the persona in control is the one that is sleeping, the body will sleep. The other personas do not have to be asleep, but they do have to refrain from taking control. This has led to some sleeping issues in the past, for us, but we have been working on this and been getting healthier amounts of sleep.
On the flip side, any of the other personas can be asleep while the body is awake. As long as the persona in control is the one that is awake, everyone else can be asleep. This helps especially if one of us is tired but we have stuff we need to do. We can switch places and take a nap while someone else is in control.
Something that works occasionally is if someone is asleep and the body needs to sleep, we can switch with them and they body will fall asleep. This is difficult to do while the other persona is sleeping, hence its lack of effectiveness.
Up until this year, Lex was frozen at the age of 5. This year, he turned 6 on our birthday. This could’ve been random and he is now frozen at 6 or he could continue to age. It is hard to tell what will happen.
Artemis, Des, Xavier, and Eva all age when Alex and the body does. They are all different ages (see our About Us page).
Lyra and the Twins did not age this year. However, like Lex, they could be frozen at their respective ages or they could randomly age in the future (see our About Us page).
More information can be found in our Glossary.
Some variations of us in the past did not (there have been a few mental restructures), but we currently all do. It is the same as Alex’s, just different years. The years are not entirely accurate as some of us are frozen (temporarily or permanently) at our respective ages (see our About Us page).
Generally Alex (the core/host Persona), Artemis, Des or Lyra are the ones that are out most frequently. Lex likes to come out if there are animals or kids or sugar involved. Eva and Xavier pop out from time to time. The twins are a bit too shy and tend to just observe, preferring to people watch (see our About Us page).
This comes with time. Each of us has our own traits and quirks. Once you pick up on them, it is easy to see who is out. Even when there are a few of us in the front room.
Some things can affect everyone, but in different ways. What affects us the most are extremes. If Alex is super depressed, angry, or overwhelmed, this will bleed over to the rest of us until he stabilizes. However, the same goes for if he is super energetic, happy, or excited.
Alex has depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, and cPTSD.
Artemis has OCD, but is rather stable otherwise.
Des gets irritated easily.
Lyra is a social justice warrior and is both upset and angered by social injustice and political turmoil.
Eva and Xavier are very level headed, not easily overwhelmed or aggravated.
Lex and the Twins are innocent and energetic. They do not experience any of our negative emotions (minus disappointment if they do not get ice cream or something every time they want some).
Yes, we get into small disagreements or arguments from time to time, but we generally work it out rather quickly. There are rare occasions where one of us will do something really dumb or make a big mistake. That usually causes conflicts that last a few days at most, but even then we talk it out in the end and work through it.
Dungeons and Dragons Questions
Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a fantasy, role-playing, create your own adventure, table top (sometimes) game. There is a Dungeon Master/Game Master (DM/GM) and they take you through pre-written or their own (homebrewed) scenarios, stories, adventures, and worlds. The players create their own characters (PC’s) and are lead through an adventure. All outcomes are decided on the characters dice rolls.
Example: You are sitting at a table in your local tavern with your party. You hear something outside. Roll a perception dice check (DC). You roll a d20 and add your Wisdom modifier. You roll a 14 + 3 for a 17. You hear someone screaming for help outside of the tavern. What do you do? You decide to get up and go outside to see what is going on. As you get outside you see a group of bandits terrorizing the town.
From there, you would make more decisions and rolls to determine the outcome of those decisions. You could help, flee, hide, whatever you wanted to do.
D&D is one of many Table Top Role Playing Games (ttrpg). It is arguably the most well-known and popular. Ttrpg’s are what the DM/GM and PC’s make of them. They all involve the randomness of a dice roll and some form of role-playing. Players make their PC’s and go through an adventure. Some ttrpgs are more realistic and others are more fantasy-based.
No, not at all. If you want the basics, you can also buy the Players Handbook (PHB) and a set of dice. If you are looking to be a DM/GM you may also want the Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG) and the Monster Manual along with a few sets of dice.
You can forego the dice for online dice rollers, and you can find most resources for free online if you want to try it out before spending any money. You can also find a DM/GM that has the resources and ask to start or join a game with them. Don’t let money stop you from having fun!
This is much easier than you may think. You can ask around your friends, family, or co-workers and see if any of them would be interested. You can easily find local groups through Facebook or on other social media platforms. You can also find a community to become a part of, get involved, and join a game or start a game with them.
No, not that kind of dungeon master. A DM/GM is the individual in charge of running the game. They manage all aspects of the game, all outcomes of the PC’s actions, and help guide the PC’s through the story.
Easy, all you need is the Dungeon Masters Guide, some dice, and an adventure to run. You can buy these or use digital tools and resources. Then you just need to find some players and off you go! Don’t stress about the details all that much, just focus on having fun and making it fun for your players. You also do not have to have all the answers, you can easily find answers to the things you do not know with a quick search online.
Everyone enjoys, plays, and runs ttrpg’s differently. Some groups prefer to use their imagination and role-playing only which leads to a very story focused game. Others like having the visual of an actual map or virtual map, takes more time as a DM/GM, but is very worth it. Bottom line: you do not need an actual gameboard. If you want to use your imagination, that’s fantastic.
Virtual gameboards (or virtual tabletops – VTT’s) have the advantage of being able to be played with anyone from anywhere. Players can connect with their DM/GM from their own home or from their laptop if they are traveling. This offers an advantage over physical tabletop since everyone has to be together.
There are many VTT’s on the market. We use AboveVTT since we solely play D&D 5e. It is easily integrated into DnDBeyond, so everything is in one place.
Other popular ones are Foundary and Roll20. Both can be used for other systems, not just D&D 5e.
This is totally okay! Everyone has different imaginations, what really matters is if they are all having fun and if the story points are getting across. Having physical or virtual visual aids can help have a more uniform image; but as long as everyone is having fun and the story is making sense, this is not 100% needed.
Once your start doing it, it becomes easier. You don’t really need to act (you can). You just need to imagine what is happening and apply how your character would react. Imagine being your character in this world and saying what they would.
This is generally the “first session” of an adventure. It is really the pre-session before any adventuring takes place. This is where the players and the DM get together and hash out their characters together. The DM introduces the world and any important aspects thereof. Players can link their characters together with their backstories. This is also where rules and guidelines are put in place. Some groups have homebrewed rules to make the game more interesting. There are also “table etiquette” rules that can be discussed here. These are the rules for being “at the table” (or in a virtual sense, part of the voice/video chat). This is to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcomed without having any negative behaviors that affect everyone’s fun.
At our “table” (we run a virtual game) we give players a warning for breaking a rule. If it gets broken again, they are removed from the game. We have only had to remove a player once. However, the rest of our players got significantly better after the removal of the one. Sometimes, you cannot excuse bad behavior. It is your game and your table, therefore your rules. Your goal is to have fun, but it is also to enforce these pre-spoken rules to that everyone else can have fun too.
This is part of (or before) session 0. A player will decide what race and class (or classes) they want their character to be. They will then roll dice for things like their abilities and health. They will choose starting equipment and gold. Then they decide on their characters’ backstory and identifying features.
We usually have our players make their characters before session 0. This way we can work with them closely and find out more detailed aspects of their characters’ backstory and motivations. It makes it easier for us to integrate this into our story if we know these details. Then session 0 is used for the final housekeeping of characters and overall rules and such.
Every DM/GM and every party has their own way of doing it. This is ours, but you can find what works for you and your players.
We make sure to tell our players a bit about the world so they have an idea. We also let them have freedom with their backstories so that we can form the grey areas of the world around their character. This makes them feel more integrated into the world and helps with overall fun and immersion. If you have questions about the world you are creating a character for, talk to your DM/GM.
Short answer, you don’t. However, a backstory helps you know and remember what your character is about and it helps your DM/GM integrate them into the world. Your characters alignment is not as important, but if you are a new player or DM/GM, alignment helps you determine how your character or NPC (non-player characters) would respond to certain situations. They are both great to have from both a player and DM/GM standpoint, but are not necessary at all.
We require our players to have back stories of at least a paragraph. Alignment is less important to us because good/evil can be subjective. Neutrality and Lawful is important, but other than that, a good backstory will fill in all other details.
Combat is turned based. There are as many turns as there are creatures in the encounter plus the players. Each round is after everyone has taken their turn. Every round is 6 seconds (because there are 10 rounds per minute). At the start of combat, everyone rolls initiative (d20 + dexterity modifier). This determines the turn order. If there is a tie, who ever has the higher dexterity score goes first on that turn.
Initiative determines the turn order for combat. It uses a characters dexterity modifier along with a d20 roll.
Certain classes and races have access to spells. There are multiple types of casters. As you level up you gain access to more spell slots of various levels. This determines what kind of spells you can cast. On top of this, spellcasters have a specific ability that they use for spellcasting purposes (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma).
The modifier of this ability is added to their proficiency bonus to determine various features for their spells. Features such as bonuses to attacks or an ability saving throw that is used to determine if a creature is affected by a spells ill-effects or not.
There is a lot more to spells that can be found online or in the PHB or DMG. Too much to answer in a single question.