DID PTSD Dissociation vs Alter switching


If you have alters or parts, how would you describe your switching amongst parts separately from PTSD specific dissociation? We had an intense experience in therapy today where we almost blacked out and one side of the body went totally numb, and we are trying to figure out if this was a part trying to take over the body or just a fear reaction due to triggering the PTSD. We had to do a lot of grounding, and we asked the gatekeeper part to bring further back anyone that was trying to come out. Me as the host is not ready to give up total control like that but I am seeking information to understand if that's what a "full switch" can be like.
I am brand new to this so take anything I say with a lot of grains of salt. I am currently tapering off a high dose of a typical antipsychotic (I was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic/schizoaffective/bipolar for 13 years, I don’t actually have any of those). I’m now 50% off that med. What I’m finding is that a lot of dissociative symptoms are coming out, which were the reason I was misdiagnosed in the first place. I have parts (OSDD-1b type most likely, though I’m not diagnosed with a dissociative disorder, and some of the parts experience DP/DR symptoms in addition.)
When I “switch” it is usually a younger part that comes forward and is in partial control while the adult “me” is kind of watching from behind a glass wall. I can see and hear what my body is saying and doing but I am not able to control it. I don’t usually lose time although sometimes I do. Usually I remember what other parts said and did, sometimes vividly but usually as if it was a dream or it happened to someone else (cause it did). There are a lot of child parts under 10. There is at least 1-2 teenager parts, and a few adults of different ages, and an “introject part” that acts and says things that one of my psychological abusers used to say and do, but after years of fighting “him” I recently found out that she’s actually a very scared, very hurt, very young little girl with a huge vocabulary, who is presenting as a big scary adult to protect me/“us”. I digress but I hope this is even a tiny bit helpful. This is all very new for me because the medication suppressed the parts almost completely but also halted my recovery.

Simply Simon

I was going to write a response about my experience with this when I re-examined the title and stopped.

Is it helpful or even “correct” to describe alter switching and dissociation as separate, really? I see them as the same symptom with different degrees and permutations. I have lost time while “switching”/there’s a takeover, and I have lost time doing what I dubbed “the wax statue,” where I’m physically frozen and totally ‘gone.’ I see them as different permutations of dissociation that is a severe enough degree to lose time and control, not separate.

I also would like to echo the recommendation of journaling. As a kid, I would compartmentalized myself into characters who would discuss things on the page with each other. Everyone had a voice. It was really helpful. It cut down on chatter during my daily activities.


I am very new to this forum, too, and somewhat new to my diagnosis. I don't think I've had a partial switch as you describe, but if I can not switch when a part wants to be in front or when they are trying to talk to me internally but I cannot hear them, I get an excruciating headache. I was diagnosed 3/4 DID (whatever that means) and am considered co-concious. I suppose I could have been diagnosed DDNOS but do experience a little time loss. I switch all the time (3 to 4 times a half hour or more) and have no control over my switches yet. All of my parts are me at differnet ages. I describe my parts as being in the back, present with me, or completely in front. So, I can remember that I'm driving to the store, but 2 hours later couldn't tell you the roads I took to get there as another part was in front doing the driving and I was present but couldn't speak, use my body, etc. It causes my memory to be shot even when I'm in front.
Some speak of having a gatekeeper that allows parts in front or not. Has that gatekeeper always been there or did it develop over time?