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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1372
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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Partner alters speak to me (thru closed lips and whispers)

Customer Question

Partner alters speak to me (thru closed lips and whispers) while he sleeps...it's been every night for 3 months. I've met many alters, most are children but some from when he left home and joined the military at 17-18. Last night a voice that says he's my partner says he is no longer in the head with the rest of the system, that he is in the right arm at the shoulder (the pit area?) and needs to come back. He asks me for my forgiveness for going away when he got angry with me because I was frustrated that we weren't having sex anymore. Note - at this time I didn't know anything about his DID. I thought he was hiding an affair or something, so I was hurt, angry and blunt. It wouldn't have been odd for most men to have these questions of fidelity, but it must've crushed him. I never knew he fractured, just thought he didn't desire me anymore. Is all of this about being "outside his head" real? It is definitely his voice, unlike the others who have their own identities. How do I help him?? So worried. BTW, he doesn't speak of this while awake.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I can tell you that outside of the head is not real as all of the alters encompass the same mind, just at different times and in different responses to specific situations as well. I am not sure why your husband said that, but it could have been an alter using his voice and many alters do not use a different voice or it is possible your husband is just confused as DID can be disorienting for some. May I ask, is your husband currently seeking treatment and if so what type of treatment?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
His 18 year old alter acted this out in my presence while slurring and he sounded drugged. He says he refuses psychological treatment for this forever because while in VietNam at 18, he had a stress breakdown related to repeated childhood rape and daily beatings by his stepfather as a small child with no one to save him. I assume that one of his child alters came out while he was in the military hospital and strapped down. Instead of helping him, one or more of the nurses or orderlies orally raped and sodomized him, and he couldn't escape. The more he protested the longer they kept him. One nurse told him that if he gave the nurse oral sex voluntarily, they would have him released home that day. He did it, then the nurse told him he lied, and that he must be gay since he actually did it. He was eventually released in 1971 as unfit for duty.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I know you want to help your husband, but you have to understand that DID is a very complicated disorder with a controversial history and treatment presence as most researchers and psychologists/psychiatrists cannot agree on any form of treatment to help a patient. But there is a consensus that most people with DID who are not in treatment never recover and will worsen as they age. I would recommend taking your husband to a psychologist that specializes in DID as the combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Hypnotherapy and/or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) may be employed as a way to help process the traumas in his past and lessen the presence of the alters or in a sense reuniting them to one functioning personality/identity. A psychiatrist can also be used for medication management to help lessen comorbid disorders like PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), etc... because when his stressors are lessened than typically the alters will not be present as much. Remember you are only his partner, not his mental health professional so taking him to see the right professional for treatment is going to be paramount here. If he has a heart disorder you would take him to see a cardiologist, same applies here except the problem lies in the most complicated part of his body which is the brain.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I understand your position, being in the profession, but disagree for the most part with the plan of action (at this time). If most researchers and psychologists/psychiatrists cannot agree on any form of treatment to help a patient, how are they more able than someone he actually trusts? If I could actually get him to seek professional help, and based on what happened to him why would he want to subject these children to a similar atmosphere of trauma at this early stage? It would be a serious betrayal and he might never trust ME again. I don't think he would consolidate all of his alters or mess with them in any way, except to reduce their distress. He told me that he relies on the "creative parts" of him to inspire him in his work as an art director. I think he means that he knows he split from the core personality and wants to come back but doesn't know how.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not sure you can help.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

The reason that specific treatment for DID has not been well established is because this is a complicated and controversial disorder so typically the behavioral therapy approaches are more eclectic and vary depending on the person. If you just want to focus on what you can do as a layperson for your husband, I would recommend continuing to reassure him that you are always there for him, write small notes in the morning or send random text messages during the day to see how he is doing or just because you were thinking of him. This will lessen his stress about you and will consider you more of a consistent presence in his life which will cause him not to worry about the relationship you have and will also lessen the chance for the alters to appear because of the relationship...alters may still appear at random or in response to other outside stressors, but that is beyond your or his control. Another thing that may be an option would be to consider adding either Valerian Root or Picamilon to his day time regimen as these are natural supplements that can lessen anxiety/stress which will lessen the presence of the alters. Obviously treatment is not an option here as therapy for DID takes on average 2-5 years to be successful, but lessening his overall distress and dissociation would be ideal and these tips could help him.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
>>>Is there a way I can get my conversation removed?<<< He might do a search and see himself in it. What was I thinking??! This is stupid and I am NOT getting the specific help I asked for. This is just some gimmick by a corporation that tricked me into paying for "professional advice" that was never designed to address the actual issue. Further, how can I really express something personal if you plan to post it for the world to see? I dislike this whole thing. Confidentiality is paramount to healing, so this is a scam.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

You can contact customer service regarding your dissatisfaction and a refund. This is only a Q&A service, not a treatment service and what your husband needs is systematic treatment, once you and he realize that then he will be able to heal and move forward. Good luck to both of you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't care about the refund. I want the conversation removed since you didn't help and can only hurt by publicizing it.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

I have no control over the conversation being public, as that was in the disclaimer before you posted your question. You can ask customer service to remove it from public view though, but individual experts have no control over what is posted to the public. I am sorry you felt I was not of help, but like I said only systematic treatment can help your husband and I think you misunderstood the nature of how this Q&A website works.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I see that you deleted my previous questions and can pick and choose what you want the public to see. How can they trust that?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Again experts have no control of what the website posts or not, that is up to the administration of the website, not the individual experts. I see no previous questions in your history, maybe you had a different account before.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Please remove this entire conversation.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Once again, you will have to contact customer service regarding the removal of an entire conversation.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Nope. It was edited. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 9 months ago.

Well I have no control over what questions were removed or not as that is beyond the power of an expert on this website. Please consult with customer service and for your husband consult with an individual psychologist in your area regarding treatment.

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