What Does “Slack” Have To Do With Living With DID?

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The concept of “slack” isn’t new.  It isn’t trending or hot either.  It comes more from behavioral economics than from psychiatry.  But it is a valuable concept for anyone seeking healthcare services if they have DID.

WHY?

Because creating slack in your appointments and in your self-care could prevent you from being triggered, help you recover from triggering much faster, and improve the outcomes of your treatment.

Ready to learn more about slack now?

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“Slack” in behavioral economics would be having some extra money or extra time, held in reserve to allow for the shock of an unexpected expense or a meeting that goes over schedule.  Slack in a healthcare appointment looks different, but has the same purpose.  

Here are some examples of building in some slack for appointments when you have DID:

  • You requested the earliest appointment of the day.  Your provider is not exhausted or rushed because they are running late.  You are not exhausted and running late.
  • You work hard to floss and brush as consistently as you can.  Your efforts shorten the amount of time and the amount of force the dental hygienist needs to scrape the tartar off your teeth.  You get compliments on your efforts from them and from your dentist (feels great!) and you get out of that dental office faster and with less pain, because there was less work needed on your teeth.
  • You requested that your provider write out how to take a new medication, and asked them which symptoms indicate that you have to call the office or come back to see them.  You asked which side effects would mean that you shouldn’t take this medication again.  And you asked them if there was anything you should avoid doing while taking this medication.

There are more ways to create slack for healthcare appointments.  Some of them require effort, and some are the best kind of slack:  “crockpot slack”.

What the @#$% is “crockpot slack”?

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Set-it-and-forget-it.

Doing something once, and letting it reap benefits over time, without having to keep working at it.  

An example of this would be having a great first aid kit at home.  Buy it once, and it should contain a lot of what you would need for small illnesses and injuries that happen over a long period of time.  All sitting there, ready to help you out immediately.  If you know where it is and how to use it, then a sudden accident is less likely to be a trigger for you.  You may still have to go to urgent care or even the ER, but you will have had some tools and something you could do to help yourself.  Your actions could have reduced the amount of pain and fear that are natural for anyone in an accident, but are dissociative triggers for trauma survivors.

Want more information on navigating healthcare when you have DID?

 

I wrote a book for you!

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“Staying In The Room:  Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID” is a practical guide to getting the care you deserve with less fear, pain, and struggle.  Readers understand where their reactions are coming from, why the healthcare system isn’t as responsive as they need it to be, and how to empower themselves in appointments.  There are chapters on how to communicate with providers to get better results, how to use stabilization skills more effectively, and how to request that providers adapt their treatments without altering the quality of their care.

“Staying In The Room” is available as an handy e-book and also as a paperback (you know you love to highlight and write in the margins, right?) on Amazon.com

Published by Cathy Collyer

I am a licensed occupational therapist and a licensed massage therapist, in private practice in the NYC area. I have over 25 years of professional experience in adult and pediatric treatment, with a focus on sensory processing issues and treating the consequences of complex trauma. I am the author of four books, including "Staying In The Room: Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID" and "The Practical Guide To Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone". Over the years I have lectured about trauma treatment and pediatric development.

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