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Tulpamancy & Dissociative Identity Disorder: Using the same terms, why?


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I have been in a discussion about using terms that are the same between the Tulpamancy community and the general DID/OS system community with some Tulpamancers and alters. I personally have always felt a bit off about using the same terms that DID/OS-patients use for their disorder. Due to the following reasons: 

 

  • A lot of people with a DID/OS system are not comfortable with having people who choose to have "headmates" to use their language, as it might make them feel as if their disorder is invalidated, which is perfectly understandable.
  • And then the other way around, I don't think Tulpamancers want to be associated with having such a hard and life-changing disorder, and they do not want people to think that they "choose to have a disorder/romanticize such disorders" because Tulpamancy isn't a disorder at all.

I guess we can all agree that we do not want to be mistaken for one another or that we don't want to be (unintentionally) invalidated by the other community.

Because the uneducated do indeed think that Tulpamancy is a system-related disorder but by choice. I have seen people calling their Tulpas alters but stating it was all for fun. Is that an acceptable language for the Tulpamancy community, I wonder?

 

I am not claiming that the DID/OS community has a monopoly over these terms, and I am not suggesting we should change anything, nor am I criticizing anyone over their word choice. I am simply trying to understand things better. I'd like to make an example of why some terms to me don't really make sense to use our community for Tulpamancy.

 

Let's take the word "system" for example, and here are some points as to why I do not believe the word is fit for having several Tulpas in the body:

  • From my perspective: I try my best to use as little words associated with DID/OSDD as possible for the exact fact that Tulpamancy is often misunderstood as a DID/OS system or that we are faking a system in general, so having the same terms feels off.
  • I feel like a group of Tulpas wouldn't be a system because a plurality system is called that way because the alters/headmates need to interact and coordinate to survive. This is something that doesn't happen with Tulpamancy at all, we might have Tulpas interacting, but we are able to do without because it is not a disorder.
  • Therewith also comes the fact that you call a system a system because it is 1 body owned by several people. Because it isn't one person. While tulpamancy can definitely be plurality, you do not refer to a person with Tulpas as a whole like with a system, at least that is not something I have witnessed so far. Cause the Tulpa host will always be themselves, and the Tulpas don't necessarily share that body (they have their own physique, they don't have to live in our world to survive because they are made up).

 

So is the sharing of specific terms between the Tulpamancy community and DID/OS systems just because of a lack of better words? Do any of you want to be associated with DID/OS systems after all? And are the terms used in the community 'official'? (I am simply not educated well enough about the community to know this one). What are you guys' thoughts?

~Kyra (YouTube: Therian Territory)

 

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"Some men see things as they are and say 'why?', 
I dream things that never were and say 'why not?'."

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I don't want to get in over my head on this because I don't know all that much about DID. But I'm going to make a possibly dumb analogy: DIDers are sharks and Tulpamancers are whales, and the ocean is plurality. The shark and the whale may look superficially similar to an ignorant observer and both have similar features; similar body shapes, fins, jaws, teeth, etc, but they are very different creatures. Sharks are fish; they have always lived in the ocean and have never had a choice. But the whales are mammals; they evolved from land creatures. At some point they made the choice of going into the water and becoming aquatic. Does that mean that whales are illegitimate ocean-dwellers just because they have adopted similar attributes to sharks? Should the shark resent the whale's presence in his ocean? I really don't think so. There's enough fish for both to eat.

Phil. 😎 Host of Simmie.

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Stone: Terms like “system” and “headmate” have been used by non-traumagenic systems for a while—before tulpamancy was as popular as it is now. I found this post because I remembered it included some examples. I think that people who feel invalidated by tulpamancy are either misinformed or misguided. They seem to think we are pretending to have DID, which is not the case. I was not thinking about DID when I created Betty and I don’t assume my experiences are similar.

 

I don’t think survival or trauma are what make a group of people who share the same head a system. I think that requirement is arbitrary. I like September13’s example. My own would be: an apple and an orange are not the same fruit, but they are still fruit. Trying to define fruit as “crunchy and sweet” to exclude oranges because oranges are dissimilar to apples is arbitrary.

 

Me and my headmates share our body. Obviously different people have different ways of looking at things. A host may be more attached to the body and see it as “theirs” and if the system is fine with that, then I think that’s fine.

 

”System” is a very useful word if one has more than one tulpa. If it’s just a host and tulpa, “my tulpa and I” can suffice, but I have three headmates so I like the word.

 

Overall I don’t feel like I’m associating myself with people with DID by using certain terms. Also, I know someone who likely has a dissociative disorder (amnesia, dissociation, and other personalities) but is afraid to talk to other people with DID due to the gatekeeping of some people with DID. I haven’t been hurt by gatekeeping because I just stick to spaces that will be cool with me, but this person has. Gatekeepers hurt their own more than they hurt us, and that’s sad.
 

Somewhat related: I’ve seen criticism that the term “tulpa” is culturally appropriative because the term evolved from a term Tibetan monks used. From what I can gather, the term is quite different than the original term, but some argue that it’s misleading to associate our tulpamancy with the practices of those monks. I’m on the fence about this but I think this criticism makes more sense than the “tulpamancy is appropriating DID” criticism, because I’ve actually seen tulpamancers compare what they’re doing to the practices of those monks, whereas I’ve never seen a tulpamancer act like tulpamancy is similar to DID. Curious if you have thoughts on this.

(Different colors were used before July 10th, 2021. Check our profile for dates.)

🌊 Stone uses blue

🔥 Betty uses orange

☁️ Cloud uses gray

🌲 Consigliere uses green

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The only DID-specific terminology that exists is alters. The rest is actually present in general singlet therapeutic psychology language. 

 

To get blunt though, people with DID/OSDD need to be seeking help, rather than forming communities and studying their condition online. It's a simple fact that being around each other is destabilizing for them. They are uniquely suggestible in the hypnotic sense of the word, which is the only real distinction physically between their brains and ours, which allows them to make the same thought constructs more easily and with pathological additions that we have to take drugs or do deep and often long term hypnosis to achieve, such as memory blocks.

 

That is to say nothing of the simple fact that these communities create people with OSDD through methods more similar to tulpamancy, because these communities often spread misinformation that it is only possible to achieve headmates with trauma, despite that being patently incorrect and one of the diagnostic criteria of OSDD-2 being that it's created through long term suggestion, such as with brainwashing by a cult. There is such a thing as OSDD-2 caused by people who are accidentally "faking" DID. These people experience dissociation but are distinct in that they are attached to their diagnosis and often respond to questioning by real therapists with anger that they don't have DID. These, more likely than anything, are likely to be our gatekeepers, because people with DID are far more likely not to like discussing their internal systems. For people with actual DID (which is considered to be trauma-only) I have seen several actively start making "alters" with tulpamancy practices by "searching" for them. Alters such as these are generated only in moments of trauma, but they are indistinguishable from tulpas you think are alters because these brains are already skilled at dissociation from other identities to a pathological level.

 

The idea of a DID/OSDD community is actively an actively harmful place and you shouldn't be indulging it just because of a misguided sense of inclusivity. What you are doing is enabling. DID is not a culture, it's an illness that can be made worse by this kind of group-based narration and personality forcing. And also one that can be recovered from if these people seek help and healing rather than labelling themselves as someone with DID and making it part of their collective identity. 

Zen - Host.

Rhys - Tulpa. Initially a Literary Thoughtform.

If text is uncoloured, presume Zen is talking. We go by he/him.

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There's a lot I could say, but I'm just really tired right now and am not going to mention every point. So even if I didn't respond to something you said, that doesn't mean I agree with it or are fine with it.

 

First- "headmate" and "system" are associated with plurality as a whole and not specific to DID/OSDD. There's really no point in taking terms away from one community just because they are a bit different. Syscourse is dumb and dangerous.

 

I will point out that tulpa systems and any type or origin of system can have DID/OSDD, because DID/OSDD is a way of functioning and not an origin type like many people think it is.

 

17 hours ago, Kyra said:

I feel like a group of Tulpas wouldn't be a system because a plurality system is called that way because the alters/headmates need to interact and coordinate to survive. This is something that doesn't happen with Tulpamancy at all, we might have Tulpas interacting, but we are able to do without because it is not a disorder.

But some people do make tulpas to survive in their own way. A plurality system is not defined by the way headmates interact, and is not necessarily a survival tool. Generally speaking, multiple people in one body = system. That's that. Tulpas are people too, and they are equals with the host, and do share a body with the host. Hosts are headmates too.

 

17 hours ago, Kyra said:

I have seen people calling their Tulpas alters but stating it was all for fun. Is that an acceptable language for the Tulpamancy community, I wonder?

They really should not be, because "alter" is a medical term generally reserved for those who fit the criteria for DID or OSDD.

 

5 hours ago, ZenAndRhys said:

To get blunt though, people with DID/OSDD need to be seeking help, rather than forming communities and studying their condition online. It's a simple fact that being around each other is destabilizing for them.

While I do somewhat agree with the seeking help part, I will say that being around other systems with the same problems that we face makes it easier to find other coping strategies and know you're not alone and are valid. We don't get worse by being around other systems (okay, this is a contradictory point for us, but I'm not going into it unless anyone wants me to). It's super incredibly validating to meet other systems with the same experiences as us.

 

15 hours ago, September13 said:

But I'm going to make a possibly dumb analogy: DIDers are sharks and Tulpamancers are whales, and the ocean is plurality. The shark and the whale may look superficially similar to an ignorant observer and both have similar features; similar body shapes, fins, jaws, teeth, etc, but they are very different creatures. Sharks are fish; they have always lived in the ocean and have never had a choice. But the whales are mammals; they evolved from land creatures. At some point they made the choice of going into the water and becoming aquatic. Does that mean that whales are illegitimate ocean-dwellers just because they have adopted similar attributes to sharks? Should the shark resent the whale's presence in his ocean? I really don't think so. There's enough fish for both to eat.

This is an absolutely amazing analogy! :D

I'm Adagio, a tulpa! I'm part of a very big system. There's three of us using this account right now.

Blue text is a headmate called TGS (their initials). They are currently dormant.

Green text is headmate named Tiki.

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I think this is a really interesting conversation going on here, especially since we have personal experience with it: being friends with multiple DID systems and the reason we call ourselves The Troupe.

I will be using the term endogenic to refer to all plural people who do not have DID or OSDD

I do think it is important to draw a distinction between people with DID or OSDD and endogenic people. The way I see it is that DID and OSDD should be separate from endogenic because they were created under specific circumstances (severe or repeated trauma between the ages of 6 and 9) and cause distress.

This is not to say that endogenic people dont have trauma (believe me :p) it's just that that trauma was either not the sole cause of the system or did not occur during that critical period.

 

On 10/31/2021 at 12:18 PM, Adagio said:

But some people do make tulpas to survive in their own way. A plurality system is not defined by the way headmates interact, and is not necessarily a survival tool

I agree with Adagio a lot but I would like to comment on this point. DID and OSDD systems do split as a means of survival but it is different to creating a tulpa to survive. DID and OSDD splits are unintentional and not caused by any methods relating to tulpas, tulpas on the other hand can be created unintentionally but that is because the person does not realize that's what they are doing. Speaking as the host, I purposefully created my first tulpa to help cope with severe mental disorder. And I personally feel that having a distinction is important.

I also think that having an alternate word for system for endogenic people to use would help with clearing up misinformation and making DID and OSDD systems feel respected. However, as I can't think of a better word to use I will say system when necessary.

Small note: I think we should not refer to OSDD as just OS because other disorders can be other specified

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Romeo- Host

Angela- Tulpa

Razputin- Tulpa

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Just to make this clear-

 

Endogenic does not equal non-disordered.

 

Traumagenic does not equal disordered.

 

DID/OSDD is a way of functioning, specifically, the lack of functioning. It's not an origin term.

 

Endogenic systems can be diagnosed with DID/OSDD. Any origin of system can be diagnosed with DID/OSDD, including tulpa systems.

 

Endogenic, traumagenic, ect. are origins, and have nothing to do with being diagnosed with DID/OSDD. It just happens that traumagenic systems tend to have more distress due to the trauma.

 

And yes, endogenic systems can have trauma, but that trauma didn't play into creating their system, which is why they are called endogenic and not traumagenic.

I'm Adagio, a tulpa! I'm part of a very big system. There's three of us using this account right now.

Blue text is a headmate called TGS (their initials). They are currently dormant.

Green text is headmate named Tiki.

[Progress Report]

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/3/2021 at 11:19 PM, Adagio said:

Just to make this clear-

 

Endogenic does not equal non-disordered.

 

Traumagenic does not equal disordered.

 

DID/OSDD is a way of functioning, specifically, the lack of functioning. It's not an origin term.

 

Endogenic systems can be diagnosed with DID/OSDD. Any origin of system can be diagnosed with DID/OSDD, including tulpa systems.

 

Endogenic, traumagenic, ect. are origins, and have nothing to do with being diagnosed with DID/OSDD. It just happens that traumagenic systems tend to have more distress due to the trauma.

 

And yes, endogenic systems can have trauma, but that trauma didn't play into creating their system, which is why they are called endogenic and not traumagenic.

 

But does that indicate that Tulpamancy does not have to be voluntary? Because that, to my knowledge, is what the core difference was between Tulpamancy and DID/OSSD or any type of traumagenic system. That you decide to create one or more tulpas consciously. 

~Kyra (YouTube: Therian Territory)

 

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"Some men see things as they are and say 'why?', 
I dream things that never were and say 'why not?'."

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(edited)
3 hours ago, Kyra said:

 

But does that indicate that Tulpamancy does not have to be voluntary? Because that, to my knowledge, is what the core difference was between Tulpamancy and DID/OSSD or any type of traumagenic system. That you decide to create one or more tulpas consciously. 

Endogenic is an umbrella term that tulpamancy (aka paragenic/willogenic as far as origins go) would fall under. Endogenic doesn't equal tulpamacy/parogenic/willogenic.

 

Also I don't believe that we indicated that tulpamancy does not have to be voluntary. So. But technically yes, tulpamancy is voluntary. But. I do believe we were talking about endogenic systems in general. I'd also like to note that many people who consider themselves tulpamancers didn't voluntarily create their tulpa. Y'know, there's imaginary-friends-turned-headmates and such.

 

AND! Some DID/OSDD systems started off in roleplay. Like as a child, they'd pretend to be a different person when they went to school vs when they were at home, and then eventually those became alters.

 

Well the core difference between tulpamancy and traumagenic systems are the fact that one was an unconscious response to trauma, and the other is a purposeful thing that you probably knew you were doing (usually, because honestly if you didn't consciously create your tulpa, then they're not really a tulpa and more of just. an endogenic headmate. Which a tulpa is also lol. It's really just whatever terminology you'd like to use in our opinion).

 

Sorry this post is messy and all over the place because my thoughts and I don't get along.

-🐳 (aka I'm not Adagio)

 

Edit: I've found this post about unintentional tulpas, if you're curious.

Edited by Adagio

I'm Adagio, a tulpa! I'm part of a very big system. There's three of us using this account right now.

Blue text is a headmate called TGS (their initials). They are currently dormant.

Green text is headmate named Tiki.

[Progress Report]

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19 hours ago, Adagio said:

Well the core difference between tulpamancy and traumagenic systems are the fact that one was an unconscious response to trauma, and the other is a purposeful thing that you probably knew you were doing (usually, because honestly if you didn't consciously create your tulpa, then they're not really a tulpa and more of just. an endogenic headmate. Which a tulpa is also lol. It's really just whatever terminology you'd like to use in our opinion).

 

In other words one was an unconscious/automatic response trauma, whereas the other is something you have to work at, even if it's not deliberate. One sort of happens, the other you still need to put the work in to create. FAM may have been unintentional, but he didn't just appear out of nowhere one day. He wasn't created with the intention of becoming a Tulpa, he was a character that I put countless hours into for months. I presume imaginary friends also have a lot of effort put into determining who they are, what they like, what they look like and so on. Whereas DID don't really have a say when it comes to their alters, if I'm understanding it correctly? They don't go "my alter is going to be this person, who acts like this" etc.

Etna (she/her) = Host

FAM (he/him) = Tulpa

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