What is Dissociative Identity Disorder
From the movie Split, which demonises DID, to influencers raising awareness about their mental health issues, DID or dissociative identity disorder is gaining more publicity and traction than it ever has previously. DID is a person feeling unsure of their identity as they feel other identities within them. As a result of multiple identities, one may experience gaps in memory as they forget day to day experiences.
Whilst seeing your diagnosis become a familiar topic of conversation amongst your peers is excellent, the negative portrayal of DID through the media can be highly damaging to those who have DID, making them feel dangerous and at high risk to society. If you want to understand more about DID and its development, please continue reading and understand the best treatments.
How does DID develop?
DID often develops due to trauma or abuse in early childhood as a coping method for distancing oneself from trauma. DID is more common in women and can sometimes manifest itself in times of natural disaster. As many as 99% of individuals with DID admit to having experienced trauma before six years old!
What are the symptoms of DID?
Someone with DID has two or more distinct identities or ‘alters’; alters are that person’s alternate identities, with some people having up to one hundred alters! For example, a person’s change could be a different gender, ethnicity and interest; each one is unique in its way.
Other common symptoms of DID include:
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
These symptoms co-occur from past trauma experienced victims and should also receive treatment alongside DID with a professional therapist.
Coping with DID
Suppose you have recently been diagnosed with DID. In that case, you might be feeling afraid or worried about how to fit in amongst society, especially when you see your mental health issues become villainised through the media.
By talking to a therapist such as myself can help you understand your diagnosis and work through the cause of DID. Whilst there is no ‘cure’ for DID, it can be constructive to work through what triggers your DID and the switch in identity. The goal is to combine the individual alters into one individual personality that can recognise and control the triggers.
DID manifests itself through trauma, anxiety, and depression; it is crucial to consult a therapist to tackle these co-occurring issues and learn to understand DID and live with it. In addition, those who have DID and have started exhibiting violent behaviour or suicidal thoughts should consult a professional therapist immediately to work past these issues. Don’t allow DID to control you; instead, learn how to control your disorder.
If you are a parent concerned with your child’s behaviour, it is essential to pay attention to the symptoms and take them to seek professional help as soon as possible. The sooner a victim receives support after their trauma; the less likely DID will continue to develop and progress.
Those with DID need to have a secure support system through friends, family, and healthcare providers. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your mental condition means supporting you and understanding what triggers identity change. If you would like to speak to a therapist more about DID, then don’t hesitate to contact me.
I can listen and help you understand the root of your trauma and how your DID manifests to allow you to fuse your multiple identities as a means of retaking control over yourself. It is possible to live with DID and feel as though you are still in control of your body; you may need a little extra support in getting there.