Dissociative Identity Disorder
By. Madison Veltrop
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental condition which produces a lack of connection in a persons thoughts, memories, actions, feelings and sense of identity.
Common Facts about D.I.D.
1. Dissociative Identity Disorder is diagnosed about nine times more in women than in men.
2. Children who suffer from extreme amounts of abuse or PTSD are at a high risk for D.I.D.
3. There is no cure, only treatments on how to live with it.
4. Alters, are the created personalities, and a patient can have as few as 1 and as many as 100.
5. A person can suffer D.I.D. with out ever knowing it.
6. Because there is no specific test to diagnose D.I.D., a medical examiner will preform a medical interview and rule out all other mental disorders.
7. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), is a treatment method that integrates traumatic memories with the patients own resources.
8. D.I.D. is just one of many dissociation disorders.
While the exact number is not known it is thought that D.I.D. is prevalent in about 2-3% of the general population.
- The presence of two or more distinct split identities or personality states that continually have power of the persons behavior
- The inability to recall key events that are too important to forget, or memory fluctuations
Although medication is a treatment option, it is usually avoided if possible due to possible drug abuses or other issues. The medication is not used as a cure but more as a way to mellow the person out and to help prevent other stresses that the person can have like depression or anxiety.
Psychotherapy is the most common treatment and the most effective form of treatment. The goal of Psychotherapy is to integrate the separate personalities into one unified personality. Psychotherapy often involves techniques to work though traumas that act as triggers for symptoms. Treatment may include the following stages; uncovering and/or mapping the alters, treating the traumatic memories or fussing the personalities, and consolidating the newly integrated person.
Hypnosis is a form of treatment that can be used with psychotherapy, and is used to help clients access repressed memories to possibly find a connection to this mental condition. Hypnosis can also be used to control harmful behaviors like self-mutilation or eating disorders. Once they have discovered the repressed memories, they can start looking at ways to work through them.
Because there is such little known about the actual effect on the brain caused by this condition, not much can be found, but because other mental conditions are also affecting people with D.I.D., we can kind of see how it effects the brain. Seen in patients with D.I.D., but also in people with PTSD or abuse histories, are extreme shrinkage of the Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus, and enlargement of the ventricles.
Meet Kim Noble
The story of Kim Noble, a woman who suffers D.I.D., talks about her life and her alters.
Why Raise Awareness?
The causes correlate with childhood abuse and neglect, traumas that no child should have to live with. Dissociative Identity Disorder, is what can happen when the trauma is to much. Awareness needs to be raised to help prevent D.I.D. Stopping abuse, getting people the help they need to be able to live normal lives, is what needs to happen. Not only this, but many people are forced to live with this condition without the proper help they need. People with D.I.D. often have a hard time finding and maintaining jobs. With such little knowledge available, there is not much we can do, but with more support we can find more efficient ways to treat people.