The goal of treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder is usually to integrate the personalities into a single personality. More on the treatment guidelines for Dissociative Identity Disorder in this article.
How is Dissociative Identity Disorder treated?
The therapist seeks to make contact with as many alters as possible and to understand their roles and functions in the patient's life. In particular, the therapist seeks to form an effective relationship with any personalities that are responsible for violent or self-destructive behavior, and to curb this behavior. The therapist seeks to establish communication among the personality states and to find ones that have memories of traumatic events in the patient's past.
The goal of treatment is usually to integrate the personalities into a single personality. However, integration of personalities is not always possible. In these situations, the goal is to achieve a harmonious interaction among the personalities that allows more normal functioning.
Drug therapy can relieve some specific coexisting symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, but does not affect the disorder itself.
Psychotherapy is often arduous and emotionally painful. The person may experience many emotional crises from the actions of the personalities and from the despair that may occur when traumatic memories are recalled during therapy. Several periods of psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary to help the person through difficult times and to come to grips with particularly painful memories. Generally, two or more psychotherapy sessions a week for at least 3 to 6 years are necessary. Hypnosis may be helpful.
The prognosis of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder depends on the symptoms and features they experience. For example, people who have additional serious mental health disorders, such as personality disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders, have a poorer prognosis.
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