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DID and DBT: Use Distress Tolerance Skills for Dissociation

DID and DBT: Use Distress Tolerance Skills for Dissociation

Though DID is not primarily treated with dialectical behavior therapy, DBT distress tolerance skills can be especially useful in decreasing symptoms. Learn how.

While dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) isn’t the primary treatment option for dissociative identity disorder (DID), there are skills within DBT, like distress tolerance skills, that can help people manage their dissociation symptoms. These skills come in handy in a crisis or when we feel ourselves heading towards dissociation. So how do you use the distress tolerance skills of DBT for the dissociation of DID?

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Signs and Symptoms of Dissociation Aren’t Always So Obvious

Signs and Symptoms of Dissociation Aren’t Always So Obvious

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) and other dissociative disorders go hand-in-hand with signs and symptoms of dissociation. You can find these signs of dissociation included in many lists, and in books like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). But symptoms of dissociation aren’t always so black and white. The reality of dissociation goes beyond the obvious signs and symptoms of dissociation that you read about.  So what is dissociation really like?

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Is Dissociation a Dysfunction or a Positive Coping Skill?

Is Dissociation a Dysfunction or a Positive Coping Skill?

Dissociative disorders are described as having dissociation as a dysfunction that impairs living life in some way. But is that always the case? While some view dissociation as a dysfunction, many view dissociation as a positive coping mechanism that actually helps them get through the day (What Is Dissociation? Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment). For them, dissociation is the very thing that allows them to function. So is dissociation really dysfunction?

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I Think I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder – What’s Next?

I Think I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder – What’s Next?

A dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis doesn’t always come as a surprise. You start out by ignoring DID signs and symptoms, until they can no longer be ignored. So you start searching online, and find out many of your symptoms fit with dissociation, and this disorder called DID. It can be overwhelming and confusing. So what should you do if you think you have dissociative identity disorder?

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When Dissociative Identity Disorder and Depression Coincide

When Dissociative Identity Disorder and Depression Coincide

Many people with dissociative identity disorder (DID) experience symptoms of depression. Sometimes, the depressive symptoms are minor and intermittent. Other times, the symptoms are substantial enough to result in an additional diagnosis of a depressive disorder. In either case, depressive symptoms can have a significant impact on those with DID, and can make living with DID a little more complex.

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Suicide Risk in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Suicide Risk in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Suicide risk in dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a significant concern (Facts About Suicide). People with DID have one of the highest risks for suicide. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), more than 70% of outpatients with DID have attempted suicide, and multiple suicide attempts are common (What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?). What causes this increased suicide risk in DID, and can it be prevented?

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Living with DID: Why I Can’t Just Get Over It

Living with DID: Why I Can’t Just Get Over It

I am living with dissociative identity disorder and I can’t just “get over it.” Would you tell someone with diabetes to “just get over it?” Dissociative identity disorder (DID) and other mental illnesses are illnesses. They all have causes, treatments, and greatly affect the individuals that have them. Mental illness is not a choice. It cannot be switched off and on at will. No one can wake up and decide they aren’t going to be mentally ill that day. So why do some people expect those with mental illnesses like DID to just get over it?

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Hearing Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Hearing Voices in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) includes the experience of hearing voices, medically referred to as auditory hallucinations. This is also a common symptom in several other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The experience of hearing voices in DID is quite different from the experience of hearing voices in other disorders, however, and the causes and treatments are not the same.

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Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder: An Ongoing Journey

Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder: An Ongoing Journey

Life with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a journey full of new discoveries, growth and understanding. It is also a journey full of denial, confusion, and pain. Just when you think you have a grasp on life with DID, something (a new alter, or a new memory, perhaps) comes along and shakes everything up. Life with DID can be a difficult journey, but it’s not an impossible one.

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What Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder Feel Like

What Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder Feel Like

While the experience of alters becomes the norm when you have dissociative identity disorder (DID), it can be difficult for those without the disorder to understand what the experience of having alters in DID is like. To continue with Mental Health Month and the #mentalillnessfeelslike campaign, I asked a group of people with DID to describe how it feels to have alters. Here is a glimpse of what it feels like.

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