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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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Reduce Stress at a Doctor’s Office when Living with DID

Reduce Stress at a Doctor’s Office when Living with DID

Managing medical issues with dissociative disorders can include reducing stress at a doctor’s office. Doctors and hospitals can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, which can increase dissociation. For some, medical issues can even be a trigger of past trauma. So what can you do to stay healthy, manage medical issues and reduce stress at a doctor’s office with a dissociative disorder?

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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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Handling Holiday Stress with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Handling Holiday Stress with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but when you have dissociative identity disorder (DID), handling holiday stress can be especially overwhelming. Anniversary reactions, sensory overload, and boundary violations are common stressors for those with DID, and are most prevalent around the holidays. It may feel overwhelming, but there are ways to handle the holiday stress when you have DID.

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When Dissociative Identity Disorder System Parts Are Unknown

When Dissociative Identity Disorder System Parts Are Unknown

There can be a lot of unknowns in dissociative identity disorder (DID), including what parts make up your DID system. While some people with DID seem to know everything about their alters, there are others with who don’t even know how many parts they have. It can be frustrating when you don’t have all the answers, but it’s okay not to know everything. You can still live, and you can still heal, even when your DID system parts are unknown.

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One Year After My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis

One Year After My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis

At one year after my dissociative identity disorder diagnosis, I can say I have learned a lot. When you receive a dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis, your life changes (Criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder in the DSM-5). You learn to adjust your life as a multiple in a world designed for singletons. Those adjustments aren’t easy, but you try and figure it out. Some changes can lead to progress, while other changes can set you back. So does living with DID get easier over time? Is one year after my dissociative identity disorder diagnosis easier than day one?

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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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Gaslighting and Self-Doubt in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Gaslighting and Self-Doubt in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Life with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is often filled with self-doubt. People with DID doubt their memories and doubt themselves. It is especially difficult in the beginning of a DID diagnosis, when the urge to engage in denial is often the strongest. But the tendency towards self-doubt doesn’t stop there; it can continue for years. One cause of consistent self-doubt is related to a type of psychological abuse experienced by many with DID: gaslighting.

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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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