For those living with dissociative identity disorder (DID), self-care — even the most basic physiological and safety needs — can feel like impossible tasks to fulfill, especially during times when self-care is most needed. If basic needs are unmet, this can hinder the healing process and make living with DID a little more challenging. You must meet your basic needs with DID self-care. Keep reading »

There is an undeniable link between dissociative identity disorder (DID) and child abuse. Child abuse can lead to mental health problems that occur in childhood and can continue into adulthood. People often relate childhood abuse to depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but dissociative identity disorder has the most significant connection to childhood abuse and neglect, so much so that the connection between DID and child abuse cannot be ignored. Keep reading »

“How are you?” is a commonly asked question, but for those of us living with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the answer is not so simple. A person may seem alright on the outside, but can be hiding a tremendous amount of despair on the inside. One part may very well answer, “Great!” while another part wants to answer, “Horrible!” Most times, when living with DID, we end up telling people we’re okay — but are we really okay? Keep reading »

Mental illnesses are complex. Symptoms can be misinterpreted, resulting in a misdiagnosis. This is understandable, given that different disorders often share some similar symptoms. In cases of dissociative identity disorder (DID), there is often confusion between bipolar disorder and DID symptoms. While bipolar disorder and DID each have unique symptoms, there is some symptom overlap. It is important to recognize the differences in symptoms, as these disorders have different causes and treatments. Keep reading »

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) alters come in all shapes, sizes, and ages and you need to know how to work with young alters. Alters can stay the same age forever, change age depending on the situation (age-sliding), or age normally. Many systems have alters of various ages, including ones that are older and ones that are younger than the body. It is important to recognize these age differences and work with alters at age-appropriate levels. Young alters can be complicated to work with, but there are things you can do to work better with your younger alters in dissociative identity disorder. Keep reading »

Self-care involves taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs, and is especially important for people with dissociative identity disorder (DID). One component of self-care that is essential for people with DID to practice is setting boundaries. Healthy boundaries are necessary in order to maintain good health. Setting these boundaries and communicating your needs can make managing life with DID a little easier. Keep reading »

Living day-to-day with dissociative identity disorder is tough. People sometimes think that they can tell if a person has a mental illness like dissociative identity disorder (DID) just from observing their behaviors (Is Mental Illness Really an Invisible Disability?). But that’s just not true. Statistically speaking, one out of every 100 people has DID.* Do you think you could pick that person out of a crowd? I doubt it because living day-to-day with DID isn’t what you think. Keep reading »

Dealing with denial in dissociative identity disorder is key. Denial is a defense mechanism we have likely all engaged in at various points in our lives. At times, denial can be a useful method to help us cope. When it comes to your dissociative identity disorder (DID), however, denial can lead to a break down in system communication and can hinder treatment efforts. Keep reading »

For many people around the world, December is a month of celebration, with numerous holidays taking place throughout the last month of the year, but managing the holidays with dissociative identity disorder can be tricky. The holidays can be joyous and exciting for those who celebrate. For many with dissociative identity disorder (DID), however, this time of the year can be tremendously stressful and anxiety-provoking. Dissociative symptoms can worsen during the holidays, but there are steps you can take to make managing the holidays with DID a little easier. Keep reading »

Embracing the individuality of alters in dissociative identity disorder (DID) is often misunderstood by people without DID. One assumption is that alters are voices a person with DID hears in his or her head; this leads people to confuse DID with schizophrenia. Another assumption is that alters are imaginary friends made up in one’s mind, yet unlike imaginary friends, alters are not consciously created. Lastly, many people believe that alters are different mood states or aspects of a person’s personality. This isn’t accurate, either (Mental Illness Myths And The Damage They Cause). The reality is that alters are individual persons existing within and sharing one body. Embracing the individuality of alters is key to DID treatment and recovery. Keep reading »