In my current series, Diary of a Newly Diagnosed Dissociative, I’ve been writing about what I’ve observed to be common emotional reactions to receiving a Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis. I say, “emotional reactions,” but I don’t know if that really does justice to the enormous impact a DID diagnosis can and often does have. When I say I was confused, I mean I was nearly incapacitated by confusion. When I say I was afraid and lonely, I mean I was almost paralyzed by fear and loneliness. It’s with that same respect for the degree of overwhelming emotion that I talk to you today about shame.
I’m scared. I’m afraid that I’m worthless and that I always will be. I feel like we did something wrong.
Dissociative Identity Disorder and Shame
As I mentioned yesterday, many people with Dissociative Identity Disorder have felt abnormal all of their lives. There’s often a sense of shame that accompanies feeling so aberrant. And because the majority of people with DID suffered severe, chronic child abuse they can be highly sensitive to shame. What happens when you tell someone who’s never felt normal and is easily shamed that they have a mental illness considered by most to be dramatic, dark, and freakish?
Watch the Dissociative Identity Disorder Video on Diagnosis and Shame
In this video, I discuss the stigma of a DID diagnosis and how it contributes to shame.
Complete Series: Diary of a Newly Diagnosed Dissociative
- Part 1: Confusion
- Part 2: Fear
- Part 3: Loneliness
- Dissociative Identity Disorder Video: Diagnosis and Shame
- Part 4: Desperation
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Photo by Gillian.