Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
Alters (alternate personalities) are something people with dissociative identity disorder (DID) may have. Alters are separate identities. Some of these alters may communicate with each other and some of them may not. When I was first diagnosed with DID, my alters did not communicate with each other at all. I was only aware of the current personality state that I was in. I wasn't aware of any other alters in my dissociative identity disorder.
I began having suspicions that I may have alternate personalities when I started noticing that I had voices in my head who argued with each other but who didn't sound like they were my own voice. I also noticed that people who were close to me would accuse me of doing things that I didn't feel like I had done. Eventually, I called a suicide hotline while I was in an emotional crisis, and finally admitted to the woman that I thought I had multiple personalities. She said, "You might." Hearing her say that changed my life. She believed me and it gave me the courage to tell my therapist.
Getting To Know My Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder
I told my therapist that I thought I had multiple personalities. I learned that a dissociative identity disorder "system" refers to the individual person who has DID, and all of the separate alters that make him or her up. My therapist began doing work with me to help me communicate with my alters. She had me focus, and try to gather all of my alters at a roundtable. There we had discussions and I got to know my system.
Bringing Alters Together in Dissociative Identity Disorder
Some of my alters wouldn't come to the table, and some of them wouldn't stay. It was still a helpful tool to begin the reintegration process. Communication between the alters is an important part of getting better with DID. Having communication helps the whole situation to be less scary and painful. It also helps a person to be aware and conscious of who he or she is when he or she splits from one alter to the next.
A person's system can be made up of few or many alters. The more a person can learn about each of the alters in DID, the better. At the roundtable, I asked for the alters' names and how they felt that day. I told my therapist what they said. Together, my therapist and I gained information and awareness about each alter. This has been very helpful in my journey with DID.
More on Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder
Watch this video for more on alters in dissociative identity disorder.
Author: Sherry Polley
Its the hardest thing iv ever tried to live with
Id give anythng to be my old self...
1) Would the main personality (the DID sufferer) actually recognise their alters by name? As in would they recognise if someone who had meet them as a different personality called them by the name of that personality and realise that they had taken over. Or would it just be like he wouldn’t know his alters by name at all?
2) Would it be okay if a persecutor alter killed the person that caused emotional distress to them? I’m not saying that this will be an evil alter of course not. But rather an Alter that believed that this was the only possible way to end the abuse as well as thinking it was the right way.
3) How long will a alter remain in control for? In the plan, an alter called Markus is in control of the sufferer body for two years. Is this too long?
4) Linking to this other question, would the sufferer remember what Markus had gotten up to since they share the same memories? Would the sufferer eventually remember what had occurred or not at all?
Thank you so much in advance.
There is no definitive answer to that - it can vary from person to person. In some systems, alters age along with the host. Other systems, alters can stay the same age forever. Then there are age sliders, which are alters whose age can change back and forth.
I know for sure that it is not all of Europe that considers DID non-existent. There are treatment centers especially for DID and dissociative disorders throughout Europe, and I have several friends in Europe that are treated for their DID. I am not entirely sure about France, but I can tell you that in any country, even in the US where I am based, there are people in the psychological/psychiatric community who do not believe in DID.
As far as alters, they can exist for a long time before the host becomes aware that they are even there. It really depends on the person. It is most believed that alters are "created" at the time of the abuse to hold the trauma, that is why people with DID have difficulty with memory.