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?
Advice for When 'I Think I Have DID' Becomes an Issue
Don't Be Discouraged by a Diagnostic Label
It is easy to become engrossed in finding an answer for your symptoms when you think you have dissociative identity disorder, but it is important to remember that a mental health diagnosis doesn't change who you are or what you experience. A diagnosis is meant to be a guide, not a solution. A diagnosis can help with treatment, but it won't cure you.
It can be overwhelming when you find out your symptoms fit with DID, but don't let that label define you. Having dissociative identity disorder doesn't mean you are broken. It doesn't mean you are crazy, dangerous, or somehow less of a person. You may just be one of the 1-2% of the population that has dissociative identity disorder.
Symptoms Won't Always Fit a Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
There are other diagnoses that have similar signs and symptoms to DID. Other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and depersonalization/derealization disorder are the disorders that have the most in common, symptom-wise, with DID.
A person may experience memory loss and frequent dissociation, but not have the separate identity states necessary for DID. Another person may experience a disturbed sense of identity and dissociation, but no amnesia. These symptoms may indicate a different disorder. That is why it is important to seek professional help if you suspect you have DID or any psychological disorder.
I've had people reach out to me, confused because they didn't experience every symptom of DID. They knew something was off, but felt invalid because not all of their symptoms and experiences matched the diagnosis of DID. While I can never provide a diagnosis, I can, and do, provide encouragement, support, and validation. There is no "classic" DID. Some people hear voices; others do not. Some people are aware of their alters; others are not. Everyone's experiences are different, and that's okay.
What to Do If You Think You Have a Dissociative Disorder
If you think you have dissociative identity disorder:
- Seek out help from a mental health professional experienced in treating clients with dissociative disorders and/or trauma. Trying to diagnose yourself can be frustrating, and in many cases, it can be harmful. Getting a proper diagnosis, whether that diagnosis happens to be DID or another disorder, can lead to more successful treatment and better symptom management.
- Reach out for support from friends, family, or other safe people in your life. You don't have to go through this alone. There is no shame in asking for help. You don't have to explain what exactly is going on if you don't want to; sometimes you need someone to just be there. Join a support group. Support can come from anyone, even people you don't know.
- Don't invalidate yourself. Try not to put so much emphasis on a label, that you invalidate your own experience. Instead, try reading others' experiences living with DID. You may find that you can relate more to real life stories than to what you find written in psychology books.
You are not alone in this DID journey. Remember that.
Matulewicz, C. (2016, December 21). I Think I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder – What’s Next?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2016/12/i-think-i-have-dissociative-identity-disorder-whats-next
Author: Crystalie Matulewicz
So i was wondering if you have any tips on getting help for this without being so, “out-right”. (P.S, im only 16, and ik that effects a lot of decision making on the doctors part). I find i relate to a lot of experiences, but i have serious trouble determining if they’re real experiences or ones ive made myself BELIEVE i have because of my obsession with self analyzing and figuring out why i feel the way i do. I RLLY dont wanna assume, or self diagnosis, or anything like that. But every time i try to explain how i feel, i suddenly feel like idk how to explain it right. I kinda feel like im walking on eggshells so ppl don’t assume im just a hypochondriac (which usually happens whenever im very open). I’m usually told that my experiences are normal by my family. And most doctors tell me i seem to mature, intelligent, and other bs. I haven’t shared specific concerns about DID, but Im honestly EXTREMELY hesitant bc i feel I will seem like im just being anxious and overthinking. Maybe I am, but i FEEL like im connecting dots. Though i also stg im just making myself believe this bc I have a need to identify with something. I feel super contradictory. Like my whole life and existence is on different wave lengths, and sometimes overlap. Anyway, sorry im going off topic. I’ve always had mental troubles, but rn these concerns are contributing to the way that i negatively impact my own life. I feel like im going crazy, though it also feels like im just so DIFFERENT from anyone else. But idk. Anyway, do u have any tips on getting help, preferably examined for this without ppl assuming im just being paranoid. I’ve been in and out of therapy for years now, and i feel like part of me knows all the “tools” to help with depression and anxiety and whatnot. Rarely they work. Sometimes im not even able to remember them. Sometimes i dont care enough to do them. I feel the only way to not destroy my future is to figure out what im experiencing to find a better way to deal with it, but NO ONE AROUND ME seems to care. Maybe im just being an emotional teenager, maybe im delusional and what im feeling is normal, maybe im just depressed. Im sorry for dumping all my issues on u, but if theres any tips you might know that will help me communicate my concerns and feelings without being pushed down or talked over? And how do i tell if my concerns are valid they’re being hushed, or if i just BELIEVE my way of existence is different to others even though its not. Tbh, even if u don't any tips, thats ok. Id just like some input from someone who can probably relate to, at the very least, some similar feelings of frustration.
I feel VERY similar. I feel like im making myself crazy with all this, and tbh everytime i feel like i should tell someone, i feel and know that they will judge me, atleast a bit. Tbh couldn’t have explained it better myself.
It could be related to OCD somehow with the ruminating thoughts. My advice is to start journaling. Try to be completely honest with yourself in the journal. Sometimes writing things down helps to get the thoughts out and clear your mind. Also, find guided meditation videos on YouTube and make an effort to follow along on headphones. It also helps to try to focus on your body when your mind wanders. Treat your body to good food and exercise. It’s nice to get outside sometimes too and behold the beauty of nature. Even looking at the sky and the trees will help you feel more grounded. I agree with the doctors and also think you’re mature. Your thoughts patterns may get negative at times but the fact that your focused on finding ways to improve yourself says a lot about your maturity. Many people much older than you don’t have the self awareness that you do already. You just need a little reassurance. It’s ok, we all do at times.
Also, you have to remember that part of listening to and respecting your body is realizing that you are a teenager which means that you have hormones which do affect your emotional states of mind. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing fine.