How Do You Open Up About Your DID Diagnosis?
Living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) often feels like living with a secret; so opening up about your DID diagnosis is difficult. Many people who have the condition, including myself, are stealth-like in hiding it. Because it’s a mental health condition, as opposed to a physical ailment, it’s easier to hide from the naked eye. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t a burden. It can help to have friends and family members in the know, as they can provide invaluable support, but how do you open up about your DID diagnosis the first time?
I wrestled with opening up about my diagnosis of DID, and I wasn't prepared to talk about it at first. In fact, many people struggle after being diagnosed with DID. The condition is poorly portrayed by Hollywood, to say the least, and researchers are still learning more about the ins and outs of the condition. This left me feeling confused about my diagnosis, and I wanted to shed it immediately.
How could I, of all people, have DID? This is a question that I wrestled with for a long time, and it wasn’t until I came to terms with my diagnosis that I could finally take the next step and educate myself on the condition.
Preparing Yourself to Open Up About Your DID Diagnosis
Knowledge is power, and once you’re able to equip yourself with the facts about DID and how it’s treated, you’ll be in a better position to talk about it with others.
Seeking out a therapist with a specialty in DID was one of the most helpful steps I took to prepare myself to discuss my diagnosis with others. Therapy went beyond DID treatment for me in the sense that it helped me prepare for what I wanted to say to friends and family. I was able to rehearse a wide array of scenarios that could occur when I opened up about my diagnosis.
In the event that you cannot immediately seek the help of a therapist, I recommend running through the same scenarios by yourself and working on self-care. Think about what a friend or family member may say when you reveal your diagnosis, whether it’s positive or negative. Then, ask yourself how you’re going to handle it. Coming up with a game plan can make the situation more predictable and less anxiety-driven.
I mention self-care because providing your system with compassion during these difficult moments is essential. Before I share my diagnosis with anyone, I know that I need to feel positive about where I am on my healing journey, and that means giving credit to all of my personalities, which work hard to keep me functioning. By providing a little self-care along the way, I can strengthen my armor, so to speak, before I go to battle and open up about my DID diagnosis.
Try to remember that each person you talk to is going to react differently to the news. Confusion, and even denial, are not uncommon. Think of the whirlwind you went through when you first received your own diagnosis. Along with time, open lines of communication can help you ride the wave in each of your valued relationships.
How do you feel about opening up about your DID diagnosis to family and friends? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Vermes, K. (2020, June 2). How Do You Open Up About Your DID Diagnosis?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2020/6/how-do-you-open-up-about-your-did-diagnosis
Author: Krystle Vermes
I have shared with my husband and kids that I have DID, I also shared with a a friend and my Pastor. No one else knows, Im afraid what they might think of me,
It can be incredibly difficult to open up about DID, especially because it is so misunderstood. I know how you feel, but try not to think about what others think of you. Instead, focus on your own healing journey and take the necessary steps to achieve inner peace along the way.