Living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) means you need as many tools as you can find to remain grounded and stable. This can be difficult when you are trying to balance a routine made up of work, family and friends. However, I’ve been able to find solace in an unusual place: my iPhone.
I’ll never forget the first time I was prescribed medication for my mental health. At this point in my life, I was undiagnosed and had suffered a panic attack. At a loss, I met with my primary care physician for help. After a brief consultation, she sent me home with a prescription for a common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). I did not know that this would be the first of many medications I would take on my healing journey.
Long before I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), I was able to hold a pencil with my hand. It was only then that I realized that I could transport myself to anywhere my imagination could take me. I would spend literally hours in my bedroom, doodling and doing anything I could to get away from the trauma of my household.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting my dissociative identity disorder (DID) symptoms. Living with DID means experiencing a wide array of different symptoms, ranging from anxiety to depression. Environmental factors can trigger these symptoms in my various personalities, depending on their particular trauma. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has been a catalyst for a series of emotions I’ve been experiencing as of late.
Can the emotional freedom technique (EFT) help those living with dissociative identity disorder (DID)? For many people with DID, every day can feel like living with your head in the clouds. Dissociation, in its simplest form, is the process of disconnecting from your thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t until I entered therapy that I learned the importance of grounding myself, getting back into my head, and ultimately regaining control of my life.
Should a loved one or a friend ever be allowed to force a switch in someone with dissociative identity disorder (DID)? What does forcing a switch mean? Let's go back to basics first.
Persecutory alters are something that can exist within a dissociative identity disorder (DID) system. We, ourselves, live with this kind of alter. We can feel threatened, taunted, and condemmed by this kind of alter. We are harassed with negative messages in our head, screaming that we deserved the abuse and the mistreatment and that we are worthy of death. These cruel messages are ones that persecutory alters in DID offer us. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
The time to talk about suicide and dissociative identity disorder (DID) is now. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in adults. For those with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the Cleveland Clinic asserts that 70 percent of sufferers, more than any other mental health condition, have tried to die by suicide. Discussion of suicidality is no longer optional. It is imperative that we end its stigma and discuss it now. There are 12 coping strategies and skills you can use to help those who are suffering and wanting to die by suicide. What specifically can those with DID do to help themselves and their headmates cope with the overwhelming desire to end their pain? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Antipsychotic medications for dissociative identity disorder (DID) are sometimes used although DID is not treated with psychiatric medications like other mental illnesses are. However, there are medications that can help alleviate the symptoms that tend to go along with DID. These symptoms include difficulty sleeping, panic, anxiety, depression, and mood instability, among others. Antipsychotic medications are one type of medication commonly prescribed to people with DID, but they carry a huge stigma. Does taking an antipsychotic medication when you have DID mean that you are psychotic?
Surviving vs thriving: What you're doing to cope with dissociative identity disorder (DID) depends on your state of mind. Do you call yourself a survivor or a thriver? One dictionary defines the word "survive" as continuing to live or to simply exist. Another dictionary defines "survive" as to live through a dangerous situation. For those of us with dissociative identity disorder, surviving comes naturally. Developing DID was our only means of survival as children. As adults, could there be more for us than just surviving DID? Are we just going to live with DID, endure and get by with its many complications? Is surviving all there is to life? Could we actually learn to thrive with DID, to prosper, flourish, and succeed? What is the difference in surviving and thriving with dissociative identity disorder?