A dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis is never easy to handle, even as the years pass. The diagnosis is just the beginning of a very long journey. There's going to therapy, finding medication that helps, trying to work with your system, learning to manage your dissociation and then even more therapy. Managing your DID isn't easy, but it does get more manageable over time. It's been three years since I received my DID diagnosis, and a lot has changed.
Impact of DID Diagnosis
I'm not dangerous, although some people think people with mental health disorders are dangerous -- especially, it seems, when it comes to dissociative identity disorder (DID). A diagnosis of DID can bring about a lot of changes. The person can feel different, sometimes better, knowing that they have a diagnosis, and sometimes worse, knowing that the diagnosis is not an easy one. Treatment can include a variety of medications and really difficult, intense therapy. Then there are the changes that you experience from people on the outside, some of whom don't believe I'm not dangerous. While many people are supportive, there is no denying that a DID diagnosis comes with a tremendous stigma that can change a person's life forever.
Alter switching and dissociative identity disorder (DID) are interdependent. The term "'switching" means simply to change, but, in reference to DID, it means to change a part, an alter, or a headmate, as they are called. Everyone has parts that comprise his or her personality. You might have remarked before, "Part of me really wants to improve my health." For someone to reference a single part of their personality is normal, but for those of us with DID, we experience more extreme parts of ourselves that have their own thoughts, opinions, beliefs, wishes, needs, etc. The switching of these parts is difficult, jarring, and disconcerting. If you have DID or know someone with DID, it is important to understand the signs of when someone with dissociative identity disorder is switching alters and what you can do.
Do we need to remember and process all traumatic memories in order to heal from dissociative identity disorder (DID)? When it comes to the complicated disorder of DID, there frequently are more questions than there are answers, and the explanation of the above question is no less difficult. Before I provide an answer, it is important to understand the way our emotional traumatic memories work and what it actually means to process and heal from them.
There are positive effects of dissociative identity disorder. There. I said it.
After my dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis, I had to accept that it doesn't go away. There's no medication to cure it and no therapy that works 100% of the time. DID is manageable with treatment, but even then, the DID diagnosis stays with you. It has been two years since my DID diagnosis, and I am still struggling. But does DID get easier as time passes?
There can be a lot of unknowns in dissociative identity disorder (DID), including what parts make up your DID system. While some people with DID seem to know everything about their alters, there are others with who don't even know how many parts they have. It can be frustrating when you don't have all the answers, but it's okay not to know everything. You can still live, and you can still heal, even when your DID system parts are unknown.
A dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis is complex and sometimes people blame themselves for their dissociative identity disorder. When people learn that they have DID, they tend to have a lot of questions, and unfortunately, there aren't always as many answers. People want to know what caused their DID. People want to know who is to blame. Sometimes that blame ends up turning inward. So what can you do when you start blaming yourself for your dissociative identity disorder?
At one year after my dissociative identity disorder diagnosis, I can say I have learned a lot. When you receive a dissociative identity disorder (DID) diagnosis, your life changes (Criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder in the DSM-5). You learn to adjust your life as a multiple in a world designed for singletons. Those adjustments aren't easy, but you try and figure it out. Some changes can lead to progress, while other changes can set you back. So does living with DID get easier over time? Is one year after my dissociative identity disorder diagnosis easier than day one?
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is just one of several diagnoses listed in the dissociative disorders section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Many people live with dissociative symptoms, but don't meet all of the criteria necessary for a diagnosis of DID. When this is the case, a different diagnosis -- other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD) -- can be more fitting. These diagnoses all have dissociation in common, so what makes them different?