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?
I Realized Some Things After My DID Diagnosis
Acceptance Makes Coping Easier
Everyone handles their DID diagnosis in different ways. Some people are able to accept their diagnosis right away, while others experience denial after their dissociative identity disorder. It’s even normal to cycle between acceptance and denial. There’s no right or wrong way to handle this diagnosis.
With education, treatment, experience and time, it can become easier to accept your dissociative identity disorder diagnosis. You can still experience periods of denial, but they start to diminish as time goes on.
Treatment for DID Will Continue Through the Years
DID is lifelong. When you start treatment, most commonly therapy, it is a long-term commitment. Dissociative identity disorder can’t be treated with just a few sessions. No matter if you choose integration or cooperation as your goal, there is a lot involved in DID treatment. One year, two years, and even 10 years after the initial diagnosis, people with DID still seek treatment.
These Two Years After My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
It has been just over two years since I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. In many ways, it has gotten easier. I don’t drown in denial about my disorder like I used to. I’m no longer ashamed to tell people I have DID. I’ve become an integral part of the DID community.
I’ve read more books on dissociative disorders and joined more support groups for survivors of trauma. I’ve co-authored two books about dissociative identity disorder. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people who share way more than just this diagnosis, people just like me — everyday people — survivors in plain sight.
But it’s not all positive. In many ways, I still struggle. I’ve had to put trauma therapy on hold because my dissociative and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were so intense that I was not progressing. I’m still struggling with suicidal thoughts. I’ve spent five of the last nine months in partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient (IOP) just to try to stabilize my symptoms.
I still live my life in fear. My parts are still afraid that the person who abused them is going to find them; I’m afraid, too. The smallest thing — a word, a person’s face, a certain food — can trigger me (and us) into a downward spiral. I can stay awake for days at a time because the nightmares and flashbacks are so impacting. I dissociate every day. It’s how I am able to function.
I’ve been called crazy, sensitive, confused and weak. But I’ve also been called inspiring, talented, strong, and brave. I hope one day, we will all be able to feel safe. I hope one day, we will be able to function cooperatively as a team. For now, two years into my diagnosis, I am still working on healing, making my way through the maze of life, one day at a time.