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Dissociative Living

Living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) can feel like a burden in more ways than one. In addition to dealing with the multiple conversations happening in your mind, you need to maintain your “outer shell,” or the parts that other people interact with the most. What do you do when the people around you are unaware of your condition?
Can a pet relieve the depression and anxiety of dissociative identity disorder (DID)? Let's imagine this: picture yourself in the middle of a panic attack. Your heart is racing, your mind is juggling a million thoughts, and no one can calm you down. Then, you reach for something soft, cuddly, and receptive to your need for comfort. This is what it feels like to turn to a pet for the anxiety and depression associated with DID.
How do you know what dissociation feels like? Dissociative identity disorder (DID) comes with a wide range of symptoms, one of which is dissociation, but how do you know you aren’t just daydreaming? This is something that many people misunderstand when it comes to DID, and it can be the difference between receiving a DID diagnosis and continuing on with life without treatment.
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.
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?
Getting the dissociative identity disorder (DID) support you need is challenging, to say the least. Living with DID, I hear a constant internal dialogue and must manage the wants and needs of all of my individual personalities, which can be downright exhausting. Needless to say, not everyone on the outside can see what’s happening on the inside, which can make it difficult for me to express how I’m feeling on a regular basis. How do you communicate your own needs to the ones you love to get the DID support you need?
How does dissociative identity disorder (DID) affect self-care? When you hear self-care, you might think of a person practicing yoga, meditating or taking a bubble bath to relax and unwind. While it’s true that all of these activities can fall under the umbrella of self-care, it’s also worth going beyond the run-of-the-mill bubble bath once in a while to make sure everything is in check.
One of the most important tactics you can learn as a person living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is journaling. Although it may seem like a relatively easy concept, many people take journaling for granted amidst the other options to manage the condition, such as meditation and exercise.
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.