There's No Cure for Dissociative Identity Disorder
There is no cure for dissociative identity disorder (DID). It is a complex disorder that can be treated, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can be cured. There are several methods of treatment, from medications to therapy. It can take years, but successful treatment for DID is possible. Does that mean there is a cure for DID?
Why Is There No Cure for DID?
Dissociative Identity Disorder Is Not a Chemical Imbalance
Some mental illnesses, like major depression, can be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medications can be used to correct the chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, allowing some people to recover, and essentially be cured, of depression. Though that isn't the case for everyone, a cure is possible.
Dissociative identity disorder, on the other hand, isn't a chemical imbalance. Medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antianxiety medications are commonly prescribed to people with DID. Yet, these medications are used to treat secondary DID symptoms and comorbid conditions, not the DID itself. Dissociative identity disorder cannot be corrected by any medication.
Therapy Options for DID Are Not a Cure
There are several treatment options for DID within the scope of therapy, including trauma therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The recommended minimal time in therapy is five to seven years, but many people with DID find themselves in therapy for the remainder of their lives.
While therapy can help people cope with symptoms, manage day-to-day life, and process past trauma, it is not a cure for DID. No matter which methods of treatment a person decides to use, no method is a cure.
Decades ago, psychologists believed the integration of alters was a cure for DID. Years later, many realized that forced integration was actually making people worse. It wasn't a cure; it was a poorly executed treatment method. Although practices have changed and integration is still an option, it is not a cure.
There's No Cure for My Dissociative Identity Disorder and It's Okay
I had a recent interaction with my therapist in which he stated that there was a cure for my dissociative identity disorder. It wasn't the first time I had heard about a cure for DID, but it was the first time a therapist had told me, personally, that I could be cured.
I realize there are still people out there who think the integration of alters is a cure for DID, but it's not. You can process all of your trauma, and integrate all of your parts, but that doesn't make you cured. Even in recovery, there will always be risk. Your brain will be wired to respond with dissociation. You will still be at increased risk for creating alters if more trauma occurs.
Don't think that integration is the magic cure. Don't follow a treatment just because someone thinks it is the best choice. Be realistic. Do what is best for you. There are many roads that can be taken, but none of them will lead you to a cure.
I know my DID cannot be cured, and I'm okay with that. I'm learning how to be a functional multiple. I'll always have DID, but with therapy and time, it will be easier to manage.
Matulewicz, C. (2018, March 30). There's No Cure for Dissociative Identity Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2018/03/dissociative-identity-disorder-cannot-be-cured
Author: Crystalie Matulewicz
Many people have been cured.Nothing in this article is true at all.I know this because I have been cured.
Dissociative identity disorder is a developmental mental health disorder. What that means is the brains of we who live with the disorder have developmental issues. Our amygdalae and hippocampi are smaller than normal and we have problems with our pituitary glands. All of that means memory, emotional, and stability problems. Our brains were structurally changed in childhood from the fight or flight hormones that continually flooded our small bodies and never went back to baseline. There is a lot of research to back this up.
Also, we missed a very important milestone in childhood when it comes to personality consolidation (association). Before the age of 5 children have very pliable and dissociated personalities. You need only to listen to a young child playing alone to hear the disconnectedness. They will speak of themselves in the plural and so on.
Around the age of 5 children this all changes. They consolidate (associate) their personality and pull all their ego states into one cohesive self.
We with DID missed that milestone. We were much too busy surviving and being ready to flee or fight. So we never associated our ego states (our personality). We remained dissociated.
It is absolutely impossible for us to go back and consolidate into a single person. We are forever dissociated.
However, like was said in this article, that does not mean we need to remain in chaos forever. We can learn to move together as one unit and live fairly normal lives. Being a person with DID is not a death sentence nor does it mean no life.
It takes time, devotion and a good therapist to go through the integration stage and work together for the common good of the DID system.
Living with DID is difficult sometimes, but it is my normal. I don't worry about being "like everybody else" nor do I think I'm special. I do not ask for special treatment, and I do not expect it. What I do want is for people to learn more about my disorder and for movie producers to end the intolerable use of DID in their horrid movie plots so that the stigma against folks like me will end.
This was a very insightful and truthful article. I understand there is a lot of fear involved when speaking about integration and a "cure" but there doesn't need to be. Thanks.
I’ve studied neuroscience. I know what happens in the brain, which is why I know the changes that happen early in childhood that result in DID can never been changed back to the way the brain should have developed. Even with neuroplasticity, a person with DID will never have a neurotrophic always brain. Even integrated, a person with DID will always be at risk of dissociating as soon as another trauma is experienced. That risk never goes away.
I’m not afraid of integrating. I’ve chosen the path that works best for me in the time that I have left. I assure you, I am not delusional. And I assure you, my therapist is actually one of the best in the US regarding dissociative disorders.
Perhaps you are not aware, but the trend in the field is towards functional multiplicity, not towards integration. It’s perfectly okay and healthy to be a functional multiple. There are many successful people with DID who did not integrate. It has nothing to do with being special. It’s whatever works for the person.
you need to find someone who speciliases in DID, someone who is trustworthy and will help you deal with the harm the others have caused you! don't give up hope, you are not an empty shell...you take a look at yourself you are still somwhere inside of yourself and you will be found and brought back dont give up hope! i may be a stranger but just know that ill be praying for you and i wish you'll be able to be who you once were or at least somewhat like you were!