Over many years Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) has affected more than 150,000 people per year.
The first appearance of this disorder was in 1791. A 20-year-old German woman suddenly began to speak fluent French and behaved as an aristocrat. She also had a French accent while speaking in German.
However, she didn’t recall any moments while she was the “French woman” though she remembered everything she did while being the “German woman”. In the beginning, Dissociative Identity disorder was uncommon and was often mistaken to be schizophrenia or borderline personality. Many therapists believed this disorder did not really exist and instead was a way for people to receive attention from others. Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) is caused by traumatic experiences that occur at a young age, most commonly including sexual and physical abuse. SYMPTOMS Many people cope with abuse by many different ways. In Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) cases people were found to cope with it by changing personalities. This disorder creates stress causing people to change into different personalities.
Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) has many symptoms including memory loss, black outs, anxiety and depression, mood swings, and aggressive behavior. While this disorder can create many personalities, each personality may have their own self-image, behavior, physical characteristics, and even names. Each identity can be triggered by remembering stressful traumatic events and can last for minutes, hours, days, or years. People diagnosed with Dissociative Identity disorder react differently depending on who they are. One personality could be a happy 12-year-old while a different one could be a 45-year-old male. Every personality with this disorder copes with everything differently.
More than 70% of people diagnosed with DID have attempted self-injuries including suicide attempts. While each personality is different from one another, their escape from reality also changes. From changing personalities involuntary, each personality may cope by using drugs, alcohol and becoming extremely violent.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DID There are three main Dissociative disorders. “Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is..
.” (1). Each disorder involves memory, behavior, and emotion. The three disorders are Dissociative identity disorder, Dissociative amnesia, and Dissociative fugue. Dissociative identity disorder is the disorder that occurs after being traumatized at a young age most likely caused by sexual or physical abuse. Many cultures confuse this disorder with being possessed. This disorder now has a criteria list to be met in order to be officially diagnosed with it. Dissociative amnesia is the disorder that happens by emotional abuse and/or negligence causing to forget memories.
This amnesia has three categories; localized, selective, and general. The most common type is localized where you forget memories from a certain period of time. Selective amnesia is where you forget information from a specific time or event. And lastly the rarest amnesia is general where one may forget their identity the lifetime of memories.
Dissociative fugue, also known as psychogenic fugue is hard to notice. Fugue, origins from Latin means “flight”. Therefore, people who have dissociative fugue may randomly leave their home without knowing. This amnesia may lose the memory of who they are causing them to create a new identity. DIAGNOSING DID TREATMENT As of now there is no “treatment” that can make DID go away completely.
This disorder is long-term, however, there are many treatments that help it. Medication has not been successful with treating people with DID, thus the most effective way to help is therapy, whether it is just talking therapy, psychoactive therapy and hypnotherapy.