I was recently asked to do a podcast interview regarding dissociative identity disorder. During the interview I mentioned a couple of aspects regarding DID that I thought would be good to put in writing.
A coping mechanism - DID is not my burden. This is how my mind found a way to help me cope. I know it's not the same for everyone, but that's how it is for me.
Technology - I can't imagine having DID without tech. I use Google maps every time I go somewhere because if I switch or get blurry whichever alter is driving will know where we are going. But it's also amazing to have access to other systems through the internet. If I had been able to talk to people who have DID like I can now, when I was 14, it would have changed my life. I wouldn't have spent as long in denial of ways my brain was trying to cope.
Diagnosis - Diagnosis for DID is a complicated mess. There is the part where some people immediately assume the patient is lying. There is the part where the therapists that are more affordable tend to be boxed in by regulation. Some therapists have even told me they are NOT ALLOWED to use DID as a diagnosis if they want to keep their state funding.
Another issue, which I mention in the podcast, is that sometimes the therapist only deals with one alter. So, if alter A has depression, and they are the only alter who ever goes to therapy, then we are getting diagnosed with depression.
I also think it's VERY important to say two things about this.
Getting a diagnosis didn't fix me. It didn't fix us. It didn't actually make a big difference.
Trauma recovery work can help you heal, even if you never get a diagnosis. The important aspects of mental health are not in the label. They are in the healing.
Hogwarts House - She asked me a question about knowing the difference between the alters and I mentioned that we have done a few "get to know you" exercises. I also made a clear distinction about the difference between fun stuff, like the House test, and actual communication. In my experience it has improved my life a great deal to build communication with my alters into as much of my life as I can. Being a part of a system means working together with all of your parts.
Find ways to show love to your system, and that will help you love yourself. Stay safe.
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