Dissociation refers to the state of feeling disconnected from oneself or your surroundings. Everyone experiences mild dissociation from time to time. Typical examples are when you “zone out,” daydream, or have highway hypnosis (not remembering brief parts of a drive). Dissociative disorders, including dissociative identity disorder (DID), are different. These complex mental health conditions cause individuals to experience a significant disconnection between their thoughts, feelings, actions, memories, and surroundings which can affect their perception of time and sense of identity.
DID can be frightening for the affected individual and their loved ones. A dissociative disorder treatment program provides the intensive psychotherapy and comprehensive treatment necessary to help live with DID in healthy ways, with the least disruption to daily life. At Harmony Hills, our dissociative identity disorder treatment program helps clients uncover and heal from trauma associated with DID in a safe, supportive environment. Contact us today at 855.494.0357 to discover how we can help you or your loved one.
Signs You Need Treatment for DID
Dissociative identity disorder is rare and is most often the result of extreme, prolonged trauma, particularly during early childhood, usually involving emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. However, it can also be linked to other significant trauma, including combat, natural disasters, and extreme neglect.
Dissociation is believed to be a coping mechanism to shut off or remove oneself from trauma that is too overwhelming for the conscious mind to bear. Experiencing such trauma early, particularly before age six, can significantly disrupt development and impair personality development.
Individuals with DID frequently have memory loss about specific time periods, people, events, and personal information, resulting in a blurred sense of identity. Other symptoms of DID can include the following:
- Feeling detached from yourself and your emotions
- Perceiving your environment as distorted and unreal
- Feeling like you have an out-of-body experience
- Experiencing an altered sense of time
- Hallucinations or hearing voices in your head
- Feeling like you are observing yourself from a distance (depersonalization)
- Perceiving your environment as foggy, dreamlike, or otherwise unreal (derealization)
Individuals with DID demonstrate two or more distinct personalities or observably different identities. More often than not, these identities (called “alters”) are aware of one another’s presence and hidden from the “core” identity, accounting for the memory lapses. Treatment for DID aims to identify each alter, and merge these fractured identities into a whole by processing trauma.
Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder
Comprehensive psychotherapy that addresses underlying trauma is most effective for treating dissociative identity disorder. Following is a brief description of the types of psychotherapy typically relied on for DID treatment:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – CBT helps you identify negative patterns of thinking and behaving and replace them with healthier ones.
- Dialectical behavior therapy – DBT helps you identify and regulate emotions, set healthy boundaries, and improve interpersonal skills.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing — EMDR uses visual exercises to help change patterns of negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs to reprocess trauma within the brain.
- Trauma-informed therapy – Recognizes trauma symptoms, acknowledges the impacts of trauma on functioning, and works to heal trauma.
- Hypnotherapy – A mind-body intervention that uses hypnosis to put you in a relaxed state of heightened focus where you are safely guided to work through memories.
As with all mental health conditions, the symptoms and effects of DID are unique to every individual. Therefore, at Harmony Hills, treating dissociative identity disorder involves a thorough intake assessment and evaluation of your needs to determine your best course of treatment.
In addition to evidence-based psychotherapy, we provide evidence-based holistic therapies, including:
- Nutrition counseling
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Massage therapy
- Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong
- Spiritual counseling
- Equine therapy
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
At Harmony Hills, we understand trauma’s devastating and far-reaching impacts and are dedicated to helping individuals and families recover. In addition to psychotherapy and holistic treatments for DID, we help clients foster daily living skills, coping mechanisms, and healthy habits to promote their overall well-being.
Turn to Harmony Hills for Treating DID
Living with untreated DID creates havoc in daily life and devastates all involved. However, DID is treatable, and individuals with DID can enjoy a better, healthier life with help from a dissociative identity disorder treatment program at Harmony Hills.
Our private, 80-acre rural campus provides the perfect serene environment for individuals with DID to heal and grow. Our team is available 24/7. Call 855.494.0357 now to begin your path to recovery, or fill out our online form and let us get back to you.