Dissociative identity disorder (DID), or multiple personality disorder, is a severe mental health disorder where people have two or more personalities that control their behavior at different times. DID is extremely rare, impacting only about 1% of the population. The majority of people with DID experienced severe trauma at an early age. DID profoundly affects the lives of those with it and their loved ones. The safest, most effective way to diagnose and treat DID is with a dissociative identity disorder treatment program.
At Harmony Hills, we specialize in treating complex mental health disorders, including DID. If you or your loved one has a history of trauma and is experiencing symptoms of DID, help is available at our holistic Florida treatment center. Living with DID can be scary and confusing. At Harmony Hills, we provide a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment where you can recover from trauma and learn to manage DID symptoms to live your best life. Contact our team at 855.494.0357 to begin your path to recovery.
What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative disorders are marked by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnect between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, memories, consciousness, and sense of identity. The symptoms of dissociative disorders develop in response to trauma. Stressful situations can worsen symptoms, causing everyday functioning to suffer.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a type of dissociative disorder where individuals have two or more unique identities. Each identity has its name, voice, age, personal history, personality characteristics, mannerisms, likes, and dislikes. DID causes gaps in memory that can include personal information and everyday events. Individuals with DID do not have control over shifts in identities, which makes life feel frightening, exhausting, and overwhelming.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of DID
DID often results from severe and prolonged physical, emotional, or sexual abuse experienced during childhood. However, it can also result from extreme neglect, natural disasters, or combat.
DID varies between individuals. However, common symptoms of DID include:
- An inability to remember large parts of childhood
- Frequent periods of memory loss or “lost time”
- Out-of-body experiences
- Episodes of feeling detached or disconnected from one’s body, thoughts, and feelings
- Unexplained events and an inability to be aware of them
- Noticeable differences in handwriting
- Self-harm or suicidal behavior
- Changing levels of functioning and cognitive ability
With DID, “core” refers to a person’s usual personality, and “alters” refers to their alternative personality. There is no limit to the number of alters a person can have. When different alters surface and take control of the individual’s thoughts and behaviors, it is called “switching.” Switching can happen in seconds, hours, days, weeks, or even months. Alters are often aware of each other and the core personality. However, the core personality is typically unaware of the alters.
Symptoms of DID often begin in childhood, between the ages of 5 and 10, but are often overlooked or misdiagnosed as other behavior or learning disorders, such as ADHD.
What Is the Treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Medications can help with symptoms of DID, such as anxiety and depression. However, psychotherapy is the most effective treatment. Some mental health specialists also use hypnotherapy. DID treatment focuses on:
- Identifying and working through past trauma
- Managing sudden behavior changes
- Merging alters into a single core identity
- Co-occurring disorders treatment
Early interventions and trauma-informed therapy can help prevent the formation of DID and other dissociative disorders. Do not delay seeking professional help if you or a loved one experience significant unexplained memory loss, a major behavior change when under stress, or a pervasive sense that the world around you is blurry or unreal. A mental health expert with specialized training and experience working with dissociative disorders should treat individuals with DID.
Reach Out to Harmony Hills for Treatment for DID
Untreated DID can have devastating impacts. If you suspect that you or a loved one has DID, seek professional help as soon as possible. At Harmony Hills, we specialize in treating dissociative identity disorder and co-occurring disorders. Contact our team at 855.494.0357 to learn more about treatment for DID.