What is DID?

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a condition that causes a person to have two or more distinct personalities. It develops due to trauma that the person experiences. It started as Multiple Personality Disorder, but is no longer used medically. There is no cure for DID.

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DID is not:

DID is more than a voice in your head. It’s more of someone in your head, who is different from you, who can take control of one’s body.
DID is not something quirky or something to be proud of. It causes the person significant stress and worry.
While some people have another personality that is fine and harmless, others aren't, and joking or making fun of them can be dangerous.
People with DID didn’t choose to have it and are often worried about what might cause the other person to come out again.
People with DID don’t have a choice over when they disasociate.
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DID is:

There are one or more distinct personalities one has that can come and go as they wish. They can appear at any time and disappear at any time, though they tend to come out when the person would’ve a flashback.
Being that the person isn’t always in control, it can cause them to worry about when the other personality could come out. It adds extra stress, and this can worsen things.
A person develops DID due to trauma. So sexual abuse and physical abuse can lead to the development of DID, as it allows the person to either not deal with the memories or not have to be abused.

Common behaviours

The following are some common behaviours for people with DID. They do not apply to all people, as the condition is individual and varies from person to person.

People with DID often tend to not remember parts of their childhood, whether or not their trauma was part of their childhood.

Sometimes they find themselves in situations they don’t remember getting into or finding something that happened they don’t remember happening. For example, you find a shirt in your closet you don’t remember getting.

The person often finds themselves where time simply vanishes during the day. Where one moment it’s 9:30 in the morning, and while they weren’t distracting themselves, it’s suddenly 10:00 in the morning.

They remember things suddenly, from moments where they lost time or had flashbacks to traumatic events.

They sometimes feel like they aren’t in their body, and they are in a semi dream-state, and their thoughts don’t seem real.

They have moments where they feel things, or have moments where their senses send signals to the brain that shouldn’t be sent. They also hear voices talking to them, or the voice is in their head.

They tend to, even if they aren’t suicidal, try to take their life or hurt themselves. If they don’t get help for it, they will continue to do so, but they can get help with it.

Some people can have it where the handwriting between the two personalities is vastly different.

In some cases, the ability to function and do things can vary from highly effective or high functioning to nearly disabled.

Why should I care?

DID is sometimes boiled down to things it is not, this is harmful for these reasons.

  • It changes the definition of what this mental illness is in the public, which leads to people believing they have it when they don’t.
  • It waters down how serious a mental illness it is.
  • It makes it harder to diagnose those who actually have it.

What can I do?

  1. Spread awareness. Correct people who incorrectly use DID by saying inaccurate things or joking about it. Send them this page!

  2. Support groups for DID. There are many organizations that raise money to support people with DID and their families. Even if you can’t support them yourself, you can help share these groups with others, so they can support these groups.

The contents of this page is based on a Google doc. Feel free to suggest changes.