Taking Care Of Your Mental Health While Attending To The Needs Of Your Loved One With DID
Mental disorder is a serious matter. Most people think that it’s a rare condition. However, mental illnesses are more common than people think. It impacts adolescents and adults the most.
From psychological functions to physical abilities, the effects brought upon by severe mental derangement may completely disrupt a person’s life. The battle against it can be a long, arduous process.
Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Mental Illness
Previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is one of the rarest mental illnesses. It is a condition that affects the personality of an individual where the patient loses touch with the present and true self. The emotions, behavior, and memories entirely change as the person develops two or more personality states or identities.
DID diagnosis’s common signs and symptoms include drastic memory gaps, identity transformation, social and occupational impairment, and feelings of confusion. Other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety may also arise, if not already present.
The majority of those who suffer from this disorder are victims of terrible abuse and other traumatic experiences from their childhood.
There is currently no special medication available for DID patients. They receive the same prescription of mood stabilizers used to treat depression and anxiety. With this information, someone may experience it for a lifetime. It can be a terrifying notion, especially if someone becomes your loved one.
Having A Loved One Suffering From DID
Amidst the frightening thought that being with someone inflicted with DID is hellish, to both the victim and the family and friends, should not feel alarmed. TV shows and movie portrayals of the illness are often overdramatic and are in no way accurate and realistic.
Contrary to what the media shows, people with DID are more often calm but just vastly disoriented with what’s presently happening around them. There is nothing to fear about the dissociative identity disorder. It is much like other mental health problems that require the utmost and extended care, patience, and understanding.
Knowledge is an essential requirement when dealing with people who are undergoing mental disorders. If you are with someone who has DID, it is vital to be well-informed with the illness and not just the one party affected.
Your support for your loved one with the disorder is as necessary as seeking an exceptional advocate or therapist to talk to in case their other identities claim dominance.
Remember that those with DID often slip in and out of consciousness, including them forgetting your existence momentarily. So make sure that you can attend to their needs and show support to your significant other diagnosed with this mental condition.
As DID is primarily a coping mechanism of many victims of trauma, abuse, or violence, you must keep them away from any potential triggers. You may have to identify the triggers since it is often unique for each one. It’s necessary to address this with the help of a therapist. Talking about triggers may be difficult, but professional help will assist in creating a safe space for them.
As mentioned before, it could not be stressed enough how keeping mentally unstable individuals away from harm is a lot of hard work. Supporting them can be mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially draining. Hence, practicing self-care should also be a priority.
Looking After Yourself
Caring for someone struggling with mental health problems in general and not just dissociative identity disorder involves painstaking tasks that may give you the so-called “burnout.” Burnout is a real condition that affects many caregivers, whether a family, a friend, or a hired professional when their situation and responsibilities start to take a heavy toll on them.
To be in charge of someone who requires twice as much attention and effort, such as dissociative identity disorder, is a laborious demand. The exhaustion you will feel over a few weeks, months, or years, if left unchecked, can cost you instability too. No one talks enough and accounts for the suffering of caregivers in the mental health sector.
It is just as necessary for you to nurture your well-being. When your loved one gets diagnosed with or is already struggling with DID, you must acknowledge the sickness and not let it take over your relationship. Do not spend an ounce of energy nor time dwelling over how unfair the situation is or how you’d rather suffer; instead, seeing them in pain is already a pain for you as well.
Give yourself time. Acknowledge that you have to do other things aside from caregiving. Also, allow some time to reflect on what is best and what will work for you and your loved one. You can take small, baby steps to figure out things. The healing process of DID patients is a long one. You cannot and must not rush into anything.
Another critical factor is to not give up on what you enjoy doing. Most people drop everything they do, including their personal career and dreams, in a heartbeat for their loved ones.
Most believe that doing it will help them focus more on looking after their family or partner suffering from DID. But it is a major no-no. You must not forget yourself. Keep things that help you reduce stress and inspire you to continue to be hopeful.
Ultimately, when you feel you cannot push through on your own, seek a therapist too.