So, okay. We are now in the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything is in lockdown, people are under quarantine, and most everyone is terrified to go out. What’s even more terrifying, for some, is the idea of living with a person who has Dissociative Identity Disorder. The first thing that comes to mind is James McAvoy in the movie “Split.” It portrays how, supposedly, a person with DID is so violent and unstable that he kidnaps and kills people for fun, and just because he could, due to his disorder.
Well, as much as I love M. Night Shyamalan and James McAvoy, the movie is far from the truth. Not all persons with DID are as violent and as deadly as the character that McAvoy played in the movie. Also, there are many inconsistencies in how a person with DID was portrayed. I am not a medical expert, but I know this for a fact because my twin has Dissociative Identity Disorder. And right now, I am stuck with her during this lockdown. She is not violent. My sister has never been deadly or a threat to herself and the people around her. They are different, yes, but for DID people to be labeled like that, it is unjust.
As I have said, my sister has DID, and we are together in this small house. COVID-19 forced us to be under quarantine, and we are on lockdown. I do not have to sleep with one eye open. Unlike some who have a weapon under their pillow, I do not do that. My sister is like any normal human being except that she has a disorder. This disorder makes her a bit different, but she has adjusted to it, and I have learned to accept that. With DID or without, I love her because she is my blood.
Did you know that up to 1% of the total world population is deemed to have Dissociative Identity Disorder? This data came from a reputable site called WebMD. Their experts have said that those who were diagnosed with the disorder have been “seeing themselves dissociate,” which is good because they can learn to manage it. Self-awareness is always a good thing for those with the disorder as they will learn how to cope and deal with their issues.
Like any other mental health issue, DID has no cure. There will never be a cure for mental health disorders, be it depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorder, ASD, ADHD, DID, and more. One can only manage this type of illness, the same with physical illnesses like diabetes, heart problems, and cardiovascular diseases. There is a treatment but not to cure, only to manage.
There are times when my sister is very normal, like you and me. A trigger will activate her DID, and then, she dissociates. But as of late, she has learned how to come back from it. We go through psychotherapy with a certified DID specialist. She is also undergoing hypnotherapy and Adjunctive therapy. My sister is very artistic, and she paints mandalas. It is one of the ways she copes with the symptoms of her DID. And it’s been good so far.
I just make sure that she does not get depressed or anxious. Her DID usually manifests if she feels very sad, very lonely, or very afraid. She is also aware of this; that is why she has her art to fill her days. Aside from that, she also writes and has a blog about people with DID. In a nutshell, I believe she is doing great.
What’s her work? Well, my sister sells her art, and we are just lucky to have a small business that we started at home. She cannot work in an office or anywhere else, which is why our parents set up this business for us, so she has something to do every day that earns a living.
Do not be afraid of people with DID. If you talk to experts about it, and not just rely on movies, you will learn what the truth is.