Misconceptions About Dissociative Identity Disorder: Understanding Your Spouse With “Multiple” Issues Part 1 

Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID is one of the less researched illnesses in neurosciences. It is usually misdiagnosed or even taken for granted. It may be because of its rarity since its occurrence is statistically very low. But still, this mental health issue can develop on anyone. Your loved one or spouse can be suffering from DID, and with that, you need to know specific facts. 


Source: commons.wikimedia.org


Due to the disorder’s intermittence, many misconceptions were drawn about it. If you suspect that your spouse is suffering from a mental health issue, go to your psychiatrist immediately. It is better to treat DID at its early stages so that your chances of living a fulfilling married life is maintained. 


Anyway, below are some of the misconceptions on Dissociative Identity Disorder:  


Dissociative Identity Disorder Is A “Family” Disease. 


It is not precisely correct. According to studies, the percentage of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder in a population is only up to three percent. This number is significantly low, but the chances of acquiring DID is possible on anyone. It is especially true to those who have experienced trauma during their childhood. DID is not purely genetic. It can come about when a person has experienced severe stress and trauma altogether.  


People With Dissociative Identity Disorder Don’t Know Their Alters. 



Source: flickr.com


A person with Dissociative Identity Disorder has multiple identities. There’s this concept that the transition from one personality to another is unknown to the person. However there are some claims that the person with DID is aware. He has an idea that “people” are “talking inside”. But after a while, the person will lose his memory which can make the treatment program for people with DID more challenging.  


There Is Always An Evil Alter.  


Movies often sensationalize people with DID for having evil alters. The truth is that there is no such thing as the evil identity. There may be destructive personalities, but not 100% of them are violent or harmful. Don’t believe in movies like Raising Cain (1992) starring John Lithgow, or Secret Window (2004) starring Johnny Depp, and Split (2016) starring James McAvoy. These movies are entertaining and all, but they have portrayed a stigma on DID which is indeed false and misleading.  


DID Is Developed During Adulthood Only. 


It is another false assumption. If you had a traumatic experience at age six, you could develop the disorder right after the incident. So, no, it’s not true. DID surfaces on a person with particular causes to as early as six years old while on some, it can develop at a much older age.  A post-traumatic event can trigger the onset of DID.  


Dissociative Identity Disorder Is Similar To Schizophrenia. 


Source: commons.wikimedia.org


DID and Schizophrenia are two very different mental health disorders. Dissociative Identity Disorder has something to do with a person having multiple identities, while schizophrenia is related to extreme and Borderline Personality Disorder. People with Schizophrenia often show a disillusioned life or a detachment from reality. DID is not like that. Also, people with schizophrenia don’t generally have more than two identities, but it is possible to have DID and schizophrenia at the same time.  


People With DID Are Just Pretending To Have Multiple Identities. 


It couldn’t be further from the truth. Having multiple personalities can be very odd, but this is real. People with DID are NOT pretending to be ill. This claim of having multiple identities is proven and can be backed by many psychiatrists.  


Learning that your loved one or spouse has DID can be overwhelming. And the only way to help him is by understanding what the disorder is all about. You can’t go on believing the misconceptions and lies about DID. To address the root of the mental health issues, you have to prepare yourself for the truth. 


(There will be a part two to this article which will discuss further the misconceptions about Dissociative Identity Disorder.)