This article is a continuation of an earlier writeup in this site titled Misconceptions About Dissociative Identity Disorder: Understanding Your Spouse With “Multiple” Issues Part 1. If you haven’t read part one, it would be best to start there before divulging on this one. It will clear up several ideas and thoughts in your head and can be helpful in the future.
Anyway, to continue, this article is about misconceptions circulated in the mental health industry regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. This psychiatric illness lacks research that is why people assume the worst. With the release of movies like Split, Raising Cain, Secret Window, Identity, Psycho, and the likes, information on Dissociative Identity Disorder is tainted. People readily assume that those with the disorder are crazy, violent, and hopeless of cure.
It is especially overwhelming if your loved one or spouse is diagnosed with DID. Hence, this article disproves the wrong ideas and will correct rumors.
Here are more misconceptions about Dissociative Identity Disorder:
People Think That The Switching Of Personalities Is Obvious.
Identity switching on people with DID can happen at any time. It can’t be noticed at first sight. The switch becomes evident only when there is a sudden change of voice tone, word preferences, handwriting and other characteristics. Even mental health experts can’t immediately determine who’s who during a treatment program with a DID person until they notice the changes.
Everyone Has Multiple Personalities.
It is true that a person can have different personalities. It is detected on how an individual reacts to a specific situation. But that person is still the same individual with the same likes, memories, and preferences. People with DID are not like that. Personality A is far different from Personality B, C, or D.
A Person With DID Has Numerous Alters.
The number of alters will depend on the extent of the person’s disorder. The switch will occur depending on the situation and the triggers. If the person is too stressed all the time, then you have to expect the alter to come out often. The alter will protect the main person. It doesn’t mean though that there are more than two or three “people” within the person. It is common for people with DID to have at most two personalities, but some have more than two.
People With DID Have Amnesia.
It is indeed is a misconception. Here is the truth to that. Part of suffering from DID is the onset of memory loss. Each identity has his memories, but once a switch takes place, you have to expect that the current personality has no immediate memory of what happened with the other person.
They Have Superhuman Powers.
Again, this is a lie. The movie “Split” must have stuck on your brain, and you think that a person with DID has superhuman abilities, but in reality, it’s not that. There are times wherein people with DID has this non-human identity. Note that non-human is different from superhuman. It usually comes out if the person was treated horribly or inhumanely which triggered the disorder. When pressured, the person will then act it out during a switch and become an animal, a supernatural creature, or demons. The reason for this is to protect and safeguard the main person.
Integration: The Treatment For DID
Since there is no medication to correct DID, the only means of treatment is to get people around the person to understand the situation. If you are a loved one, then, you also have to learn of ways to deal, handle, and cope with your spouse’s disorder. It is also imperative for your spouse to undergo psychotherapy and other similar therapy programs to address the mental health issue.
They Can’t Function Normally.
The truth is that people with DID can live a regular life. Most of them have families and long-running careers. People around them must adjust and understand them. They shouldn’t shoo them away.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a rare mental disorder which is why there are many misconceptions about it. To fully understand DID, you can consult a therapist specializing in this condition. Don’t take your time. If your spouse is suffering from a mental health disorder, then seek immediate treatment.