Living with someone diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder can be pretty challenging. Aside from the odd behavior, you won’t feel completely safe around your loved one, and that’s the truth. No one can tell what’s going on in your loved one’s mind and that makes the person completely unpredictable.
However, if this special someone is indispensable in your life, then you cannot just get away or ignore the person forever. It is your duty to help him or her cope with that condition. With this, you should learn how to deal and live with your loved one.
Below are some tips on how to do it while keeping your sanity intact:
Gain An Understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Being knowledgeable about Dissociative Identity Disorder is your best weapon in dealing with it. You need to understand everything about the condition. By learning how DID progresses, you will know what to do when an “episode” takes place, and how to avoid adverse outcomes.
Details about this condition are obtainable through the internet, mental health books of the latest editions, and a psychiatrist, upon consultation.
Provide Reassurance To Your Loved One That Even With His DID, You Will Still Love And Accept Him.
Assuring your loved one that you are by his or her side no matter what will make the person feel secure. It can’t be helped that people with DID would get some bad treatment from other people. The stigma is disheartening. This situation will make your loved one feel insecure and even unworthy.
If this thought comes in often, it can trigger or even further deepen the development of the condition. But doing otherwise, it will help the person stabilize his or her emotions.
Talk Openly With Your Partner/Spouse.
Communication always helps, especially for people with DID. However, during your conversation, you need to be careful and yet honest at the same time. Be sure that your loved one will receive the message well by using non-offensive words so that it won’t trigger a shift in identities.
In short, you need to be respectful to your partner or spouse, and his alter egos to avoid complications. Choose your words well and think first before you say something. Your words and actions can have an impact on him and “them.”
Connect With All The “Personalities.”
Get to know the person not just from the outside, but the “multiple insides” as well. It will also help you ascertain how you can treat them without tripping into factors that can trigger an adverse effect.
Be Ready For Irregularities.
One characteristic of people with DID is that they can be very inconsistent. In such case, you need to be ready for it. Take note of everything the patient tells you and be observant.
Talk About Fun Or Love-Filled Memories.
During your talks, you can casually mention those fun and loving memories together. This act will lighten your loved one’s mood since remembering something good can always bring an incredible feeling. It will help your loved one feel sheltered and at ease.
Be Careful About Physical Touch.
Physical abuse is one of the standard causes of DID. That is why it is not a wonder if people with the said disorder find themselves uncomfortable with physical touch or contact. Note on this and be very careful. Know your loved one’s view on being touched. If he or she finds it troubling, then respect your loved one’s feelings.
Patience Is A Virtue, Especially When It Comes To Sexual Intimacy.
If your partner or spouse has a DID, then know his or her views on sexual intimacy. If your loved one is not ready to be intimate or is uncomfortable with sex, you have to slow down. Be patient with him or her and don’t push it. Doing so can either trigger some negative or violent emotions or further deepen his or her trauma. This is true for people who experienced sexual abuse.
Have Fun With Your Partner.
Despite the condition, bear in mind that you love this person. Treat him or her the usual way and do things that you both enjoy doing together. It will ease the person’s mind off the condition and help your loved one feel alive again.
Here are some tips that you can use from therapists:
- Mara Hirschfeld, LMFT: “We can think of boundaries as a personal rulebook that informs others how to treat us, and specifically what is and isn’t OK.”
- Meredith Janson, MA, LPC: “It’s important to understand your partner’s reservations.”
- Mirel Goldstein, MS, MA, LPC: “I would recommend that couples share something vulnerable with each other each day because couples who stop being vulnerable and “play it safe” can find themselves feeling more and more distant from each other as time goes on and daily responsibilities compete with relationship needs.”
People with Dissociative Identity Disorder are difficult to handle. But if you are sincere with them and change up your approach according to personality, you will eventually get your loved one back.