Understanding DID: Common Reasons Why People Develop Dissociative Identity Disorder

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The 2017 Disassociative Identity Disorder Conference discusses the reasons for developing dissociative identity disorder. Dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental illness that often develops in people who have experienced extreme trauma during their childhood. Affected individuals have alternate personalities that they may not be aware of. These alter have unique personalities and quirks that are different from the person’s usual character. The following are the most common reasons why people develop DID.

Abuse
About 90% of people with DID have been emotionally, sexually, or physically abused in their childhood. As they have to escape the horrors that they face in their homes, they disassociate themselves to cope with it. In some cases, people bury the memories of abuse that they forget it. Lucky for those who can immerse these traumas in their minds. There are also incidents wherein the alter mirror the conflicting personalities of the abusers.

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Neglect
In some cases, though, it is not an excessive amount of attention, as in abuse, that causes the development of DID; it is the inattention. Children who felt neglected in their developmental years tend to develop another persona to deal with the lack of emotional connection. It is critical to provide enough attention for kids, especially during the formative years.

Exposure To Natural Calamities, Accidents, Or War
Besides abuse and emotional neglect, exposure to highly unpredictable events also increase the risk of developing DID. Examples of these events are natural calamities, accidents that may or may not involve death, and war. People form an alter to tolerate the stressful conditions that they are facing and to escape the fear and pain that they are feeling.

Although it may be easier to dismiss and judge people with DID, it is better to treat them with kindness. Affected individuals have already experienced prolonged trauma in their childhood, and they need people who will understand and accept them. Knowing why people with DID develop their condition is one of the keys to understanding them and treating them with love.

The dissociative disorder often stems from mental injuries caused by traumatic experiences growing up. It is hard enough to go through distressing occurrences; much more, it is to deal with an illness as a consequence of it. Patients who are suffering need therapy and all the support they can get.