Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a complex psychological condition. It occurs when an individual fragments his or her identity into two or more personality states. Professionals call these alters. The majority of those with DID had gotten this disorder due to severe trauma.
In the workplace setting, employees who have DID might display various symptoms such as a tendency toward isolation, random outbursts, neglect, and suspicion of others. The consistent embodiment of these behaviors might lead to chaos in the office, which might lead to low employee morale and lower production rate.
With this in mind, managers like you need to know how to handle your employees with DID. Being successful in this area can make a significant difference in the workplace environment and the growth of the business.
Keep An Open Mind
You might blame all these outbursts to your employee with DID. However, you should also consider that there might be something wrong with the job itself or the people around him. His sudden changes in personality might be triggered by his co-employees or from the stress he gets from work.
To address this, you should first assess the situation by asking the following questions:
- Does the nature of the job consider the sensitive case of the employee?
- Is the workload just enough, or is it too much to handle?
- Do the people around him trigger the stress he feels?
- Are his co-workers sensitive in collaborating and communicating with him?
The answers from these questions will help you pinpoint which areas are causing your employee’s personality problems. Then, from here, you can now come up with the most effective solution for your employees.
Have Consistent One-On-One Sessions
When you see one of your employees—regardless if they are suffering from DID—violate company etiquette, make sure to schedule one-on-one sessions. Call them out for their behavior and give a non-threatening admonition. After this, create an action plan with them by asking the questions below:
- Are you aware of your triggers? What are these?
- What do you plan on doing to avoid these etiquette violations?
- How do you plan to inform your colleagues about your condition?
- What do you want your co-workers to do for you should another outburst happen?
This action plan will help both you and your employees to map out specific steps on how to go about their situation. According to Kristin Zeising, PsyD, “Recognise it takes both the therapist and you to address the issues and make changes.” At the same time, make sure that you will be wary of the therapist or counselor that you will get it touch with. Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC said that this is an indication that you have to re-consider your therapy sessions: “Counselor does not have sufficient and specific training to address your issues and/or attempts to treat problems outside the scope of the practice.”
Encourage Them To Seek Treatment
The first thing you can do is to direct them to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). There might be times that the employee might feel a little uncomfortable talking to his co-workers or bosses about his condition. The alternative for this is to seek the guidance of a professional counselor so that they can address the struggles they experience in the workplace.
Always remember that there might be a need to terminate a particular employee should they experience consistent workplace problems. As a manager, you must ensure the personal welfare of all your employees. If those individuals with DID are disrupting both the lives of other employees and the progression of the business, then feel free to let them go. It might be the best move for everyone. Look for a professional therapist like Lara Fielding, PsyD who enjoys what she is doing by saying “I am doing what I love, helping other people and [incorporating] what I know experientially and what I know scientifically.”