Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) | Overview & Symptoms

General overview of dissociative identity disorder (DID) / multiple personality disorder (MPD) including some symptoms and how they apply to me. DID / MPD is a mental disorder characterized by the presence of two or more different personality states that control an individual’s behavior. It is often a result of severe trauma during childhood, such as chronic physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse.

—CHAPTERS—
2:20 – My Experience
7:53 – Symptoms

—RELATED VIDEOS—
► PTSD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A80WprimQpc
► How Alters Are Created – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMyehvmowU8
► Proof of DID – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quo8wP7ppfQ

Table of Contents

    Introduction

    Hi everyone! In this video I will be discussing dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. DID or MPD is a mental disorder characterized by the presence of two or more different personality states that control an individual’s behavior. It is often a result of severe trauma during childhood, such as chronic physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. Think of it as a defense mechanism. It’s not uncommon for someone with DID to also have PTSD. If you would like to know more about post-traumatic stress disorder and my struggle with that, please watch my video on it. [PTSD]

    When someone is very young, and their brain is still developing, experiencing trauma has a very different effect than it does when you have matured. What I mean is, a child may learn to dissociate themselves from the trauma in order to cope with it. Kinda like saying, it didn’t happen to me, or it happened to a different side of me. As they mature, this continues to stay with them and may result in dissociative disorders. So, it is a function of the brain when experiencing trauma, to deny it happened, repressing it, or dissociating from it in someway. [How Alters Are Created]

    Many people don’t understand DID and think it is fake, not real, that people are liars and they intentionally forget things. [Proof of DID] I can see the point some people make, but it is very real, and I hope those people can learn and understand it better so they are not so judgmental. But, I will say that anyone who does fake something like this, or any kind of illness for that matter, since there are people that do, is someone that really needs to reassess what they are lacking in their life.

    Anyway, before I go into any more detail, I would like to say that some people who don’t understand will probably think I am absolutely insane, out of my mind, a total creepy weirdo, for what I’m about to say. And, I realize this too. I’m like, “What the hell am I saying all this for.” It’s a really frightening thing. So, I just thought I’d preparing you.


    My Experience

    So, my personal experience with DID is an interesting one. Many people have asked me if I had different personalities before. But, I never acknowledged it. Though, when I went to a psychologist in early 2013, I did notice something. I had many things planned to talk about, mainly the paranoia, delusions, and social isolation. But, when I would see her, I wasn’t able to tell her. Not that I was shy or intimidated about it or anything, it was as if I wasn’t aware of any major issues that needed to be worked on. I knew why I was there, but I didn’t know the details. I wasn’t able to tell her what I was paranoid and delusional about because it wasn’t me.

    Before I saw her again, I actually wrote down all the odd thinking I had that I wanted to bring to her attention. And, was about to read it off and was like, “This isn’t me. I’m not going to say these things. I’m not going to lie about myself like this.” When in reality, they were all things that I truly dealt with. So, I never really mentioned them. And, later when I realized this, it really upset me that these things were not brought up since I really needed help.

    When I saw her next, I remember having a conversation about if there was any dissociation with my personality. I said ‘no’ since I didn’t realize it at the time. But, over the next few weeks, I paid close attention and analyzed it deeper. I soon was able to identify eight or nine different identities that I never really gave a second thought about before. It was very weird. I began researching dissociative identity disorder and found it very intriguing, especially when I found a list of some common alters people with DID may have, and it was as if the person who wrote it knew me better than I knew myself. It was crazy.

    The identities I have recognized are all different in a sense, but are all still part of me. Some are masculine, some feminine, others don’t seem to have a gender, at least not from what I can tell. They all talk to one another, and to me. I very often have conversations with them, even out loud. Anyone that would hear me doing this would think I’m nuts for talking to myself in the third person. I do that!

    The different identities I have help me deal with various situations. They each have different views on things, and how matters should be approached. So, this creates a lot of confusion for me. If I ever seem to contradict myself, that may be why since I have noticed that before. I don’t know at this point if there are any triggers that make certain ones come out.

    The primary identity is the one that suffers from the bulk of the mental health issues, at least the most severe ones. The others do not, which is very strange. That is why I could not share the main issues with my psychologist. All the primary one wants to do is retreat and not be bothered with anyone or anything. She, in no way, would ever consider doing these videos. She is way too shy and anxious. The thought of her being online with people watching her talk, makes her freak out and have a panic attack. Which she has after realizing that there are in fact videos of her online. So, she wants to delete them all since she doesn’t want to be a part of it.

    She is unable to express her feelings properly because she fears that everyone will judge her, make fun of her, because she says no one likes her. No one seems to care about her feelings or emotions, which only verifies her theory. I on the other hand, can express her views if she writes them down. Plus, I am a lot more rational, so I suggested doing these videos since I knew in the long run, it would help her overcome a lot of the issues she has, despite how difficult it has been. Through me, she has been able to be open about big issues she deals with, and people have said how strong and inspirational we are. Yet, she still thinks everyone is trying to do her harm. She is severely traumatized.

    So anyway, she writes the script for the videos, and I read them, except for a few things here and there. I’m sure I sound totally nuts to some people right now. Anyway, since my opinions, views, and experiences are not necessarily the same as hers, it’s hard to show the proper emotion when doing these videos. Things usually end up turning out differently than envisioned, which is upsetting. It’s like reading about someone rather than expressing your own views.

    So anyway, I will go over some of the symptoms.


    Symptoms

    Many of the symptoms can resemble many other illnesses, so it can be very difficult to diagnose. A lot of people may be diagnosed with bipolar or schizophrenia prior to being properly diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder.

    The first symptom is depersonalization or a sense of being detached from yourself. Someone may feel like they are not themselves. Perhaps watching themself act, with no control over the situation. This happens to me quite often, especially when under a lot of stress and anxiety. A lot of times I don’t really know who I am. And, this makes me very upset and confused which makes the situation even worse. There have been plenty of times that I am doing something and it seems like someone else is doing it. Almost as if I was possessed and unable to control what my body is doing.

    There have even been times when I have taken photos of myself, and the next day I look at them, and am like, “Who is this? This isn’t me.” Or when I look in the mirror, I see a stranger that is not me. And, this was after my gender identity issues we corrected, so that wasn’t the case. Also, there have been many times after a high anxiety day that I have awoken from a sleep at 1:30am and something is very very wrong. I cannot explain the feeling since it is an in-the-moment kind of thing. It’s that I don’t remember the day I had and I feel such regret about everything I have done in my life, like how I act, look, and just about everything else. It’s very unsettling.

    The next symptom is derealization which is a perception of the external world seems unreal. This happens a lot to me. I mean, it seems like I am almost always living in a world of fantasy and imagination. I feel like I am living in a dream like state. Everything seems surreal and out of place. My perception of what is really going on becomes distorted. It is a very odd feeling that can last for short periods of time to several days.

    And, the next symptom is amnesia. This can be of time periods, events, and/or people. This is where people can think you are lying. When you say you don’t remember people, or arrangements you have made, or other things. But, amnesia is very real and very serious. I don’t really remember anything from my childhood. All I know was that it was very bad, and I went through all types of abuse. So, my childhood, and even my teenage years are mostly a big question mark. It’s not that I choose to forget, it’s that I truly don’t remember, because I blocked it out.

    Currently, I cannot really say whether or not I lose time, though I do find myself saying, “Where did the day go,” a lot. There have been periods that I am out somewhere, having a very high anxiety day, and all of a sudden something shifts and I am like, “How did I get here, how are you people?” And, this confuses me greatly and freaks me out. There have even been times when I am in my own house and all of a sudden I feel like I am in a stranger’s house. I recall one time that it was very intense as I was walking down the steps slow trying to figure out where I was. And, I saw a family member and was like, “Who is this?” Several hours later I finally came back. It was really scary.


    Conclusion

    It’s all a new discovery for me as I continue to learn and understand it all. I don’t find that all my identities are completely dissociative from one another. There does seem to be some synchronization between them all. I recognize them all as different parts of me, because that’s what they are. The moment I begin to think of them as completely different individuals, with completely different lives, is when things start to get out of hand. I look at it very rationally, saying that a particular identity, perhaps one that I don’t like, is a side of me that I don’t like. What is that part I don’t like, and what can I do to overcome it. I think this a crucial part of treatment, to recognize the various identities you have and bring them all together. Something that may be very difficult for some people. I am thankful that my condition isn’t to that severity. And, the fact that I am very well aware of all my issues is a big plus too since it helps me understand and overcome the problem.

    I think the first place for treatment is to overcome any trauma that is present. To recognize it, talk about it, so one may overcome it. Then, to get the different identities to be in coordination with one another. Ignoring and suppressing traumatic events even further can only make matters worse and you may find your life spiraling out of control. So really, if you want to overcome the problems, you have to be willing to acknowledge a problem exists and actually want help, as well as believing in yourself. And, you shouldn’t feel pressured, talk about the incidents at your own pace. And one day, you will triumph over all the trauma and issues and retrain yourself so that you live a life of peace and harmony. That is the goal is it not? To live a happy, successful life?

    So, I hope this video was informative. Thanks for watching!

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    Notes

    DID (dissociative identity disorder) is something else I learned about and found rather intriguing since I could relate to it. Learning about the disorder certainly made my life make more sense as to why I was the way that I was, especially due to my past. There was a part in this video where I called myself ‘totally nuts.’ This was mostly sarcasm mixed with doubting myself. I wish it could’ve been edited out at a later point, but it’s there and nothing to regret. This was also my first video dressed in different attire, all white, which is usually associated with my alter personality, Iris.