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Things you didn’t know about DID!

A Deal is a deal.

(To know what I’m talking about, click here:

Dissociative. Identity. Disorder.

(Disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality states.)

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a book by Sidney Sheldon- ‘Tell me your dreams.’ Spoiler alert: This book is about DID and you wouldn’t have known about it until you’re done halfway through the book. It’s about a woman named Ashley Patterson, a workaholic designer who lives with two alters within her – Toni Prescott (extroverted singer) & Alette Peter (shy artist) I’m not going to breakdown the plot to you. But the point is, this book talks about DID and its treatment. It shows how Ashley gets rid of her alters by conquering her fears. A must read if you want to know more about DID in detail from the protagonist’s perspective.

We have other Indian thriller movies like Anniyan(Tamil) aka Aparichitudu (Telugu) and Chandramukhi/Bhoothnath that has given a glimpse of DID and well received by the audience.

If you’re not really a fan of Indian movies or from India for that matter, we also have Fight club, Identity, Glass and Split showing what DID is.These movies don’t do justice to what actually DID is in real life. For the most part at least, these movies have made a negative impact, calling out the patients as bipolar, dangerous and schizophrenic, which they’re not.

Here are some myths that everyone believes to be true:

Myth1:They’re faking it to run away from situations.

For a long time (until 1980) people thought it did not exist and the patients were faking it and did not exactly know how to treat them.

Myth2:DID people are  dangerous.

These people lead a normal life just like the others. Only the movies portray them to be violent.

Myth3:The alters are extreme and very different.

The alters depend on the trauma faced by the patient and their defense mechanism to the trauma. Some may have two alters while the others may have more than fifteen.

Myth4:It’s just in books and movies. It’s not real.

DID is very rare, and there are people living with it getting their treatment to know the cause of alters in their lives.

Here’s what you need to know about DID:

  • It is caused due to a childhood trauma as a defense mechanism to protect themselves.
  • A person with DID has a frequent gaps in their lives taken over by their alters. It could either be for a few days or a few months. (Dissociative Amnesia.)
  • The affected individuals may have symptoms like confusion, sense of losing time, out of character behavior.
  •  They are usually treated by Psychotherapy, medications, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy.

But what’s more important?

These treatments are done to explore the feelings, thoughts and experiences in a safe environment. This is done to know the reason for the existence of alter/s and to make the individual aware of their trauma.

Most of the times these individuals, are misdiagnosed with Schizophrenia and are given neuroleptics. Doesn’t help and doesn’t work.

Here comes the last question,

“So why write about something that I could have searched by myself? “

Not many are aware of DID. We never know what was someone’s childhood like- abusive, traumatic, happy or sad. Besides, there are times when someone notices the symptoms in others and brushes it off as a sign of anxiety or stress.  

The rate of DID is 0.01% to 1% of general population.  Which precisely means there could be atleast(minimum) 750,000 people with DID and may not even know it.

Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom. Sharing it, is the first step to humanity.”              



A glimpse on what DID in real life is:

To know more about DID:

(Image Courtesy: Google)


Published by Ranjani Ravi

Choosing progress over perfection.

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