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What is Dissociative Identity Disorder/DID (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder)?

Updated on February 17, 2014

What is DID, formerly known as MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder)?

Dissociative identity disorder is a condition in which two or more "personalities" take control of a person's behavior. A number of DID cases have been documented in medical literature and have been dramatized in award-winning movies and TV shows such as "Sybil," "The Three Faces of Eve" and "United States of Tara." It's now estimated that up to 1% of the population may have DID, but it's still a controversial diagnosis. I created this page in honor of someone very close to me with DID. I hope this lens will help to enlighten and educate people about the condition.

("Allow me to introduce myselves" button from Zazzle)

did-artwork
did-artwork

My Personal Disclaimer

I'm not a therapist, a doctor, a scientist, or a researcher

Many of the lenses I've created on Squidoo are about relatively unimportant topics such as Who Invented Chocolate?, The First Hot Air Ballooon or Santa's Nice List. I don't feel a need to explain why I wrote about those topics. Basically, they're just fun. But I do think I should explain why I chose the topic of DID and what you should know about the information here.

As the subtitle says, I'm not an expert on DID. I'm just a regular person who has had a long relationship with someone with DID. I knew her years before she was diagnosed with multiple personalities (before they changed MPD to DID), and when she finally was diagnosed, it made a lot of sense to me. Before then, I just thought she was "forgetful" or "flaky" or "moody." But it was much more than that. You might be wondering how I wouldn't notice such an "extreme" disorder, but people with DID are amazing survivors. They had to be to survive the horror that usually caused their condition. So they hide it from those they don't trust to see their multiplicity, which is usually almost everyone. You might notice some odd behavior from time to time, but unless they decide to let their guard down and let you into their world, you won't know they experience the world in a way that is very different than the way we singletons experience it.

If you've ever watched a movie or TV show about someone with DID, you might think alters jump in and out all day long and there's a dramatic change when it happens. But that's not really how it usually works. (See my thoughts below on popular movies and TV.) If one percent of the population has DID, you probably know someone with this condition. You just aren't aware of it because people with DID don't want to call attention to themselves. They are not usually going to act in ways that make it obvious they have adopted this clever survival method. Plus, if you go to school or work with someone with DID, it's likely you're usually with the same person/alter. Each of the alters have their own roles to play and their own strengths, so it's unlikely that, say, a five-year-old alter is going to come out in the middle of a business meeting.

My friend with DID is one person most of the time. Her alters tend to come out when she's under stress and can't function, and then they jump in to help. That's why they came into existence - to help - and that's what they still do. They also come around when she's having flashbacks of her abuse because each of them holds different painful pieces of her memory. But in daily life, her behavior and personality is fairly consistent, and most people would never guess she has DID unless she tells them. They might notice some slight oddities every now and then (like when one of her alters speaks with an accent), but most people chalk these up to "quirks." I sure did for many years.

When I finally found out she had DID, however, it immediately rang true to me. It explained a lot of "quirks" and things that had happened over the years, from suicidal behavior to memory lapses, to that slight accent that would come and go, to a lot of other things that seemed odd. I even thought for a long time that her real name was just a nickname because one of her alters had led me to believe that. So I have never doubted her diagnosis or the existence of DID. You won't find any links or information here that suggest DID isn't real. That's my first bias.

My second bias is that I don't think people with DID are "crazy." In fact, I think they're quite clever and amazing. At least, my friend is. She has been partly integrated for over a decade, but I know and have known many of her alters and found them to be fascinating and creative (and much better artists than she is!). What's crazy is not the way she managed to stay alive, but the horrific things that happened to her when she was a child. Her abuser was absolutely crazy. She is not. I also don't think that someone who is multiple and wants to remain that way is crazy.

So that's my disclaimer - I'm no expert, I believe in DID, and I don't think people who have it are crazy.

Now that you've read the disclaimer, please feel free to continue on. I hope you find the information here useful and educational. This page is meant mainly to provide resources for friends and family of people who have been diagnosed with DID as a result of severe trauma or abuse. But if there are any multiples visiting, welcome to you all, too!

(About the image shown above. The unicorn image here was drawn for me by Aria 8, a child alter of a woman with DID. It was drawn by the "same person" (i.e., that's what the rest of the world might think) as the image at the bottom of this lens that appears just before the guestbook. Both images shown here are displayed with permission of their creators.)

DID Video on YouTube

I found this video on YouTube. I think it's absolutely brilliant. If you want to gain a glimmer of understanding into life with DID in under three minutes, this is an excellent introduction.

Causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder

DID is generally caused by trauma at an early age. The disorder most often develops in children subjected to "chronic and severe abuse." According to the Merck Manual online, "about 97 to 98% of adults with dissociative identity disorder report having been abused during childhood. Abuse can be documented for 85% of the adults and 95% of the children and adolescents with dissociative identity disorder."

Of course, millions of children are abused during childhood and don't develop DID. The Merck Manual politely points out that those who develop DID are usually subject to "chronic and severe abuse." I think a more appropriate word would be "torture." In most of the literature I've read and in my own personal experience of having a very close relationship with someone with DID, "torture" is a more accurate description of the kind of unimaginable, horrific abuse suffered by children who develop DID. DID is an extremely clever method of surviving an extremely violent childhood.

Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder

A person with DID may have the following symptoms:

- Exhibits at least two distinct personalities that that each have their own way of perceiving and relating to the world around

- Experiences episodes of amnesia or time loss beyond mere forgetfulness

They may also experience these symptoms, which may be present in people with any type of dissociative disorder (not just DID):

- Depression, anxiety or suicidal feelings

- Depersonalization (feeling detached from yourself)

- Flashbacks

- Sleep disorders

- Eating disorders

- Self-mutilation (such as cutting)

- Drug or alcohol abuse

- Panic attacks or phobias

For more information, visit these links:

Sidran Foundation - Help for PTSD and Dissociation

Mayo Clinic - Signs and Symptoms of Dissociative Disorders

How Many People Have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)?

It's not quite as rare as once thought

According to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, studies suggest that DID may exist in up to 1% of the population.

But the incidence of all dissociative disorders is much higher. "Diagnosable dissociation occurs in approximately two to three percent of the general population," according to the ISSTD, and "immediately following severe trauma, the incidence of dissociative phenomena is remarkably high. Approximately 73% of individuals exposed to a traumatic incident will experience dissociative states during the incident or in the hours, days and weeks following."

Books About DID for Multiples - Self-help books for those with DID and those who love them

These books are written for people with DID, but are useful reading for anyone wanting a better understanding of the disorder.

More Books for Survivors - Healing from abuse and PTSD

These books are not specifically about DID, but are very excellent sources of information and healing for sexual abuse and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Books About DID: Personal Stories

There are a variety of good books that have been written about personal experiences with DID. What I like about these types of books is that they provide a lot of hope. You can see how others have overcome their trauma and learned to thrive. My personal favorites here are "Sybil" and "When Rabbit Howls."

But while I would recommend these for friends, family and significant others of those with DID because they can be very helpful in understanding the condition, I would caution anyone with DID to be aware that these stories contain accounts of severe abuse. Therefore, they may be triggering.

Miss America by DayCHECK PRICE

Marilyn Van Derbur was crowned Miss America while in college and later went on to become one of the most successful motivational speakers in the country. She is also an incest survivor. Although she does not have DID, I am including her on this lens as an inspiration for those who have suffered from sexual abuse (as many with DID have). Marilyn repressed her memories of sexual abuse for years, and is a great inspiration to those who have survived similar experiences.

I heard her speak many years ago, and she was amazing. A version of that speech is available on her website, Miss America by Day.com and is called A Story of Hope. It shows her first public speech in which she told about her childhood incest. The speech is inspiring and should be non-triggering for most abuse and DID survivors. I highly recommend it.

A second, more recent speech called "The Journey of Recovery" is also available from the site and is equally good. It touches on many of the same issues as the first speech, but is spoken from the perspective of someone who has more years of recovery under her belt.

She has also authored a book called "Miss America by Day," which is available from the site or through Amazon. In addition to describing her personal journey of healing, the book offers a variety of self-help sections for abuse survivors and parents who want to protect their children. It's an excellent read for anyone wanting to have a better understanding of the painful process of healing from incest. The chapter titled, "Seven Things Never to Say" is especially good for friends and family who are trying to support a loved one who has survived sexual abuse. It will prevent you from sticking your foot in your mouth and saying something stupid.

Sybil Two-Disc Special EditionCHECK PRICE

Sally Field won an Emmy and Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for their portrayals of women with DID in the movies "Sybil" and "Three Faces of Eve," respectively. Although these movies feature actresses portraying DID, they are based on real cases and I would recommend them for anyone wanting to understand more about the disorder, as long as you understand that you're watching Hollywood's very simplified and condensed understanding of the disorder.

Others would disagree with me. Some people believe movies such as these present an overly-dramatic and not-altogether accurate picture of DID and aren't useful at all. I'd have to agree that these movies simplify and dramatize DID, but I think there is still a lot of value in them. I know my friend with DID watched Sybil a number of times because it gave her hope to see how Dr. Wilbur was able to help Sybil, and I think it also gives people an idea of the type of abuse that causes DID. If you watch Sybil, you'll get a pretty good idea that the "abuse" she was subjected to as a child was pretty severe. I think there's some value in that understanding.

So I like these movies, and that's my viewpoint. You can decide for yourself.

Those movies are available on DVD, but it's also worth checking the TV listings for other movies. A re-make of Sybil aired on CBS in June 2008. Tammy Blanchard played Sybil and Jessica Lange played Dr. Wilbur in this version of the movie. Shelley Long of "Cheers" fame also starred in 1990 in a made-for-TV movie based on the book "When Rabbit Howls."

As with the books, I would caution that movies about DID can be triggering for multiples.

Sybil (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Sybil (Two-Disc Special Edition)

The two-disc 30th anniversary edition of this classic movie includes interviews with the screenwriter, actresses and producer, and also includes paintings created by "Sybil," which was a pseudonym for Shirley Mason, the real woman whose story was told in the movie. The interviews with the screenwriter are particularly interesting, as he answers a lot of questions about the fictional aspects of the movie and why they were included.

It's still the best movie ever produced about DID, IMHO.

 

United States of Tara

Showtime original TV series explores the lives of a woman with multiple personalities

[UPDATE: Showtime eventually pulled this show after three seasons. Comments below apply to the first season of "United States of Tara."]

Now there's a TV show about a woman with DID. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of Showtime's new half-hour comedy, United States of Tara, so you know it can't be bad. The series stars Academy Award-nominee Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, a woman the show describes as "your average suburban wife and mother... except when she's not." Tara has DID. She's married with two children and has four alter personalities that also share their life.

I think what's exceptional about this show is that it focuses on the normal daily life of a person with DID. While movies such as "Sybil" and "Three Faces of Eve" have explored the trauma that causes DID and the difficulty of healing from extreme abuse, United States of Tara focuses on what it's like to live with DID. You see Tara with her family instead of her therapist.

The show is getting rave reviews for its serious content along with its sense of humor. After seeing the first two episodes, I thought it was brilliantly funny. After seeing more episodes, I'm not quite as enchanted. They've created Tara's alters to get maximum humor and drama out of the show, so I think some of it is very unrealistic and overblown based on what I know about DID. I think it's very unlikely that most people with DID would behave in a few of the ways the show has depicted.

Having said that, I still think Collette is a terrific actress who does a wonderful job portraying all of Tara's alters, and I still love the fact that the show isn't focused on Tara's disorder. It's about living with DID, not having DID run - or ruin - your life. That, in itself, is still enough reason to watch the show, IMHO. Just remember that it's TV, not reality.

If you love someone with DID, United States of Tara is a good reason to subscribe to Showtime. But if you don't have Showtime, you can watch the entire first episode free on their web site.

Trailer for United States of Tara - TV series stars Toni Collette as a woman with DID

Recovered Memories - Books on how the mind handles trauma

There has been a good deal of skepticism in the media (and, to a much lesser extent, the mental health field) about repressed memories. Can someone really repress a horribly traumatic event and then remember it years later? People with DID may struggle with this issue as they remember abusive situations, as it seems counterintuitive that you could "forget" something that seems like it should be unforgettable. No one seems to find it odd that a person in a car crash can forget everything that happened between the time they got in the car and the time they woke up in the hospital the next day - completely forgetting the traumatic event, the minutes leading up to it and perhaps a period of consciousness after the accident. But there has been a lot of popular skepticism about the ability of children to repress traumatic memories that they don't recall until they're adults.

False Memory Syndrome

Unfortunately, skeptics have invented the phrase "false memory syndrome" or FMS to cast doubt on dissociative memories. This is not a medically classified condition. False Memory Syndrome is a phrase coined by an organization that advocates for people who say they have been falsely accused of childhood sexual abuse. It is not a medically recognized condition.

Traumatic Memories

In fact, studies have shown that the brain handles and stores traumatic memories differently than it handles "regular" memories and "forgetting" these events is not uncommon. In her book "The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation: The Hidden Epidemic," Marlene Steinberg, MD, notes that a 1994 study of 129 women with childhood sexual abuse histories documented by ER visits showed that 38 percent of the women did not recall the incidents when interviewed 17 years later. This book is a great resource for anyone wanting to understand dissociative memories.

For a quick but informative and impartial overview of how the brain handles traumatic memories, the Sidran Institute has a great fact sheet called What are Traumatic Memories?.

For more in-depth analysis of how a person can seemingly forget and then recover a repressed memory, "Unchained Memories" is another great resource. This book is not about DID, but it is helpful in understanding how the brain handles and remembers traumatic events. Author Lenore Terr, M.D., uses real stories to illustrate how memory works in traumatic situations and critically examines the difference between recovered memories and "false memories." It's balanced, insightful and very readable. Highly recommended.

More Famous People: Herschel Walker - One of football's greatest running backs reveals he has DID

Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder
Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder

From Amazon: Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created "alters" who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other "alters" came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level.

In Breaking Free, Herschel tells his story -- from the joys and hardships of childhood to his explosive impact on college football to his remarkable professional career. And he gives voice and hope to those suffering from DID. Herschel shows how this disorder played an integral role in his accomplishments and how he has learned to live with it today. His compelling account testifies to the strength of the human spirit and its ability to overcome any challenge.

 

Herschel Walker Video on DID

Stand Up and Be Counted

I've been pleasantly surprised over the years to meet other people who know or have known someone with DID. If 1% of the population has this disorder, it's likely most of us have encountered someone with DID (although you will never know about it unless they trust you enough to tell you). If you know someone with DID, please sound off below.

There is also a guestbook at the bottom of the page where you can leave longer comments. It's a bit difficult to leave long, thoughtful comments in this section, but the guestbook has a lot more room for feedback.

Do you know someone with DID?

Yes, I do.

Yes, I do.

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    • sierramatthews 4 years ago

      My roommate has 4 personalities. He also has uncontrolled PTSD, meaning that he refuses treatment because he thinks he's just fine and has it under control. What he doesn't realize is that the personalities change so fast in a day so he can deal with whatever situation isn't working for the other personalities. Personality No. 4 as I call it is the worse, this is the one personality that will take the stress-er of the moment and just whack it off ie; tough day with a girlfriend, break it off and never talk to her again, tough day at work, he wants to quit, luckily until morning a different personality usually takes over and he stays at his job. Living with someone like this definitely puts you into a co-dependent lifestyle and can be more then frustrating. I think that in the near future that your 1% is going to escalate into much higher numbers..great lens with a lot of great information :)

    • ManyMightyOnes 4 years ago

      I live with DID. I thank you for putting together this Lens, it is well done.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I am in love with a woman that has this and it has been on again off again as I struggled to figure her out- even now she does not admit it but there is no doubt and knowing the horror she must have endured has caused an empathic connection that makes me love her even more.. but she won't let me in and i am having a very hard time letting go and moving on..

    • Lori Green 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      I know 2 people. One passed away. She was so split that one personality had a heart condition and one didn't. It made diagnosis very hard. One personality was also very anemic while the other wasn't. She was a medical marvel. She died of heart failure at a very young age. She was very abused at young age.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      My girlfriend of a year and half has DID. Weâve been friends for the last four years and Iâve known she had DID since before we were together. However itâs only within the last year that she has felt comfortable to talk to me openly about her DID, and I have since realised just how much it affects her life. I feel very honoured to be trusted this much by her and her defender alter (who is now a very good friend of mine). She is currently working on a book about her experiences with DID to help raise awareness and understanding of this disorder, which is so desperately needed. I hope that one day people with DID can live in a world where they do not have to constantly cover up their multiplicity as if it was something to be ashamed of and be recognised as the incredible survivors that they are.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I have DID. Life with alters is so different than what others describe inside when they are alone. I am three weeks being intigrated after a few years of intense therapy. Not hearing my alters and having them to come out when I am too stressed about something is so exhausting. I miss them SO much.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I have it and one of my very close personal friends has it as well.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I have DID and a few years ago a doctor was trying integration and at the time put me on a medication risperadol which changed me dramatically for the worse. On top of that I went through a frightening situation in which I went into hiding in fear of my life. At some point during all of that my alters just disappeared one day and I knew they were going but didn't know when and I have felt lost and alone for a long time and long for them to come back to me the way they were. I need them, I don't know who I am anymore and I'm sad. Certain ones still reappear every now and then when something triggers them out but is not the same. I've read that alters can go into hiding but I also want to know how can I bring them back to me so as we can be a whole system again. To top it off the so called doctor could not believe so much could happen in a persons life and said I was living in a fantasy world and looking for attention and decided that I did not have DID after all basically he thought I made it all up. How could that be when he diagnosed it when I was at my worst and so bad it was work colleagues who picked it up and I had many alters coming through all day and the changes would flow together and each one was always consistent. I had no control over it at all it just would happen and some had accents and many were children, had ones for specific roles, some as protectors and was so bad that I had children coming out at work and so much more there is no way I could have pulled that off for 3 years. I wish this disorder was more understood and going on my own experience I am sure that there is still so much more that the experts still do not know or understand about this disorder. I do know it exists and that I have it or at least did and now they are either hiding or something else is going on. I really need answers and have been searching would like to know if others have gone through anything like this to at least know that it is a normal thing that happens to some people with DID, thank you for listening.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      I have iatrogenic DID result of hypnotism electroshock who know its treatment

      please maile me tavakolim17@yahoo.com

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      not only do i have DID myself, but one of my best friends in real life has it as well - maybe a strange but awesome coincidence. it's nice though because my system is low-functioning and her system is high-functioning so we educate each other so that can be cool :)

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      We has DID. It makes life hard... more than hard... The young ones are scared... some of the teenagers are angry and abusive to others... but mostly we are all just terrified of being hurt again. The little ones want to play... the older ones want to be alone. No one is trustworthy. We are alone.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I do. And I'm really annoyed by the rude articles on the internet, and what's this false memory syndrome crap? It's not even a real syndrome. The abuse must have started around my childhood, but mostly my later years are all I remember. I think people should look beyond your disorder to the person you really are, and not be so judgmental.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I have DID

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I have it.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I have DID..I could say more but I choose to remain silent..quiet and hidden in the background..

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      i know someone with this condition.the personalities can be rude and very distructive towards myself, how can the person trying to understand this condition protect themselves from any hurtful remarks these personalities make

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I think I have DID but I haven't been diagnosed yet.

    • SelfAndSource 6 years ago

      Tohru, DID is not something to be ashamed of. Probably whatever caused it is not your fault.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I have DID. I fear of others finding out yet I know this is how I survived. I am proud of my creativity and cleverness, yet at the same time, ashamed of this socially unacceptable condition in myself. I am good at hiding it and also try to avoid extremely stressful situations so that my alters don't feel the need to come out and help because then I might be found out.

    • SelfAndSource 6 years ago

      Yes, one who has been diagnosed with about 80 alters. Extremely creative...her artist peers call her the female Michaelangelo

    No, I don't.

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      • anonymous 5 years ago

        My college advisor for over two years has DID, and he has been writing to me with one of his alters since August. I hope that somehow he sees this and knows that I know his "secret" and that it is okay. I know he has lived through things most people cannot imagine, and although things have been rough between us at times, I will still be here for him. It's not your fault, and I will help you...I do not believe isolating yourself is any way to live; and our friendship can exist in person, too.

        My ex fiancé had the same condition; I have experience.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        My partner of 6 and a half years has been diagnosed with DID after I found him cheating with another woman.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        my girlfriend

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        My mom.

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        The guy I have a crush on...

      DID/Dissociative Identity Disorder Links - Learn more about DID

      This page merely gives a brief overview of DID and some recommendations about books and movies that may be helpful to survivors and loved ones, but if you'd like to learn more, here are additional links to visit.

      Artwork by a Woman with DID - Look Closely

      This illustration, entitled "Look Closely," was drawn by Tori, an alter of a woman with DID. The unicorn illustration above was drawn by Aria 8, a different alter of the same person. Both images are shown here with permission.

      Let Us Know You Were Here - If this information was helpful, please leave a message!

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          Janusz LM 9 years ago

          Brilliant Lens! a definite thumbs up :)

        • profile image

          LadyJtalks 9 years ago

          You are working well here. It's so good to see links up to all the stuff that has been written over the years. Build it and they will find it.

          Any questions on how it is on the inside just write me. Thanks for putting up me little office link here. Let others know that if they find themselves past all that professional stuff and concerned about still being able to hear those inter voices, that they are ok and perfectly normal for a multiple.

          I've known many over the years who have "quieted" the alters while undergoing therapy, and it's a needed stillness and calm that they find in their life at that moment. Yet down the road I want them all to know that it is "normal" for the voices to return and never be ashamed or embarressed to admit and talk about that again.

          That is where those of us who have been out here all these years again are here for you. I love seeing so many sites with all the information on. Such a wonderful thing. IN your honor today, Lady J

        • JakTraks profile image

          Jacqueline Marshall 9 years ago from Chicago area

          Thanks for joining the Mental and Emotional Health group. This is a great lens!! Very glad to have you. jak

        • sisterra profile image

          sisterra 9 years ago

          Excellent, excellent lens. 5 stars!

        • TopStyleTravel profile image

          TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

          It is sad to face all the problems that plague mankind. But knowledge impowers people to do something about it. Along with prayer.

        • profile image

          LadyJtalks 9 years ago

          are you a mother/father 4R children's futures?

          I wanted to take a moment and ask you to visit our web site and see if you think we are doing the right thing. If after you read our mission statement at

          http://ttidd-enter-prize.ws/mothers4Rfutures

          Just briefly we are mothers of children who are now in their thirties and it's so hard to watch them have to struggle and both parents working to manage a household these days.

          The mothers of Duffys Closet Associate Artisans have decided to start online businesses for each of our children and work then online until they are making enough to be equal to what they make at their jobs right now.

          So We'd like to invite you to one of our first sites to check the few opportunties out there.

          I chose two that were both $10.00 a month to be a member. One you get lots of free stuff from and can build a business by inviting people. You get $1.00 for each person who signs on from you. Same with the other yet that has a web site. LJ

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          Came across this while surfing the web, it is always a pleasure to find a blog or website by someone who understands and supports those with MPD/DID. We would like to link to this page for our readers to use as an additional resource.

          Peace and blessings

          Keepers

          http://www.keeperskorner.com

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          DianiaLee 8 years ago

          Wow! What a wonderful lens! Very Interesting indeed.

        • profile image

          DarleneOuimet 8 years ago

          As one who has recovered from DID, (and now I work supporting others in recovery), I found this lens to be an excellent resource. Thank you for the time you have put into it. I have marked it a fav so I don't forget where you are! Blessings!

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          This is a great page! I found it while looking to see what other DID/MPD awareness stuff was online, and I really appreciate what you've done here.

          And thanks for putting a link to my CafePress store. I really appreciate that others are helping to get the word out. Just a note: the ribbon is intended to be a crazy quilt--lots of different pieces, sewn together to make something beautiful. (Also to distinguish it from the Autism Awareness stuff, which uses puzzle pieces!)

          I really appreciate what you're doing, and thanks for a great page.

          --JA

          http://copingincrazyville.com/index/

        • LisaDH profile image
          Author

          LisaDH 8 years ago

          [in reply to Jigsaw Analogy] You're welcome! Glad you found the page and hope many people enjoy your work on CafePress.

        • profile image

          tdove 8 years ago

          Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

        • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

          ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

          Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

          Lizzy

        • profile image

          julieannbrady 8 years ago

          A most informative lens -- thanks for putting this together. I was surprised to read of some of the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder! I wonder just how many people have DID and have not yet been diagnosed?

        • lollyj lm profile image

          Laurel Johnson 8 years ago from Washington KS

          Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT information. If this wasn't LOTD, it should have been.

          I'm intimately familiar with DID and your information is spot on. The best experts on this condition are the people who have it, or the ones who live it with them on the sidelines. I'm relatively new to Squidoo and would not have discovered this lens if you had not visited and left a message on mine. Thank you so much for visiting my lens, and for creating this informative page.

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          As a person who deals with DID on a daily basis, I have to comment on your page. It is excellent. Very informative and the links you've added are outstanding. Thank you for this. And also thank you for your compassion . It is nice to know there are people that do believe in this diagnosis, other then the therapists and the pdocs that treat patients with DID

        • AshleyBretting-MS profile image

          AshleyBretting-MS 8 years ago

          Very nice job here! I may feature it on my own lens at:

          https://hubpages.com/health/MentalHealth4U

          Come by and say hello :)

        • cjsysreform profile image

          cjsysreform 8 years ago

          thank you very much for this. i have PTSD/DID (at the place where i was diagnosed, they see the two as existing along a continuum of severity). it means a lot to me to see that someone has made a thoughtful, well-researched and well-written lens on the topic.

          (also, a young part of mine is thrilled with the drawing of the horse.)

        • LissaKlar LM profile image

          LissaKlar LM 8 years ago

          I don't know anyone with DID but I'm writing a lens that relates to DID and you cleared up some misconceptions I had about it. Thanks Missy

        • kellywissink lm profile image

          kellywissink lm 8 years ago

          Well done!

          Welcome to the Squidoo 100 Lens Club.

        • profile image

          stevie10772 8 years ago

          Thank you for this highly informational lens. It certainly helps me further understand an order that I have often wondered about.

        • AlisonMeacham profile image

          AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

          Another excellent lens which I hope helps to raise awareness of this subject. Angel Blessings to you.

        • gozergirl profile image

          gozergirl 8 years ago

          great informative lens. I grew up with someone whom was never diagnosed but we strongly suspect had DID.

        • dc64 lm profile image

          dc64 lm 8 years ago

          You are a good friend to have researched and written on such a subject. It's an interesting look into the condition, and I can see how a childhood trauma can cause this disorder.

        • profile image

          GrowWear 8 years ago

          I believe. ...Have read Sybil, When Rabbit Howls, First Person Plural. Can so understand the amazing survival instinct! Breaks my heart that, as children, these folks were treated so horrifically. I find it so telling that in When Rabbit Howls, Truddi's energy field could play havoc on electronics. Tori's artwork is beautiful. I love Aria 8's unicorn, too. :) Also, this lens is an excellent work! :)

        • profile image

          Joan4 8 years ago

          This is an excellent lens about a very confusing subject. I am so glad you created this and dispelled some of the myths and untruths. Yes, I believe that DID is a very real condition. And probably misdiagnosed or not diagnosed more times than we realize.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 8 years ago

          [in reply to GrowWear] Yes, that little bit about Truddi's problem with electronics was interesting!! And it has happened to my friend, too. Wild, eh?

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          Thank you.... for more then you can know.....I have DID, and I'm in a support group for it and yesterday i was upset cause I have an issue with thinking I'm crazy, I know it sounds like a pity thing but I just hate the missing time, the body memories, the memories itself and i think it's all a bit crazy , so my therapist who runs the group ever so calmly said that until i face that what I have is a gift and something that is amazing, I can't come back and see her, but her saying that or other members confirming that no....were not crazy doesn't hold the same meaning that someone who doesn't even have DID but can be so utterly supportive, that I'm not crazy, and that the way I chose to cope at the age of 7 is very brave and clever, so thank you again!!!!,

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 8 years ago

          [in reply to Jessie] Jessie, you made my day. :-) You WERE very brave and clever to survive, and I hope you will learn to honor that. Stick with the therapy. Life will get better. Good luck to you!

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          does DID effect the patients family? and how?

        • religions7 profile image

          religions7 8 years ago

          Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :) & I would be honoured to have you in my http://www.squidoo.com/groups/consciousness group?

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 8 years ago

          [in reply to cassssssssie] Yes, DID can affect a patient's family. "How" is a pretty big question to answer because it depends on so many factors. Also, it depends on whether you're talking about the family of origin (the one in which the child grew up) or their own family (spouse and kids) when they're grown.

          It's been a long time since I read the book, but I think Cameron West's First Person Plural touches on this topic, as he was married at the time he was diagnosed, and Showtime's United States of Tara series deals with the impact of DID on a family. But as I noted above, United States of Tara is a TV show designed to be humorous, so it's accuracy is not always so great.

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          Excellent Lens. 5*

          If you get a chance check out my Instant Stress Management lens.

        • profile image

          qlcoach 8 years ago

          DID is a painful and complicated disorder. Thank you for sharing all of this valuable information. I met you on Lensroll. Hope you will visit my new lens about emotional healing. Gary Eby, author and therapist.

        • EelKat13 profile image

          EelKat13 7 years ago

          sending some angel blessings your way

        • Wendy L Henderson profile image

          Wendy Henderson 7 years ago from PA

          Excellent lens.

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          i read this yesterday and was very moved, the use of words like gift and beautiful weren't used by my therapist, he said it was like a tree with many trunks instead of 1 although the roots of the tree are all in one place the trunk and branches have separated and he wanted us to bring the different trunks and branches together, i didn't see how that could be done without splitting the existing trunks and forceing them into one tree that may be weaker than the three trunks as they are.....

          My fiancée is the only person other than my therapist who 'really' knows about my situation and she thinks its an amazing thing that we do. my parents and brother just refer to the condition as my sock puppets, it is a great support to see that other people think that it is a gift and beautiful and not to be feared.

          really grateful for this lens (sic) being done, thank you soooo much.......

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 7 years ago

          [in reply to Bran] Brian, I'm so glad you found this page useful. I do believe DID is a gift, although it's certainly not something I would wish upon anyone, as the way most (perhaps all) people develop this gift is through horrific abuse. But not all people who suffer horrific abuse are able to cope so creatively, so it is an amazing gift.

          In regards to your therapist's analogy, I have seen magnificent redwood trees where two trunks have joined into one and the tree has grown into a strong towering marvel that reaches to the sky and is a joy for all to behold. And all the branches are still intact. :-)

          I wish you much peace and healing.

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          As a therapist who works with people with DID, I love your site! Very compassionate and accurate, in my opinion. Thanks

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          I have DID and I just love this lens. I have never considered myself crazy. I believe that having DID helps me to live and enjoy my life. I do know that most of my friends consider me a bit weird, but it does not matter. They don't know that I have DID, but they love me the way I am. Also my husband loves me the way I am. I am well educated and professionally in a good position. I was diagnosed a long time ago and I am not in any treatment. I enjoy my life with DID. I wish angels protect my two precious children and all the children in this world from abuse. However, there is and there will be violence and abuse. Having DID is a way to survive and enjoy life, it is a way to fight the abusers. Thank you for this lens.

        • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

          Kate Phizackerl1 7 years ago

          Detailed and well compiled lens. Blessed.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 7 years ago

          [in reply to Pauliina] Thanks for your feedback, Paulina. I'm happy to hear that you're doing well and are enjoying life with your husband and kids. I love what you said about "DID is a way to survive and enjoy life, it is a way to fight the abusers." Yes, indeed!

          If you had chosen to drown your life in alcohol, or continually abuse yourself or others, or commit suicide, or simply hide away from life, then your abuser(s) would have won. But you chose life. You chose love. And you chose not to let the past keep you down. Good for you!

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          Sorry to post this bt I don't want to tell anyone else for his sake. I think my boyf has DID. He was in hospital a year ago with a dissociative illness, I think amnesia or fugue, I get confused between the two. I've been trying to learn more so I can understand because he doesn't like to talk about it much, I think he feels shame, he said he's scared of losing his job and going back to hospital. At times he's be very open, caring, loving. Sometimes he's almost like a child, so frightened but craving love, upset at the most irrational things which he takes as rejections. Then sometimes he is cold, disrepectful, and talks differently. He admitted the other day he doesn't always remember conversations either. I see him struggle trying to remember but he won't talk much about it. He has also described what sounds like derealisation, gets headaches, bouts of depression. I love him v much.Can I help him?

        • love2glow profile image

          love2glow 7 years ago

          Very informative lens. 5 stars. We need to arm ourselves with knowledge! Thank you and many Blessings to you and your wonderful work.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 7 years ago

          [in reply to love2glow] Hi Macy, does your boyfriend know the diagnosis he was given when he was in the hospital? If you think he has DID and hasn't been diagnosed, I would encourage him to see a good therapist (the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation can help you find one). If he has been diagnosed and is already in therapy, then I would just let him know that you're open to whatever he wants to tell you about it.

          You CAN help him. Just keep loving him. That's the best therapy there is. :-) And learn as much as you can about DID and PTSD. Dealing with DID can be challenging because your boyfriend may be an adult, but many of his alters are wounded children and trying to deal with a child the same way you deal with an adult won't work. The more you understand this, the more you'll be able to understand him and help him.

          Good luck. With love, all things are possible.

        • religions7 profile image

          religions7 7 years ago

          Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on the Consciousness, Awareness, Psychology & Neurology Headquarters

          http://www.squidoo.com/groups/consciousness

          It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could show your appreciation by featuring it here, or lensrolling it or something.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 7 years ago

          @religions7: Katinka, thanks for the compliment. :-) I am very pleased to lensroll the Consciousness, Awareness, Psychology and Neurology Headquarters lens here and encourage any readers of this page to visit. There are a lot of interesting lenses there.

        • profile image

          RosaAmarilla 6 years ago

          I think it's awesome that you made this lens simply because it matters that much to you. :) I have known a few people with DID and other dissociative disorders, and I have felt honored that they would be honest with me about it because I know it's such a huge sign of trust.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @RosaAmarilla: Thank you so much for your comments. This lens is (and always will be) the one nearest and dearest to my heart. You're right when you say that it's an honor for someone with DID or other dissociative disorders to trust you with their secret. I hope this page helps those with DID know that there ARE people they can trust to be understanding.

        • darciefrench lm profile image

          darciefrench lm 6 years ago

          Excellent lens on dissociative identity disorder. Being a bipolar type of personality, I can relate, the two extremes are so different it often is like two different people. When I am depressed I am depersonalized. Angel blessed and featured on November Blessings personal stories. My best to you and your friend, thanks for raising awareness about the impact of childhood sexual abuse trauma and how we cope.

        • profile image

          akrause2112 6 years ago

          I have always been fascinated with this disorder, especially as a student of psychology. I believe the carriers of these personalities have an amazing power of escape that many of us cannot fathom. It is a power and not a disorder and it is amazing. It is wonderful for you to be a great friend! Inspiring and another Squid Angel blessing indeed!

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @akrause2112: I love to hear people say things like, "It is a power and not a disorder and it is amazing." I hope everyone who visits this page will agree with you. Thanks for the blessing. :-)

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          In response to Shane, who left a question in the Do You Know Someone with DID section - I don't think anyone can tell you whether you should give your ex-girlfriend the letter, as we don't have enough information. But I believe if you follow your heart and are open, caring and supportive, you will find your own answer.

        • SelfAndSource profile image

          SelfAndSource 6 years ago

          Excellent lens. Yes, one of my very best friends was finally diagnosed with D.I.D. after many years of counseling. I just wish she had been diagnosed sooner. Thank you for putting out this lens. More people need to know about this.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @SelfAndSource: I wish your friend the best of luck in healing. Thanks for visiting.

        • best-intentions profile image

          best-intentions 6 years ago

          Thank you is really all I can muster at the moment.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Is DID similar to Bipolar Disorder?

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          My fiancée has D.I.D. we work through it together everyday each one of his alters has a very distinct way to them. I have meet all 9 though the ninth was only for a moment i understand each one on a level i myself can't understand. Each time a new problem arises with in his alters, i think of it as a new puzzel to sort through. We work through our problems and will continue to do so.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @best-intentions: You're welcome. :-)

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: From my limited knowledge of Bipolar Disorder, I would say they're not really very similar. The diagnostic features of Bipolar Disorder mentioned in the DSM-IV include major depressive episodes accompanied by hypomanic episodes. It's a mood disorder.

          DID is classified as a dissociative disorder and the major features are the existence of two or more distinct identities or personality states that take control of a person's behavior. People with DID also have lapses of memory, and the disorder is generally caused by severe childhood abuse, while Bipolar Disorder is not.

          I'm not very familiar with Bipolar Disorder, but there are a lot of good resources on the web to learn more about it.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: Best wishes to you both. He's lucky to have you!

        • profile image

          JustinSanity 6 years ago

          Basic premise of MPD/DID falsifies itself.

          Definitions:

          - Minimal Self: the awareness of Self in the immediate here-and-now. The Minimal Self has two components;

          - Sense of Self-agency, "I am the one doing this or that"

          - Sense of Self-ownership, "I am the one experiencing this or that"

          The basic assumptions, upon which conceptions of Multiple Personality/DID have been built, are:

          - when a child experiences trauma/suffering that they cannot escape from, physically, they can still escape the trauma/suffering mentally â through a reflexive, involuntary dissociation process

          - this dissociation process involves the "splitting off" of a secondary personality, who will "take over" and experience the trauma/suffering, retaining a memory of it, in the place of the original or master personality who may have no memory of it

          The point of all this, is to ESCAPE SUFFERING. It makes sense that, if a child who was being raped could change their perception from "I am being raped" to " âsome other personâ is being raped", that might alleviate some of their suffering. This would be a severe episode of dissociative depersonalization, where one component of the MInimal Self â the Sense of Self-ownership â has been disrupted, has 'collapsed' or become inactive.

          Episodes of dissociative depersonalization â where the experience of "this is happening to me" (Self-ownership) fades out and is replaced by a sense of "this seems to be happening, not to me, but to âsome other personâ " - are not that uncommon, when a person is "in shock" or under extreme stress.

          This is NOT THE SAME phenomenon as "splitting off" a new personality, a new "I" or "switching to" a different personality, a different "I".

          "I", whatever identity it carries, experiences Self-agency and Self-ownership.

          "I-Bob" is being raped and the suffering is intolerable, so "I-Bob" collapses and Sense of Ownership is taken over by "I-Sam".

          "I-Sam" is still being raped and possesses Sense of Ownership, so "I-Sam" is going to experience intolerable suffering. The suffering has not been escaped, or alleviated or mitigated in any way. A switch of identities canât help the victim, if the Minimal Self â experiencing Sense of Agency and Sense of Ownership â remains functional.

          Even if it was possible, "splitting off" a new personality couldnât help a victimized person escape their suffering, so that canât be how or why alters come into being.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @JustinSanity: QUOTE: "Even if it was possible, "splitting off" a new personality couldn't help a victimized person escape their suffering, so that can't be how or why alters come into being."

          I must disagree with you because it is possible and it does help escape the suffering - at least for a time. Here's how - each alter can hold specific memories that are not necessarily known to the "core" (for lack of a better word) until that person is able to handle them. So rather than one person living with multiple memories that would be too much to deal with, there are can be many people who each have only one or a few memories, and the knowledge of these doesn't have to be shared across the entire system. The end result is that it does minimize suffering because the memories can be doled out slowly over time, so they're easier to deal with.

          Many children who experience abuse - even those who don't develop DID - also repress memories. It's a common coping skill. They repress memories of abuse until they're older and are ready to deal with them, or the memories are triggered by some event. People with DID simply spread these memories out across multiple alters.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          I have always found DID to be particularly intriguing. Never once have I questioned the validity of this disorder, since the idea of a child (especially one of above average intelligence and creativity) fragmenting themselves into other personalities to help cope with severe trauma makes logical sense. I have read everything I can get my hands on about this topic. "When Rabbit Howls" struck a cord with me the most. It gave me shivers and chills and nearly made me sick to my stomach. Nothing to with Truddi Chase or her troops, of course, but her stepfather. The abuse she suffered at his hands was worse than anything in a horror movie. How somebody could do such things to someone as young as two is beyond me. Castration is what people like him deserve. Anyway, enough for the rant, I'd like to tell you that I was very impressed with this. It was informative. On an extreme level and written with such clarity. I believe you've done a world of good for people with this. Good on you!

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: I agree with you about "When Rabbit Howls." Even though I read it years ago, it has stayed with me more than any other book I've read. Thanks for the compliments on this page.

        • KarenTBTEN profile image

          KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

          It is frustrating when you witness something, yet people can't believe it's real because of their preconceptions. A stressor, a quick eye blink, and everything changes. I have a page on a similar topic, based on experiences that simply burn. It's called Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I did take a different stance on the movies based on society as a whole, but I see where you are coming from with your friend.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          I have basically figured out that DID accounts for how I am now after having a traumatic life previously. I'm hoping to be able to talk to my doctors about this and learning how to live with it. Thanks for all of the information on your lens.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @KarenTBTEN: I'm glad to see your lens on DDNOS. There's an entire spectrum of dissociation, from the everyday "zoning out" that all of us do to the more severe forms, such as DID.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you found this information helpful.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          I have found this very informative and helpful thank you. I have not been diagnosed but everything in this lens rings true for me. My husband is very loving and supportive of me and my others. thank you again, I don't feel like a freak anymore.

        • Diana Wenzel profile image

          Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

          I wanted to visit when I read that you consider this your most important lens. I don't personally know someone with DID, but I think everyone should be aware of how it impacts others. Thank you for being a voice for those who could use our understanding, compassion, and support. I very much appreciate what you have shared here.

        • profile image

          JustinSanity 6 years ago

          @LisaDH: @lisadh - Thank you for replying. You haven't really addressed the substance of my concern, probably I failed to express it clearly. This concept of 'alters' as holding tanks for traumatic memories, as you've expressed it, relates to and may be derived from a retroactive analysis - as you've said: "The END RESULT is...minimize suffering.."

          I'm concerned about the idea that alters come into being as an immediate solution to suffering experienced in the here-and-now (rather than the suffering of carrying traumatic memories). Dissociative depersonalization, wherein a victim's sense of Self Ownership (I am the person experiencing this suffering) fails and their perception shifts to "some other person" is experiencing this, could alleviate suffering in the here-and-now. However, generating another 'self', another "me" but with a different identity, doesn't externalize the perception of suffering to "some person who is not me".

          The standard explanation for the origin of alters, i.e.,

          - "when a child experiences trauma/suffering that they cannot escape from, physically, they can still escape the trauma/suffering mentally â through a reflexive, involuntary dissociation process involving the "splitting off" of a secondary personality"

          contradicts itself and cannot be correct.

        • profile image

          JustinSanity 6 years ago

          @LisaDH: @lisadh - I'm very uncomfortable with what is being expressed, here:

          "...the carriers of these personalities have an amazing power...that many of us [i.e.,the average person?] cannot fathom..."

          "I love to hear people say things like, "It is a power and not a disorder and it is amazing." I hope everyone who visits this page will agree with you" - is that so?

          Is it your intention, then, to communicate to your readers that persons diagnosed with DID are actually specially 'blessed' and/or 'gifted' by their DID? I hope you don't intend to say that persons with a potentially disabling condition, believed to be overwhelmingly a result of serious child abuse, are actually blessed to have this condition & are gifted by it? You seem a caring person with good intentions, so I have to believe it is not your INTENT to suggest that serious child abuse could ever be "a blessing in disguise" or the root cause, (directly or indirectly), of any 'giftedness' that anyone might possess.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @JustinSanity: Hi Justin - I understand your concern and criticism. I don't mean to imply that DID is a "gift" we all should wish for. I certainly wouldn't wish it upon anyone because horrific child abuse is not something I would wish upon anyone for ANY reason.

          But I do believe that DID is an amazing coping skill and that people with it shouldn't be treated as freaks or candidates for a locked psych ward simply because they have a different coping mechanism. If the alternative to DID is death or self destruction, I think DID is the better option. In that sense, yes, I do believe DID is a gift because it helps survivors cope and heal rather than perish. In my opinion, anyone who has survived the terror, torture and abuse that most people with DID have been subjected to is amazing.

          I would never suggest "serious child abuse could ever be a 'blessing in disguise.'" No child should ever be abused. But the ability to survive and heal and go on to a lead a productive, happy life is a blessing, in my opinion.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @JustinSanity: Hi Justin - I thought your initial comment was mainly about not understanding how dissociation could help someone escape suffering. But it seems like you're more interested in whether the current belief that DID results from childhood trauma makes sense or perhaps whether DID can occur at all as a result of trauma.

          On the first point, I can only say that the current medical/psychiatric consensus is that DID usually results from extreme childhood trauma and is a coping mechanism to help the person avoid suffering. I have read some accounts on the web of people with DID who say they didn't suffer any abuse and believe their condition is simply a natural variation in the human condition. Who am I to say that's not possible?

          On the question of whether DID exists at all and whether a person's mind can develop alters as a result of extreme childhood abuse and torture, I've already stated my bias - I believe DID is real, I know someone who has it, and her experience is consistent with the current information that says alters split off and come into existence to help cope with extreme trauma.

          It may not seem logical to you that alters can be created as an "immediate solution to suffering," but it's also not logical that anyone would ever inflict horrendous abuse upon an innocent child. Why should we expect a child's reaction to unimaginably horrific violence to be "logical" when the catalyst for that reaction doesn't make any sense either?

          It sounds to me like you may be questioning the validity of DID. If that's the case, I probably can't change your mind. But we don't need to completely understand everything in order to believe it.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: Glad you found this page helpful. Thanks for visiting.

        • profile image

          JustinSanity 6 years ago

          @LisaDH: Thanks for the clarifications. It's necessary to ask for clarification, because there are people using "DID supportive" websites to promote the FALSE idea that child abusers can and do deliberately induce DID and other "special powers/abilities" in their victims BY ABUSING THEM in a systematic manner. That is impossible (thank goodness!), and promoting the idea that there could be "secret formulas" for using child rape and torture to generate desirable qualities in children - under the guise of "exposing abusers" - is an evil thing to do in my opinion.

          There is one other thing that I would ask you to contemplate, about how you are choosing to approach this topic & your desire to be supportive of "DID" persons. Some of your statements, particularly in response to comments, describe and promote a hierarchy of abuse experiences:

          "...millions of children are abused during childhood and don't develop DID...those who develop DID are usually subject to...SEVERE abuse..."torture"...unimaginable, horrific abuse..."

          and a hierarchy of abuse survivors: DID abuse survivors being "extremely clever", "brave", "gifted" and "amazing" persons - IN CONTRAST TO other abused persons, who may have "drowned their lives in alcohol", "abused themselves and others", or "committed suicide" and therefore must have been stupid, cowardly, talentless and unremarkable - ?

          This is all very puzzling to me, since DID persons could not have CHOSEN to be what they are (you imply this, several times) - nor would abuse survivors with other coping mechanisms have been likely to have consciously cultivated any coping mechanisms they might have ended up with.

        • profile image

          JustinSanity 6 years ago

          Thanks for the clarifications. It's necessary to ask for clarification, because there are people using "DID supportive" websites to promote the FALSE idea that child abusers can and do deliberately induce DID and other "special powers/abilities" in their victims BY ABUSING THEM in a systematic manner. That is impossible (thank goodness!), and promoting the idea that there could be "secret formulas" for using child rape and torture to generate desirable qualities in children - under the guise of "exposing abusers" - is an evil thing to do in my opinion.

          There is one other thing that I would ask you to contemplate, about how you are choosing to approach this topic & your desire to be supportive of "DID" persons. Some of your statements, particularly in response to comments, describe and promote a hierarchy of abuse experiences:

          "...millions of children are abused during childhood and don't develop DID...those who develop DID are usually subject to...SEVERE abuse..."torture"...unimaginable, horrific abuse..."

          and a hierarchy of abuse survivors: DID abuse survivors being "extremely clever", "brave", "gifted" and "amazing" persons - IN CONTRAST TO other abused persons, who may have "drowned their lives in alcohol", "abused themselves and others", or "committed suicide" and therefore must have been stupid, cowardly, talentless and unremarkable - ?

          This is all very puzzling to me, since DID persons could not have CHOSEN to be what they are (you imply this, several times) - nor would abuse survivors with other coping mechanisms have been likely to have consciously cultivated any coping mechanisms they might have ended up with.

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @JustinSanity: Hi Justin, your comments are very thoughtful. I don't mean to demean any abuse survivors by saying people with DID are on some higher level of abuse "hierarchy." I think ANYONE who survives horrific abuse or torture, whether as children, POWs or otherwise, is brave and amazing. There is something inspirational about a person who can walk away from that kind of inhumanity and still maintain hope and faith in themselves and the rest of the world.

          It is the same kind of respect and admiration I feel for people who have overcome any great challenge in life. We can't all control our fates, but some people are better at rising above them. I think that is why most people would agree that Nelson Mandela and Lance Armstrong are inspirational - they overcame life's challenges with a strength and courage that most people would find remarkable.

          Statistically, many people who are abused as children DO grow up to become abusers themselves or to abuse drugs and alcohol or commit suicide. But that doesn't mean I'd use any of the negative adjectives you've chosen to describe them. I'd simply say that they don't have the same coping skills - through no fault of their own - as people with or without DID who have been able to find a more positive path through life. You're right that we don't consciously choose our coping mechanisms, but we do ALL have some responsibility and choice over the path of our lives. We can choose to use the skills we have and move toward healing and light, or we can choose to be dragged down by the past. That is a choice every person, abused or not, makes with his or her own life. IMHO.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Hi. I've been researching DID for a short while now and I'm wondering if you know-- when a person has DID, how does one identity not find out about another when a friend of the person with DID calls her by the name of an absent identity?

          Also, this was a very interesting lens, and thank you for creating it with such detail and variety.

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          LisaDH 6 years ago

          @anonymous: Hi Madison - I'm not sure I understand the question. Can you please clarify and I'll try my best to answer?

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          @anonymous: I have an alter who doesn't know about anyone else (only reason I know about her is because my counsellor has met her). She's 18 and has a severe eating disorder. People call her my name all the time, and she just takes it. She says that's her name, and responds to it, even though she feels as though her name is Ashley. She doesn't know about any of the other alters (my counsellor is still waiting for a sutible time to talk to her about it). Ask her what her name is, or how old she is, or anything like that, and she responds with what she's expected to say. Basically like acting. It's not real for her, but she has to keep that mask on because she's so afraid if people knew who she really was.

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          anonymous 6 years ago

          @anonymous: Wow, thank you, Mandi. That helps.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Thanks for sharing. Life is hard enough when we have good childhoods. It's unthinkable that some people are so cruel and heartless that they force defenseless children to develop this tragic illness just to survive, but we know these people exist and that these children do survive. Bless you and your work.

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          sherioz 5 years ago

          I want to compliment you on this excellent lens. As a therapist who has helped people suffering from various dissociative disorders, including DID, I attest to the quality of this piece on DID. Not an easy thing to do in today's atmosphere of skeptics and false memory proponents.

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          Dreamscaper8 5 years ago

          One of my best friends may have this. At first, I didn't believe her because I thought she pretended to be someone else to get attention. Thank you for educating me on this, as I can understand her a lot better now. I am also very fascinated with psychology, most specifically mental disorders. Great lens.

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          grannysage 5 years ago

          I worked with the chronically mentally ill for many years but only knew one that might have had DID. Perhaps it is as you said, people with DID have learned how to survive, while many of my clients had not. One of my clients used to refer to herself as a man, but not all the time, so it could have been DID. I had to laugh one day when there was a men only party in the dining room and she decided to go because as she said, "I'm both."

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Hi I'm Trina and I wrote before about my alters having gone into hiding and that there were things going on in my life around the time my doctor who had diagnosed me with DID and at the time was treating me for DID that made him begin to question me. As it turned out those adverse events were very real and were going on in my life and was later able to prove that when the situation had lead to a court case and there were witness statements that were handed to a colleage of his that I happened to have been sent to for further evaluation which proved him very wrong. I have now been seeing another psychiatrist for quite a few years now who told me some are like that and that he is not one of them.

          Anyway recent situations causing some distress have triggered them back out again which is usually how it happens only every time this happens they seem to come back with full force and I worry that people will notice it. This time around I am a lot more co conscious than I had been at other times and I've noticed the switches and my voice changes in tone and my whole personality especially when it is a regressive episode. I've felt myself regressing a few times which is when child alters come through and I've become aware of it. It's like you are detatched from yourself observing yourself as this whole other person yet at the same time feeling as though you are separate. It's a strange feeling and not something I can really share with anyone. Lately when it has happened I've been a bit concerned that other people may have noticed so I try to hide my dissociating or cover it up but that is very hard to do with alters. In a way I am glad they have come back because I don't feel so empty anymore but I do worry about the switches being too obvious because I don't know how people would take it if they knew it was happening. When it was really bad previous times it was really noticeable and there were a few times when I would be talking to someone and halfway through I would have a switch and someone else comes through and I have suddenly no idea what we were talking about will just stop having completely lost my words. Sometimes halfway through a conversation an alter would switch in and midsentence my voice would change and had one with an English accent which really startled people and their response made me become consciously aware of the switch just as it would happen and stop it. Another time I became disorientated and dissociated while driving because it was night and I was lost and had got distressed and I could actually feel myself become little and a child alter was behind the wheel of my car got confused between a red crossing light and a red traffic light and ended up on the wrong side of the road where we narrowly escaped a head on collision. That really scared me and I'd never let it happen again. I've noticed a much stronger one and my tone of voice usually gets deeper and I have absolutely no fear at all, is very confident and is usually the confrontational one. These are usually protectors which is good to a point so long as she doesn't get our head kicked in, in the process. I don't mind the child ones but they can get us noticed and I hope it doesn't end up like last time when they used to dress me and do my hair because some people actually thought I was mentally handicapped. Their voice is usually softer too and my behaviour becomes child like. A few times I've thought a friend had noticed I was different and might of thought I was weird. Another thing that is really hard for me is remembering things. I usually can't access any memories of my past at all unless they are triggered out and even then they can be very vague. I do get flash backs every now and then but as soon as they come they are gone again. Some of my memories associated with early childhood trauma are in feelings because at the time I was too young and didn't have the language to put them into words so I associated them with feelings I felt at the time. Being in hospital often triggers these memories with regressive episodes and I get a feeling of terror with memories of being in darkness and held down and I can't scream and it happens every time and I have night mares for weeks. One of my sisters told me it's probably a good thing I don't remember because if I did it would probably break me. These memories make me want to cry because I know whatever happened was really bad. I have one memory where I'm choking and gaging and sometimes I wake up feeling like I'm being suffocated and I can't breathe. I've also been diagnosed as having dissociative seizure disorder which I really want to have stopped. I can't handle having them anymore and they seem to have become more frequent and I was told that sometimes people diagnosed with DID developed the seizure disorder. I can't take the warning signs when it is about to happen I get this really intense feeling of terror and fear and vision goes really weird sometimes I get a bit shakey and I start getting really dizzy and disorientated and a really intensely bad sick feeling comes over me, like I'm going to vomit and then I pass out and find out usually that I've had a seizure and usually I know that I have because I've usually wet myself .Often I still feel sick for a little while afterwards. So you can see why I dread it happening to me, I can't handle what it does to me and how it makes me feel anymore and the thought of it happening makes me want to cry. It's such an aweful feeling when it happens. I'm not upset that I've had another personality flip and started dissociating again so long as I can control it better than before. So long as no destructive or self harming ones come through this time. I'm pretty sure I've managed to stop them because that's when things can get bad. One thing I did learn was how to gain some control and there are also some situations were I need to be an adult with turning into a child all of a sudden and having people think I am absolutely nuts although I'm certain some people would think that any way with some of the closed minded thinking that goes on out there.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          @anonymous: It's not that I'm trying to hide this deliberately, it's just that I don't think people would understand. I don't hide the fact that I've had that diagnosis, in fact I've openly told a few people that I have DID but only people that I trust know about it. It's just that the condition had stabilised for about a year and now the condition has been triggered by stress and stressful situations in my life so now I'm going to appear very erratic. I'm going to have to try to concentrate really hard to try and control theses dissociative episodes now or people are literally going to think that I am off the planet, wacked off my face or something. I don't quite know how to tackle this one yet. Some ways it was actually easier with less co consciousness that way I wouldn't wake up in the morning and find myself springing up off the bed chasing my beloved cat Muffin around the house like some crazed lunatic who at the time thinks she is only two years old. It's not like I can tell any one coz they'd just crack up laughing. I know it. The one good thing about it is that my life is never boring being multiple which is a bonus if you think about it. Maybe I should just let it be and see what happens and just maybe nobody has even noticed that I am any different. Maybe they won't even know at all, I could be worrying about nothing. I'll see what happens I think and take my chances and hope for the best.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          question? when did the change in name from MPS change to DID? and what or who was the source of influence that initiated the change. The first time I encountered the word dissociation was in a book call A Course In Miracles (ACIM) which gives a definition of the word and the condition very close to the meaning given to the meaning of DID. ACIM was first published in the early to mid 1970s. Although I see clues of it's influence it is almost never quoted as the source, I suspect for copyright reasons no longer in effect. Just wondering.

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          Really enjoyed this lens!! I actually just released a psychological thriller enovel about a man with dissociative identity disorder, entitled Alter, and I have a squidoo lens about it. I had to do a ton of research to make sure that much of the writing (though at times exaggerated) and fiction, maintained a level of honesty and stayed true to the struggle that people with psychological disorders go through, some of which I have personal experience with (though not DID). It's good to see people writing about those with DID in a positive light! Great lens!

        • LisaDH profile image
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          LisaDH 5 years ago

          @anonymous: Sorry I didn't see this question sooner. The term DID comes from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The DSM is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that describes the diagnostic criteria for classifying mental disorders. The term was changed in the DSM-IV, which was published in 1994. The word dissociation, however, has been around for a long time.

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          Millionairemomma 5 years ago

          I never met anyone with this disorder but it's brave of you to open up and share your thoughts and feelings about it. Reading this lens was a thorough learning experience. Thank you for sharing.

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          BarbaraCasey 4 years ago

          A friend of mine has many multiples and is in therapy for DID (not that there are many qualified therapists around this area). You really covered the subject very well. Blessed.

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          PatriciaJoy 4 years ago from Michigan

          Blessed. Thank you for sensitively handling this topic. Your friend is lucky to have you.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          This is an amzing page Linda, I do not understand why it has not received more recognition as such a quality page.

          I don't think I know anyone with DID, but I have to confess that this page makes me wonder about someone close to me.

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          karen-stephens 4 years ago

          Thank you for the important and enlightening page, about a topic that all of us should be aware of, and sensitive of. Thanks! Angel Blessings :) xxo

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          vsajewel 4 years ago

          I'm a new Rocket Squid and included a link to you 'Spring Break in San Francisco Lens' in the lens I wrote last week for the spring challenge ( mine is on a cruise we took during spring break one year). I was reading all the comments on the posting for Rockets about spun content and the transfer ban. Since I'm very new to all this I'm just trying to grasp these concepts and by reading all the comments I think I'm beginning to understand all that. I read you comment, and wanted to see some of your lenses, which is how I figured our you wrote the lens I included in mine. But then I wanted to read more about you as a writer since reading for me seems to be one of the best ways to learn how to write better lenses. I learned more than lens writing skills here and appreciate your message and lens.

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          ManyMightyOnes 4 years ago

          I want to thank you for writing such an informative lens. Seeing all of the positive comments gives me hope and encouragement to write about my own experiences with my parts. This is a very misunderstood coping mechanism that people need more exposure to. Thank you for starting that dialog here.

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          Ruthi 4 years ago

          Of course the information you have shared about DID has been helpful. I don't know for sure if I know anyone living with DID but it helps to consider the coping mechanisms humans are capable of using when needed. And I think the more understanding we have for others helps us all immensely.

          I can't help wondering if there is such thing as temporary DID... If so, I am sure it is how I coped, or rather how Sally coped, with abuse as a child. Maybe more on that at another time...

          Thank you ... for sharing information with others and for your compassion for your friend. We all should be so lucky to have someone in our corner with us.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Glad I ran across this page. Lots of good information about DID. I was diagnosed with DID 5 years ago. My husband said that so many things suddenly made sense. Yes, it is difficult to find a therapist with DID experience. I have had doctors shake their head and walk out on me. I have also been treated badly in mental hospitals because the staff didn't understand DID. DID is real, very real. If it were possible , I would challenge anyone that thinks DID is fake, to live my life for one day.

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          Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

          Thank you for sharing this information. I remember knowing someone with this although I had no idea what it was at the time.

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