Dissociative Identity Disorder

An Explanation in Laymen’s Terms

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Dissociation

Dissociation is a fancy word for “zoning out”, and all humans do it. In fact, dissociation is the human brain’s way of dealing with, among other things, overwhelming circumstances, and boredom. A good example of a common dissociative incidence, that most people will find familiar, is the movie theatre experience.

When Dissociation Goes Terribly Wrong

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The alternate Ego States

The hallmark, and best-known symptom by the public, of dissociative identity disorder, is the presence of alternate ego states (alters).

Time Loss

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Defeating the Stigma Surrounding DID

People who live with dissociative identity disorder face many obstacles in their lives, but the one most agree is the hardest is the stigma. According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary, the short definition of stigma is, “a mark of disgrace or reproach or a perceived negative attribute that causes someone to devalue or think less of the whole person.” Unfortunately, stigma is often thought of as being synonymous with shame, and this thinking keeps many who are living with a severe mental health diagnosis like DID from seeking and receiving the help they need.

The Exploitation of DID

There is a popular movie, which came out in 2017, which helps to perpetuate the myth that people struggling with this disorder are endowed with supernatural powers and are murderous psychotic killers. One must agree that the character in the movie makes for a fantastic horror story, but the fear it instills in the publics thoughts about people who live with DID is more than troubling. The truth is that most people who experience dissociative identity disorder are much more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Yes, there are in every population demographic a certain percentage of people who are criminally minded or even dangerous. However, the portrayal of people living with DID in the movies has been historically tilted to show them as insane or worse. There are even questions proposed regularly on social media forums wondering if people who have developed dissociative identity disorder can climb walls.

The Stigma Must Be Combated

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I am an author/speaker living among the corn and bean fields of Illinois in the U.S.

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