Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Primer
Pretending to have a mental illness has become popular among young people on social media, especially on TikTok. Claims of dissociative identity disorder (DID) on forums, video platforms, and chat threads have led to misinformation about this condition, including how rare it is.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder used to be called “multiple personality disorder” or “split personality disorder.” People with DID have two or more identities, each with its own personality and traits. This can lead to hallucinations and memory gaps.
DID is a very rare condition. Statistics show that it affects between .001 and 1% of the population. It is a real condition, it is simply much rarer than people on social media are making it out to be.
Some young people on social media use online articles about this condition to diagnose themselves. They see the symptoms of a problem and then either believe they have it or claim they do to get attention. Their posts not only spread misinformation about an actual mental illness, but also make it difficult for people with DID to find the support and accurate information they desperately need.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Symptoms
In addition to having more than one personality, people with DID may show several other symptoms, including:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Suicidal ideation
- Eating disorders
- Memory loss
- Drug and alcohol use
Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment
After doctors diagnose DID, they can initiate several types of therapy. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) helps patients work through the things that trigger their DID. It often includes family members who are willing to help. The hope is that the multiple personalities will start to fuse into one with better control over those triggers.
Adjunctive therapy, such as movement or art, is sometimes used in conjunction with psychotherapy and/or hypnosis. These therapies aim to open parts of the mind that shut down due to the trauma that led to the birth of multiple personalities.
There is no known cure for dissociative identity disorder. But by using a combination of therapies, doctors hope to get their DID patients to a place where they no longer engage in behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. They also wish to remove some of the psychological trauma that leads people with DID to be suicidal or suffer from persistent anxiety or depression.
Get Help For DID and Other Mental Health Conditions
You do not have to deal with dissociative identity disorder or other mental health conditions alone. Neither do your loved ones. Reach out for help from Serene Behavioral Health. Our goals are to restore hope and feelings of self-worth for our patients. We have four levels of care, including intensive outpatient, monitored outpatient, day treatment, and a residential program, and we utilize a multidisciplinary approach tailored to suit your individual needs. Contact us to begin your journey to recovery.