Monday, 09 March 2020 15:07

D.I.D.

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D.I.D. has many misconceptions, many which can prove harmful to the public perception of the condition. These misconceptions come from many places, from the semi-romanticisation of pop culture idols like “Jekyll and Hyde” and the mystical and horror approach of characters like “Kevin Wendell Crumb” of the “177 Eastrail” series. D.I.D. is real. This is often a shock to those who have recently watched a film starring a character with such condition, showing only the fantastical sides of the condition and not mentioning the mundane, everyday struggles with D.I.D.

Due to the common lack of awareness, I will explain what D.I.D. actually is. As Psychology Today writes: “Dissociative identity disorder, formerly referred to as multiple personality disorder, is characterized by a person's identity fragmenting into two or more distinct personality states. People with this condition are often victims of severe abuse.”

This condition was formerly known as “multiple personality disorder” or “split personality disorder”, before it was changed to D.I.D. This condition can host many different “alters”, these “alters” are usually born from the trauma of the individual. These “alters” can have not only different personalities but also different biochemistry. One alter may be blind, whilst the others will be able to see. Alters may be diabetic, needing insulin shots whilst the others will not. These variations help prove that the identities themselves are their own personalities.

Individuals with D.I.D. will construct “headspaces”, these are an inner world were alters will live and interact. These “headspaces” are where alters reside whilst they aren’t fronting. “Fronting” is the action of an alter coming forward and being the active personality for the person at any given time.

Alters can be varied in IQ, age, physical appearance (in the headspace), occupation, language and ethnicity. The “host” will often decide on a name for the group of alters, usually using words important to themselves. The alters and host may be unaware why this word seems important, but It can be linked to the trauma they have blocked out by creating alters. Alters will usually form due to extreme trauma, usually at a young age. These events of trauma, usually of a physical or sexual nature, help to build the first of possibly many alter. If trauma was related to punishment due to being messy as a child for example, the alter may develop OCD in order to protect the host from further harm.

Individuals with D.I.D. are NOT the monsters television often makes them out to be, they are simply people dealing with extreme trauma in a different way. They are people, a collective of various people who are not always evil or monsterous. Sure, there might be a cruel alter – but there are cruel people in the world. These individuals shouldn’t be treated differently due to past trauma.

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