Debatable mental conditions — 1: Unraveling the mysteries of dissociative identity disorder

Mental illnesses are not properly understood in society and have a lot of stigmas associated with them. Due to the lack of clarity of the real causes and improper diagnosis of the conditions, a lot of myths and misconceptions revolve around mental disorders.

While studies and researchers have been able to come up with specific symptoms, treatments and cures, many mental conditions are still being studied. Of all, one of the most debated conditions is that of dissociative identity disorder (DID), a condition characterized by the co-existence of two or more distinct identities controlling the consciousness of the patient.

Formerly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), DID is one of the most controversial mental conditions. With around two percent people suffering from DID, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with it.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), despite the condition being rare, nearly half of the adults in the U.S. experience at least one depersonalization or derealization episode in their lives. It further states that DID is “characterized by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory.”

Sneak peek into DID

As mentioned above, DID is a condition wherein an individual exhibits two or more personalities, that may even include one of the opposite gender. Medically, the personalities exhibited are differentiated as “host” and “alter” personalities. While “host” signifies the original personality, other personalities exhibited by the person is recognized as “alter” personalities. Interestingly, each personality within the person, including the host, is unaware of the existence of the other personalities. Therefore, the person has no account of the events and actions that occurred under an alter.

DID is often very confusing, shocking and difficult to identify. Believed to be caused by many factors, including severe trauma such as extreme, repetitive physical, sexual or emotional abuse during early childhood, it does not have any specific symptoms or triggers. Hence, it may vary from person to person and also differ according to the gender. DID in children is often misdiagnosed as childhood schizophrenia.

False memories and lack of information make DID controversial

Overall, DID continues to be controversial due to lack of information available on the condition. Though more people are now being diagnosed with DID than before due to advanced research and studies, many people still fail to identify the disorder. The condition is largely left to be interpreted based on the information available in books and movies, thereby, often it being confused for being a fictional concept.

As DID is associated with early or childhood trauma, abuse or neglect, many researchers pose concern over false memories. Many also worry that while the patient may forget the actual episodes of the trauma, they may remember the abuse that did not occur in reality. This poses a risk to innocent people by putting them in a tight spot.

In the case of the medical field, the misconception around DID is due to lack of information and knowledge about the condition. The gap further widens due to poorly trained therapists who promote atypical and bizarre treatments that are not supported by experts or the clinical community.

Recovery from DID is possible

Due to the above factors, DID continues to be a debatable mental health condition. Though the diagnosis of the condition can be quite challenging, DID is a treatable condition. However, it is important to seek medical intervention for the condition, as an untreated case can further lead to the patient committing severe crimes or go down the path of self-destruction.

If you feel your beloved is suffering from DID or any other mental disorder, you can seek help from the 24/7 mental helpline to know more about mental health and mental disorders. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with our representatives, who can guide you to the best mental health centers and mental health facilities in your vicinity.