The story So Far (Or, How I Found Out I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder)
I was diagnosed with DID just 6 months ago, and it’s been a roller coaster! My journey with mental health started 2 years ago, when I started to get very depressed and suicidal. I was a junior in high school when this was happening, and I went to an arts boarding school far away from my family, so no one really noticed how quickly I was deteriorating. By the time I was a senior I realized how bad things were and started going to therapy. I saw that therapist- Flo- for that whole school year. Flo didn’t help much, and things were still getting worse. And on top of that, what Flo and I had identified as just depressive psychosis was getting more and more strange + neither of us knew what was going on.
At this point I had managed to graduate high school but my functionality was at an all time low, and I knew something needed to happen, but I had no idea what. I was so confused about what was happening to me I thought I was going crazy. I didn’t have the energy to find and make the needed changes, but I have a brilliant girlfriend who told me I needed to find someone more experienced than Flo and get more intensive help.
So when I graduated, I chose a city where I could walk everywhere I needed, that wasn’t too expensive (as I didn’t have too much in savings, and at that point was very unable to work), and where I could start seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist within the month. My girlfriend helped me move into this cheap apartment, and this move basically started my 100% commitment to getting better.
Really soon after I moved I met my therapist, Alex, and started seeing her 3 times a week. At first she also didn’t understand, but unlike Flo, she listened to me when I said I knew something different than just depression was going on. She is a really brilliant therapist and within the first month and a half of seeing me she broached the subject of me possibly having DID. At first I didn’t want to think it was true, or even a possibility, but to appease her I did a little research into DID. I found out that I had so many misconceptions about what DID even was, and that I had ruled it out before even knowing what it really looked like to have it.
I went back to therapy after my research, still unsure, but much more open to the idea that I could have alters and not already know (my previous assumption). She gave me the book Coping with trauma-related dissociation skills training for patients and therapists, by Kathy Steele, Onno van der Hart, and Suzette Boon (which btw- you can purchase here to get it in ebook for for only 6$, because as a textbook I bought it for 50$). I took this book home and read it all in one sitting. It was kind of eerie how sometimes I felt like the book was specifically describing me, because I related so much to their descriptions. In the few weeks after reading that book, Alex and I researched together and confirmed my diagnosis.
It has been 3 months since then, and the main change in my life has been a much greater sense of clarity. Things that were such a mess, with different alters coming out, me not understanding why I was doing certain things, dissociating and not recognizing that thats what it was, or having strong emotions that seemed to make no sense to me and not even belong to me. Things like that just added so much chaos I couldn’t even accurately identify which problems to solve, but in acknowledging the first few alters I have met, and asking them their problems and pain, so much more of my own life makes sense.
So now, from where I stand on the other side of this huge diagnosis, I am ready to finally be productive in my attempts to heal. I want to let all of my parts feel safe and accepted, and thats the journey i’m on right now.