I have DID, AMA

Trenton

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I've debated making a thread like this for a long time but I figure wtf not.

I have severe D.I.D. diagnosed in 2007 at age 17. But began showing alter personalities since early childhood.

I have not gotten much better to this day.

I have a fair amount of insight to the disorder, so feel free to ask anything.

I think there's a lot of myths and disinformation online surrounding this disorder, both overestimating it and underestimating it.
 

Trenton

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What would you say is the most common myth about DID?
That the alters are unaware of eachother existing, or that a person needs a doctor to tell them they have DID.

Another double edged myth I see in social articles or psychology papers is that folks with DID are seldom violent.
I've met 3 other people in my life with genuine DID and they all have very violent alters. Not just self harm, but harming other people.
 
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Helioform

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Do you know why they renamed MPD to DID? I guess I can Google that but I'm interested in your opinion. Some psychologists don't even think it is a real diagnosis.
 

Trenton

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Do you know why they renamed MPD to DID? I guess I can Google that but I'm interested in your opinion. Some psychologists don't even think it is a real diagnosis.
Because doctors don't see the alter personalities as separate people with their own free will. They think people like myself and others with this disorder have dissociated fragments of our mind. It's basically a biological and mental process that gives an illusion of separation between the alters but not concretely walled off.

I believe my neuro pathways have developed specific routes to send information and processing depending on which alter is concious or "out".

That is why there is severe amnesia involved bewteen alter personalities.

I think another reason is because the idea of a "person" with their own mind isn't well defined by the word "personality".

Everyone's personality is a distinct set of preferences and behaviors exhibited due to the environment you were raised in. And everyones personality is ever evolving, and different ego states occur depending on your environment.

You're not the same person in bed with your wife, as you are doing work and talking with your boss, for example.

I think some people with DID have subtle differences and amnesia without distinct "I'm Bill and that is Andrew" alter personalities, and those folks don't have MPD but rather DDNOS- Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (an identity disturbance with mild amnesia)

I for example have classic MPD, with 5-10 (I'm not sure but I know of 5 very well) actual separate people in my head. We all think and talk and move differently. And even have separate health issues such as epilepsy or poor eyesight, colour blindness, different theological points of view, different ages.

I have severe memory disturbances which is probably the worst part and gets me in trouble a lot. Even family who understand my disorder get really angry when I forget something because "I wasn't there for the conversation".

It's hell tbh.
 

Trenton

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Some psychologists don't even think it is a real diagnosis.
I've met these kind of doctors. They just think people are making it up, or they've never met someone who switched alters in front of them.

If any competent doctor spent any length of time with someone observing the alter identities they'd see it's clearly not an act.

It's sad really. I do think some people fake the disorder but I seriously don't think that's cool at all and I'd probably punch someone's lights out if I knew they were faking such a terrible mental disorder for God knows what reason. Rage cage.
 

Vytas

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How many personalities you have? Is there one dominant?
Changes between them is random? Or how it's often portrayed in movies, personality which is best equipped to deal with situation you are in shows up...
Considering various experiences you shared here with us over the years, it doesn't look big surprise to me.
How about everyday life, if for example one personality knows how to drive a car and others don't... How old is youngest?
 

Trenton

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How many personalities you have? Is there one dominant?
Changes between them is random? Or how it's often portrayed in movies, personality which is best equipped to deal with situation you are in shows up...
Considering various experiences you shared here with us over the years, it doesn't look big surprise to me.
How about everyday life, if for example one personality knows how to drive a car and others don't... How old is youngest?

I have at least 5 different alters. All different names and all very dissimilar to one another.

No one is particularly dominant, but I may stay as a certain alter for a majority of my time for up to a month. After a while they (or I rather) will get very tired and lethargic, or have a mental breakdown at some point.




Who is "out" really depends on their own personal preference. Really I think sometimes I switch out of necessity but otherwise it seems to be random tbh. I know a lot of times my alters will say "I don't want to be here!!! But I can't leave!" If confronted by family and told to "leave and let so and so back out".




My alters have varying abilities. Some are good at writing or spelling better, some are rather illiterate.

I don't drive, and I know of one alter who absolutely cannot drive, simply because he is very very bad at it. I know I drove a car once, and it was one of my older alters. He claims to be able to drive fine.

Some of my alters have different voices. Deeper or higher. Or an accent. Or knows how to speak another language (I only speak English and have never studied other languages outside of some Spanish in middle school).

I believe as far as I can tell my youngest alter is 11. However I've been told I speak like a toddler sometimes. So who knows.
 

Vytas

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Damn life must have been tough for you...
Did you saw movie "Split" is main character looks realistic to you in terms how alters switches and view each other? (nevermind personalities movie is a movie)
You were diagnosed 17 but i imagine you already knew it?
 

rainerann

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That the alters are unaware of eachother existing, or that a person needs a doctor to tell them they have DID.

Another double edged myth I see in social articles or psychology papers is that folks with DID are seldom violent.
I've met 3 other people in my life with genuine DID and they all have very violent alters. Not just self harm, but harming other people.
So you experience amnesia but this amnesia doesn’t prevent you from being aware of other alters then?

You are so brave to do this too. I just think your responses are amazing.

I am wondering when did you start treatment and what would you say is the most effective treatment approach for did?

Are all of the alters you are aware of on board with treatment or do some parts still resist treatment and question whether it will work?
 

Aero

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Wait a minute... Now I get why I misspell the dumbest words sometimes.

And I agree that some alter egos are easy to differentiate. I got a ton of those too. Like Aero. Who is like the general of all of my other alters. He projects my most balanced persona. Although he is still a hothead. Than there is "Infection". He's toxic as fuck. Like he bathes in battery acid.

Starburst is my sex alter. You know, they shouldn't be so blatantly obvious. But with me most of them are. I have an alter named Killa. Named after the dog from that movie "Half Baked". He doesn't kill anyone, but he can fly around. And makes a great sacrifice.
 

Trenton

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Damn life must have been tough for you...
Did you saw movie "Split" is main character looks realistic to you in terms how alters switches and view each other? (nevermind personalities movie is a movie)
You were diagnosed 17 but i imagine you already knew it?
I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard from my little brother to avoid watching it because I would probably be offended.

I did see Identity back in the day, with John Cusack I believe? That movie sucked and didn't look much like DID at all tbh. Just a wild twist at the end.

IDK like my alters switching wouldn't probably be too noticable if you didn't spend a lot of time with me, or I may just come across as a bit odd. I guess it would be noticable if one day I sound normal and wanna really get in there and help you fix your truck, but a week later I come over acting a bit timid speaking with a heavy South German accent.
 

Vytas

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You never considered contacting Fritz Springmeier and the likes. There are people who actually successfully deal with this...problem.
 

Trenton

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So you experience amnesia but this amnesia doesn’t prevent you from being aware of other alters then?

You are so brave to do this too. I just think your responses are amazing.

I am wondering when did you start treatment and what would you say is the most effective treatment approach for did?

Are all of the alters you are aware of on board with treatment or do some parts still resist treatment and question whether it will work?
Yes I experience amnesia for the things my other alters do or say. Not total amnesia mind you. But usually I will see pictures friends have taken on a hike or be reminded of a conversation and I will sound absolutely psychotic in my persistent denial of having any memory of the conversation.

I even try explaining to my own boyfriend who has DID as well, "Look, I'm not saying I never did/said that. I'm not calling you a liar. I'm telling you I literally do not remember this happening, so yo have to tell me what it is that I said or did."

It frustrates him, but he does the exact same thing!!!

I don't use it as an excuse when I do something bad though. Because that's not okay. Even if I try to at least explain why another alter behaved badly I take the blame because it's my body and my mind.

I began treatment before diagnosis when I was 9 years old. In and out of therapy (court mandated by CPS because my parents were trying to keep custody of me and my siblings)

I spend 3 years in a mental hospital from ages 16-19. Didn't help.

Saw a therapist who knew a little bit about DID for a few months when I was 19.

Didn't help.

Now at 28 I found a therapist who is familiar with DID, and similar issues like substance abuse disorders, thought disorders, PTSD, single trauma, BPD etc.

He does 'ACTUAL' CBT, DBT and EMDR. This so far has been the most success I've had with therapy.

I've been to CBT therapists in the past who didn't help me one bit because I don't think they knew wtf they were doing. Maybe with normal people they're great therapists but holy shit.

My main alters (the ones I'm fully aware of and can mentally communicate with) are all aware of and on board with treatment. But they will all need to be treated separately or need to be treated starting from scratch if they go to my therapist for the first time. He's been patient with me so far. And he's pretty good at working my current progress into their conciousness to include them.

I've had alters make me leave therapy before. But it was for a good reason usually not just "you'll never get rid of me!!!" Type of thing.

The end goal isn't to dissolve my alters or cohercively integrate them.

It's to help me function day to day without feeling empty inside and deal with my trauma. If successful they may integrate on their own. If not, the main goal is to get my mind working cooperatively and break down amnesia walls.
 

Trenton

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You never considered contacting Fritz Springmeier and the likes. There are people who actually successfully deal with this...problem.
No I haven't. I didn't know he's healed anybody with DID. Didn't really ever consider that an option.

What does he do to "cure" people?
 

Trenton

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Wait a minute... Now I get why I misspell the dumbest words sometimes.

And I agree that some alter egos are easy to differentiate. I got a ton of those too. Like Aero. Who is like the general of all of my other alters. He projects my most balanced persona. Although he is still a hothead. Than there is "Infection". He's toxic as fuck. Like he bathes in battery acid.

Starburst is my sex alter. You know, they shouldn't be so blatantly obvious. But with me most of them are. I have an alter named Killa. Named after the dog from that movie "Half Baked". He doesn't kill anyone, but he can fly around. And makes a great sacrifice.
My main alters are all pretty "balanced" as far as totality of personality. That's why it's hard to pin down who is the most dominant.

It makes it difficult to hold down friendships or spend lots of time with people, or get a job.

I managed to get a job for about 3 weeks for the first time in my life a few months ago. I had one alter (my youngest surprisingly, Stuart who is 11) working at a liquor department in a grocery store.

IMAG0129.jpg

He did an amazing job running an entire department by himself every single night for a month but poor kid just couldn't do it anymore.

Since I'm still unable to switch whenever I need to, I just have to go with whatever my brain does. And I just end up never speaking to someone again because I may not know them, or be aware of them. Same for social functions like jobs or driving or going to events. It's too much for me.

I have no alters that I'm aware of that serve a single special function, like housekeeping or sex or something. But I definitely know some alters have proclivities towards certain functions.

Like only one of my alters is willing to do housekeeping chores. The others will grumble and procrastinate. Some of my alters are completely asexual. Some are very interested in sex, and some are hot/cold on the subject.

I'm not sure about animal alters but I think one of my alters may be a wolf. I have dreams about a specific giant wolf a lot. But I'm not sure if that's just a dream, or if I've ever acted like an animal before.
 
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elsbet

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I have read about DID being likened to spiritual possession for more than one reason-- namely (and obvious) the presence of different personalities, and the idea that trauma is thought to make it possible.

What are your thoughts on that?

(Thanks for sharing this stuff.. wow)
 

Trenton

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I have read about DID being likened to spiritual possession for more than one reason-- namely (and obvious) the presence of different personalities, and the idea that trauma is thought to make it possible.

What are your thoughts on that?

(Thanks for sharing this stuff.. wow)
That may not be too far off.
I know that all of my alters claim to have had lived their own lives in the past, that they're literally "ghosts" possessing me.

I don't discuss this often, because of differences in opinion on the supernatural or the existence of human spirits after you die.

I don't know how it works or if it's even real but, they all have full 100% recollection of their own life history and could explain it in better detail themselves.

TBH when I post on this board or anywhere online publicly I'm being rather disingenuine. I have to act as a singular unit of a mind and speak like I don't have 5+ different people living in my body. So I don't really know how to parse or phrase any of this stuff well without sounding crazy.

You definitely need to be traumatized to have DID though, that's for certain. Usually as a baby.
 

rainerann

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I don't remember much.. I read article few years ago about it by Springmeier i think, but not sure 100%...That guy claimed he healed hundreds of DID... Anyways i will try to find that article again...
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t springmeier. He self describes his work as research and that it isn’t intended to be used as a therapy workbook. Although, Colin ross could be who you are thinking of. He is somewhat well known for treating the condition and is a therapist. The people who treat this condition well are a rare bunch.
 
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