Why do People Suffer Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Research indicates that some form of trauma causes most instances of DID. In fact, trauma seems to account for more than 90 percent of all cases diagnosed. Traumatic experiences that increase the risk of DID include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Most often, these painful incidents occur during childhood.
The “alters” may appear as an attempt to deal with the abuse and the stress associated with traumatic experiences. Unfortunately, suicide and other forms of self-harm are also associated with DID. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of DID patients have attempted suicide at least once.
In addition to suicidal thoughts, people with DID may experience other mental health complications, including:
- Substance abuse
- Anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Food and other eating disorders
How Do You Diagnose and Treat Multiple Personality Disorder?
As with any mental health complication, a proper diagnosis is imperative. Because other conditions exist that can produce similar symptoms (e.g., traumatic brain injury, concussion, and substance abuse), we need to investigate deeply to identify the true root of any disorder.
Once a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder is confirmed, we at Bridgepoint will work with you to employ the most appropriate treatment for your — or your loved one’s — specific condition. Many patients successfully work through their symptoms and improve functionality for a productive life.
The most common and successful form of treatment for DID is psychotherapy. Its goal is to integrate the disassociated identities back into a singular personality. Therapy for DID can become intense and extremely challenging as it often requires bringing past experiences to the surface so they can be addressed in a proper and healthy manner. Accordingly, it is important that your therapist is properly trained to deal with the high levels of tension that can occur in these therapy sessions.
We will work with you to determine a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and/or dialectical behavioral therapy that will attain the best results for your situation. Another potential method is hypnosis, which can be added to treatment options when appropriate.
Medications do not directly treat DID. However, some medications may be helpful in treating the symptoms or related conditions (e.g., depression) that accompany a DID diagnosis.