Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)- Yoomee

The health issue I would like to discuss today is known as dissociative identity disorder (DID). This issue is important because as I was previously, not many people are aware of the severe mental disorder. Those who are aware may accuse the disorder of being fake and blame patients of intentionally forgetting things to fake their illness. I picked this issue because I thought it was very interesting and wanted to further investigate as I clarify my understanding of the overall disorder. DID does not affect my family and I currently as no member of my family have been diagnosed with it. However, I may encounter a patient of DID in the future or/and as my family grows, a family member may be possibly diagnosed with DID. Before researching upon the issue, I lacked great understanding, yet apprehended that patients obtain several distinct personalities. From watching the movie Split, I used to think that people with DID has to be feared because of their violent acts. In fact, the movie portrays the most extreme aspects of the disorder and distributes the message that society needs to alarm themselves against DID patients. People with DID are rarely dangerous. In fact, research has shown that patients are more of a threat to themselves than others. This connects to the current unit of respect, as fearing a certain population due to a specific characteristic lacks tolerance. The delusional understanding of the disorder maintained by the movie has reduced respect and appreciation toward DID patients and their exceptional abilities, accomplishments and qualities. This issue affects teenagers with and without DID. Teenagers with DID who experience amnesia may not remember their entire childhood, and is left a major mystery to inquire on their own. However, teenagers who do remember may still be suffering from their childhood experiences. Teenagers experiencing depersonalization likely feel extremely baffled of their identity. This is important because teenage years are when most individuals strive to learn and define who they are as an individual. Teenagers without the disorder has the potential to to create delusions and false understanding of the disorder itself, as I did previously.

Dissociative identity disorder, formerly referred as multiple personality disorder, is a severe mental illnesses  wherein a person’s identity is split into two or more distinct personality states. They create alters, or different personality states, of different gender, age, possibly accents, memories, functions, names and other traits, as if they were a new identity. Number of alter depends on the person, but at least two is needed (host and alter) to be diagnosed with DID. Some alters help the individual deal with trauma, while others dissociate, or escape, from reality. Over the years, professionals have noticed common alters that occur among patients. Alters are endless, but common ones includes:

  1. Host: alter that has executive control over the body. The host may or may not be the individual’s original personality.
  2. Child and adolescent alters: young alters that often acts as if they were a child. This alter is one of the most common alter and is often identified in therapy.
  3. Protector: alters of any age, created to tolerate the individual’s intolerable situations. These alters are often braver or tougher than the original personality
  4. Persecutor alters: alter modeled after the abuser. The alter often compose negative messages that blame the patient for its past abuse and declares that they need to die to pay for it. This is often the alter that attempts suicide or self harm to the host.
  5. Disabled alters: the alter who are disabled when the body is physically capable. A blind or mute alter may be created in response to an abuser’s instructions such as “don’t talk”, or “you didn’t see that”. These alters can regain their sight or hearing, after they work through the memories of what caused their disabilities.

This picture perfectly demonstrates the differences in each alter. Each alter consists of varying gender, age, preference, and more.

I was able to learn that the main cause for DID is severe trauma during early childhood. These are often physical, sexual or emotional abuses, and are commonly extreme and/or repetitive. Symptoms of DID resemble other illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia, making the disorder difficult to diagnose. Symptoms include depersonalization (feeling as if you are being detached from yourself), amnesia (loss of memory) of certain time period, event or people, depression, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; when a victim is triggered by a traumatic event and the event continues to stay with the individual by replaying the event long after it has occurred).

Some interesting facts about this issue are:

  1. Approximately 0.01%-1% of the population is diagnosed with DID but 7% of the world’s population has some sort of undiagnosed form of DID
  2. DID diagnoses occur 9 times more often in females than male
  3. Most diagnoses occur at the age of 30 (most diagnoses occur 5-10 years after the onset of symptoms)


While there are no effective cures at the moment, patients may receive successful long term treatments if they stay committed. therapy, medications, hypnotherapy, and adjunctive therapies such as art or movement therapy are all different types of effective treatment.
Because symptoms are extremely similar to other disorders such as anxiety and depression, patients may be treated using the same drugs prescribed for those disorders. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine is an example of a drug prescribed to the patient for beneficial results.

I believe that it is important to acknowledge and understand that DID is not a harm to you. Patients are more of a harm to themselves than yourself. You should also be willing to accept them for who they are and restrict yourself against discriminating them for their mental illnesses. To help solve this problem, you should never abuse children (or anyone else, for that matter). If you see anyone committing this act, you should strive to protect the child and prevent the abuser from repeatedly abusing the child again. Personally, I plan in doing so in future situation when needed.

Skin Cancer – Ralph

The health issue I would like to present today is skin cancer. There are 2 main types of skin cancer which are called: Melanoma and Cell Carcinoma. Awareness of cancer is important because the numbers are increasing by the minute. I picked this topic because my dad has experienced cell carcinoma cancer multiple times. The positive part is that he realized it fast enough and got it removed every time. Cell carcinoma is the less dangerous cancer out of the 2. Therefore I have decided to research this topic since there is a large chance that my sisters and I could get it sometime during our lifetime. As we have the same DNA, it is possible that we might have inherited the genes that allow skin cancer to get to us fast. This can affect people our age since we don’t realize how bad the sun’s ultraviolet rays or also can be called UV rays. We don’t realize this because only in the next 10-15 years we will be able to notice any skin cancer symptoms since it takes that amount of time to spread internally throughout our bodies. As you can see below, there is a diagram of how the UV rays affect your DNA within your skin cells when you spend too much time in the sun without covering yourself.

 

Cell carcinoma isn’t that dangerous as long as you get rid of it as fast as possible. This brings me to Melanoma, this cancer is a lot worse because getting cured sometimes can’t be done if you wait too long to get treated. This means that getting Melanoma can be a life-threatening type of cancer that has to be treated as early as possible. During my research, I learned that some cancers can be gotten rid of easier than others and that some are not always life threatening. Some interesting facts about this illness are:

  1.  Around 2 to 3 million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer annually worldwide.  
  2. Approximately 132,000 people with melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed annually.
  3.  It is said that around 1 out of 5 Americans will develop skin cancer sometime during their lifespan.

I believe that to prevent skin cancer you should be careful and cover your body from too much exposure to the sun. The main symptom would be when you have an open wound on your skin that doesn’t seem to heal. To help solve this problem, you can wear sunscreen and use a hat to protect yourself or if you already have skin cancer you should get treated by a dermatologist who would probably give you photodynamic therapy. This is a treatment that uses medicine and a specific type of laser to kill cancer cells in the affected area. In conclusion, this form of cancer is important for you to know about to enable you to take care of your body by covering up and not being exposed to too much sun radiation.