Stella Violante – Dissociative Identity Disorder

The topic that I chose is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a mental disorder where you have multiple identities or personalities. This issue is caused by trauma that happened early in life and the ‘switches’ are triggered by stress or memories. I chose this issue because I thought that it would be really interesting to learn about DID. It was also something that I had never heard of before so I wasn’t aware that it really existed and was a valid disorder. I have seen some examples of DID in the media, one of them being the movie Split. This doesn’t really connect to our previous learning in wellness since we have really only learned about the six areas of health. This issue is important because a lot of people that I know have also never heard of this before and I really think that more people should be aware of DID and it’s symptoms so that when you meet someone with DID you know what it is and how to deal with it. DID affects teenagers in many different ways and there are many different intensities of this disorder. There is are five overall types, and the first two fall under the moderate category. Number one is Normal is when a teenager is reading a book and blocks out the rest of the world, however this is when the person can still tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Everything that isn’t considered ‘Normal’ should be of concern to the parents of the individual affected. Number two is Mild. This is when someone has spaced out and is staring at nothing in particular, they are also not aware of their surroundings. This may seem harmless but could really be affecting the person’s learning. These two fall under the category of Moderate. Number three is Depersonalization. Many people refer to this as an ‘out of body’ experience. Depersonalization is the feeling that you are severed from your body. This means that some senses can be blocked out. The fourth one is called Derealization. This is when the individual feels like the world isn’t real. The world may feel foggy or distant. The last one is Severe. Severe dissociation is when the individual completely removes themselves from reality and this is when they ‘switch’.

 

I learned many things about DID including,

  • How it is caused
  • Symptoms
  • How to handle it
  • How it affects teenagers
  • How it affects all areas of wellness
  • And many other facts and statistics that I wasn’t aware of before

 

This expanded my learning because I could properly dig into how a mental disorder is caused which I have always found really interesting. I think that there is a possible cure for this and if we really research the effects of the different personalities scientists could probably find one. Something that was really surprising was that there have been cases reported in which one person has up to 100 different personalities. That was really shocking because I thought that one person could only have up to 10 personalities. My thinking has changed a lot about this topic and other mental disorders because you may think that all of these disorders are really simple to understand, but in reality there are so many things that you can learn about them. I will apply that to everything else that I have yet to learn, to not just think that learning what the definition means makes you an immediate expert on the topic. One common misconception is that DID is like schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is when a person has multiple voices in their head that tell them what to do. A person with schizophrenia knows that those are different voices and that those voices are not them. DID is when a person has multiple personalities and do not know that they have them. DID has many problems one of the most problematic is that it still has no cure, however long-term treatment will make the disorder much more manageable. The person receiving the treatment must stay committed otherwise it will not make a difference. This changed my view on wellness as there are many more things to learn about than what we have already been taught. There is much more to wellness than the food groups and how to stay fit.

 

This is a painting from an artist’s interpretation of what it feels like to have DID.