IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ:
I am not a doctor. I am not qualified to give medical advice or make a diagnosis. I'm not even a student. DO NOT attempt to use this information to make a diagnosis. Do not diagnose yourself or someone else. If you think you or someone else needs help, please seek professional advice. This is meant to be an EXTREMELY BRIEF guide to a very complex condition. All I know, I have learned from reading a lot of books, browsing a lot of websites, watching a lot of movies and television, and meeting a lot of people. Because this is a very controversial diagnosis, I have attempted to present a middle ground in terms of what DID is. The terms I have chosen are not official terms. While all this information is based on fact and the experiences of others, it is not meant to be "official" or used in research documents. It is ultimately my reflections on and opinions of the diagnosis, and should be treated as such. If you are interested in this condition, I highly encourage looking up more information, which I will post at the bottom of this description.
Why Dissociative Identity Disorder? Why not Multiple Personality Disorder?
In order to avoid moral and religious conflict, the diagnosis term was changed from "Multiple Personality Disorder" to "Dissociative Identity Disorder" in the United States. The term "dissociative identity" refers to the idea that personalities in a multiple system are not actually personalities. Instead, they are dissociated parts of a "core" personality, who lives with the delusion of having separate personalities. Personalities are actually just aspects of a single self that have been disowned and given another name. I have chosen not to present this definition of DID. While I do believe this to an extent, I believe that personalities can be more than just an aspect with a name, a delusional "dissociated identity". Sometimes there is no "core" personality, and sometimes personalities actually split off other personalities. I think the definition is too limiting, so I have chosen to present it in a more neutral light that is more sympathetic to the people who experience this condition. It is difficult enough for multiples to accept themselves without being told that their experience is a delusion. Personalities feel and act very real. If you meet a multiple, please do not try to convince personalities that they are not real, and should go back to being so-and-so. You wouldn't like it if I said it to you, and it does NOT help at all. Whether personalities are "real" or not is irrelevant... it's the experience that matters. Well, those are just my thoughts are anyway, and I'm certainly not forcing anyone to think differently.
About this Deviation:
Why did I make this? Firstly, because you won't believe how many people don't know a thing about DID, or even what schizophrenia is. Everyone knows about "multiple personalities", but no one knows what it really is. The things I do hear have been set up and fed by Hollywood bullshit. The worst for me is to see people talking about and presenting false information, especially in popular media that reaches a wide audience. Not okay. People need to know something that hasn't been filtered through corporate logos. They need somewhere to start, and this is as good as any.
Second, because there is practically no support out there for DID. People with DID are forced to hide in online communities under false identities because of the stigma of the label. Insurance companies won't support medications or therapy with dissociative diagnostic codes. DID parents can be considered incompetent and their children taken away, and employees can be fired. Some people with DID are so crippled by a combination of the diagnosis and outside stigma that they're forced to survive off disability, or be homeless. Also, very few therapists are familiar with dissociative disorders, and even fewer have the skills and the specialty to actually treat it. Having been around the system, I can say it's impossible to find someone without dropping a lot of cash... something most people just don't have. and even when you find someone, they might not have the right skills or attitude about the DID. Not to mention that therapists who do treat a dissociative case can be assaulted with criticism and their patients attacked with accusations of hypnotism and brainwashing. More people who are in the position to help others - therapists, psychiatrists, med students - need to know what this is really about. There needs to be more support out there.
I want to say right now that I do not care if you think that DID is a bunch of crap. If you have negative comments or criticism, you are welcome to note them to me. If they are rational enough, I will respond. but I will not argue with or try to persuade someone who does not want to be persuaded. I want you to believe what you want to believe. but I want you to make an informed decision.
I made this because I want something that is short, interesting, humorous, and generally easy for anyone to understand. Anyone should have the opportunity to understand this, and I hope people do get something out of this. I do encourage you to show this to whoever you'd like. You can link to it anywhere you'd like. Just do not alter it, slander it, or claim that you wrote it. That's not cool. This is the only time I'll ever, ever ask this: please favorite this. Even if you don't have a comment, favorite it. I want this to reach as many people as possible. Link to it in your journals, whatever you want to do. Any and all help is appreciated. I'm just one person but there's a lot of you.
If you happen to be proficient in another language and would like to translate the text, I would be more than happy to post up a translated version.
Here are the individual pages.. easier to print:
Page 1: [link]
Page 2: [link]
Page 3: [link]
Page 4: [link]
Brazilian Portuguese: Page 1/Page 2/Page 3/Page 4 Thank you ~Halexandre!
The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook by Deborah Bray Haddock - I read through this in a bookstore once and was really impressed by it.
First Person Plural by Dr. Cameron West - Of the autobiography/biography books I've read on the subject, this is probably my favorite.
Mahoraba - Of all the fictional accounts of "multiple personality" that I've seen, this is my favorite so far. It doesn't sensationalize it or anything; it's just a cute, fun read. It's not syndicated yet, but there are "scanlations" floating around the 'net.
Astraea's Bookstore - this is a massive list of books related to multiplicity/plurality with reviews... lots more books here, and some second opinions.
The Layman's Guide to Multiplicity - I often refer people to this site if they're new to the whole idea. Really well set up and explained.
Multiplicity: The Missing Manual - It's big, and it's a wiki!
The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation - They've got a lot of information about dissociation and lots of stuff for professionals who are new to the concept.
Mind.org.uk - a booklet on dissociative disorders
Dissociative Identity Disorder Questions and Misconceptions - lots of research and even history of the diagnosis.
Astraea's Web - a massive website that is the hub of healthy multiplicity and plurality. Lots of articles, a helpful terms section, etc. etc.
"You're Not Crazy & You're Not Alone" - Clips from a DVD about DID
Well anyways... any and all questions are welcome... if I get the same question a lot, I'll post it here... you can leave them in comments, note them to me, or e-mail them to me, doesn't matter... Thanks!
Almost forgot, credit for the silly but witty title goes to *Reich! Thanks for letting me use it.