Dissociative Identity Disorder, Trauma and PTSD
People who have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) have experienced trauma as children. As a result of the trauma, they form alternate personalities (alters) which are designed to help them cope and survive. This is a creative and brilliant coping strategy which may have truly saved their lives. Dissociative Identity Disorder and other Dissociative Disorders are more prevalent than previously thought. People with this disorder are found in all walks of life and are generally not like the sensationalized Jekyll-Hide/Sybil/Tara images that are frequently portrayed in the media. One wouldn’t be able to easily recognize most people with DID in their everyday lives.
When people seek psychotherapy for DID, it is often due to distressing symptoms such as PTSD and flashbacks, identity confusion, depression, anxiety, difficulty in relationships and self esteem issues. They may have had these symptoms for most of their lives or they may find that they reach a certain point in their lives where these symptoms appear or exacerbate. For those who are aware of their alters it may be conflict between them that leads them to seek therapy.
I believe that therapy can help people with DID lead more satisfying and fulfilling lives. In therapy we will work together to find ways that help to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying issues. Improving internal communication, learning effective grounding tools, addressing current work and relationship issues, increasing awareness of your body, and dealing with the early trauma to put it in perspective are just a few examples of what we might focus on in therapy.
Alix Amar M.Ed, MSS, LCSW