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Dissociative identity disorder is a mental health condition where people have separate personalities. Some patients might develop more than 100 different identities. Each can have different genders, traits, history, likes, and dislikes. These different identities may control your behavior and actions.
It is usually a result of severe childhood trauma such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. People with this condition may try to escape their painful reality in an unhealthy way. Symptoms could range from amnesia to creating multiple identities, depending on the type of ailment. These symptoms might get worse when the affected individual gets stressed. It could be difficult to live with this condition, but not impossible. With proper treatment, one can live a happy and healthy life.
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Ms Aarti Nandu

Psychologist, Clinical Hypnotherapist
12 years of experience
I firmly believe in fostering better self-understanding and psychological growth through empathy and warmth, ultimately leading to the holistic betterment of individuals. Hey, I am Aarti Suri Nandu, and I hold a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in School Counselling and Career Guidance from SNDT University, Mumbai. Additionally, I have acquired a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy from the California Hypnosis Institute, USA. For over 12 years, I have had the privilege of working with individuals across all age groups, addressing a diverse array of personal, developmental, and mental health concerns. My areas of expertise encompass Hypnotherapy, Couple/Marital/Family Therapy, Prenatal and Postnatal Counseling, Positive Parenting Skills, Career Guidance, Mindfulness Practices, and Therapies for Depression, Anxiety, and other emotional and psychological issues. Moreover, I have also gained the honor of being recognized by The Honourable Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyariji, for my contribution to mental health, particularly for offering online free services nationwide during the COVID-19 restrictions. I am deeply committed to supporting individuals on their journey toward mental well-being and personal growth. Through a combination of empathy, expertise, and dedication, I strive to empower my clients to navigate life's challenges with resilience and authenticity, ultimately fostering a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.
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Mental Health Care for DID

Multiple personality disorder is a severe form of dissociation. In this condition, the brain develops a lack of connectivity in a person's thoughts, memories, actions, and characterization. The dissociative aspect might be a coping mechanism. This might cause the person to shut themselves off from a situation or experience they find too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with their conscious self. The original self of the patients is called "the core personality," and the alternate personalities refer to as "the alters." Alters can have their gender, ethnicity, interests, and behaviors.
The patients may start showing signs of split personality illness from childhood. But these signs are usually missed. Therefore, it gets diagnosed in many people in adulthood. These signs may often be confused with bipolar disorder and ADHD. Without proper remedy and help, the patient might struggle to survive. Therefore, it is crucial to get a diagnosis as soon as the signs appear.

Major Causes

The exact cause is not yet fully understood. However, there is a strong link between this illness and trauma. Repetitive, overpowering, and life-threatening physical or sexual abuse or trauma during childhood may cause it. As the name suggests, the affected individual dissociates from their true identity. This separation could be a coping mechanism where the person shuts off or dissociates themselves from a traumatic, painful, or violent experience.
At the age of 5–10, the child grows emotionally and physically. If their emotional needs are neglected, they might become more prone to dissociative disorders. Many people who acquire the condition have personal histories of repeating, overwhelming, and frequently life-threatening disturbances or traumas during a critical developmental stage of childhood. It is important to note that a child can suffer from this ailment without abuse.

Common Signs

Signs and symptoms depend on the type, but they may include:
  • Memory loss or amnesia of specific periods or events or people.
  • A sense of detachment from yourself and your feelings.
  • Perceive the people and things around you as distorted and unreal.
  • A blurred sense of self.
  • Hearing a strange voice or multiple voices in your head.
  • Significant strain or difficulty in your relationships, work, or other vital aspects of your life.
  • Not able to cope with stress.
  • Mental health illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
When alternate personalities take over a person, they might frequently use different vocabulary and behave differently. In rare instances, one persona may develop habits that the other does not, such as smoking, wearing prescription glasses, or becoming violent.
Other markers may occur with the transition from one persona to another. Some people may experience anxiety as a result of personality change. Few might become enraged or violent. Others may not notice or recall these transitions at all. Certain personalities may emerge in reaction to specific events.
These symptoms can cause severe distress and interfere with your ability to live a normal life. It can be overwhelming when you are always uncertain about how to spend the next hour of your life. But medication and therapy can help you.

The Different Types

There are three types. These are:
  • Dissociative amnesia (DA): In this condition, you may not remember important information about your life. Memory loss is quite severe and does not have a medical reason. You might be unable to recall facts about yourself, events, or people in your life, particularly during a traumatic period. This condition can be traced back to a single moment, such as intensive combat, or it might be a complete loss of recollection of yourself. People with DA often seem to have little concern about their amnesia, whereas other kinds of memory loss can cause a person distress.
    It may occasionally entail travel or a confused wandering away from your life (dissociative fugue). Amnesia usually comes unexpectedly and might last minutes, hours, months, or even years. For now, the only cure available could be psychotherapy. No medications are available to treat DA, but medicine might help with associated symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Most people's lost memories may come back, sometimes without a cure. Memory recovery can occur either abruptly or gradually over time. The prognosis for DA varies based on the type and severity of the amnesia and your circumstances.
  • Dissociative identity disorder: This disease is characterized by having and switching to other personalities. You may sense the presence of two or more individuals speaking or living inside your head, and you may feel possessed by different identities. Each identity may have a different name, personal history, and traits, such as noticeable variances in voice, gender, mannerisms, and even physical characteristics such as the requirement for spectacles. There may also be distinctions in how each identity is acquainted with the others.
    One important thing to remember is that all these different personalities might unite to make the person whole. When treating people with this type of multiple personality disorder, the end goal is to fuse all of them. This way, the patient can feel whole again. This illness is frequently associated with dissociative amnesia and dissociative fugue. Psychotherapy, hypnosis, and antidepressant and anxiety medicines are among the treatment choices.
  • Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder: In this condition, you may have the persistent or recurring sensation that you are witnessing yourself from outside your body or that the things around you aren't real. It can be scary and make you feel like you are in a dream. Others in your surroundings may appear detached, foggy, or dreamy. Time may seem slowed or accelerated, and the world may appear strange (derealization). These signs might commonly occur in late teens or early adulthood and can last only a few minutes or linger for years. This ailment is uncommon in young people and the elderly. It is treated primarily by psychotherapy.

How to Recover From Your Symptoms

The primary treatment for these illnesses is psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or psychosocial therapy. Psychotherapy focuses on talking with a mental health professional about your mental health. A psychologist or psychiatrist may use techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help the person deal with past trauma instead of escaping it. Treatment focuses on identifying the experiences causing the symptoms and managing sudden behavioral changes. However, the main goal of therapy is to fuse all the different alternate identities
A person with multiple personalities may feel like several different people, each with their personal history, traits, memories, etc. Nevertheless, all these different personalities are a part of one whole person. By fusing all of them, the patient may be able to function as a whole again. While you may think that forgetting about or getting rid of the altered personality may cure the disease, you could not be more wrong.
One of the most crucial parts of the treatment is that each persona becomes aware of others. Even during the therapy sessions, each identity is acknowledged and allowed to participate in the therapeutic process. There may be some unpleasant comments, but they should not be ignored or treated as undesirable. Each altered identity must be acknowledged and accepted by the therapist.
Aside from counseling, some people believe hypnosis may be an effective treatment for this disease. Although your doctor may not recommend drugs to treat this condition, they may prescribe some medications to address associated mental health problems.

Get Treatment From a Licensed Therapist Who's Right For You

Living with a split personality can be challenging for you and your loved ones. While facing amnesia, changes in temperament, and depersonalization, you may get confused, anxious, and scared. Your entire character could have changed in seconds, and you might not even know for how long. This can make life and having a healthy daily routine quite difficult. Still, there are ways to treat and keep the signs at bay. As mentioned above, therapy is the most effective remedy. With Docvita, you can connect with a compassionate and experienced psychologist who can help you deal with your past and make you feel whole again.

Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today

Docvita has brought mental health care right into your hands. You can instantly make an appointment with a compassionate therapist from the comfort of your own home. DocVita has a variety of specialists from many disciplines who can assist you in better managing and coping with your stress. All you have to do is book an online session with DocVita and get started!