Dissociative Identity Disorder
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
- Anais Nin
There isn't agreement as to why people develop DID. One theory is that when a young child is subjected to attachment disturbances, repeated trauma that feels or is life threatening, and there is a lack of soothing or comforting, this can impact the normal development of the young child's sense of self across contexts. Essentially, the trauma impacts the ability of the child's personality to integrate into a cohesive sense of self. Another theory is that as the child experiences the trauma, the child's mind compartmentalizes the experiences or personality states into different, distinct parts as a way of protecting the child's sanity. While DID is a brilliant and effective adaptation, it can result in confusing symptoms and deep shame, which can be made worse by working with providers who don't recognize or have the training or experience to understand people with dissociative identities. Many people with dissociative identities are repeatedly misdiagnosed.
Professionals debate about whether the goal should be fusion, integration, co-consciousness or something else. In our experience, each person is unique and our goal is to help you make sense of your experience and find a way to live a life that works for you. We work to help you get to know your own inner landscape by understanding the patterns of interaction between your parts, increasing communication, building trust, finding ways to regulate, healing and unburdening you parts, and ultimately finding a way to exist in a way that works well for you.
Some of these list resources for partners and family members too.