The dissociative identity disorder is a complex and chronic mental condition, characterised by theidentity alteration. In some cases, it is even possible to speak of dual personality. In persons with dissociative disorder, memory, emotions, perceptions, behaviour and identity coexist discontinuously. This disorder is often triggered by a psychological trauma and sufferers pathologically and involuntarily use dissociation as a defence mechanism to escape the memory of the traumatic event.
What are the causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Le cause linked to the dissociative disorder are almost always attributable to severe childhood stress or trauma, especially if severe, prolonged in time and associated with a person very close to the child, such as a parental figure. Maltreatment, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, early loss, abandonment or a very serious illness are among the most frequently documented causes in patients with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder).
The concept of 'identity unitary"In fact, it is not intrinsic in the child, but develops throughout life according to the person's experience at different developmental ages. Therefore, in severely abused or stressed children, many areas related to different emotions and life experiences fail to merge during growth, creating a fragmented identity.
What are the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Diagnosing it is not easy and by no means straightforward, as many of the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder which are first reported by patients, may be associated with other mental disorders such as the schizophrenia or to the disturbance borderline personality These include anxiety, depression, insomnia, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and mood swings.
Other symptoms related to dissociative identity disorder are:
- frequent memory lapses with respect to past personal events or facts of daily life and acquired skills;
- suicidal tendencies;
- sexual disorders;
- auditory, visual, tactile and olfactory hallucinations that are experienced by the alternative identities that take over from time to time.
How to treat Dissociative Identity Disorder
Some of the symptoms associated with DID may also disappear spontaneously, but dissociative disorder does not heal without therapy.
As in most diseases, recovery depends on the degree of the disorder, the characteristics of the subject and the duration of treatment, which essentially involves:
- Guided visualisations and hypnosis.
Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder with psychotherapy
The aim of therapy is to integrate the different personalities so as to create a single identity. In cases where this integration is not possible, an attempt is made to achieve a more harmonious coexistence between the various personalities in order to ensure a more balanced psychic functioning for the person.
Psychotherapy, although long and emotionally demanding, is the main treatment used to integrate different identities. Among the basic principles of effective therapy are:
- stabilisation of emotions;
- the processing of the trauma and memories related to it;
- the creation and consolidation of a good relationship between patient and therapist.
In conclusion, we have seen how dissociative disorders are a very complex and in some respects still obscure subject of study.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Events and Training
Precisely because of this, 5 and 6 May 2022 we will try to shed some light with the webinar organised by ISC on "Major dilemmas in the treatment of dissociative disorders".in which Dr. Suzette Boon, Psychologist and Psychotherapist, will answer questions such as: should therapists stabilise the patient or not? How can they realise that they have done enough work on stabilisation in preparation for the second phase of treatment?
The webinar, which includes case presentations and clinical films, is divided into two days. The first will focus on 'standard' treatment, while the second will focus on the treatment of more 'difficult' dissociated patients.