One of the main issues that I have with having Dissociative Identity Disorder is the fact that not everyone feels like it is real, and even if they do, they tend to not understand the impact that it has on my life. And, it seems like medical professionals too fall into this bias. There is a lot of debate in the medical community surrounding whether or not DID and other dissociative disorders are real disorders. This means, then, that for patients like me, who have dissociative disorders that we feel are real, we struggle to get the help that we need.
So what does it feel like for me to be treated by professionals that rather than having DID that I’m delusional or psychotic? It basically feels like I’m not real, as if I don’t exist, and it tears me apart in terms of my self esteem. The reason for this is that I, along with the rest of my parts, alters, fragments, and personalities, feel like real and whole people to me. We are all unique individuals, and are hurt when we are not treated that way. So, when someone tells us that we are a delusional, or that the host “Meryl” is simply psychotic or attention seeking in saying that she is DID, we feel really hurt and feel like we just don’t matter to the whole world, and neither does she. This brings on symptoms of derealization and depersonalization, which worsens the rest of our health symptoms, and really leads to each and every part feeling so very, very small and helpless.
For those of you who say, “But we’ve only ever heard Meryl!”, This is just not true. Every time that you heard me talk in a baby voice, whether it was to one of my cats, a dog that I saw while hiking, a child in my family, or a boyfriend, you were interacting with one of my child parts. One of my child parts who tends to host named herself “Baby Mer-Mer” when I was about 5 or 6, and if you’ve known me, you’ve likely interacted with her, because sometimes she will age slide and appear to be an adult. All of my parts will age slide as necessary. I also have many other parts, which you may have known as a “nickname” that I called myself or someone else around me.
So you see, DID is not some disorder where you just so obviously know that the person has it. It’s more complicated than that. Still, I am always shocked that in a hospital environment the staff still discount my DID even though they hear my child parts when I talk to David and the cats. Oh well. I guess they can help me with my mood disorder while I’m here, and I’ll find help with my DID after I leave.
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