Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) — previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) — can be a confusing diagnosis to understand. At first introduction to it, many people question the validity of the diagnosis, seeing it as something supernatural (unreal) or made up (dishonesty to receive attention).
Put simply, DID is nothing more but the result of the human mind’s natural coping mechanism as a response to trauma. No, we don’t have several people living in the same body. Sometimes, it feels that way. We do not have a unified sense of the self. Instead, we have different “parts” of the mind.
The reason many people choose to write-off DID, in my personal opinion, is because to even entertain its validity, one much acknowledge the painful truth of its cause. What could cause the mind to deviate so aggressively from normal psychological development? What could be so unbearable for a child that his/her personality fails to form a clear sense of “I”?
The answer, sadly, is repetitive, chronic childhood trauma; overwhelming experiences are combined with staggering pain in a physical, emotional, and spiritual way.
Here’s the thing about pain. All humans experience it. It’s unpleasant, to say the least.
When someone confides in us they have suffered trauma, we–too–must be healed enough from our own personal experiences of pain to truly be with that person.
The sad fact is, many people do not want to get in touch — or even admit — their own painful experiences. So, it becomes easier to just deny the existence of severe dissociation.
The real strength comes from those who want to understand. I expect by you being here, reading these words, you are a strong individual, and I am honored you have chosen to read these words.