Dissociative Identity Disorder and Child Abuse

power-of-belief

Previously known as multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness that often occurs due to exposure to extreme trauma during childhood. I was the victim of a paedophile ring from the age of four to eighteen and kept locked in a room only being allowed out for short random periods. The ring was organised by my parents and I also suffer from Stockholm Syndrome whereby the victim has feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor. It makes it very, well almost impossible to deal with my feelings towards my parents the perpetrators along with the paedophiles for my abuse. I still have trouble believing the men meant me harm. The grooming techniques were so expert and complete they have caused irreparable brain damage.

All of this has result in Complex PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder which culminates in suicide attempts and frequent periods of self harm.

Amental process which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity— is believed to be a mechanism to help the individual cope with the trauma they experienced. Dissociation can present itself in many different ways, however, and is often accompanied by other symptoms. The following are six signs of dissociative identity disorder to be mindful of.

1. Split Personalities

The primary symptom of dissociative identity disorder is the presence of two or more distinct personalities—their “core” personality along with alternate personalities referred to as “alters.”

As each “alter” is very different, the Mayo Clinic says they may have “a unique name, personal history and characteristics, including obvious differences in voice, gender, mannerisms and even such physical qualities as the need for eyeglasses.” Sometimes the personalities may be aware of one another, but this is not the case for everyone.

2. Lapses in Memory

A person with dissociative identity disorder will often experience lapses in memory, also known as dissociative amnesia, where they struggle to recall important personal information, people, places and everyday events.

The Cleveland Clinic says this can impact a person’s personal and professional relationships, as they may repeatedly meet people who seems to know them, but whom they do not recall meeting. Additionally, the individual may “may find items around the home that she does not remember buying.”

3. Detachment from Self

Dissociative identity disorder can cause a person to feel as though they are living outside of themselves. The National Alliance on Mental Health says this may be like “watching a movie of yourself.”

They may feel as though they have a lack of control over their behavior, which often compels them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. These acts may include “speeding, reckless driving, or stealing money from their employer or friend.”

4. Blurry Sense of Identity

People with dissociative identity disorder may have a blurry sense of their own identity. For example, they may feel like they are more than one person, referring to themselves in “first person plural (we) or in the third person (he, she, they),”

Additionally, they may not recognize themselves when looking in the mirror. They may also “think that their body feels different (for example, like that of a small child or someone of the opposite sex) and that their body does not belong to them.”

5. Hallucinations

It’s possible for someone with Dissociative Personality Disorder to experience hallucinations. Not only the voices of their other personalities, but of sight, touch, smell, or taste, which are often part of a flashback.

The source adds that these hallucinations are different than those experienced with other psychological conditions, as “people with dissociative identity disorder experience these symptoms as coming from an alternate identity, from inside their head, ” such as feeling like “someone else is wanting to cry using their eyes.”

6. Other Symptoms

People with Dissociative Personality Disorder will often suffer from other mental health problems such as PTSD, Complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal tendencies. They may also abuse drugs or alcohol, or struggle with eating disorders.

Is it not uncommon for the individual to have one or more sleep disorders such as insomnia, night terrors and sleep walking. Additionally, they may also experience physical symptoms such as severe headaches or other aches and pains throughout the body.

7 comments

  1. Wow… I’m not even quite sure how to wrap my brain around the fact, that you endured all of this by the hands of your parents and perps. I can’t even imagine the hell that you went through.
    Your strength in sharing your story is so courageous and should be commended. 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I was molested and abused but not to the extent you wer. I can relate in a way though as my mum helped cover up what happened since my abuser well one of them was my uncle. I struggled to deal with my feelings continuing my life as her daughter feeling she protected him over me but now I have cut her out of my life, as of last night and I already feel a huge weight of my shoulders like I liberated myself. It took me 17 years to figure out she wasn’t ever going to empathise with me or even listen to me she just abused and accused me every time I tried to talk to her about it to the point I felt that I was in the wrong. If you ever need a person to talk with or pull you out from a dark place….im here. Prayers for your healing and moving forward.

    • Thanks for taking the trouble to comment. I am sad to hear of yet another person who went through what we did and weren’t protected by our parents. Congratulations on cutting ties with your mother. I am thrilled you have done that and it has given you relief. It would have taken a lot of courage. You are a brave woman. Thanks for your kind offer. It goes both ways. All the best for the future. Erin xxxx

      • Wow thanks
        I tried to do it before but I felt like I didn’t get to have any say. This time I just blurted out all my anger and cut her off

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin