It can take a long time to correctly identify the existence of dissociative identity disorder. But once it has been diagnosed, treatment methods will be adopted that have a proven track record of success when applied to this unusual condition.
Psychotherapy is the primary form of treatment for DID. Sessions normally take place in an individual format, where therapist and patient can create bonds of trust and privacy.
Dealing with dissociative symptoms is a delicate procedure, and the purpose of therapy is not to eliminate the various personalities but to help them all find peace, resolution, and self-acceptance. A history of trauma lies at the root of dissociative identity disorder, and only by coming to terms with their terrible memories can people with DID find peace, contentment, and freedom.
Multiple personalities may be reintegrated into a single healthy, functioning personality eventually. But that process takes time and cannot be rushed or forced.
Inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment programs for dissociative identity disorder represent the first leg on the journey to healing. In addition to therapy, patients in treatment will have access to medications that may help them control the symptoms of co-occurring conditions such as PTSD, depression, borderline personality disorder, and substance use disorders (virtually all people with DID have comorbid conditions). Continuing care programs will follow initial treatment and will require a long-term and open-ended commitment, since dissociative identity disorder is a severe mental health condition that requires extensive long-term intervention.
Recovery from DID takes time, patience, courage, and expert assistance from mental health professionals who understand the nature of the disorder and know how to deconstruct the foundation of bad memories upon which it is built. Happier, healthier, and more peaceful days await people with dissociative identity disorder who get the comprehensive services they need, and despite the severity of the condition its most debilitating effects can be successfully managed.
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