A conservative estimate is that 1% of the worldwide population (3% of the clinical population) suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). This number includes approximately 3 million Americans.
The film industry uses this diagnosis to create horror films that are nothing close to reality. This does a great disservice to those who struggle with this diagnosis. Most of those who carry this diagnosis are well-respected, intelligent, successful members of society. They are caring parents and loving partners. You find them among the most intelligent and gifted members in society. You find them among the professionals who serve you. Their struggle is internal and yet they are some of the kindest and most intelligent people you will meet. You will not know their struggle.
Although DID is a DSM diagnosis, it is unique in that it is completely psychological and completely curable. It is not a life-long diagnosis.
This is a survivor diagnosis. It is always a result of extreme abuse and trauma. It is a technique that victims develop to survive abuse that otherwise may not be survivable. The capacity to dissociate and even to “split” is a skill that allows survival of extreme abuse. This capacity and the parts that are formed deserve respect, never disdain nor repudiation.
When a well-trained therapist follows the researched treatment guidelines of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, these patients can and do completely heal.
It is not easy work; however, it is rewarding work and well worth the effort for both the patient and the therapist.
Many of our therapists are trained in the treatment guidelines of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.