Welcome to Secret Shadows. This blog was created to promote awareness about Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a trauma-based disorder. In it’s origin, it is a highly functional adaptive way to survive circumstances beyond the usual human experience. It becomes dysfunctional over time when the very skills used to survive trauma become generalized and persist beyond its original need.
One of the greatest tragedies is that people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder often spend their entire lives hiding a secret life in which they were abused. Now, as adults, many feel they have traded that secret for the secret that they have DID. Dissociative Identity Disorder is not very well understood, and it is for this reason that many feel the need to conceal the diagnosis.
Most of what people know about DID is based on what they’ve seen on television. I believe the creators of these movies had good intentions at the time, but there are two things that one should know and understand concerning these films. One is that in the years since these movies were created, so much more has been learned about the disorder through research and experience. These movies were created at a time when interest in DID/MPD was just returning to the attention of the psychiatric community. Our understanding of the disorder was still in the early stages of development at that time. The second thing you should know is that, like many other disorders, DID exists on a continuum. Yes, there are people who have struggles quite similar to what you’ve seen on television, but there are also people for whom you would never guess they have DID. By far, most of the people diagnosed with DID are living lives in which they are spouses, parents, doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers, college students, business executives, and the like.
I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, but it is not who I am. I am also a wife, mother, and special education teacher. I have a friend that also has DID. She is a wife, mother, and independent business executive. I have another friend with DID that is a wife, mother, and a social worker. I could go on…..the point is, we are real people out there living real lives, and many of us are functioning quite well in the eyes of the outside world.
Please feel free to explore my blog. In it I have provided information about Dissociative Identity Disorder, and I have tried to give you an idea of what it has been like for me living with the disorder. My hope is that there will come a day where people with DID like myself will be able to say, “I have Dissociative Identity Disorder” and have it be “OK”. We’re just not there yet.
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