Pretty Sure I Have DID

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Okay, so, about a year ago I was okay, nothing abnormal about me or anything. But last year December occasionaly I would hear this weird voice in my head, correcting things I did. I just brushed it off, of course, but a few weeks later I looked in a mirror and what I saw scared me half to death. I didn’t see me, a blonde hair, grey eyed girl. No. I saw an older looking girl with brown hair and ice blue eyes. By this point I was sure I had totally lost my mind. I didn’t tell my mom about this, because I knew my mom would just laugh and not believe me. So, I let it slide.

Fast forward to March, this year. Im standing in the lunch line at school with my two best friends. My friend pushed on my pressure point lightly. I told her not to do that and she said “It didn’t even hurt you. Ill do it whenever I want.” The next thing I knew I was sitting in the principle office, my friend was crying, and the principle was yelling at me for punching her. After being yelled at, I told my side of the story and the principle sent me to the school counselor. She told me it was a stress build up, though im not a very ‘stressed’ person. Im very laid back and easy going.

Afterwards, I started doing research. I kept finding my way back to Bi-polar and DID. I was pretty sure it wasn’t bi-polar so I focused on DID. By now I was completely sure I had a alter. We would talk in a notebook that I keep hidden from my family. Her name is Kendra. She’s nothing like me. Almost my opposite. Even her handwritting is slightly different.

Okay, about a week ago I finally decided to ask my mom what she thought. Just as I expected, she didn’t belive me. She said, and i quote, “You do NOT have a split personality. Every 15 year-old goes through this. It’s because you have too much stress on your hands.” I tried to better explain myself, but she didn’t believe me. She said I was anitsocial, because I dont like to socialize that much, and said I needed to go to camp.
That night, while talking to Kendra, via writing, I noticed her response was out of character and her writing was different. The response was, “Hihi good 2 c u again. ttyl Lilly”

So, your caught up to speed. Im going crazy. My mom doesn’t believe me when I tell her this stuff. And now im utterly confused.

A. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a complex mental health condition which can be difficult to diagnose. One possible reason for this may be that relatively few clinicians have direct experience working with individuals with DID. Another possible reason is that individuals with DID may not recognize they have the disorder and thus never seek treatment. This may explain why clinicians tend not to see cases of DID in their practices. An additional problem that adds to the complexity of the disorder is that individuals with DID are often misdiagnosed with a condition such as schizophrenia. Relative to other mental health disorders, DID is one of the least studied and understood.

One of the main characteristics of the disorder is the experience of episodic amnesia. You report that you have gaps in your memory related to an event in school. I would need to know many more details about the event to verify whether or not this would qualify as a symptom of DID.

On one hand, it is good that you are attempting through Internet research to identify what possible mental health disorder you may have. On the other hand, it may be leading to your confusion. Unfortunately, this is a problem with Internet research. It can help to narrow down what the problem may be but it can also lead one to erroneously believe they have disorders or conditions that they don’t have.

At this time, it is best not to assume that you have DID or any specific mental health disorder. Your symptoms may match a particular mental health disorder but self-diagnosis is inadvisable. I would recommend that you speak to your mother again about the situation. This time, do not suggest that you have a specific diagnosis. Report your symptoms and ask if she would be willing to take you for a psychiatric evaluation.

You can try presenting the situation to her in this manner: “Mom I am worried about some of the events that have been occurring lately. Sometimes I find myself acting in a manner that is out of character for me. I don’t understand why this occurs but it is frightening and I want it to stop. It could be that I am under a lot of stress. I need to find out what it is. Would you be willing to make an appointment for me to see a therapist or to have a psychiatric evaluation? Talking to a professional could help me to feel better about what I have been experiencing. He or she may be able to advise me about how to deal with my troublesome symptoms. I would want you to come with me. Would you please consider it?”

If your mother is unwilling to take you to a mental health professional, when school begins talk to the guidance counselor. He or she may be able to convince your mother to take you for help.

In the interim, I would discourage you from attempting to connect with “Kendra.” You want to do your best not to engage in this behavior. When you feel your stress level increase, you should attempt to engage in healthy outlets of stress reduction including: watching television, going to the movies, exercising, calling a friend, taking your pet for a walk, or any other activity that you find relaxing. You mentioned that your mother wants you to go to camp. This is probably a good idea.

I hope this helps to clarify any confusion you may feel. Please write back if you have any further questions. I wish you well. Please take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jul 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Pretty Sure I Have DID. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/27/pretty-sure-i-have-did/

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