I Don’t Know Who I Am

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Until I was 8 I lived in NC with my mom dad and brother, Anthony. one day while my mom was at work my dad set the house on fire and left me inside, I was taken to the hospital with barely a scratch but to be inside that house with flames shooting around me is an image Ill never get out of my head. My mom and dad got divorced when I was 9 and my mom and I moved to Ohio with my grandparents. because of the fight for custody I guess. (There are other possible reasons I think this might have happened.)When I was 11 my dad broke into our house. and stabbed my mom to death and I saw it.. Im 18 now and I can still remember the moment, the way the house smelled. the sounds. and the feel of every little touch. My mom’s feance Darren moved back to Jersey and I moved in with my brother Anthony at 12. He abused drugs and alchohol and pretty much beat me every chance he got. I would sit in my room and coujure up these people in my mind. I had two main ones and two that werent very focused on. Whenever he would beat me the one of them named Conroy would somehow come out. He liked pain and he wasnt afraid of him. the times I would begin to remember the past about my mom and the fire Krina would come out and deal with it so I didnt have to. I wanted to be like them so much I would sit in my room and cry for hours over it. when I was 16 my aunt that lived about 30 minutes from us had me go to a phyciatrist and I was diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder. For about a year I had completely let go of them. but recently I have been confused and questioning who I am. and have began to create someone of another group of people in my head. is it possible it could be reoccuring? should I see another phyciatrist?? Is this going to keep comming back? What do I do??

A. I am very sorry for the loss of your mother and for the other difficult experiences you’ve endured. You have been exposed to life circumstances that most people will never have to face. It must have been difficult and I hope that my answer helps you in some small way.

One of your specific questions is whether or not you are experiencing a relapse associated with dissociative identity disorder (DID) (the new name for multiple personality disorder). The answer is yes, it is a possibility. This is because you have begun to create “another group of people in your head.” It could be a sign of a relapse.

You “completely let go of” the other personalities approximately a year ago. What may have happened is that the treatment was helping to quiet the other personalities but they never fully went away. I am assuming you were in treatment because you mentioned seeing a psychiatrist.

If I were interviewing you in person I would want to know the following information:

  • When you met with a psychiatrist about a year ago, did he or she provide medication?

  • Are you still in treatment and if not, why?
  • Has there been a recent change in your life or additional stressors?

I would be particularly interested in knowing the answer to the last question because a recent change or additional stressor could explain a possible reemergence of symptoms.

Some researchers who study DID speculate that the personalities develop as a result of trauma. The personalities are essentially a psychological defense system. As a form of psychological protection, their primary purpose is to deal with situations that the real “you” is not ready or able to deal with.

DID is treatable but it is a complex disorder. Ideally, you should seek treatment from a therapist who is specially trained to treat DID. Unfortunately, relative to more common disorders such as anxiety and depression, there are a limited number of mental health professionals who receive specialized training for the treatment of DID. This doesn’t mean that your situation is hopeless. In fact, quite the opposite is true. There are many qualified mental health professionals who are trained to deal with trauma and related issues. Many of the treatments for trauma may be very beneficial to you.

How should you handle the situation? You should seek treatment. You should try to search for a therapist who has treated individuals with DID or has experience treating individuals who have experienced trauma. Click the find help tab at the top of this page to locate a therapist in your community. I hope this helps. Please take care.

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). I Don’t Know Who I Am. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/22/i-dont-know-who-i-am/

Want a more immediate answer from others like you?
Use your Psych Central account in our self-help support community.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code