A: Thanks for writing in with your very detailed question. Although I have personally treated several clients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), there are still many mental health professionals who are very skeptical of this diagnosis. The DID literature reports that clients are often misdiagnosed for several years before getting an accurate diagnosis, therefore leading to the appropriate treatment.
I’m glad that you have been in therapy and I’m glad that you were persistent in bringing your symptoms and concerns to the attention of your therapist. However, I’m very concerned that your parents ended your treatment abruptly and it makes me wonder why. I hope that you will be just as persistent with them and request to return to therapy. In some states, minors can receive a certain number of sessions even without parental consent. Since you are nearly an adult, this might be an option for you if your parents refuse to support you in continuing counseling.
Even though DID has been linked to early childhood trauma or abuse, in my experience, some clients don’t have any memory of the traumatic events until further along in therapy (and some never remember exact details). Sometimes our mind does what it needs to do to protect us and sometimes the traumas occurred before we were old enough to form concrete memories.
I would suggest that you start keeping a journal about your experiences and symptoms, ask other trusted adults (in addition to your parents) about your childhood, and get back into counseling. You are still young, so getting help now regardless of diagnosis, will help you learn coping skills and improve the quality of your life.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts