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Is This DID?

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From New Zealand: I’m a 12 year old girl and i have been traumatized throughout my childhood up until i was about 8 years old. I’ve been going to counselling since i was 10 and everybody i see (including my own family) have told me that i have been traumatized even though i don’t feel traumatized at all.

I cant even remember the amount of times ive tried to tell my family that i don’t feel any attachment what-so-ever to my father (who neglected me and was an alcoholic, police getting involved didn’t help either…) but they keep telling me it’s all in my subconscious. I barely remember my childhood which doesn’t help, and recently ive been diagnosed with PTSD because sometimes i’ll randomly go into this state of aggression or depression, burst into tears in public, be spaced out and do weird stuff without remembering any of it.

I also developed imaginary friends around about this time last year, but i’ve been going to imaginary worlds since as early as i can remember. The psychiatrists thought this was odd that i only developed them now, and they don’t know why i hallucinate (because apparently i hallucinate too) but i have 2 particular imaginary friends that are special because they don’t live outside of me, they live ‘in my head’. They don’t have bodies and i can’t interact with them, they just talk to me through my mind and sometimes are the cause of my ‘episodes’ i think.

One of them is a 16 year old boy called Adrian and another is a 15 year old girl called Jane. Adrian talks to me more, but he hardly ever makes me have an episode because in those episodes i get violent (which isn’t often) so he’s basically my ‘insanity switch’, as i call him. Jane creeps me out because i will be controlled by her without even realizing it. Her personality isn’t as stand-outish as adrians so it’s hard for me to realize that i’ve been her. And i don’t remember what i’m doing, so i’ll find myself lying on the side of the road with a cop car beside me, and next thing you know i’m crying and hugging my mum because i have no idea what i’ve done wrong. One minute i want to kill my mum, the next minute i want to kill myself, the next i want to know why i can’t remember half of my life. This is Adrian, Jane, and me fighting over my body, and i’m sick of it. Is this DID?

Is This DID?

Answered by on -

A.

I’m so very sorry that you’ve been through so much and that you continue to be in major distress. It may be that you don’t feel traumatized because you are psychologically protecting yourself from having the feelings. That’s what the people who are helping you mean when they tell you that your memories (and probably the feelings that went with them) are in your subconscious. Your visits to imaginary worlds and your imaginary friends are likely another way your system is protecting you.

Although losing time as you do and feeling like there are others in your head who talk to you or who make you do things are symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I don’t have enough information to make a diagnosis. I trust that the mental health professionals who know you well can answer your question. Even more importantly, they can help you recover from trauma and become the girl you are meant to be.

I’m glad you are in treatment. You know that your “episodes” and your impulses to kill your mum or yourself aren’t normal. You know you need help to feel in charge of yourself. Your letter shows me that you are intelligent, curious and sensitive. Those are important ingredients for success in treatment.

I urge you to be an active member of your treatment team. Your therapists depend on you to be as honest as you can with them and to share all of your thoughts and feelings — even when they don’t make much sense to you; especially when they don’t make sense to you. Therapists can’t read your mind or your heart so your reports are a key part of your treatment. With time and work, you and your team can get you back on track to be a normal teen with just normal teen prolems.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This DID?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is This DID?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 14, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/02/11/is-this-did-2/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.