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Untreated Dissociative Identity Disorder

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I’ve been diagnosed with DID, psychosis, intermittent explosive disorder with homicidal thoughts & PTSD by VA psychiatrist. The VA has no problems diagnosing me with DID but they won’t treat DID. I’m in a constant state of extreme rage I can’t leave my living space because I can’t control the rage when I’m around people.

Untreated Dissociative Identity Disorder

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A.

I am sorry that the system of benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA) hasn’t given you the help you deserve and need. It sounds as if your service has caused a number of severe reactions, including Dissociative Identity disorder (DID). While I’m assuming most of our readers understand the symptoms associated with the other disorders, I am going to focus on the DID since that is the one you are saying the VA will not treat.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is something diagnosed by a mental health professional, typically a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. There are several symptoms that underlie DID and the primary one is that it disrupts the person’s identity as other “personalities” or personality states manifest. These often include different voices, and in some cultures can even be identified during these states as being possessed.

These states disrupt the individual’s identity because there is a gap between one’s sense of self and motivation toward one’s goals with changes in emotional expression, behaviors, memories, feelings, and perceptions. Often these gaps result in memory loss of everyday events, including the specific features of one’s own personality and identity. The role of wife, sister, student, girlfriend, etc., that might make up the individual’s identity are usurped by other, interfering and often competing personalities. These disruptions cause gaps in memory that are beyond what would be considered normal forgetting. These indicators typically cause significant stress in the person’s life because it directly impacts the quality of relationships, and aren’t the result of other medical issues such as seizures.

In the past DID was known as (and is still sometimes referred to as) Multiple Personality Disorder. The disorder is a way the psyche tries to deal with trauma or abuse, and the personalities have emerged to help cope with different aspects of life. Very often these personalities are compensatory for something the individual is unable to do in their life. As an example, an unassertive person might form an aggressive or highly assertive personality to compensate.

A common symptom is for an individual with DID to lose track of time and there may be significant intervals that are lost due to one of the entities takes control. It is typically not commonly diagnosed in the population, and the best methods of treatment often involve psychotherapy aimed at integrating the identities into the core personality. You can learn more about DID here.

Your service to your country was a significant enough sacrifice and finding a way to get treatment for these condition through the VA is the job of a patient advocate.

A patient advocate for the VA is a person that will take up your concerns as a VA patient. You have rights that an advocate can intervene on in your behalf. Typically they work with every department involved with the VA and are given the authority to address your needs and issues in a faster manner. They typically get involved when there is a gap between needs and services and are familiar with problems, issues, and complaints such as yours. Typically they are individuals who let you know that once they start working with you — your problem becomes theirs to solve. I’ve located the patient advocate program closest to your geographic area. Here you can find specific names, phone numbers, and emails to contact. I sincerely hope you connect with them so they can help you get the services you need. You deserve them and are entitled to treatment.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Untreated Dissociative Identity Disorder

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Untreated Dissociative Identity Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/08/24/untreated-dissociative-identity-disorder/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 19 Aug 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 19 Aug 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.