With the changing times, teenagers put themselves through a myriad of problems that takes a toll on their mental health. Teenage is a transitional phase before they get metamorphosed into adults. Times will be tough as they will be dealing with their physical and hormonal changes, studies, and other issues. The struggles while traversing the sea of adolescence should not be trivialized as they have the potential to make or break their persona.
With a lot of Tiktok videos bringing gravity to the ‘dissociative identity disorder‘, people have started taking it seriously. A deluge of information is being circulated on this disorder which rivets the attention of many parents and teens about this disorder affecting more and more teenagers these days.
What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder usually comes up in response to a traumatic incident that the teenager has not been able to deal with properly. It is not necessary that all traumatic incidents can lead to dissociative identity disorder, but most cases do have a triggering traumatic incident.
A dissociation from reality helps them feel at ease. Teens who have suffered continuous verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse are more susceptible to this disorder. It can also happen after having experienced traumatic events like kidnapping, surgery, accident, etc. As an escape mechanism, the trips from reality help them feel that they are in control of their emotions completely.
The subject may show characteristics of different personalities which coexist in succession with or without the knowledge of the other one. The shifting of the personalities will happen involuntarily which makes the subject forget certain incidents, or things said or done during that phase. This is often mistaken as forgetfulness or light-headedness. Those affected will find it difficult to deal with everyday stressful situations like homework, exams, and bullying. If they have this disorder running in their genetic history, it will make them more vulnerable.
If in doubt, you should consult a mental health professional who can diagnose this properly, as many of the symptoms may coincide with other psychological disorders. Because of the increased focus on dissociative identity disorder, many teens and parents are self-diagnosing this condition, which in itself is a dangerous trend. For instance, a child could behave differently while at school or in other social situations and show a different behavior at home. That is normal. But if there is a striking contrast in the way the subject behaves with strange mannerisms, gender Identification, etc. there is something to be concerned about. The other identities or personality states that exist within themselves are to escape from the realities, and are called ‘alters’. When the alter takes over, the subject will feel helpless and feel detached from their self and surroundings.
Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Dissociative Identity Disorder
People with DID often experience or show symptoms related to:
► Disconnecting from realities and living in a dream world. This also entails irresponsible behavior from their side.
► Feeling disconnected from themselves and their surroundings: They may cut slack on self-care and picking up after themselves. Your surroundings could be cluttered and untidy which they will not be bothered about.
► Feeling uncertain about their own identity because of the presence of multiple personalities in themselves. This will lead to contradicting or poor choices in the teens regarding matters of significance like the stream of study they want to pursue, the choice of institutions, etc.
► Having no sensation of pain
► Sleep disorders like nightmares, somnambulism or sleepwalking, insomnia, excessive sleep, etc.
► Out-of-body experiences, which are not to be confused with the altered senses of consciousness associated with some advanced spiritual practices.
► Amnesia ( total blackouts or fugue states): You could go on contradicting yourself and your past behaviors. Sometimes you may even forget your name, phone number, address, etc., and some incidents.
► Panic attacks, bruxism, reliving trauma, and phobias.
► Self-persecution, self-sabotage including digital victimization by oneself.
► Other co-occurring mental health Problems are Mood swings, Suicidal thoughts or attempts, Depression, Compulsive behaviors and rituals, Substance abuse like alcohol and drugs, Eating disorders, Headaches, Losing track of time, Psychotic symptoms, and Violence towards oneself and others.
Talk therapy, with some medicines to quell the symptoms, can do good, as this disorder does not have any single medicine as a cure. Those who have suffered trauma along with having a family history of this disorder should get medical help to prevent the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Mental health problems are very common and there is no reason to shy away from consultation, something that can actually steer your life into the right pathway, while at the crossroads of adolescence!