What is it like to have Dissociative Identity Disorder

Little Dot Studios has started to make television-like content work on YouTube channel, Real Stories. Paula, a 46-year-old woman with 15 personalities living in her mind has peaked our interest. All those personalities have one common goal: to protect Paula from a childhood trauma. Her 15 alters range from a fragile 5-year-old little girl to a 12-year-old basketball player, and to a 25-year-old teacher among others. Their names are: Cynthia, Joseph, Mariah, Michael, Rose, Jonathan, Secrets, Melinda, Teddy Claire, Freedom, Mumma, Miss V, Radar, and Mrs. R. Only a handful of people has known Paula’s struggle with Dissociative Identity Disorder or D.I.D.

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Not a ‘liar’

She was scared that if she revealed her story, she would become a target of hate comments and be called a ‘liar’ or an ‘attention seeker.’ There is a stigma surrounding D.I.D and some people don’t think that such disorder exists. However, it does and it stems from a traumatic experience that people like Paula has experienced

Thankfully, Paula stepped up to talk about her struggles to shine a light on the disorder, bring awareness, and possibly help others to learn more about other mental health disorders.

The Inner World

People with D.I.D has an ‘inner world.’ They hear chatter going on inside their heads and at times, they would not remember doing something they did when an alter is ‘in control.’ Because of that, they are likely to be accused of being a liar (something that Paula has experienced a lot). For more than a decade, nobody diagnosed Paula right. They would either tell her that she has depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder. In her late thirties, a new therapist finally suggested that she may be suffering from a rarely diagnosed condition: D.I.D.

Most people with D.I.D report experiencing abuse during their early childhood. In Paula’s case, she started experiencing repeated verbal, physical, and sexual abuse when she was only five years old. The prolonged pain and suffering caused her brain to completely dissociate herself and create new and multiple personalities to take the damage. Upon watching Real Stories’ video, we see Paula’s attitude, demeanor, voices, and even handwriting change from one personality to another. Her emotions, especially stress, can trigger her to suddenly ‘switch’ personalities. 

The Switch

Much like a light bulb, the person will be going through something and all of a sudden. They ‘switch’ into another personality that takes the damage for them. Sometimes, people with D.I.D may start to feel overwhelmed and they decide to ‘leave’ which cause another alter to take control. Paula’s alters have different roles and different faces. Some of Paula’s alters include: Mariah (5) expresses her emotions, Melinda (16) stands up against bullies, Miss V (25) emerged to help Paula during her teaching years, Jonathan (12) allows Paula shows off outstanding basketball tricks.

Paula has two personalities that scares her the most. Freedom who remains sensual which scares Paula due to the fact that she wasn’t ready to experience any sexual activities. Meanwhile, Teddy Claire self-harms which sent Paula in a facility after a suicide attempt.

Watch more of Paula’s story and learn more about Dissociative Identity Disorder here:

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