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5 Positive Effects of Dissociative Identity Disorder

May 14, 2018 Becca Hargis

The effects of dissociative identity disorder can be positive ones. You don't have to ignore the difficult effects of DID to appreciate the benefits of the disorder. Visit HealthyPlace to learn why I do look at the positive effects of dissociative identity disorder in my healing process.

There are positive effects of dissociative identity disorder (DID). There. I said it.

A few years prior, I would never have thought I would claim there could be positive effects of DID, much less write about it; however, as I’ve been diagnosed with DID for over 20 years, I can see that, with time, it is possible to see that there are positive effects of DID and that the diagnosis does not have to be all unfortunate.

While not everyone will connect with some of the reasons I posit for the positive effects of DID, it must be admitted that if we weren’t so strong in our context, we would never have survived to make it to the place of where healing from DID exists. No one could get through the experience of living with DID without some negativity attached to it. It is a diagnosis that is not easy with which to deal. But the point is to find, amongst all that angst, something positive about being a person with dissociative identity disorder.

Therefore, what are the benefits and positive effects of dissociative identity disorder?   

Benefits and Positive Effects of Dissociative Identity Disorder

1. Having DID means other headmates can be strong for me when I am not strong for myself.

I will never forget when my mom died. The moment we found out there was no hope and we made the decision to pull life support, my husband addressed me and my headmates with the encouraging words, “If anyone can make it through, it is you and your headmates.”  

He was correct. The DID Host of our system took over when I crumpled, and she made the funeral arrangements, spoke with the family, and did not overlook any detail, small or large. If I did not have DID and had headmates to rise to meet the challenges of my mother's death, I would not be able to cope.

2. We can blend in easily with the world.

My headmates are a mixed bag. Members of my crew are quite shy and reserved, while others tend to be more gregarious and outgoing. On some days when I need to be social and don’t have the energy or cognizance for interaction, I can call on my headmates that are gregarious. They entertain, make people laugh, and elicit the most satisfying conversation. As a result, the pressure is taken off of me.

3. I am never alone.

I debated on including this idea here because some could easily say, as I did for years, that I want to be alone and don’t want dissociative company. But as I’ve become more understanding of the challenges I face, I’ve come to the realization that I miss them when they aren’t around. They are the conduit to my feelings and my thoughts; without them, I would feel nothing, think nothing, and be nothing. 

For example, when I was recently on vacation, I did not need my headmates as much as I do at home, so they kept their distance from me and were quiet. But one evening I did need them, and a headmate stepped in and helped me. I was actually relieved when I switched. It was good to have someone have my back for me.

4. I am more creative.

Now I’ve heard people argue that they are not more creative for being multiples.They argue increased creativity among people with DID is a myth (4 Common Misconceptions About Dissociative Identity Disorder). I can accept people’s viewpoints, but I also know the act itself of developing dissociative identity disorder is a creative one, so it would stand to reason that a disorder born of creativity would make at least one headmate in the system creative.

I have yet to meet someone with DID that didn’t have some creative skills. Perhaps you haven’t found your creative self yet. Communication with your headmates will go a long way in discovering any hidden talents you might have.

5. I am more attuned and sensitive to the emotions and needs of others.

I am always very keenly tuned in to what others are needing or experiencing. This innate ability to determine other’s moods has a two-fold benefit. First, I can help others whom I discern are having a rough time, though their smile might belie that claim. Second, It also serves as protection. Our acquired ability to determine when other’s moods are a threat to us is purposeful in keeping us safe.

Looking at the Positive Effects of DID Creates a Balance

Looking at the benefits and positive effects of DID is a balancing act. I will agree that looking at the advantages does not take away the financial burden or the emotional toll on the ones that love and care for us. Yet, nor should it preclude us from still seeing the light, seeing the benefits that having DID can bring.

Whether we like it or not, our diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder infiltrates every aspect of our life. Would I rather not have dissociative identity disorder? Perhaps; however, I can not really answer the question with complete honesty because I have never really known life without my alters. At this point in my healing, I have allowed DID to be useful to me so that it is hard to imagine life without my headmates. I have come to the conclusion that since I do have dissociative identity disorder, I want to make the best of my circumstances and no longer be a victim to the tragedy that caused it and the ramifications from it.

There is hope. Give it time. If these benefits don't apply to you, create ones that do. Having dissociative identity disorder does not have to be a life sentence of hardship and chaos. With time, healing, and cooperation amongst your members, you can find a different perspective that will allow you to see DID in a more balanced way that includes the positive effects of DID.

I wish you peace, happiness, and healing.

APA Reference
Hargis, B. (2018, May 14). 5 Positive Effects of Dissociative Identity Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2018/05/dissociative-identity-disorder-benefits



Author: Becca Hargis

Becca is a mental health advocate who is passionate about ending the stigma against mental illness. She is currently writing a book on her experiences with dissociative identity disorder. You can connect with her on her personal blog, TwitterFacebook and on Instagram.

Dan
says:
August, 13 2018 at 1:53 am
Hi Becca,
I don't believe I have DID, tho I have conversations with myself constantly. But was thinking, wouldn't it be a useful tool to cope with so many of life's challenges if we could develop a group of individuals within, who we could engage as needed. Perhaps something like you already do.

Seems to me that if one does this consciously, and is successful in creating functioning multiple selves, he isn't in any particular danger really. Would you think?

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Aloha from Hawaii
Dan
Josh
says:
June, 4 2019 at 6:26 am
Hi i understand exactly how you feel!
I do the same thing but i don't think i have 'did' and I started to do it as an experiment because i used to have schizophrenia but one day all the voices went away but i actually enjoyed their company so i did this in hope of gaining them back and it has been a week now and i have gotten so many of the voices back and i love it! i am so much more productive now my grades have improved from C's to As as i told the voices to gather information for me as i sleep and my gym life has been insane I have made more gains in the past week then i have in the past year i cant believe it!!! I tried explaining this to one of my friends but quickly became aware of how much he did not understand (and how crazy I sounded), so this is really the first expression of my results. I hope this helps someone and I encourage all of your to try this even if you never had schizophrenia
Molly
says:
May, 27 2018 at 12:41 am
Thank you for posting this. It has been awhile since I have been on this site. Use to follow Ms Gray and quietly read her posts in my little corner of the world. I needed to read this tonight, well this morning I suppose. Sleep issues can you tell? :) Hard to look at the positive at times.
May, 28 2018 at 11:15 am
Hi, Molly. It is good to hear from you. I very much appreciate you coming out of your corner of the world to read and leave a comment. Yes, it is hard to look at the positives of DID because how can anything good come from such inherently troubling experiences. However, I think at some point, we must try to look at what being dissociative does for us. Yes, it can be maladaptive, but we can also see how having DID and our headmates have helped us survive experiences which others would not. I am glad you and your system are here, Molly. Take care. Becca

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