The Importance of Journaling to Manage DID

April 21, 2020 Krystle Vermes

I think one of the most important tactics you can learn as a person living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is journaling. Although it may seem like a relatively easy concept, many people take journaling for granted amidst the other options to manage the condition, such as meditation and exercise.

Journaling is an important tactic for those living with DID because there is constantly an internal dialogue happening. I know that in my daily life, I have numerous conversations with my various personalities, and it can be hard to keep track of what everyone is saying. Journaling streamlines the listening process by allowing each personality to take a turn writing out feelings, wants and needs. From there, I can reflect on everything I’ve written, and gain a greater understanding of what has to be done to take care of my personalities.

But how do you start journaling if you’ve never done so to manage your thoughts before? Here are a few tips you can use to work out your own internal dialogue, whether or not you are living with DID.

How to Journal for DID

To begin journaling for DID, it’s important to clear your mind and prepare to let it all hang out. For this reason, it might even be a good idea to meditate beforehand or incorporate some other grounding techniques to get yourself in the right position to start.

As you start to jot down your thoughts, don’t stop to erase or correct anything you’ve written. Allow everything to flow freely onto the page, and don’t worry about small aspects of the writing, such as word usage, margins, and even sidenotes you jot down for yourself.

When you’re finished, take a step back from the journal and come back to it, even if you only give yourself a few moments apart from it to collect yourself. As soon as you’re ready to take a look at everything you’ve written down, make sure you approach the journal without any judgment. Try to remember that these are your internal thoughts and feelings, and there is no right or wrong way to journal.

Finally, ask yourself what you see and feel based on what you’ve read. Do you see one part of yourself yearning for answers over others? Is there any immediate action you can take to quell the fears you read on the page? What about long-term approaches; is there a game plan you can create to ultimately help your system as a whole?

Journaling is a great tactic in the toolbox for people living with DID, but it’s an exercise that can benefit anyone with internal dialogue. By taking just a few moments each day to jot down your inner thoughts, you can collectively approach your day-to-day struggles with newfound confidence.

Have you tried journaling for your DID? How is it working out? Share your thoughts in the comments.

APA Reference
Vermes, K. (2020, April 21). The Importance of Journaling to Manage DID, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Krystle Vermes

Krystle Vermes is a Boston-based freelance writer and editor who is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of mental health. Connect with Krystle on LinkedIn and her website.

January, 6 2024 at 1:44 pm

How do you know if you're a part or not? When one struggles with such a disorder sometimes it feels rather 'cheated' to call yourself 'real', sorry to be sort of a downer about it but the way I feel most often with my system is that 'oh, i'm just serving my core personality -- the real "me"'. Before, I was completely convinced that I am 'real' but the more i interact with the other alters, it can be easy to lose track of who the 'main' personality. It's quite confusing.

Torie Beck
June, 8 2021 at 10:44 am

I love journaling. Not only does it keep track of what goes on in my daily life which is important to remember down the road but helps me communicate with my alters. I’ve just started doing that with them and at first it was like I was writing a book with different characters but they were real. At first I was in total denial and I had accepted I have DID but having them communicate on paper really freaked me out. I have a couple alters that are still in denial and they couldn’t handle it. Right now I just get the names and purposes of different alters and not much else.
I still write every day no matter what. So many names keep coming up and they are very persistent until I write them down. But like I said previously, since I forget so many things it’s a lifesaver to write everything down.
I’m not able to exercise or do yoga so journaling is one good thing to help me. Thank you so much for the article!

April, 13 2021 at 9:12 am

Hi there, I could use some insight into this. my girlfriend and I found her daughters journal and it appears she is writing down and having conversations with multiple people writhing though it’s really just her (each has a different handwriting)... we are concerned and do not really understand what is going on.. I’m aware DID is very rare and have a hard time thinking that’s what this could be, but in journaling would someone with DID experience this?

July, 1 2021 at 5:34 pm

Hi, Jordan. DID is not rare, actually. I have OSDD, and it's fairly common for alters to have different handwriting. If you're concerned about your girlfriend's daughter, you should speak with her and possibly a therapist. If the child is okay with it, she could show the journal to the specialist. Good luck!

January, 14 2022 at 10:55 am

yes because every alter has a different handwriting and different things they do when they are writing (example being: writing in a more childlike way Etc.) and if they are responding to each other, but to put it in a shorter way yes someone with DiD will experience this

Vale (Biome)
May, 19 2022 at 7:40 pm

It's honestly really refreshing to see something like this. A lot of caretaker figures don't... recieve this kind of thing well. I know your comment was a while ago, and I hope everything went okay and that your girlfriend's daughter is alright. -An OSDD system member

Gemma monarrez
October, 5 2020 at 6:35 pm

I was drawn to automatic writhing when I was put in a unit. I didn’t know what was happening. I felt crazy. That was my beginning. Trauma from mental health stopped the writing . I can’t get it going again .

October, 6 2020 at 7:38 am

Hello! I'm so sorry to hear that, perhaps you need a little inspiration. I would wait for it to come to you naturally again. Forcing it might do more harm than good. Maybe try practicing with some writing prompts!

Bruce Pettingill
August, 16 2020 at 12:01 am

I have been keeping notes in a diary, I realised I need to do more than this and give my parts an opportunity to express themselves. I just came across your article at the right time! Many thanks for your article as this is exactly what I need to do.

Lizanne Corbit
April, 21 2020 at 2:44 pm

Journaling is such an empowering practice! I love your approach to it. Reminding us that there is no right or wrong way to journal. Your suggestion for giving it space and then coming back to notice how reading makes you feel. I think this is an aspect that most often gets overlooked but it can hold so much value and importance. Thank you for sharing this!

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