How to Calm Down Young Personalities to Better Manage DID
Trigger warning: This post involves frank discussion of suicide ideation.
A critical aspect of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the parts, or personalities (including young personalities), that are within the headspace of the individual with the condition. It took me years before I was finally able to identify my own parts, converse with them, and create a healthier place in my mind for them to exist, especially when I have been experiencing suicidal ideation. That being said, it isn’t impossible, even when it may feel like it while dealing with younger parts.
Identifying Younger Parts from the Early Years
To understand why people with DID have parts of different ages stems back to trauma. Depending on when an individual experienced prolonged trauma, he or she may have personalities that date back to that particular period of life.
In my case, I handle parts with a wide range of ages, but for the most part, many of them stem from my childhood. This is when my prolonged trauma began, therefore, I have several younger personalities from my formative years.
Child-like Personalities in DID
Having younger personalities that are around the same age of children can be challenging, especially if you have no children of your own, like me. Although I lack that personal experience, I like to think that I could handle many of the aspects of communication with children now that I’ve learned to converse with my younger parts.
In specialized therapy for DID, it isn’t uncommon for patients to slip in and out of their personalities. When a child part presents itself, the patient may begin to act child-like in nature during the session. The same can be said for me, although I also find that these younger parts can present themselves during everyday life as well.
Keeping It Simple While Managing DID and Young Parts
Although it can be difficult to negotiate with my younger parts, it isn’t impossible. The easiest way I’ve found is to treat them their age. For instance, if I am handling a part that is around three years of age, I simply speak to him or her in easy-to-understand language.
I also apply these principles to the part’s wants and needs. For example, if a young part needs attention, I’ve found that I can quell its yearning by simply being there for it, or giving it something to pre-occupy itself (e.g., coloring books, board games). In my daily life, this might mean that I set aside time to engage in a relaxing activity, such as adult coloring.
Sometimes I’ve found that it also helps to meditate when my younger parts are feeling particularly needy, suicidal or depressed. While meditating, I can envision myself as the host, speaking to these parts and calming them down. I can also picture myself giving them whatever they need, whether it be an imaginative stuffed toy or a favorite pet.
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to taking care of younger parts. With a little meditation, love and care, it’s possible to successfully manage this commonly misunderstood aspect of DID.
If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information on suicide, see our suicide information, resources and support section. For additional mental health help, please see our mental health hotline numbers and referral information section.
Vermes, K. (2020, September 8). How to Calm Down Young Personalities to Better Manage DID, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2020/9/how-to-calm-down-young-personalities-to-better-manage-did
Author: Krystle Vermes
I have 3 littles, but i also have a lot of other aged alters. Luckily i found two friends with DID as well so we help each other and our alters when needed. But i often have to keep them hidden around my family as they dont understand/agree with it.
Some have learned to come out without being noticed while others completely avoid people because of how some people act. As many people will relate DID with Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde or Split. Which honestly to me and my alters it frustrates us. And so far as dating relationships its a struggle as my last one wasnt being very nice to them and got them to start hating him.
Normally a few specific alters protect my littles as they get to attached due to loosing people. But of course, children wants friends. However i do have some things that help calm down my littles like disney movies and cartoons, stuffed animals, coloring books, playdoh, etc. While with others mostly watching Tv, reading, playing games, listening to music helps them calm down. It varies on each individual with DID though.
Thanks for sharing Jessica. I am still trying to come to terms with living with my alters and honestly it terrifies me, so I really appreciate your honesty.
The main thing you said that stands out for me is isolating, I shut down, go numb and isolate and I’m stuck. I’ve been like this for 2 years but if I’m truly honest I’ve always felt separate from people as though a glass wall stands between me and everyone else, I can see them but I am unable to pass through the wall to join them.
I think you are very brave to go out in the world so don’t give up. I hope you find what you are looking for.
What do I do when picturing myself giving my younger alter (s) what it wants stops working. I live a pretty isolated life and and for me that is what I need because that is what I am used to, it’s all I know. However, my younger alter(s) one specifically tends to take over whenever I do go out and interact with others. My friends who are about my age (25)
don’t hang out with me as much because I’m too childish around them or too flippy. I always get asked if I’ve had coffee or if I’m on ADHD medicine that I haven’t taken yet. My friends have seen me change from being calm and collected to slowly yet fast change to extreme hyperness, empty minded, lacking self awearness to a complete dead drone all in the matter of few hours.
We go out eat I’m quiet for awhile than once i get reacquainted with them I get hyper, talk fast and talk about random stuff that’s going with no filter (and I don’t just mean cussing). I mean I talk about extremely personal stuff and cuss when another alter butts in the convo.
Than we go to movie and emmidiatly change to a quiet clingy child stuck to the side of who ever is in control feels emotional closest to at the moment. And than by end of movie I’m empty thought, agreeable, and (anxious about the time and day when another alter steps in). How do I control myself in these situations???
My alters need to be socialized but there isn’t anyone who sticks around in my life long enough or consistently enough for my alters to settle down and feel secure in the relationships.
And than I take over because they run away and hide themselves from being abandoned and I isolate all of us because that is what I know. It’s a Vicious cycle I can’t seem to break from.