Multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder (DID) treatment is varied and choosing a best treatment path often means determining the desired likely outcome. Many treatments have similar methods but aim toward different outcomes. The two most desired results are to maintain awareness at all times of the genuine experience of the moment or to integrate the multiple selves into a single self. Additional goals include promoting comfort, treating other psychological disorders, and, often, making peace with pronounced trauma in the past, which may have created DID.
The commonly accepted forms of dissociative identity disorder treatment are to use psychodynamic or behavioral-based forms of therapy, and possibly other tools like hypnosis. Psychodynamic methods and hypnosis traditionally evaluate the present in context of the past. If DID is linked to past experience of trauma, which appears to often be the case, these methods may help the individual start processing that trauma, or looking at the focus point where splitting of the identity may have occurred. The other aim in all three methods is to promote conversation between the selves, whether or not integration is the main goal.
DID sufferers may have very strong feelings for or against integration. People may gain functionality without it, particularly if the main self can become aware of shifting into different identities. Those with this disorder may not want to integrate but do desire a reliable method of communication with the selves. Integration may feel too much like killing off parts of the self. As dissociative identity disorder treatment progresses, and since not all people are aware of DID status when they enter therapy, clients may become more clear about whether they desire integration or not, and their treating professionals should respect their viewpoint.
Individuals with DID may suffer from auxiliary disorders, including personality disorders, depressive disorders and anxiety disorders. Choosing dissociative identity disorder treatment for the main disorder shouldn’t overlook other conditions increasing suffering, and a psychodynamic or behavioral approach is likely to catch comorbid disorders. These conditions can be evaluated with psychotherapy, but they may also benefit from drug therapy.
What this means for the client looking for the best dissociative identity disorder treatment is that the client might likely need help from more than one professional. The bulk of DID sufferers are treated by licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors and psychologists. In most cases, these professionals aren’t allowed to prescribe medications and they might refer patients to psychiatrists too, if an auxiliary condition appears to warrant medical treatment.
The individual seeking the best dissociative identity disorder treatment should be celebrated for the bravery and tenacity it takes to conquer or manage this condition. Typically, treatment is lengthy in any modality. The last suggestion in choosing treatment is to carefully consider the professionals who offer it. People should feel comfortable with their therapist, as a strong client/therapist alliance is the best predictor of treatment success. Individuals who are not happy with a therapist should consider choosing someone else who is a better fit.