A mental disorder little known to the general public, dissociative identity disorder upsets the daily lives of those affected. Followed by a psychiatrist when she was suffering from depression at the age of 18, the diagnosis is clear: Cristina suffers from DID. In total, she has 12 identities or “alters”, in their own right. Discover his fascinating and intriguing testimony.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a psychiatric pathology characterized by the presence of multiple identities in one body. These are also called “alters”. “When you have DID, you have a group of Quirks called a ‘system’. Depending on the individuals who have DID, the number of Quirks can totally change. alters”explains Cristina alias @thepeculiarclub on Youtube, during an interview granted for TipsForWomens.
“I heard voices in my head”
As in Cristina’s case, the multitude of identities often leads to discontinuity in behavior and frequent loss of memories. Beyond these frequent episodes of amnesia, other symptoms may appear in a patient with DID: “I discovered that I had quite a few symptoms that were quite specific like hearing voices in my head. I started to question myself, to tell myself that it was not necessarily normal to observe different writings when I wrote in my diaries”. she specifies.
In a person with DID, the alters all have their own personalities. “The Quirks are people in their own right who each have different personalities, tastes, ways of thinking and beliefs. Today, I am Cristina, the alter host, that is to say that I am simply the alter who ‘fronts’ most often (the alter who is in control of the body, editor’s note). There is no main alter or original person. I am an alter just like everyone else in our system.”
Cristina is therefore the alter that most often manifests itself in her life. But sometimes, it happens that it is his “protective alters” who take control of his daily life (his choices, his decisions, his actions…). Among her many Cristina alters, we can mention Nebula, Ciel, Misty, Ruby, Ophelia, Cat or even Snake, a boy alter.
These alters can “switch” (that is to say interchange) at any time, which can become very disabling on a daily basis for Cristina, before she can regain control. “Sometimes it’s really confusing and I can’t control everything that’s going on in my life. I can miss important appointments, skip school unintentionally because another Quirk has taken over and decided to do whatever they want.”, always specifies Cristina, the alter host of the system. On YouTube, it has even happened to him that his alters switch live.
In addition to these changes in personalities and attitudes specific to each of the alters, the one who is in charge gives free rein to his own style of dress (clothing, hairstyle or even makeup).
For many people with DID, the onset of this disorder is often triggered by repetitive trauma that took place during early childhood, as was the case for Cristina. “I was diagnosed with DID when I was about 18 when I was depressed and was seen by a psychiatrist who then made a diagnosis. We realized that our DID was actually due to childhood trauma. Among the traumas that caused me to develop DID as a child is chronic abuse, which is one of the first causes of DID in children and then in adults who develop this disorder”, details the host of this system.
She adds that “any child, when they grow up to around age 9, they have very primitive thought systems, so sentences like, ‘I’m hungry, I need my mum’. This process, little by little, will be integrated. This is called integration, which occurs around the age of 9, only if the child before the age of 9 can experience trauma, stressful situations. But sometimes this integration process never happens and in that case, all these primary parts become alters.
“Psychological follow-up is essential”
It is therefore through her Youtube channel that Cristina tries to de-stigmatize this “underdiagnosed” mental disorder, by sharing with her subscribers her daily life as a person with DID. In order for individuals suffering from DID to be able to live better on a daily basis with the disease, it is essential to be accompanied by a health professional, as in the case of Christina. “Psychological follow-up is essential for TDI. This is what allowed me to overcome a lot of trauma. Even today, we work on trauma and phobias, on what most prevents us from living because currently , there is no specific treatment for TDI”, she confides for TipsForWomens.
Because of diagnostic and therapeutic wandering in Europe, DID is still underdiagnosed. As the young woman points out, “few professionals diagnose it and even believe in it, simply because many films have portrayed this disorder in a very negative way with, in particular, serial killers”.
“I would like to show my support for all people who have DID. It is a disorder that is official, that actually exists and people who have DID just need support and help from the many traumas they have experiencedconcludes Cristina.