I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder | DID

8 Jul 201859:35

TLDRThe video offers an intimate look into the life of Encina, diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder. With 11 distinct 'alters', including a three-year-old named Minnie, Encina shares her experiences with amnesia and switching between personalities. Through her story, she challenges misconceptions, explains the protective role of alters, and highlights the importance of understanding and support for those living with DID.


  • 🧠 Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is often misunderstood due to its portrayal in popular culture.
  • 📊 An estimated 150 million people experience dissociative disorders, highlighting its prevalence.
  • 🗣 Encina, diagnosed with DID eight years ago, has 11 personalities, including a three-year-old named Minnie.
  • ⏳ Encina's diagnosis stemmed from severe amnesia and recurrent traumatic childhood experiences, typically occurring before the age of seven.
  • 👥 DID is characterized by multiple distinct personalities or 'alters,' each with unique traits and roles.
  • 🔄 Encina has five primary alters she switches into regularly, with one, Minnie, previously coming out almost daily.
  • 🛡 Alters often emerge to protect the individual from traumatic experiences, with some even taking on non-human forms.
  • 📖 Encina communicates with her alters through a journal, as she hasn't met all of them in person.
  • 💊 There is no medication to stop DID; treatment focuses on managing associated conditions like depression or bipolar disorder.
  • 👩‍❤️‍👨 Encina's healthy relationship has significantly reduced the frequency of her alters taking control, showing the importance of a supportive environment.

Q & A

  • What is the correct term for what was previously known as 'multiple personality disorder'?

    -The correct term is 'dissociative identity disorder' or DID.

  • How many people does Encina have within her due to her DID?

    -Encina has 11 different personalities or 'alters' within her due to DID.

  • What led to Encina's diagnosis of DID?

    -Encina's diagnosis of DID came after experiencing significant amnesia and seeing therapists regularly, which led to the discovery of her condition.

  • What is the role of Minnie, one of Encina's alters?

    -Minnie is a three-year-old girl alter who often comes out to protect Encina from situations that are too traumatic for a child to experience.

  • How does Encina describe her experience of switching between alters?

    -Encina describes the experience of switching as one alter taking over the body, sometimes with her being co-conscious and able to see what's happening, and at other times experiencing full amnesia.

  • What is the typical age range for the development of DID?

    -DID typically develops in individuals from newborn to around six to seven years old due to traumatic, reoccurring childhood experiences.

  • How does Encina communicate with her alters?

    -Encina communicates with her alters through a journal where they have different handwriting styles and express their thoughts and feelings.

  • What is the role of Devin, another one of Encina's alters?

    -Devin acts as a caretaker for Minnie, stepping in to protect her from situations that are inappropriate for a three-year-old to witness or experience.

  • How has DID affected Encina's relationships?

    -Encina mentions that being in a healthy relationship has helped curb the instances of her alters coming out, especially Minnie, who used to come out frequently during abusive relationships.

  • What is the general public's misconception about people with DID?

    -The general public often believes that people with DID are dangerous and capable of violence, which is a misconception stemming from popular culture and misunderstanding of the disorder.

  • How does Encina feel about having DID now?

    -Encina feels thankful for having DID because it allowed her alters to experience and protect her from traumatic events that she otherwise would have had to endure herself.

  • What does Encina wish people understood about DID?

    -Encina wishes people understood that DID is a result of trauma and that individuals with DID are not dangerous; rather, they are often the victims of past traumas.



🎬 Introduction to Dissociative Identity Disorder

This paragraph introduces the topic of dissociative identity disorder (DID), commonly misunderstood due to its portrayal in popular culture. The script sets the stage for an exploration of DID by presenting the personal story of Encina, who was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 22 or 23. The narrative challenges stereotypes by highlighting the reality of living with DID, which affects an estimated 150 million people worldwide. The paragraph also introduces Minnie, a three-year-old alter personality within Encina, providing a glimpse into the complex inner world of someone with DID.


👧 Childhood Trauma and the Development of DID

The second paragraph delves into the childhood experiences that can lead to the development of DID, focusing on the case of Encina. It discusses how traumatic, reoccurring events during early childhood can result in the formation of multiple 'alters' as coping mechanisms. The paragraph provides insight into Encina's own childhood trauma involving sexual abuse, which she only began to understand through therapy. It also explains the protective role of alters and how they can manifest as different entities, including animals or even inanimate objects, to shield the individual from further harm.


🔄 The Dynamics of Alters and Co-Consciousness

This paragraph explores the dynamics of alters and the concept of co-consciousness in individuals with DID. It describes how Encina has primary alters, including Minnie, a three-year-old girl, and Devin, her caretaker. The discussion covers how these alters can take over the body and the process of 'switching' between them. The paragraph also touches on the challenges of co-consciousness, where Encina is partially aware of the actions of her alters, and how this awareness can be a double-edged sword, providing both insight and confusion.


🚨 The Impact of Relationships on DID

The fourth paragraph examines the impact of relationships on the experience of DID, using Encina's personal narrative. It discusses how moving from an abusive to a healthy relationship has significantly reduced the frequency of her alters 'coming out'. The paragraph also highlights the importance of communication and understanding within these relationships, as well as the role of therapy in managing DID. It provides a perspective on how external support and internal self-care can contribute to a more stable life for individuals with DID.


🤔 The Complexity of DID and Public Perception

This paragraph addresses the complexity of DID and the public's misconceptions about the disorder. It emphasizes the importance of understanding that DID is not a choice or a fabrication, but a result of severe childhood trauma. The paragraph also discusses the challenges faced by individuals with DID in terms of acceptance and support from others, including the skepticism they may encounter. It calls for an open-minded approach to understanding the experiences of those with DID.


🌟 The Potential 'Superpower' of DID

The sixth paragraph presents a unique perspective on DID, suggesting it could be considered a 'superpower' due to the diverse abilities and characteristics that alters can possess. It cites examples from the New York Times about individuals with DID who exhibit varying health conditions across their alters. The paragraph explores the idea that these unique abilities, while not conventional, can be seen as an extraordinary aspect of the human mind and its capacity to adapt and survive.


💕 Embracing DID as a Form of Support

In this paragraph, Encina shares her personal journey and how she has come to embrace DID as a form of support rather than a burden. She discusses the therapeutic process of healing and understanding her past traumas through the lens of her alters. The paragraph emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance and the role of alters in shielding her from traumatic experiences, ultimately contributing to her overall well-being.


🗣️ Navigating Disclosure and Reactions to DID

The seventh paragraph focuses on the challenges and strategies of disclosing DID to others. It discusses the varied reactions people may have, often rooted in misconceptions from media portrayals. The paragraph explores the importance of education and awareness in changing public perception and the need for individuals with DID to navigate these reactions with understanding and patience.


🚗 The Metaphor of DID as a Car and its Passengers

This paragraph uses a metaphor to explain the experience of DID, likening the body to a car with different passengers representing the alters. It illustrates the varying degrees of co-consciousness and amnesia that can occur, from being in the driver's seat to being in the backseat or trunk, unable to see or hear what's happening. The metaphor serves to clarify the complex dynamics of DID for those who may not fully understand the disorder.


👩‍⚕️ The Search for Specialized Care and Treatment

The eighth paragraph discusses the difficulties faced by individuals with DID in finding specialized medical care and treatment. It highlights the lack of available doctors who specialize in DID, as well as the absence of specific medications to treat the disorder. The paragraph emphasizes the importance of supportive medical professionals and the need for broader understanding and resources within the healthcare system.


🧒 Meeting Minnie: A Three-Year-Old Alter

In this paragraph, we are introduced to Minnie, a three-year-old alter personality within Encina. The narrative provides a unique perspective on Minnie's world, her relationship with Encina, and her experiences. It offers a glimpse into the inner life of an alter and the emotional complexities that arise from their interactions with the outside world, as well as the challenges they face in terms of acceptance and understanding.


🤔 The Stigma and Reality of DID

The final paragraph emphasizes the importance of understanding and empathy towards individuals with DID. It addresses the stigma and misconceptions surrounding the disorder and calls for societal awareness and support. The paragraph concludes with a message of hope for the future, as more people become educated about DID and its impact on those who live with it.



💡Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental condition where a person displays multiple distinct personalities or identities. In the script, Encina is diagnosed with DID and has 11 different personalities, including Minnie, a three-year-old girl. DID is often linked to severe, repetitive trauma during early childhood, which is hinted at in Encina's past experiences of sexual abuse.


Amnesia in the context of DID refers to gaps in memory, where the individual cannot recall important personal information, often related to the traumatic events that led to the development of DID. The script describes how Encina experienced amnesia, waking up with no memory of the previous day or weekend's events, which was a precursor to her DID diagnosis.

💡Therapeutic Relationship

A therapeutic relationship is the bond between a patient and a therapist, which is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions like DID. The script mentions that Encina's diagnosis came after regular sessions with therapists, highlighting the importance of this professional relationship in understanding and managing her condition.


In DID, 'alters' refer to the separate identities or personalities that exist within a person. Encina has five primary alters, including Minnie and Devin, who serve different roles and have distinct characteristics. The concept of alters is central to understanding the dynamics of DID as portrayed in the video script.


Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that can have lasting emotional effects. The script suggests that Encina's DID stems from traumatic, reoccurring childhood experiences, specifically mentioning sexual abuse by her father and his friends. This trauma is a key factor in the development of her alters.


Co-consciousness in DID means that the original personality and one or more alters are aware of each other's actions and can share sensory perceptions. Encina describes being co-conscious with some of her alters, such as seeing what they see and knowing when they are about to take control, which is a significant aspect of her experience living with DID.

💡Primary Alters

Primary alters are the main identities that a person with DID switches into regularly. Encina mentions having five primary alters, including Minnie and Devin, who have significant roles in her life and are frequently in control of her actions, as depicted in various parts of the script.

💡Childhood Abuse

Childhood abuse refers to maltreatment or violence inflicted on a child, which can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. The script alludes to Encina's childhood abuse as a factor contributing to her DID, indicating the profound impact such experiences can have on a person's mental health.

💡Supportive Relationships

Supportive relationships are those that provide emotional strength and understanding, which are vital for individuals with DID. Encina discusses the positive impact of her current relationship with her boyfriend, who accepts and understands her DID, contrasting with past abusive relationships that exacerbated her condition.


Stigma refers to the prejudice or negative perception associated with a particular condition or group of people. The script touches on the stigma surrounding DID, where people may mistakenly believe those with DID are dangerous or that the condition is rare, when in fact it affects a significant portion of the population.


Communication in the context of DID is the process by which the individual with DID and their alters interact and share information. Encina uses a diary to communicate with her alters, as it is the only way she can connect with some of them, illustrating the complexity of interpersonal dynamics within a person with DID.


An estimated 150 million people experience dissociative disorders.

Encina was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) at the age of 22 or 23.

DID is often a result of traumatic, reoccurring childhood experiences.

Encina has 11 personalities, with 5 being primary alters.

Minnie, a three-year-old girl, is one of Encina's alters and acts as a protector.

Devin is Minnie's caretaker alter, stepping in when Minnie shouldn't witness certain events.

DID alters can take over the body fully or partially, with varying degrees of co-consciousness.

Encina communicates with her alters through a diary, as some have never met face-to-face.

Minnie used to come out frequently due to abusive relationships but has been less present recently.

A supportive relationship has helped Encina manage her DID symptoms.

DID is not rare, affecting 1-2% of the population, similar to bipolar disorder.

Some people with DID have alters with different physical health conditions, like diabetes.

Encina is thankful for her alters as they protected her from traumatic experiences.

There is no medication to stop DID or alter switching, only for co-occurring disorders.

Encina and her alters have their own likes, dislikes, and personalities, but share one body.

People with DID are often victims of stigma and misunderstanding.

Encina wishes for more understanding and support for those with DID.