The Ten Stages of Healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder 

Healing from dissociative identity disorder (DID) is arduous at best and dangerous at worst. Healing takes time, effort, and an understanding of yourself like you’ve never known before because of therapy.

I have gone through all the stages of healing from DID many times until now. I now have a quiet life with few interruptions from my alter system. I want to share with you the ten stages of healing from dissociative identity disorder that I have completed.

The Ten Steps of Healing

It is critical to note that no one goes through the ten stages in order. I have experienced some stages many, many times through my decades of treatment but have grown every time.

Below I have written for you the ten stages of healing from DID that I have found were true for me.

One: Suspicion That Something is Wrong. Before you are officially diagnosed, indeed, all your life, you have noticed that you experienced things that other people do not. Perhaps you have new clothes that are not your style appear in your closet, or you can remember times when you were accused of saying things you do not remember saying.

Two: Discovery. You have received the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder from a qualified mental health professional and are discovering new things about yourself every day. You begin the fusion process the moment you are diagnosed and work toward cooperation among your system and the peace that follows.

Three: Chaos. You are frightened and angry that you have head mates that interfere with your life. You have flashbacks of memories long suppressed that bring you endless chaos as you deal with them and learn your triggers.

Four: Grieving. There is much to grieve over; your lost childhood, the memories of what happened you to, and the fact that you were a child and your abusers were people you should have been able to count on for your survival. Allow the tears to come; they will cleanse you and help you cope.

Five: Learning. In this stage, you are learning to communicate with your alters and are using what you are learning about your past as a launching point for good. You realize that you can learn critical lessons from what you have learned about yourself, such as how to interact with your alters. It is in this stage that you form a safe place in your mind to meet the alters where they are and begin communication and, eventually, cooperation.

Six: Reaching Out. You have reached out to your therapist to tell them your history and your story. You begin to be more honest and real about what you are experiencing when communicating with your alters. You can now have an open relationship with your therapist that grows as healing proceeds.

Seven: Dependence. Once you have formed a solid relationship with your therapist and may find you have grown dependent on their care. This behavior is completely normal in the context of therapy. In this stage, you cannot wait to see your therapist next and may begin to subconsciously think of them as your parent. The transference of your need for a parent is also normal.

Eight: Acceptance. You have accepted your past and that it cannot be changed. You feel more at home in your skin as you accept yourself just as you are, faults and all. Acceptance also means you drop the hatred of your abusers while still remaining angry.

Nine: Resolution. In this next-to-last stage, you reach a point where the past no longer reigns over your life, and you are beginning to think of ending therapy. You have resolved the truth that you were abused horribly as a child as each alter has given up their secrets and now are at rest.

Ten: Moving On. Finally, after working through the stages, with some being repeated many times, you reach a point where you are ready to leave your past where it belongs, in the past. You and your therapist are no longer hooked at the hip, and you see them as your equal, not as an authority figure any longer.

Ending Our Time Together

I have reached the moving-on portion of the list of steps to healing from dissociative identity disorder. That healing does not include fusing into one whole person like a singleton. In my opinion, that is not possible because I have missed an important milestone in early childhood where my personality should have coalesced. Instead, I was fighting to survive in an abusive environment.

I went through the stages of healing over and over again as I fought to gain the peace I now enjoy. Today, my alters are fairly quiet in their actions but still very much alive as parts of me that I incorporate into my day-to-day life.

I hope that you have gained some insight through this article. It is vital for those who live with the diagnosis of DID to remember that if you stay the course and do not give up (it is understandable that you feel that way), you will reach the final stage.

It may take a long time or cost you a short amount of time, but the investment is worth it.

“Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

“The sun shall always rise upon a new day, and there shall always be a rose garden within me. Yes, there is a part of me that is broken, but my broken soil gives way to my wild roses.” – C. JoyBell C.

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