Archive for August 13th, 2010

On my blog entry entitled Are Intimate Relationships Possible for People with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)?, a reader posted the following comment:

I have a friend whom I believe has DID. She seems to be struggling quite a bit. As it doesn’t seem she has much support, I would like to be there for her, but I don’t exactly know how to approach the subject. Any helpful advice would be tremendously appreciated. Thank you ~ T

If your friend has not disclosed to you that she has DID, your first hurdle is figuring out if she knows that she has it herself. I had it my entire life, but I was completely unaware of having alter parts, losing time, etc. until my mid-thirties when I was ready to begin healing. Up until that point, if anyone had approached me about having DID, I would have looked at him like he had two heads!

Nevertheless, I was always fascinated with DID. I watched The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil with interest, and I read When Rabbit Howls as soon as I learned about it. I now realize that I was trying to understand myself. I had no idea why I was drawn to stories about DID – only that I was.

That is where I would start. I would read When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase and talk with your friend about it. Remember that she (perhaps through her alter parts) will be watching your reaction to the story. If you are loving and accepting about Truddi and her diagnosis, then your friend will be much more likely to open up to you about her own experiences.

If your friend does have DID, then she suffered severe and ongoing trauma before age six. This means that she very likely suffers from very deep trust issues. You will need to show her that you are trustworthy before she will begin to open up to you. Your compassion and understanding toward Truddi will go a long way toward showing that you will be compassionate toward her, too.

My other piece of advice is to educate yourself as much as you can about severe child abuse and DID. The more you understand about both, the more helpful you can be to your friend. She is very blessed to have a friend like you who wants to help.

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