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Dissociative Identity Disorder & Sleep Deprivation – The Connection

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

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29 April 2024 5 min read

A dissociative identity disorder that's also called multiple personality disorder, is one of the most severe mental health disorders. This mental illness is inextricably intertwined with sleep, so let's learn more about it.

You know that sleep affects all functions in the body. However, do you know exactly how it is related to this disorder? Symptoms of D.I.D. are:

  • Presence of dreams and painful memories
  • Lack of focus
  • Dissociative seizures – especially in response to trauma or unpleasant memories

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder Day?

March 5 is Dissociative Disorder Day. The purpose is to raise awareness about split personality disorder. The original name was National Multiple Personality Day. Childhood trauma, sexual abuse and traumatic even emotional abuse can cause depersonalisation and thus dissociative disorder or borderline personality disorder.

An image of a sad girl.

However, the cause of trauma can also be painful medical procedures in early childhood. Such situations prevent the child from forming a sense of self – a process characteristic of early childhood.

Are the symptoms easily noticeable? Unfortunately, many are unaware of the symptoms. They may be less pronounced, but many tend to deny them until mental health professionals confirm the diagnosis.

What to do on Dissociative Identity Disorder Day?

What are the symptoms of D.I.D., how does it affect the body and mind, and what is the cause? These are just some of the questions that interest many, especially those going through all that. This day can be an opportunity to help yourself, a friend, or a family member in more than one way.

Learn more about dissociative identity disorder (DID)

It is about different personalities (or identities) in one person. Those are distinct identities, not just partially different. Any identity, when allowed, can dominate attitudes, behaviour and emotions. It seems very confusing to a person with D.I.D. who can even forget about the physical and sexual abuse that provokes it.

One of the characteristic symptoms includes gaps in memory, called dissociative amnesia. They arise when one of the identities takes the initiative. Changes most often occur during traumatic events and represent a way out. Throughout history, scientists have devoted much attention to the study of D.I.D and other dissociative disorders.

Tip: Explore different perspectives on how dissociative disorders are defined and explained, current research, and types of therapy that can be used for this disorder.

Take a dissociative test

How to learn more about mental disorders? To begin with, think do you sometimes escape reality and then take a personality test tailored to this condition. You may not have symptoms, but you will certainly learn something more about your personality traits. How will that information help you? First of all, it can be a serious psychological exercise to help you make initial progress. Such quizzes can be interesting as well. Try it; you'll like it. You will also know what the next steps may be to address DID.

Speak with your friends about DID

The causes of this disorder are not completely clear. Symptoms can also vary. Therefore, it is often challenging to determine the presence of D.I.D. If you want to get information first-hand, talk to your acquaintances. There may be a person among them who will help you better understand the nature of this personality disorder. This could be someone with D.I.D., psychotherapists, psychologists or psychiatrists. It is best to talk to different profiles to get a better insight into the theoretical-practical content.

Dissociative Identity Disorder & Sleep Deprivation

The term dissociative personality disorder should be replaced by a more accurate and less stigmatizing term – adjustment disorder. Why? Precisely because it is difficult for an individual to fit into the environment. No, we don't just mean certain social situations. We are also thinking about the activities that satisfy the basic need of life – sleep.

What is dissociation? It is a disorder of the standard integration of thoughts, feelings and experiences into consciousness and memory. The most common cause of dissociation is trauma. Nightmares and anxiety are common after a traumatic experience. Depending on the dissociative symptoms, a person can express the trauma differently.

How to Get a Good Night's Rest with DID?

The symptoms accompanying this disorder are non-specific. It could be almost anything, and that makes diagnosing so hard. One of the symptoms is the problem of sleeping. However, it can also be an indicator of another disorder.

Therefore, observation over an extended period is necessary before beginning sleep therapy. Interestingly, multiple personalities can show different physiological characteristics. The solution is a therapy that will unite all parts of the personality. It is essential to connect the divided emotions. Traumatic nightmares are mostly triggers for insomnia.

Related reading:

In addition to therapy, relaxation techniques should be included in the nighttime routine. It is also important to establish a sleep schedule – going to bed and waking up at the same time. Caffeine, electronic devices, and other brain stimulants should be avoided an hour before bed to prevent sleep deprivation. Paying attention to general things like diet and physical activity can also be helpful in establishing a good night's sleep.

An image of a well-rested woman.

Conclusion

The possibility to make decisions, maintain interpersonal relationships, and sleep well might look like a utopia for people with a dissociative personality disorder. They may develop dissociative disorders during physical abuse, childhood abuse, emotional abuse, or other traumatic events.

But there is hope! Thanks to this global action, many people will come forward and speak bravely about their mental health. In order to support those with alternate personalities, unite with a mental health professional near you. In this way, you will contribute to a better understanding of this condition.

Have you ever had a hard time trusting others? People with this problem are distrustful of themselves every day. They can never know which personality will take the initiative. With that in mind, do something meaningful on this day to encourage improvements in the community.

Spread the word

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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