Did you know that people with dissociative identity disorder have one of the highest risks for suicide and self harm?
In most cases, the main person is not suicidal or wanting to harm themselves but there can be different personality states that are. People with dissociative identity disorder have a bigger history of suicide attempts more than any other psychiatric patient. It is very possible for suicidal feelings and self-harming behaviours to occur without the host’s knowledge or awareness. This has happened to me so many times. I cannot even begin to explain how overwhelming it is to ‘come to’ in a hospital bed not knowing what happened or how you got there. It’s even worse when they tell you that you’ll have to be admitted to a ward for treatment and then have your mental health state assessed by a raid team that have no knowledge of dissociative disorders or what to look out for.
There has been many times I have been discharged from hospital in an extremely dangerous dissociative state because the person assessing me hasn’t got any clue about dissociation, my symptoms or how I generally present. It can feel very isolating when you can’t communicate what is happening to you with the doctors and nurses because they just don’t understand or won’t know how to help. Mental health professionals don’t usually get enough training on dissociative disorders. Things like this can make it extremely difficult for the person with dissociative identity disorder to keep themselves safe and get the right help during a crisis. It also proves very difficult for therapists and treatment teams as well. It is very difficult for them to predict your level of risk as you could be completely fine one minute only to end up in A&E needing several stitches just hours later. At my worst point, I was admitted to A&E several times in the space of 4 months needing stitches and treatment on numerous occasions. I had tried so hard to keep myself safe and grounded but had failed. It can really drag you down and make you feel that you are a failure. I often worry that I am big drain on the NHS. Surely it would make more sense for them to offer treatment for dissociative disorders that are easily accessible and affordable than for admissions in crisis left, right and centre? Sadly this is not the case.
You have to be very persistent to get the right help from the NHS which can sometimes take years and various meetings with NHS commisioners to have the funding granted for your treatment. It’s hard to get a diagnosis and even harder to get the right treatment. Considering that the risk of suicide and self harm for people with dissociative identity disorder is higher than any other mental health disorder… I think it is disgusting. How long must they be made to suffer in silence before they are actually given some help?