According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is a condition in which a person has at least two separate and distinct personality states that at times control the person’s behavior. As a person with DID myself, I’ve searched and searched for information about the condition, its treatment and ways to cope with it in day-to-day life. I think there is a real shortage of good information out there but there are a few books that I’ve found that I highly recommend to others, whether they have DID themselves or just want to know more about the condition.
First Person Plural by Cameron West
This is my favorite of all books about DID. Written by a man with the condition, it’s easy to read, informative and sometimes funny. Cameron West simply tells his story, but through his story you can learn about common symptoms of DID and about some effective coping techniques. Perhaps best of all, once I read this book, I no longer felt alone with my condition. I’ve recommended this book to many people, including family members and therapists, to help them understand my condition and what it’s like to be me.
Amongst Ourselves: A Self-Help Guide to Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder by Tracy Alderman and Karen Marshall
This book is unique for a couple of reasons. First of all, Karen Marshall brings a unique perspective as both a therapist and someone with dissociative identity disorder. Second, this book focuses on coping skills and dealing with day-to-day situation faced by people with DID, along with examples I could really relate to. It’s a practical book, easy to read, and something I’ve referred back to many times.
The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook by Deborah Bray Haddock
This is an excellent guide for people with DID, covering the diagnosis of the condition, various treatment options and coping skills. It provides valuable information about finding a therapist and includes information about the use of psychotropic medications in the treatment of DID. It also includes a list of resources for people with DID, including a list of treatment centers, and a section for friends and family members of people with DID. If you only wanted to read one book on DID, this is the one I would recommend.
Managing Ourselves: Building a Community of Caring by Elizabeth Power
This workbook was recommended by my therapist. I had a bit of trouble locating a copy but was able to order one through the Sidran Institute http://fozzie.missionmedia.net/sidran/index.cfm. It’s a fairly short workbook designed for people with DID to help them explore various issues like personal safety, time management, stress management and collaboration between alters. It also provides useful tips and helps people with DID develop their own strategies for coping with various situations.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder_%28formerly_Multiple_Personality_Disorder%29.htm. Dissociative Identity Disorder.