Dissociative Identity Disorder (cont.)

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What is the prognosis for dissociative identity disorder?

Research indicates that people with dissociative identity disorder have their best opportunity for living a well-adjusted life if they receive comprehensive treatment for their multiple symptoms. However, differences in how practitioners diagnose and treat this illness make it difficult to quantify outcomes.

What are complications of dissociative identity disorder?

As with other mental health conditions, the prognosis for people with DID becomes much less optimistic if not appropriately treated. Individuals with a history of being sexually abused, including those who go on to develop dissociative identity disorder, are vulnerable to abusing alcohol or other substances as a negative way of coping with their victimization. People with DID are also at risk for attempting suicide more than once. Violent behavior has a high level of association with dissociation as well. Other debilitating outcomes of DID, like that of other severe chronic mental illnesses, include inability to obtain and maintain employment, poor relationships with others, and therefore overall lower productivity and quality of life.

How can dissociative identity disorder be prevented?

Given that the origin of dissociative identity disorder in the majority of individuals remains related to exposure to traumatic events, prevention for this disorder primarily involves minimizing the exposure to traumatic events, as well as helping survivors of trauma come to terms with what they have been through in a healthy way.

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Last Editorial Review: 6/22/2012


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