Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
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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Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 6/22/2012