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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My aunt has 17 multiple personalities. When she was in VA

Customer Question

Hello, my aunt has 17 multiple personalities. When she was in VA she had a Dr helping her to merge. Unfortunately before successively completed she moved to WV, which is where we live together. There are no Dr's here that specialize in them. She is starting to backslide and I want to help. I have the trust of her protectors, her, and her more aggressive ones I'm also able to deal with.
I know that she would have sessions with her dr and the alts and then have the alts go over what happened and then let her hear it. Right now she has one that wants perm control and is threatening to make her relive an event that caused a splinter. When I spoke to the alt that was caused by this, this one piece the alt didn't mention. Do you have any guidance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I truly understand that you want to help your aunt with these personalities, but Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is one of the most difficult disorders to treat even for an accomplished psychologist/psychiatrist, so I would strongly urge you to continue finding support for your aunt in terms of treatment. If there are no mental health professionals near her than I would recommend that you consider traveling for treatment to a University Hospital as these have the most qualified experts in mental health treatment in the country and the resources to help your aunt. Merging of separate personalities within DID is a complicated and long-term procedure usually requiring years of therapy so at this point it would be best to consider lessening her stress levels so that shifting of personalities does not happen as often. You can advise your aunt to get a prescription for a benzodiazepine like Clonazepam to help reduce her stress levels as this will lessen the dissociation and frequent shifts in her personalities/alters. It is not a cure mind you, but it something that will help her until she finds the right professional for long-term therapy. I admire that you want to help her, but you have to understand that this is not your area of expertise so it would be wise to find someone, even if it means traveling, to help your aunt...if she had a heart problem you would probably take her to a cardiologist, well this problem with her DID involves the most complicated part of the human body and that is the brain which is why she needs to get the right professional to treat it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is on medication. We have searched for a Dr and there isn't one in the state. She wouldn't be covered by her insurance if she has to go out of state. This is where the problem is. I would drive the 6hrs to VA if it was a possibilityI'm not looking to just keep her medicated like if she was in a psych ward. I understand that it is very delicate situation, but you wouldn't stand to the side if someone was bleeding out just because you aren't a Dr (to continue your analogy). You give as much as you can until you find the person meant to help
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I cant really guide you in terms of therapy because the process is so complicated and there is no set protocol for treating DID as it is a rare disorder. You can consider asking the VA doctor if he/she would be willing to do video therapy or teletherapy with your aunt as that may be an option for her. The VA has been exploring the use of teletherapy and video therapy so they may have something set up for that. Right now the use of journaling can be a good way to help your aunt express her alters more in a controlled setting that does not overwhelm her. In addition, avoiding triggers and using relaxation therapy techniques can be helpful for her to lessen her stress and not allow the alters to take control as alters typically exhibit more control during stressful periods of time:

The unfortunate reality though is that without proper treatment from a mental health professional these symptoms are going to continue indefinitely. If you want to continue with my analogy, even if a patient was bleeding out and you wanted to do something without any training there is probably little you could do or you may cause the problem to become worse. I am not trying to be pessimistic or difficult to deal with, but like I said this is a complicated process and there is no step by step instructions on how to treat DID.