Multiples are 1% of Our Society

I am a multiple. I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. We are not rare in our society.

Yes multiples, those with Dissociative Identity Disorder, are estimated to be 1% of our society, not a rare condition.

I had told one of my brother’s this before and he probably doesn’t want to remember this or think about this or anything about being multiple, because he keeps telling me that being multiple is “all in my head,” as though that means it doesn’t exist or that I imagine it or that if I only just thought hard enough about it, it would all just disappear, if I truly wanted it to. I always tell him no that is not how it works. It is not something you can imagine away, because it does not only exist in your imagination, DID is real.

So every once in a while we have “the multiple argument” where I tell him he doesn’t know what he is talking about and he pretends that he does.  I really deserve better from him. But he keeps refusing to care enough about me to take in the reality of my painful childhood and it’s consequences and long-term aftereffects. I deserve better from him.

I was telling that again recently to my rather dense brother, about multiples being 1% of the population, who found it hard to wrap his mind around that idea. And so instead of trying harder, he tried to argue about the fact.  And how he argues is to dispute a fact by using his own personal life observations, rather than facts.

Yes we have scientists and psychiatrists and psychologists, clinicians and researchers, and several decades of research and the current estimate is 1% of the population.

On the other side of the argument is my brother, with no degree, no psychology work of any kind, disputing them. He told me that only two people, one is me, have ever disclosed to him in his whole lifetime that they are multiple, so it must be rare. I said no that is not what that means.

What you can conclude from the fact that two people have disclosed being multiple to you is that two people have told you that they are multiple. Nothing else.  Nothing more. (I’ve known lots more multiples, online and in person, and I don’t think that means that the percentage of the population must therefore be much higher as a result of my personal experiences!)

Personal opinions. Personal beliefs or belief systems. Personal prejudices against those with mental health challenges. Personal experiences. Personal levels of denial about childhood sexual abuse and it’s consequences and it’s aftereffects.  None of those things are facts, scientific data or scientific conclusions.

12 thoughts on “Multiples are 1% of Our Society

  1. It’s amazing to me how much doubt still exists about the validity and prevalence of DID, even among mental health professionals. (For instance, Johns Hopkins still teaches med students and interns that there’s no such thing as DID, and they’re a very reputable hospital.) My medical condition, ulcerative colitis, is far more rare–in the US, 10 in 100,000–but I’ve never had a medical professional doubt that diagnosis. It’s pretty ridiculous.

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    • Hi Hope,

      I agree with you, there is a negative connotation on mental health issues and a disregard for the facts, even among professionals.

      I did have a doctor disagree with me that I could be gluten intolerant and possibly have Celiac’s disease, since he insisted it is rare. It is not, it is above 1% of the population now. I told him it is not rare, if you are one of the people with it, statistics only work when it comes to probabilities not actualities.

      I had to go get another doctor, he was ignoring everything I said and many of my symptoms in order to discount me and what I was going through. I’m much better now since I left him 18 months ago. I do think that because he knew of some of my abuse history and some of my mental health issues he used that to further discount what he didn’t want to believe in bodywise that I was going through, which is appalling, and yet happens unfortunately. I just didn’t realize that might be a factor, at the time. Also he was just a shitty doctor.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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      • Yeah, that’s nutty. Off the top of my head, I can think of three real-life acquaintances with celiac or gluten intolerance–four if you count me.

        And that logic is just…well, insane. Rare does not mean impossible. In the US, any disease that affects 200,000 people or fewer is considered a rare disease…and I’m not good at math, but I guarantee you that 1% of the US population is a lot more than 200,000.

        The discrimination people with mental illnesses face in getting care for physical issues is astounding. We have all these public anti-stigma campaigns, but the stigma is alive and well in the medical profession–where it should exist least! I recently had to switch doctors because mine decided my long, well-documented history of asthma was “just anxiety” and refused to treat it. When I moved to a new apartment at the beginning of this year, I found that my old apartment was teeming with black mold, which is a major asthma trigger. Luckily I was able to find a new doctor who has no problem treating my asthma. The only time he mentioned my mental illness was to ask if I had a psychiatrist to prescribe my psych meds.

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      • Hi Hope,

        Oh yes I have been reading up online about asthma triggers, black mold, mold, air pollution, and rodent dander and cockroaches all can be triggers to the disease, not just to episodes, from what I have been reading. I’m sorry that you went through that. So glad that you moved and quit that doctor and have one with a more practical and realistic approach. Anxiety and asthma are two issues that a competent doctor should be able to discern accurately. Good and healing thoughts to you.

        Kate

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  2. I imagine that this is part of why so many people think DID is so rare. Most of us present as one person to the outside world. I know I’ve always had this inherent sense that I have to keep it secret because it was dangerous to let anyone know. I got this way because cruel people exploited my vulnerability. DID is in many ways an asset, but it’s also a vulnerability, and I don’t reveal it to many people for that reason. Plus, there’s still the incredibly damaging idea that multiples are all serial killers or otherwise dangerous, and that’s not a stigma I want to have to deal with. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle: we keep it secret because of the risks of disclosure, people think it’s rare and exotic, and that creates greater risks in disclosure.

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    • Hi Hope,

      I agree with you. When a child is being abused it is very important to hide and society and family and people keep reinforcing that over and over.

      I came to a certain point in my life when I realized that most of what I did in my life and in the world was driven by safety and a need for safety. That was, I thought, a strong indication of the depth and effects of abuse in my life.

      Safety still drives much of what I do online. It is important and I believe important, as well, that each person make their own informed choices. I respect that very much.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  3. Pingback: DES-II Dissociative Experiences Scale | Trauma and Dissociation

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