This article is a Stub. Just going to be a lot more to add to it over time.
We need to make demands for changes in various systems within society to both accommodate and take better care of its plural population.
An average of 6 years to an accurate diagnosis is abhorrent. And we'd like to argue it's even longer than that. We do not have anything set up for early detection of dissociative disorders, which leaves vulnerable children in the dark without proper supports and therapy to make their lives any better.
There should be early screenings for children ages 5-12 for the development and early intervention of dissociative disorders, and ages appx 12+ for normal therapeutic interventions — experts will know where the signs are for what treatments are appropriate but here's the rub:
We know when *some* children have been routinely traumatized, but are these vulnerable children specifically screened for DID or related issues early on? In foster care, child refugees, domestic violence, runaways, trafficked children, children who have been sexually abused, children rescued from cult situations, and when children show signs of dissociating in classrooms across the world — they should be immediately screened with the Childhood Dissociative Experiences Scale and other measures for the possibility that they are developing a dissociative disorder. Conversely, if they are, a full investigation into what present circumstances are still traumatizing these children must be launched.
Educating teachers and school staff on the signs of dissociation is also important. Most often a child appears to be "daydreaming" and is frozen for a notable amount of time. This isn't something to just laugh off or write on a report card. If it's happening enough for you to notice, then there's possibly something wrong.
Children cannot defend themselves, and do not know how or when to ask for therapy or help. If most of the adults in their world are ignoring or hurting them, they have already learned not to trust adults and will not ask for help. A child who appears to be behaving normally when you talk t o them may have already buried their secrets.
Stigma and Disbelief
People can't make up their minds whether to fear DID or disbelieve in it entirely. But it still persists, in brain studies & MRIs, in tests, in the clinician's offices, in the court systems, in the minds of millions. With tens-of-millions of people who have this "syndrome" across the planet, it's hard to deny. There aren't enough therapists to induce this: but there are enough issues which torment children across all sectors, all government boundaries, that infiltrates everywhere there is children from the family unit through to massive organizations across the globe. When there is human suffering, and there are children, there will be DID and related issues.
A recent question amongst various plurals in a group brought up self-stigma as well. When asked whether they would hire a therapist who was admittedly DID (say out in the open about it) many vehemently said no. In a cohort one would think would be sensitive to the need to hold down employment once one's disability is managed, one would think they would not stigmatize. Some said yes with reasonable caveats such as professionalism. Others said a vehement yes, without caveats. So the community itself is divided in self-stigma. This is setting aside those who have and had a bad experience and then generalize it to all therapists with DID — that's its own issue.
There is also a lot of stigma in the professional arena. Professionals are humans and people too, and they see movies and films, and not all get specialized training in recognizing or dealing with DID. Because sometimes presenter/instructor stigma colors the method or delivery of learning materials, and extreme prejudice restricts whether the materials are included at all New, and because plurals are sorely under-represented in studies and documentation about plurals, there's a great deal of misinformation to be had out there about what is going on in our psyche, and how to best approach or "treat" it.
Thus there's important issues of stigma amongst even our own community, as well as the stigma in the general populace, and the stigma amongst professionals.