Hi, I’m MJ and I have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). When I was first diagnosed, I was in denial for a long time. Once I found the right psychiatrist, and then the right therapist, our system began to become aware of each other and alters began communicating. We are learning to work together so we can have functional multiplicity. Our system works on what we call group projects in order to learn how to work together. One of our favorite projects is tie dye. Different alters enjoy different steps and aspects of the process. Some enjoy finding patterns and folding. Others like choosing the colors. All of us enjoy seeing the results!

Another way we express ourselves is through art. The alters who are artists use various mediums and have different styles. Sometimes alters can influence the artist to help them to work through emotions or express ideas and information. It’s a creative forum of communication. You will find artwork by more than one of our identities on this page.

The Media paints people with DID as dangerous criminals or flamboyant people who dress differently every time a new alter presents themselves. In reality, we are suffering from a coping mechanism that our brain put in place during early childhood as a way to protect us from memories of inescapable trauma. This coping mechanism is made to be covert! Visibly switching identities could put us in dangerous situations. Typically, alters are unaware of each other or even that they are a part of a system until the person is diagnosed and begins therapy. With the correct type of therapy, alters can learn to communicate, express themselves, and communicate. Over time, the system can work together and achieve functional multiplicity or fusion depending on the goal of the specific system. Every system is different. Unfortunately, it is difficult and expensive to find a professional who has experience with this disorder. That is why it is important that we spread awareness. DID and other dissociative disorders are more common than you might think, yet there are less than 5 hospitals in the United States that are equipped with staff trained to treat complex trauma disorders, and that number is shrinking.

Read more about Disociative Disorders here.

Read more about Outsider Art here.