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How to travel with a person suffering from Disassociative identity disorder

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If your elderly parent or friend or relative is suffering from DID – Dissociative identity disorder, then it is obvious that you are struggling a lot to maintain good relations with that person. Dissociative identity disorder (DID), earlier known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), and colloquially known as a split personality disorder, is a mental illness that shows a minimum of two different and fairly stable personality states. Whether your loved one is diagnosed with the same by a psychologist or not, you will still doubt them for their different ways of living in extremes.

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If you are going to travel with a person having DID, here are some steps to ensure that the journey is smooth and not argumentative.

1) Tell them what you feel like in a soft tone:

A person suffering from DID or multiple personality disorder may have different perspectives on whatever they think or do. The distinct perspective may appear only during some times when they feel stressed out, it may not be always. It is only for the moment and you need to be calm even if the person with DID accuses you of doing things that they like. For example, if the person with DID had shared with you that they get cold and cough when they travel on a flight, then you may get a muffler or blanket for them. But their other personality may come to argue with you about why you got these unnecessary things and added your baggage. In response to such contradictory statements, you need to maintain your calmness and be patient.

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2) Don’t accuse them of whatever they do:

For example, if the person with DID throws away certain items on the train or flight travel when they are a different personality, don’t immediately accuse them or blame them for their wrong behavior. Because when they come to consciousness, they will not accept their wrong actions and instead accuse you of trying to manipulate them to agree on something that they have not done yet. So, patience is the biggest key if you want to have a good journey. 

3) Tell them it is okay if they bring back flashback memories:

They may see you sitting idle and would want to open up about all the wrong things that happened to them. Probably those may not have even happened in reality, but listening to them as a storyteller will pass your time and also make you not bored. You can simply nod your head and tell them it is okay to err if their this personality is of accepting their faults and blames. 

I know it is very risky to travel with someone to a distant location who has different views at any point in time. Instead of worrying and hurrying, it is better you keep calm and let them do the talking and emotional parts. You can think as if you are watching a series or movie to avoid getting harmed by their fluctuating personas. Taking the help of a counselor or psychologist if things seem to be uncontrollable is also one way of traveling and living with a person with DID.

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