I was doing some research today, and wondered how many people have Dissociative Identity Disorder.
So far, what I could find, the statistics are saying that:
Approximately 1% of the population is DID.
Some research says up to 3% of the population!
But even at 1% of the population…
With a current world population of 7.4 billion people, that means:
There are approximately 74 million dissociative people.
Yep, at 1% of the population, that is 74,000,000 people who have a dissociative disorder.
7 4 , 0 0 0 , 0 00 people !
74 million people.
74 million dissociative people.
That’s pretty staggering, hey?
I had to post that.
Because I think THAT says a lot.
Oh — and if anyone has a more recent statistic on the percentage of the population, please let me know. I didn’t take a long chunk of time researching it, but 1% is what I found.
I don’t know what else to say about that, except….
Hi, hi, hi, and hi, 74 million times over. 🙂
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
Like Pamela who treats SRA-DID, I agree that the percentage of people with DID is high. This is because a lot of people with DID are asymptomatic. Their system is stable and their front alter has no idea that there are more. The trauma is hidden by amnesic barriers and was not in many cases experienced by the front alter. This was the case with me, now 51, and it wasn’t until 47 when I entered the recovery phase from a long term schizoid depression that I started to get my memories back. Now I am becoming comfortable with the other parts. There is no switching but there is some communication and some co-consciousness at times with the dominant front alter (They call me ‘the shell’ ! ). So I guess that’s called DID-NOS. But it took a long time to get to this stage and for the memories to fit together and make sense. Before, the memories and fragments were deeply buried.
Remember Fritz Springmeier’s ‘famous’ book The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Control Slave. Asymptomatic DID is almost invisible. You have to have knowledge and second sight to see it in others. There are a number of people I know who I strongly suspect to be amnesic multiples, some of whom I saw in my memories. There are also people in the community of ‘friends’ that I see as having mental health damage, one covert and one overt narc for instance, but they do not have a history of mental problems and are considered by others as in normal range.
I am happy to see someone else is also called a shell. that is not the only name that my system calls me. Sometime its Master Puppeteer, the controlling one and my name. it just depends on how I am viewed at the moment. if i set down rules or call on them to interacted with my father. We do have our days when a butt heads with them if you asked them it would be more often then not.
I was thinking about the % of those with DID that are reported. When I was an undergrad, I entered the undergrad research competition at the university where I attend. This was actually a class assignment that even my professor thought would be great for entering the competition. My mentor said this was a great pilot study that I should continue later on. My study was on forgiveness, gratitude, and trauma. I recruited participants using social media and asked therapists if they would ask any of their clients who would want to participate in my study. My study was conducted online through survey monkey, and participants remained anonymous in order to promote more honest answers due to the questions that were asked during the study.
My theory has always been that out of 10 or 15 trauma cases, there would be 1 that had DID because of the trauma but would also have to meet the right criteria: like the age of first trauma experience, the number of trauma experiences throughout their life, the types of trauma experienced, does the person have PTSD, etc. I used 12 different scales which included 375 questions. Yes, this was an intense study. The participants of the study were divided into two groups: those with fewer number of trauma experiences (less than 5 experiences), and those with higher number of trauma experiences (5 or more traumatic experiences).
I had a total of 18 participants (17 women; 1 man). 1 African American, 16 Caucasian, and 1 of multiple race. The age range was 21 to 66 years, and the education level ranged from high school to a doctoral degree. The median age of the low trauma group was 31yrs; for the high trauma group was 49.3 yrs of age. Median education level for both the low trauma group and high trauma group was a bachelor’s degree.
My results showed that out of 18 participants, two of the participants qualified for a diagnosis of DID. For a study to be significant, the p-value has to be at least 0.05 and the lower the number, the more significant the results of the study. My p-value was 0.001 for individuals that qualified for a diagnosis of DID. In other words, not only did I prove my theory about 1 out of 10-15 trauma survivors would have DID but my p-value proved that DID was not rare! I showed my mentor and another professor that I respected, and both of them were throwing out explicit language on my findings telling me I was on to something.
So with that, I get pretty frustrated with the mental health community or professors that are teaching mental health classes that state that DID is rare or worse, it doesn’t even exist. What is even sadder is the number of maladaptive treatment people with DID receive from both the mental health and medical communities, which is another reason why DID goes underreported. I know for myself and the clients I have worked with that it was pretty common to experience maltreatment from professionals. Thankfully, I have learned to advocate for myself and no longer put up with maladaptive treatment from professionals. I also have taught clients how to advocate for themselves.
I hope I can continue my study later on and hopefully bring not only more light in both the mental health community but also in academia concerning DID, especially on what treatments are appropriate and effective and which ones are damaging.
Sorry for being so long and nerdy!
Thank you for sharing your research. Our own mother asked yesterday if we could kill or surgically remove some of our parts. This was distressing to be asked. We said, “No. we are here today because of them. We’re working to update their skills and get them into the present.” We said if mother isn’t nice to all parts, we will be sad. She said she would be nice. If our own mother doesn’t “get it,” how can we expect the general to?
Please continue your work, Lee.
Astrie, when we read about your Instagram post from March 5, we felt encouraged. Thanks for making an Infographic and raising awareness. 3/8/18
Really interesting research Lee (not long or nerdy at all)! Bang on conclusions in all respects! I do hope that you continue this research. It is much needed.
Oh and dear T.Clark, my heart broke when I read your posting regarding your mother. How truly sad it was yet so inspiring to hear how wonderfully courageous you were to stand up for yourself. I am in continual awe of your postings here T.Clarke.
My mother does not know about my diagnosis. I cannot tell her as I do not wish to cause her trauma. Yet her inability to see me astounds me. I can reconcile myself to friends not being understanding or comfortable with my DID diagnosis but another rejection from my mother would be devastating.
April Rhynold says
Ivorygarden is a DID closed support group. The only I know of…
We lag far far behind in proper diagnoses, awareness, treatment etc….
Many still remain hidden due to the lack of understsnding and recent negative portrayals in media.
Stay safe fellow warriors.
System in Canada
Its weird how the numbers can be so high, yet one can still feel so isolated and alone. I wish there were support groups.
I’m a therapist . To me it is very easy to diagnose DID.
I have been working with SRA DID for almost 26 years . I would safely say that 33 per cent of the population is DID . Anytime there is childhood trauma there is dissociation. Dissociation is a God given coping mechanism for young innocent children who are manipulated to do something they don’t want to do by selfish and evil adults. All types of abuse in small children cause dissociation, physical, sexual and seeing horrific abuse and trauma will also cause dissociation. I am going to host a lady from Portland, Oregon next year in ft worth to teach on SRA DID . I have taught some on SRA DID myself and it is not easy. I get frustrated with some pastors but there are a few out there who do believe it when they see it.
Living with DID, being a grad student to become a therapist, and also a preachers wife, I have seen the resistance so many times from not only MH professionals who question the existence of DID but also the views pastors have concerning it. It is frustrating all the way around but I think like any other disorder, awareness brings knowledge.
Even in a small town of 500, there would be 5 people. There is a good chance you know someone who had DID. I wish people would quit using “rare”. Not that so much now, huh?
I have not been on here for sometime because of Severe depression. I wanted you all to know from one who has D.I.D. All of you that also have D.I.D. you are Beautiful and gifted.
We are Aspein Women introduces the concept that some people may be so overstimulated and upset by sensory issues that altars develop as a way to cope. I think this has some validity and hope that this concept is used to study DID with the funding and recognition already at work within the autism community. I think it may be helpful to consider that because there is overlap of other conditions that may lead to increased advancements and understanding of DID. Having loved someone who suffered, I don’t care where the education and help comes from-just that it comes.
Kallena Kucers says
This is obviously really hitting close to home for many (including me). Have been so so angry at the lack of recognition of the validity of DID (and other dissociative states), despite the large amount of research showing that it clearly exists, for SO long!
The numbers of people living like this is enormous but, as everyone is saying – so many just don’t want to see. Of course they don’t want to see, as to see how many people have DID is to see and admit to how much harm apparently ordinary people in our society are doing to children they are supposed to care for and people would need to admit that it is everyone’s responsibility to do something about that – to stop the harm from happening in the first place and that is just too hard. Much easier to keep on living in a rose-coloured bubble, believing that everything is OK.
So, other conditions like autism and the psychoses (which so many are misdiagnosed with – yet the numbers of people who do have psychoses who have histories of childhood traumas and abuse is extremely high too!) get a lot of attention and heaps of funding – you see it’s still possible to attempt to believe that those things are “purely physical illnesses located within a ‘weakness within the individual’ so, they can be fixed by ‘fixing the individual’ with a pill (no – I don’t believe that but – so many still seem to). But – with DID it’s obvious as soon as you say it that the cause is severe trauma and the ‘help’ is not a pill. It takes a real relationship, a lot of time and effort and care to help someone with DID or any form of dissociation and that’s too hard for most.
I’d be interested too Kathy – how would you put in writing “what to look for” – how to recognise someone with DID? I know I can see it so clearly in others now but, to put what it is I can see in words – that’s harder. It’s also the sort of thing that it probably wouldn’t help to have someone (who was not in a position to be able to provide a safe enough environment) say to a person who was not ready to hear it, or in a safe enough space to be able to recognise and own their parts yet. Would have to think a lot on how I would describe what it is I see in people with separate parts that makes them so obviously different from someone without parts, and would be really interested to read how you’d describe it.
Kathy Broady says
Such excellent discussion in this thread… And YES… I hear a title for a new blog post… “What do I see when I recognize DID”, or something along those lines. Because, it’s just not that hard, so yeah… thanks for the idea. I will most definitely write that one. Sooner than later, because gosh… apparently people just aren’t seeing what’s so obvious to the rest of us!!
Really good points in these comments. Thanks everyone.
if theres that many how come its still so lonely
I also think the numbers are higher. I’ve wondered, though, if when the altar that protects feels threatened in any way-relationships are abruptly destroyed. That would include therapy relationships. In my experience, when the DID person begins to feel safe, the altar charged with protecting comes out. Anecdotally, it seems that the protector fears not being needed anymore and feels threatened. It makes sense-but I can see where it might end therapy before a proper diagnosis can be made. As an aside, family members who might be best able to help are afraid of seeming “crazy” too. Therefore, it may be hard for them to explain or answer questions.
You know what’s REALLY screwed up? Aprox 1% of the general population has Austism. And look at how widely studied, widely accepted and even pandered to that is these days. Special classes in school, entire dedicated schools, subdivisions of universities, research companies and organisations fundraising world wide, special time out safe places, special skills taught to kids, dedicated community services and entire organisations aimed at increasing their quality of life and basic functioning out in the world, inventions specifically designed to help them cope with sensory overload (coz you know, autism is the ONLY possible illness which has that) policy and procedural changes to almost every school and business nation wide to accommodate these ‘special’ individuals.
But yeah, if you mention anything about trauma related or god forbid, dissociative disorders YOUR the freak, misdiagnosed, labeled as wrong/crazy and pumped full of drugs to ‘fix’ you. Or if you’re really lucky, you’ll get referred to a quack who tells you its not really DID because your alters don’t spend all your $, have sex with your friends, run off your friends or husband and don’t have separate lives of their own behind your back. OR that you can be “cured” if you just do EMDR and murder your parts back into the one perfect person you were born as (then bullied and manipulated into trying EMDR for months until one of you gets the guts up to leave the quack)
Meanwhile there is 0 evidence of structural differences in the brain to verify autism even really truly exists. (like all mental illnesses bar C- and simple PTSD) Only differences in which areas of the brain light up. Yet PTSD and dissociative disorders, there is actual, clinical evidence that clearly shows structural differences in brain tissue… it makes me mad, to say the least.
Jill Summerville Sparks says
I disagree. I am a Special needs professional and have seen brain scans. There is structural differences that can be identified in both populations.
I DO however agree.. That when it comes to services for the mental health field versed the special needs groups. The special needs group are more openly received than the DID group. Not always though. You should bare witness to the dirty looks I receive when working with the special needs group! It would amaze and shock you.
Please know that even with special needs.. Services are difficult to receive. Yes. It’s out there.. And the DID group gets labeled as we can “do something about the behavioural issues” where as the special needs group gets help with SOME.
My daughter has special needs.. My grand daughter has autism. I work in the field… So let me tell you that first hand expierience getting help for that is not what it is quacked up to be.
Lots of things need to happen in both worlds in my opinion…
Alessandra B. says
Breaks my heart too…very, very sad ??
Jill Summerville Sparks says
So Kathy.. Since it is obvious to you what to look for, questions to ask, we think it is important to put an article out there for professionals that DO have a willingness to see that.
We KNOW first hand the many high numbers of times we have been refused treatment just because of the misunderstanding of DID. Have had more than one psychologist refuse to treat because the “borderline issues” show up. More than 10 professionals we have seen run because of this.
The other part is fear. Professionals are not like you. They fear this. They freak when an angry part shows up in their office. They send a person away when a child part shows up that has been taught that death is the only option there is.. How sad is that!!!!
We highly suggest an article just for professionals about what to look for.. And questions to ask. They don’t teach that in school….
Hi, I live in Canada. And you know what? It Is estimated that there is 3% of the population that is mentally handicapped and there is a whole system of FREE services for them. I work with them. So…..where are the services for DID in all our beautiful countries???
April Rhynold says
Jill Summerville Sparks says
Ok.. So let us just say this. We think the numbers are off. Off because the DID community are under diagnosed. DID mimics other disorders and a lot of the people who are doing the diagnostic processes just simply do not believe DID even exists. They end up putting Borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and other dx on us.
The other part of the issues surrounding people getting a diagnosis is because a high number of people don’t get the diagnosis because of stigma attached to mental health. Most people we know who have DID are not financially capable or able to get a diagnosis. People with DID simply are good at hiding the DID to begin with.
Using Dr. Phil for example.. We have seen a few people on that show that could be DID. He just outright sais they aren’t. Sends them off to be evaluated and this center sais they aren’t either. Just honestly can’t see how ANYONE could tell if a person is DID After a few sessions. We know we have talked about this before.. It really is a sore subject for us. Don’t know how many times we went to someone before finally someone heard us!!!! GESH! We would talk about hearing inside voices, loose time ect.. But the person doing the interview would dismiss us!!!! How frustrating! Even my middle daughter who is an MSW starts talking to us about the stupid borderline diagnosis part. It makes us angry because darn it… We exist!
Just because Kathy.. The DID community mostly hides, because the people doing the diagnosing don’t believe, and because people don’t seek treatment.. These numbers are far lower than actually exist!!!!!!!
Kathy Broady says
I agree with you, Jill. And frankly, if you understand DID, and you know what it looks like, it’s pretty easy to see it, and to diagnose it. It does NOT take oodles and gobs of time – not with the right questions, and an openness to see it. The problem, it seems, is that there is such resistance to seeing it, for whatever ridiculous reason. Because it’s pretty easy to see once you know what you are looking for.
And that’s a very good point, Sylvie. There most definitely needs to be more resources for dissociative survivors. I completely agree with that!
Thanks, Kallena, for your comment. Always good to have supporting documentation. And I see we all agree… DID IS OBVIOUS for those that know what they are looking for. And to those who call it for what it IS, instead of calling it what it isn’t. I’m very very sure the vast majority of folks here have been diagnosed with a few other diagnoses before ever being recognized as dissociative. Seems par for the course, if you ask me.
Even still…. 74 million dissociative survivors… Or double that. 148 million dissociative survivors if we guess that for every one diagnosed, there is someone not yet diagnosed… that’s just a whopping lot of people who had to survive a heaping pile of childhood trauma via dissociation.
Really breaks my heart to think of that much pain.
Good discussion tho. Thank you for your comments!
I was thinking about your comment concerning ol’ Mr.Phil. I don’t even refer to him as a doctor simply because he is nothing more than an educated idiot of an entertainer, who is unable to recognize a disorder if it walked up and smacked him in the face. Most therapist I know can’t stand him either.
He no longer is licensed to practice therapy. With that, he is also unethical because what practicing therapist displays their client’s personal issues on the public radar, aka television, to not only discuss their personal issues but also sometimes berate the guest of the show? No therapist would ethically do that to a client. I guess ol’ Mr.Phil forgot about “do no harm” that most therapists tend to practice. Yes, ol’ Mr.Phil makes my blood boil and I refuse to support his method of entertainment means to gain publicity.
Okay so just my two cents.
You’re citing the types of numbers I have seen too Kathy. Most recent I know of is: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262025048_Dissociative_identity_disorder_An_empirical_overview
This cites 1% of the general population though I’ve seen 1-3% in earlier reviews, and the numbers in inpatient populations are extremely high as Astrie says too, though many of those people have other diagnoses (either appropriately or not, as so many in the psychiatric field still just ‘won’t see’ dissociation even when it is staring them right in the face), and the overlap in symptoms between DID and ‘schizophrenia is terrifyingly high.
I wonder how many of the people reading this blog have experienced being diagnosed with somthing else (usually schizophrenia or bi-polar) before they were properly recognised as living with dissociated parts?
At least in more recent years there has started to be more open discourse and discussion re the apparent similarity in symptoms (and past histories of abuse) between people with both DID and psychoses – finally.
Over the years as we had to accept all of our parts, it was also interesting to realise how many other people we’d met in our life who now that we know it and can see it in ourselves, it’s absolutely obvious also had DID though when we knew them we were not able to recognise it as the parts of us who ‘were out’ could not know that we dissociated so, could not see it in others either.
Thanks for providing the link to the research article. I am currently updating a power point presentation on DID because I’m presenting to a non-profit where I volunteer. I was needing some updated info, and I think this will be helpful.
Scary that it has a bigger % than other disorders like Schitz. But yet those disorders are seen as more ‘ok’ to have. I watched this documentary a few weeks ago and it blew everything i thought i knew about the psychiatric industry and society today out the window. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoI94Epkjrc
Highly recommend. He also goes into the statistics too. I know within the inpatient population its something like 10% have DID or DDNOS! Which is a staggering rise than the very conservative 1% that people say. They reckon among the general population these days its between 3%-20% or something like that! CRAZY (pardon the pun lol) Nice to hear from you again Kathy! We were only thinking about you yesterday wondering when you’d pop in again!
Kathy Broady says
Yep, I’m here EVERY day… many times every day. I just don’t post every day. 🙂
And in my memory from days gone by, I remember hearing 3-5% of the population, which would only mean incredible numbers….
Another stat is 17% of the inpatient population for substance abuse can be dissociative. yeeesh.
It’s good to hear from you too. Hope you are doing well. 🙂