DIS is me is a project that we started to increase awareness about what it means to live with dissociative identity disorder (DID), by sharing the personal experiences of people with DID. In Dutch the title of the project is a pun, because DIS is the Dutch abbreviation of DID.
DID is a relatively unknown complex psychiatric disorder which is often portrayed in negative and stereotypical ways in popular culture. As a result, many people have misconceptions about DID and the people who suffer from it. Many people with DID feel lonely and unseen, afraid to talk to anyone about their diagnosis because of the stigma attached to the disorder. Furthermore, there is a glaring lack of knowledge and expertise in the field of DID within the Dutch mental health care system, which makes it difficult for people to seek and find the kind of help they need.
The aim of DIS is me is to increase awareness and create a more realistic image of DID. The second - equally important - goal is for people with DID and their loved ones to feel seen, heard, recognized and/or less alone because of the project.
The project team of DIS is me, consisting of experts by experience, will be collecting the anonymous experiences of a large group of people with DID, following a different theme every couple of weeks.
People with DID and their relatives are invited to contribute their own experiences to the project via social media, the website, flyers in waiting rooms and the newsletter.
Their experiences are translated into texts, photos and videos that are published on various social media channels and the website.
After the project, the material will be processed in a digital publication that can be used in education, treatment (psycho-education) and education (mental health related studies and training of professionals).
To maximize the impact and reach of the project, we work together with healthcare institutions, advocates and educational institutions, and individual healthcare professionals, experts by experience and teachers. They share the project material with their clients, colleagues and students, and through their own social media channels and websites.
The digital publication of 'DIS is me' is being translated into English.
"During the treatment you learn that you are now allowed to talk about your experiences. But can you be open about your diagnosis at all, when there is so much stigma attached to it?"
When the idea was just born, Anne made the following video about the origin of the project DIS is me. English subs available! (You can watch the video here, but also incognito on YouTube - title: Project DIS is me.)