I made a video about what it’s like to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder! Here’s the story behind its creation:
Back in September, I received a facebook message from a high school friend of mine. We hadn’t spoken in a number of years so it was a pleasant surprise to see a message from him in my inbox.
He told me that his wife was a teacher and she was running an activity about neurodivergence for her students, who were between the ages of 13-16. He said she was collecting videos from individuals who experienced different forms of neurodivergence, talking about what life is like for them, to show to her students. He asked if we’d have any interest contributing a video about living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
This was really exciting to us! This kind of educational, awareness raising while using personal experiences to connect the audience to the issue is exactly what we do on our blog all the time, so this was right up our alley. We were also really pumped about the idea of reaching a collection of teenagers and having their first encounter with DID be, not only from an actual system, but from us! We have worked hard to de-stigmatize and de-medicalize the way we talk about DID, and these students would be unlikely to hear our specific framing of DID from most other educational sources.
Video creation was new to us but we actually ended up enjoying the process quite a lot. We even included some bloopers of interruptions from our cat Rosa!
What’s in the video:
- A basic overview of what DID is
- Social misconceptions about DID
- Life challenges of living with DID
- Tools used to cope with symptoms
- Benefits of having DID
- What we’d want others to know when interacting with our system
This video was created for a specific purpose but once we were done with it, it was clear that it would be valuable outside of this classroom too. If you’re looking for an intro to DID resource that’s in video format, we highly recommend watching this video!
One thing to note if this is your first exposure to the world of DID and plurality that I did not cover in my video due to time constraints is that OSDD-1 is another dissociative disorder that presents similarly to DID, in that you have multiple identities that are created in response to dissociating from trauma. Toward the end of the video, I mention the Ring System being a great system-run resource but in the video I call them a DID system, when they are actually an OSDD-1 system!
Here are a list of links to additional resources regarding DID and OSDD, including some of the ones I mentioned in the video:
Articles We’ve Written on DID
- What Is Plurality/Multiplicity?
- Early Signs That I Had Dissociative Identity Disorder
- What Does Dissociation Feel Like?
- Who Am I Today? How My DID System and I Figure Out Who Is Fronting
External Resources on DID, OSDD, & Plurality
- A video on “31 Myths and Misconceptions About DID/OSDD”
- A video on the concept of fronting and its complexities
- A video on the differences between DID and OSDD-1
- Absolutely every video made by the Ring System
- A video on “My Identities Impersonating Me: Why DID is a hidden disorder.” (Note: Multiplicity & Me is an example of a more overt system, which is a less usual presentation but makes it easier to capture and communicate on camera.)
- A video on “How I Found Out I Had DID” by the Entropy System
- A facebook group that welcomes all kinds of plurals and is excellent at maintaining safety and acceptance within the group
Experimenting with Youtube
Multiple times in the past, we’ve received encouragement to translate our social just content into video form and start a Youtube Channel. We’ve never been drawn to the video format and lack most of the skills of equipment to do a good job of video making so we never looked into it. We also were under the impression that getting views and subscribers as a Youtube channel would be equally as challenging as doing so with this blog, so it would basically be like starting over from scratch in terms of finding an audience!
We were surprised by how rewarding we found the process of filming and editing the video and we managed to get a hang of a few of the basic functions of iMovie enough to make it somewhat compelling and not just a single take with lots of awkward pauses.
When we published the video to Youtube, we decided to make it public with the intention of sharing it on this blog at a later time. We didn’t put any effort into adding tags or keywords (which help videos get found in search engines) to the video and just gave it a straightforward title and description. To our surprise, before we had ever shared the link with anyone, our video started getting views! Not only were people watching it, but a handful of people subscribed to our “channel” (which at the moment is a handful of totally unrelated videos for various past projects.)
Apparently, Youtube’s search engine is better than we thought. And our guess is that the DID community on Youtube is substantial enough that there’s demand for that kind of video, but not so ridiculously saturated (like the beauty or food communities) that our video would never be seen in the first page of the search results.
This response inspired us so we are thinking about experimenting with making some more videos to help a new audience find Yopp. We may try translating some of our existing articles about DID into video format or maybe use Youtube to talk about things in a more casual way. No more videos currently in the works since the holidays are in full swing at the moment.
But if seeing more videos from us about DID interests you, subscribe to our Youtube Channel!
About the writer: Kella Hanna-Wayne is the creator, editor, and main writer for Yopp. She specializes in educational writing about civil rights, disability, chronic illness, abuse, and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine blog, The BeZine, and Splain You a Thing and in 2022, she released a self-published book of poetry, “Pet: the Journey from Abuse to Recovery“. You can find her @KellaHannaWayne on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Medium, and Twitter.