Writers With Mental Illness

Growing Up With Dissociative Identity Disorder

My name is Kenjō. I’m a high school student with dissociative identity disorder (DID) who has had two alters for around six years. I haven’t been diagnosed yet because I don’t find it relevant or useful enough, but I’m definitely on the spectrum of dissociative identity disorder. A diagnosis hasn’t really been something I’ve tried to look for because I live in Mexico where mental health isn’t a big priority and is extremely expensive.

My Alters

Aside from me, the host, there’s two alters in our system: Cat and Siamés. I’ll introduce first Siamés because Cat is complicated. Siamés is “the little” in our system. He loves to play, he doesn’t fear anything, and he likes to draw. But he doesn’t really like talking to people. As for Cat… he’s a weird one. He never tells me his plans or anything. He just does them. Cat is supposed to be a protector, but he switches between two sides: protecting me and damaging me. His dislike of people has caused many problems.

mental illness diagnosis

My Family

From what little I remember from my childhood, I know I wanted to have a normal family. I wanted to live with my mom, my dad, my brother. I wanted to go on family adventures like everyone else did. I wanted to explore the world and live life like most of the people I know. But my parents are divorced, and I hate my brother. Plus, everyone in my family is a singleton, except me. I love being with people. And to make things worse, we all like different things. For instance, I like strategic video games, but my brother likes first person shooter games. My mom likes nature and handcrafts, and my grandma likes shopping and spending time with our extended family.

Growing Up

At home, my brother used to get really violent and couldn’t control himself. He’s younger but stronger, and my mom alone couldn’t control him, so I started trying to take more responsibility. I felt like I had to do something, and my mentality started changing. Many people have told me that I forced myself to mature earlier than I needed to, which caused some problems.

I wasn’t busy watching cartoons like my classmates. I was at the computer looking at encyclopedias and investigating on the Internet. Before my alters appeared, I did fit in with my classmates. I was talkative, the class clown. That is… until Cat first appeared. I didn’t notice at the time, but I started isolating myself. When elementary school ended, I lost all my friends because Cat got aggressive with them.

By middle school, everything was different, I became quiet. Cat was the one who took over the entire first half of the year (we were co-conscious though). He didn’t want me to look for friends, and I still don’t know what he really wanted or wants. At this point, I had developed social anxiety. I became an extrovert with social anxiety, how problematic. I made friends after Cat started letting me be much more open. During the last year of middle school, my friends started dating, but I didn’t feel anything towards women. I didn’t find them attractive at all. But I don’t really find myself looking at men, either. Right now, I think I finally understand myself, though. I just haven’t found that special person for me to fall in love with.

Being Different

My entire life I’ve felt different. People say being different is the best, but my experience says the opposite. Being different has made me feel excluded, lose friends, and feel weird around everyone. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve developed a deep depression that has been slowly growing. Only until I find the strength to confront my problems will I find peace.

In class, I hear my peers talking about sports, superheroes, and movies. I’m left aside because I haven’t had time for any of that. It’s hard to find something to talk about with them. I’m almost always on the Internet, which has kept me from finding hobbies that I enjoy. I don’t know what I like. I have felt interested in sports and movies. I’ve tried getting into them, but I’ve simply been too busy, mostly mentally busy. I’ve made some new friends in high school and that’s the best that I can hope for right now. We don’t have so much in common, which sometimes makes it hard to find things to talk about, but I’m currently trying to finally give myself some time to explore who I am and what I like.


My dissociative identity disorder has actually helped me in the sense that I have the feeling of being with someone even when I am alone. It has changed the way I see people and view the world. With Cat and Siamés cooperating at my side, I know we’ll have great adventures.

Being different is not always the best. It has even been unhealthy and damaging to me because it’s made it harder to make friends and connect with others in general. However, being different gives you other perspectives. You see the world in different ways and appreciate it from unique angles no one ever thought of. I notice things most people don’t. Society may set those of us who are different aside, but having a mental illness, especially dissociative identity disorder, has made my life interesting, even if it’s difficult at times. I’m glad to be who I am.

didAbout The Author:

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous. You can learn more about dissociative identity disorder here.

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[…] In times of great stress, my alter sometimes retreats without warning, leaving me in charge of a situation that I’m not fully aware of. I can either take the time to attempt to piece together what’s going on, or I can react to whatever immediate threat I’ve been stuck with this time. That’s just how my life is with dissociative identity disorder. […]

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