How Does Meditation Help Those Living with DID?
Growing up, meditation was something I was completely unfamiliar with, and never openly talked about by the adults in my life. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) that I learned the importance of meditation in every sense of the word.
Finding Use for Meditation with DID
One of the symptoms of DID is the ongoing conversation you have in your mind with various alters, or parts, that make up the internal family system. Needless to say, it can get loud in there, especially when one or more parts have issues that need to be addressed. Getting grounded is essential for me to get my bearings and put myself in the best possible position to help my alters.
This is where meditation comes into play. If I can’t concentrate because of the ongoing conversation, I step aside and try to give myself the opportunity to breathe, physically and figuratively. Meditation helps me take the break I need to refocus and assist my parts effectively.
Guided and Unguided Meditation for DID
Two popular types of meditation are guided and unguided. In an unguided meditation, you might simply listen to the sound of chimes or rainfall to help you enter a more relaxed state for a period of minutes. In a guided meditation, there is an individual who gently coaches you and helps you paint a relaxing scene in your mind.
Because I often turn to meditation when my mind is already scrambled, I prefer guided meditations. Those with DID may find them more helpful because they feature a secondary voice, which can serve as a focal point during the session.
Exploring the Benefits of Meditation for DID
There are many benefits associated with meditation, some of which I can speak to on a personal level. First, meditation helps me get grounded and in a less-stressed position to assist my alters. Next, meditation can bring me down from a hyper-aroused state and into my window of tolerance. Ultimately, this means I’m more present and able to interact with the people, places and things more effectively in my everyday world.
Finally, I’ve found that it’s possible to get better at meditation with time. I think of it as an exercise that requires practice, but if you’re willing to put in the work, your mind will thank you by providing results.
At the end of the day, every person with DID has his or her own personal preferences for keeping alters in check. That being said, there is no harm in having another tool in the toolbox of solutions for addressing symptoms.
How does meditation affect your DID symptoms? Share your experiences in the comments.
Tags: meditation and did