Can One Alter In A DID System Have A Mood Disorder?

We were diagnosed with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) in 2009 by our psychologist, and had the diagnosis confirmed by our psychiatrist in 2010. Since then our psychologist has also diagnosed Bipolar II, but our psychiatrist seems hesitant in confirming that diagnosis.

I think DID can look a little confusing from the outside. If we’re rapidly switching, and everyone is in a different mood, has different energy levels, different concerns, and different priorities it could look like our mood is rapidly changing.

However our system generally isn’t like that. Overall each of us seem to have a relatively stable mood and way of perceiving the world. Except me. As far as I know I’m the only one that has ongoing mood issues. It’s true that, at times, other parts have been unsafe and suicidal, but that’s been related to specific trauma, not mood issues.

I’m struggling to manage my mood with medication. My mood is still up and down no matter what medication I’m taking. Up can be fun if I’m happy and not agitated, but that hasn’t been the case lately. Down is crushing and soul destroying. I’m currently trialling one last medication regime before I go back to my psychiatrist to discuss other options.

What’s interesting is that when my mood is elevated, other alter’s moods are not. Even when I’m severely depressed it’s unusual for other alters to also be depressed. Their moods, thoughts, and perceptions seem entirely separate from my own.

When I’m hypomanic we don’t switch. It seems like I’m so busy, excited, and happy that other parts simply do not get a chance to come out. I also feel much more confident and capable, and experience no anxiety so there seems to be less need for switching.

When I’m depressed we switch more often than when hypomanic. I think that’s because I become so overwhelmed and unsafe that I don’t want to be out, or other parts become so concerned for our safety that they come out to keep us safe. When that happens, whoever comes out is not depressed. They express obvious concern for me and my mood, and our safety, but they do not share the overwhelming depression.

It’s quite confusing. I’m not sure if that’s common or ‘normal’ for people with DID and a mood disorder, but that’s how it works for us. I don’t know if that makes a Bipolar II diagnosis more plausible, or just more confusing. I think I have Bipolar II, but I don’t think other parts do.  Does it mean that I do (or don’t) have Bipolar II? I have no idea.

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