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Shadow in the Mirror

Dissociative Identity Disorder

By Adele Hewett Veal, Author

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When I got the idea to write, ‘ Shadow in the Mirror’, a story about a woman who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I had no idea I was walking into an area of study that would intrigue and change my life. I have always been interested in the study of how our brains work, so when this story line came to mind, I wasn’t surprised. However, my thoughts were to examine and analyze the concept and write poetically about it, since I’ve been a poet from the age of twelve. To my surprise, I couldn’t find the words –rhyming poetically but the words through pros seemed to flow non-stop and before I knew it, I had written a novel for the first time. The experienced plucked me right out of my comfort zone and stretched me until I was face to face with characters and concepts that were both frightening and fascinating.

To stay true to my main character, Leslee Cramer, who suffers from this disorder, I got absorbed in case study after case study, which only made me hungry for more information, so I researched and downloaded facts, reports, and news articles, along with other materials, even if it meant sitting in the library for hours to read it. Among the information were many articles written by doctors that I found quite interesting because of the degree of controversy. From what I read, some doctors would even go as far as to question whether DID really exists. But after sitting and talking to individuals who suffer with this disorder, reading their blogs, and speaking to their family members, I wonder where the controversy lies. And is it because of this controversy that many of these people are misdiagnosed for years? For the record, DID is not the same as Schizophrenia or Manic Depression, or so many of the other mental disorders, although some of the same symptoms may be present. If you’re interested in learning more about Dissociative Identity Disorder click here.

The multifariousness of DID has captivated me so that, when I travel to book signings or speak at book clubs, I find myself speaking more on the subject of DID than I do, my novel. I’m surprised when Psychologists, who sit in my audiences, come to the table and commend me for the work I put into the book and the knowledge I’ve attained. This makes me chuckle because I didn’t go into this with the thought of becoming an advocate for those with this disorder but, I’m proud to say, now, I am.

One of the most favorite blogs I’ve read since writing, ‘Shadow in the Mirror’, was by a young girl named Crystalie Matulewicz , who didn’t allow DID to define her. She not only braved it out and got the help she needed, she also went on to get her degree in psychology. She wants to be a writer and a counselor and she’s well on her way to achieving both goals. That’s amazing.

Although, ‘Shadow in the Mirror’ is a fiction novel, Dissociative Identity Disorder is very real. Today I am writing my second novel, ‘Reflections From Within’, the sequel to, Shadow in the Mirror, another novel dealing with personality disorder. I’m constantly searching for new material to study, so imagine my excitement when I stumbled up on a new book, Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook by Deborah Bray Haddock. This book is written to supply the tools needed to diagnose DID. It reveals the stages of therapy and supplies coping strategies and survival tips for clients, therapists, family and friends.

I am excited to see what adventures the main character of my new novel experiences because of this new discovery and fresh eyes.