My Application for TEDxUCLA 2016

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Topic Title: Dissociative Identity Disorder: Destroying the Stigma

Details on the talk, and why it is a fit for TEDx *
Among the list of psychological disorders today, Dissociative Identity Disorder is high- arguably the HIGHEST- on the chain of misconception, skepticism, and blatant non-acceptance. To be given a chance to speak on your platform about the disorder that has saved and changed my life, would mean an open door to the world of awareness.

Through a lifetime of trauma, I have come to accept my diagnosis. With this acceptance comes responsibility. It is time for me to reach out to as many people as I possibly can to shed light on this controversial, yet very real, disorder.

Considering the theme for 2016, Stretch, I strongly believe that DID is a perfect topic to explore in order to shake society’s comfort and take giant steps closer to ending the stigma.

Subject area, idea worth sharing, or why you think this person would be a great addition to TEDxUCLA. Please keep in mind, TED Talks are not stories about yourself, instead they are the spreading of an idea. *

Very sincerely, I truly feel that I would be an amazing addition to TEDxUCLA mainly because I have such a story to tell and I have a great, unrelenting passion for ending stigma in regards to mental health. I have always been driven by community outreach. This is my dream platform. I came across one of your speakers, Eleanor Longden, and from that point on, I wanted to become a public speaker. I am determined to shine light on my topic.

What qualifies you to speak about this subject? While we do not require terminal degrees in the field you wish to talk about, we do want to know the credentials and experiences you have to back up what you would like to share on the stage. *
In the 23 years I have lived so far, I have survived being born addicted to heroin, abandonment by my mother when I was an infant, losing my father to drugs and ultimately suicide, physical and sexual abuse in my family, rape, my own addiction to heroin and opioids, 2 suicide attempts, suicides within my family, and countless visits to hospitals and rehabilitation centers. I was finally diagnosed in 2015 with Dissociative Identity Disorder, after years of inaccurate diagnoses (for example, schizoaffective and bipolar disorder) . I know now that without my alters, my personalities, I would never have become the resilient survivor and humanitarian that I am today.

What specifically are you, or the person you are nominating actively doing to pursue the idea? What applied research is being done to support this idea? *
My first goal is to raise awareness on Dissociative Identity Disorder. Because of lack of knowledge, there are limited resources and social networks available to people living with DID. Statistics are scarce while stigma continues to shroud our community. With this exposure, I will work hard on educating my community, while striving towards establishing a well-known outreach support network for people with DID, so that we may not need to live in mystery and shame any longer.

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