A man with a rare condition that caused his personality to split into TEN identities is now unable to study, work, or leave home on his own.
Leonard Stöckl says he consists of 10 personalities, Kovu, 4, Hektor, 8, Ana, 16, Cosmo, 17, Ash, 18, Jessy, 19, Leo, 21, Billy, 23, Liv, 24, and Red. 26 .
Leonard, who lives in Munich, suffers from Dissociated Identity Disorder (DIS), a rare psychiatric condition that develops in early childhood as a result of severe trauma.
The 22-year-old refers to his collective personalities as his “system,” the set of identities that share a body, and each distinct consciousness is the “person” or “age.”
Leo refers to themselves as the “host” of the system, meaning they are the person most often in control of the body.
Courtesy of Leonard Stöckl / SWNS)
Courtesy of Leonard Stöckl / SWNS)
Up until his teens, Leo was able to manage day-to-day activities, but the condition became overwhelming when he sat his high school exams in June 2021.
While everyone else seemed to have no trouble studying, he was unable to concentrate and suffered from memory loss and other symptoms due to the personality change.
After seven years of therapy, he looked for a psychosomatic clinic where he would get help to become more stable and was diagnosed with DID.
Leo was admitted to a clinic in March 2022 for six weeks where he had multiple therapies ranging from typical therapy sessions with a psychiatrist to physical methods such as QiGong, archery and art therapy.
Courtesy of Leonard Stöckl / SWNS)
The diagnosis was made just two days before his release on April 26, 2022.
Leo explained that while he’s relieved at his diagnosis and finally able to give his problems a proper name, he knows there’s still a long way of work ahead of him.
His time at the clinic was not as helpful as he had hoped, but gave him a great routine and a safe, supportive environment in which to learn to live with his trauma.
Due to the severe symptoms, Leo is now unable to work as each age has their own abilities and desires making it impossible to ensure he is able to do his job.
Being unemployed, Leo now runs a shop on Etsy selling handmade bookmarks and tote bags.
Leo’s system also has complex implications for his relationship, “because there are more people involved and everyone has their very strong and unique opinions on things.”
However, Leo also noted that the system is a “great source of support” when things get tough in the relationship.
He added: “When things get tough we always find a way and in the end we’re just as normal a couple as everyone else.
“Sometimes there are just a few more people involved.”
Leo has been with his partner Massimo since October 2020.
He said: “We live with Massimo and he is the main person who takes care of us.
“Each age has their own relationship with my boyfriend.
“One of the ages hated him at first – he’s trying to be nice now but it doesn’t always work.
“We have a very young personality who met him but it can be difficult for my boyfriend when a younger person is across from us while we are together.
Leo emphasized that while every DID system is different, they all share severe traumatic experiences in early childhood that shaped and developed the system.
He explained: “I’m Leo and I’m the current host of the system.
“I love to cook, read and watch movies and series with my partner who I live with.
“Kovu is our youngest and we don’t know much about him because he’s very quiet – we suspect he’s very traumatized.
“Hector is a very excited child – he loves stuffed animals and is always excited to go to the zoo or aquarium.
“Ana suffers from anorexia, which makes it difficult for her to get ahead.
“Cosmo is a rowdy, easily flirty teenager who gets into trouble easily.
“Ash is a little sunshine who likes to go on vacation and just explore the world.
“Jessy is quiet but very kind, girly and respectful. She often takes care of the body.
“Billy is one of our protectors – he always looks after security when we’re outside.
“He doesn’t talk much and can be verbally aggressive at times, but he would never hurt anyone.
“Liv is our sexual protector. She knows when someone is getting too close and can handle any situation.
“Red is the eldest and the mother of the systems. She does a lot of things – showers, housework, cleaning, paperwork and managing all of our money.”
Support services for people with DID include online support groups and mental health counseling centers.
However, information about the condition is so limited that finding help can be difficult.
Leo explained that people often don’t share their experiences because of embarrassment, difficulty meeting others with DID, and even fear that previous abusers will reach out to them.
He said: “You can meet people online but you still have to be careful who you can trust.
“There are a few groups on Reddit and Facebook where you can share experiences, ask questions, and get help with your problems.
“We also have some trauma centers here in Germany, but not everyone there is informed about DID.”
Leo’s condition means he cannot leave the house on his own and believes service dogs would be of great help to people with DID.
He said: “We always need someone when we leave the house as there can be so many triggers that cause flashbacks and even non-epileptic seizures caused by dissociative conversion disorder.
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“Assistance dogs can be very helpful for people with DID and can also relieve family caregivers.
“They cost about 30,000 euros, which is extremely expensive for someone who may not even be able to work due to their conditions.
“An assistance dog would also be a great help, but we also need a lot of therapy, which is very difficult to organise.
“It’s really difficult to find a therapist who can work with DID, and often those who can either run out of capacity or put you on a waiting list of several months or even years.”
Leo began posting videos online about his condition in May 2022 in hopes of educating people around the world.
He described feeling “very insecure” when he began telling his story, since he was so newly diagnosed.
In one of the videos, Leo was able to snag a switch — that is, the moment another personality was at the front line.
The online reactions were really positive, which motivated Leo to keep creating educational content about DID.
Several films and series depicting characters with DID have been released in recent years, but Leo believes they are not an accurate representation of people with DID.
He said: “DID isn’t portrayed properly in films and series – we don’t have superpowers and we’re not dangerous.
“The only films that contain DID are fantasy and thriller films, and this is how Hollywood steals our respect in society.
“We need authentic films and documentaries, we don’t need film productions that make millions of dollars at our expense and risk.
“DID is more than just the life of multiple personalities in one body.
“Even though I no longer go to concerts and am more careful when I go outside, DID also gives us the chance to constantly learn more.
“Each of us has our own desires and interests and we can share them with one another.
“I would never choose to live without the other alters.
“They are my family, my best friends, my team – I couldn’t live without them.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/man-cant-leave-home-alone-27095304 Man Cannot Leave Home Alone As Rare Condition Splits Personality Into 10 Identities - World News