Leo was able to manage day-to-day activities up until his teenage years but the condition became overwhelming when he was taking A-Level exams in June 2021.
Whilst everyone else seemed to have no problems studying, he was unable to focus and suffered from memory loss and other symptoms due to the personalities switching.
After seven years of therapy, he began looking for a psychosomatic clinic where he would get help to be more stable and was diagnosed with DID.
Leo was admitted to a clinic in March 2022 for six weeks, where he had several therapies ranging from typical therapy sessions with a psychiatrist to physical methods such as QiGong, archery and art therapy.
He was diagnosed just two days before he was discharged on 26th April 2022.
Leo explained that whilst he felt relieved at his diagnosis and could finally give his problems a proper name, he knew there was a long road of work ahead.
His time at the clinic was not as helpful as he hoped but gave him a great daily routine and a safe, supportive environment to learn to live with his trauma.
Due to the severe symptoms, Leo is now unable to work as each alter has their own abilities and wishes which makes it impossible to ensure he will be able to do his job.
Since he is unable to have a job, Leo now runs a shop on Etsy where he sells handmade bookmarks and tote bags.
Leo's system also has a complex impact on his relationship "as more people are involved and everyone has their very strong and own opinion on things".
However, Leo also noted that the system is a "great source of support" for when things get hard in the relationship.
He added: "When it gets hard, we always find a way around and in the end, we are just as a normal couple as anyone else.
"There are just some more people involved sometimes."
Leo has been with his partner Massimo since October 2020.
He said: “We live with Massimo and he is the main person looking after us.
"Each alter has their own relationship with my boyfriend.
“One of the alters HATED him at first - he’s now trying to be pleasant but it doesn’t always work.
“We have a very young alter that has met him, but it can be difficult for my boyfriend when there is a younger person fronting whilst we are together.
Leo emphasised that whilst every DID system is different, they all share severe traumatic experiences in early childhood which formed and developed the system.
He explained: “I'm Leo and I'm the current host of the system.
“I love cooking, reading and watching movies and series with my partner, who I live with.
“Kovu is our youngest and we don't know much about him, because he is very quiet - we suspect that he is very traumatised.
“Hektor is a very excited kid - he loves stuffed animals and always gets excited about going to the zoo or visiting an aquarium.
“Ana suffers from anorexia which makes it hard for her to front.
“Cosmo is a rowdy, slightly flirty teenager that easily gets in trouble.
“Ash is a little sunshine who loves 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 takes care of safety while we're outside. He doesn’t talk a lot and can be verbally aggressive sometimes, but he would NEVER harm anyone.
“Liv is our sexual protector. She knows when someone gets too close to us and she can handle every situation.
“Red is the oldest and the systems' mum. She takes care of a lot of things - showers, chores, cleaning, paperwork and managing all of our money."
The help options for people with DID include support groups on the internet and mental health assistance centres.
However, information about the condition is so limited that it can be hard to find help.
Leo explained that people often don’t share their experiences because of shame, difficulty to meet others with DID and even fears of past abusers reaching out to them.
He said: “You can meet people online, but you still need to be careful who to trust.
“There are some groups on Reddit and Facebook where you can exchange experiences, ask questions and get help with your problems.
“We also have some trauma centres here in Germany, but not everyone there is educated about DID.”
Leo's condition means that he can't 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, since there can be so many triggers which cause flashbacks and even non-epileptic seizures caused by a dissociative conversion disorder.
“Service dogs can be very helpful for those with DID and they can also relieve relatives who take care of you.
“They cost about 30,000€, which is extremely expensive for someone who may not even be able to work because of their conditions.
“A service dog would also be a big help, but we also need a lot of therapy which is very difficult to arrange.
“It’s really hard to find a therapist that can work with DID and often those who can either don’t have any capacity left or will put you on a waitlist of several months or even years.”
Leo started posting videos online about his condition in May 2022 to hopefully educate people around the world.
He described feeling "very insecure" when he began sharing his story as he was so freshly diagnosed.
In one of the videos, Leo was able to catch a switch - meaning the moment another personality fronted.
The reactions online were really positive which motivated Leo to continue creating informational content about DID.
In recent years, several films and series portraying characters with DID have been released but Leo believes that they are not an accurate representation of people with DID.
“DID is not portrayed correctly in movies and series - we don't have superpowers and we are not dangerous.
“The only films that include DID are fantasy and thriller films, which is how Hollywood steals our respect in society.
“We need authentic movies and documentaries, we don't need film productions to make millions of dollars at our expense and risk.
“DID is more than just having multiple personalities living in one body.
"Even though I no longer go to concerts and I'm more careful when going outside, having DID also gives us a chance of constantly learning more.
"Every one of us has our own wishes and interests and we can share them with each other.
"I would never choose to live without the other alters.
"They are my family, my best friends, my team - I wouldn't even be able to live without them."
SWNS reporting by Jessica Hehir-Smith.
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