Hey there Pad,
To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about Dissociative Disorders at this point in time but I've got some textbooks that I've had a look at quickly in order to maybe help you learn about it, and learn how to explain it.
I can definitely agree with you when you say that some of the descriptions of the disorders can be unflattering, and I think that in the media they can be portrayed badly.
Here's some info that I've found might be helpful, and might be something that you can show your family and friends:
(I'm going to shorten Dissociative Disorder to DD)
- DD can influence consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, motor control and behaivour, but that does not mean it will influence every and all of these
- There are different types of DD's which include Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dissociative Amnesia, Depersonalisation/Derealisation Disorder, and a range of "unspecified" types.
- Symptoms associated with the disorder can involve intrusions into awareness and behaviour, which can influence your perception of yourself and the world, or can involve an inability to control or access your own thoughts (for example with amnesia)
- DD's are treatable through therapies such as Cognitive Behaviourl Therapy, Psychotherapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
This is some general information, but I've found the American Psychiatric Association's page to be fairly informative, and there are some other bits of information that you might want to read about - though not all will apply to you (https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/dissociative-disorders/what-are-dissociative-disorders).
Generally family and friends are coming from a place of concern, so if they're worried and scared, it's probably because they don't understand exactly what's happening for you, nor might they know that there are ways that you can manage what you are experiencing.
Hopefully this is helpful.