What is it?

Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. The symptoms typically develop as a reaction to a traumatic event. It is thought to be a coping mechanism. the person dissociates themselves from a situation or experience that is too difficult to integrate with their conscious self. Stressful situations can worsen the symptoms temporarily and make them stand out even more. Dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder is characterized by alternating between multiple identities.

1930 Alikes with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

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Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)

Signs & symptoms

People who suffer from DID feel the presence of two identities or different personality states that have the power to control them. Sometimes these identities can have completely different characteristics such as voice, name, age, gender, traits and talents. "switching" is when each personality appears and takes over that person's behavior and thoughts. The transition can range from seconds to days.
People with DID will encounter gaps in the memory of personal data and everyday events. Other symptoms may include headaches, experiences of loss of time or out-of-body experiences. They may also report or represent with self-persecution, self-harm and violence.


The DSM-5 provides the following criteria to diagnose dissociative identity disorder:
1. Two or more different identities or character states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self.
2. Amnesia must occur, defined as gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information, and/or traumatic events.
3. The person must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.
4. The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.
5. The symptoms cannot be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (such as blackouts or chaotic behavior during alcohol intoxication) or a general medical condition (such as complex partial seizures).


Currently, even there are no clear guidelines for treatment it is usually treated with psychotherapy and medications such as antidepressants. Also, clinical hypnosis is sometimes in use to help access repressed memories and integrate the different personalities.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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