Dissociative Identity Disorder (DIS) | Knowledge Center (2023)

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a relatively common psychiatric disorder that can affect 1 to 3% of the general population. DID is characterized by a significant disruption of a unified sense of identity and continuity of experience, exemplified by two or more personality/identity/self states. In some cultures, this disruption of a unified sense of identity can be understood as an ownership experience that is not seen as congruent with that culture's spiritual/religious practices.

In addition, people with DID experienceDissociative Amnesia (AD): a disruption in the memory of important personal information, as well as current and past personal experiences, which is inconsistent with common memory problems.

This significant disruption of a unified sense of identity and memory can occur in a number of ways, including difficult-to-explain alterations and/or variability in:

  • Conduct
  • Thoughts
  • emotions
  • Memory
  • perceptions
  • Conscience
  • Bodily sensations or functioning.

These interruptions and changes cannot be better explained by the effects of alcohol or drugs, or by a medical or brain disorder, such as epileptic seizures. These symptoms should cause significant failures.

Contrary to media portrayals, the stereotypical and "attractive" outward characteristics of DID ego states, such as different names, tone of voice, accents, clothing, hairstyles, handwriting, and more, are not essential to diagnosis. and are secondary factors to the core. DID phenomena.

The diagnostic criteria for DID mean that there are two or more relatively separate information processing centers in the mind. Each information processing center in the mind is characterized by:

  • A sense of personal identity.
  • a self image
  • A set of autobiographical memories (state dependent)
  • A sense of ownership of personal experience.
  • Ability to control/enact behavior

These ego states can change, alternate, or overlap in a variety of ways leading to disruption of the ego and the continuity of the DID experience.

The individual's personality/identity/self-state are NOT separate persons. These are subjective states of mind of the individual. All the DID states together make up the complete person and the total personality of that person.

(Video) What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Because of this, and contrary to portrayals in the popular media, the person with DID as a whole person is responsible for the behavior, even if they experience amnesia or a sense of lack of control over their actions.

The development of dissociative identity disorder

People with DID report the highest rates of childhood trauma, particularly physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, usually beginning before age six, of patients with any psychiatric disorder. Because of this, DID can be conceptualized as a post-traumatic developmental disorder beginning in childhood, in which the traumatized child is unable to complete the normal developmental processes involved in fostering a core sense of self. Along with the disturbed bond between child and caregiver and nurturing, repeated early trauma disrupts the development of the normal processes involved in building and consolidating a unified sense of self. Therefore, the child cannot integrate the different experiences of the self that normally occur in different states and contexts.

DID has been found in children, adolescents, and adults. Unfortunately, early trauma can be a risk factor for later trauma. People with DID report very high rates of adult rape, intimate partner violence, and other forms of exploitation, such as being trafficked.

DID is both a disorder and a form of resilience. The psychological compartmentalization of traumatic/overwhelming experiences allows for a more normal development of the ability to think clearly, intellectual and creative abilities, the ability to comprehend reality, the development of a sense of humor, the ability to bond with others, and the ability to ability to perceive, all important in the psychotherapeutic treatment of DID.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Symptoms

The post-traumatic origins of DID mean that 80-100% of people with DID who receive treatment also experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD - see section on PTSD). Other disorders commonly associated with DID are depression or very rapid “mood swings” that often do not (or only very partially) respond to medications; substance abuse; and unexplained medical symptoms with repeated “negative” tests, often from apparent seizures or other neurological disorders.

One of the most common symptoms of DID is hearing voices, most often within the mind. Because of this, many people with DID are unsuccessfully treated with medications for schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.see section on psychotic disorders).

People with DID have very high rates of self-destructive and suicidal behavior and often have multiple, often unproductive, hospitalizations for mood disorders, personality disorders, and/or psychotic diagnoses. The average person with DID spends between five and 12.5 years in mental health treatment until a correct diagnosis is made.

Having suicidal or self-destructive thoughts, impulses, plans, or behavior requires emergency treatment, including calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department or Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic.

(Video) Living With 12 Alters (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

A diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder should be suspected if you or your loved one:

  • You receive many different psychiatric diagnoses, but you don't respond to many different types of treatments, including various medications, types of psychotherapy, or neurostimulation treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Contrary to the DID stereotype, DID symptoms are often subtle and hidden, and people with DID do not readily reveal their symptoms without careful examination by a mental health professional.

You or your loved ones may notice that the person is:

  • Repeatedly very “cranky”
  • Highly changeable from time to time, and
  • Has difficulty remembering important personal experiences.
  • This can include a variety of current behaviors and parts of life history that are not related to substance or medication use or brain injury or disease.

These difficulties in remembering important personal experiences may include:

  • Significant gaps in memory for life history.
  • Experiencing "blackouts" or "lost time": gaps in current life history recollection
  • Lack of recall of observed complex behaviors, even positive behaviors, such as doing well on a presentation at work.
  • Not remembering or having difficulty remembering important events, such as graduations, birthdays, weddings, and vacations, that other family members remember well.
  • Perplexed and recurring forgetfulness of things the person has bought or created.
  • Unexplained changes in skills and habits, such as forgetting that one can play a musical instrument or suddenly switching from a smoker to a non-smoker and vice versa
  • Repeated unexplained trips or “getting lost” in familiar places
  • Repeated rationalizations for being "forgetful" or "worried"

Other common symptoms of DID include:

  • Hearing voices, particularly within the mind; these are often experienced as having their own sense of identity, such as a child's voice, an angry voice, a caring and supportive voice, among others.
  • See things others don't see, such as people, faces, or visions, even seeing the "people" someone is hearing about
  • Out-of-body experiences, as if you were watching yourself from afar, outside or even inside yourself, often accompanied by a feeling that you can watch but not control what you are doing.
  • Feeling disconnected from the world around you, as if you are seeing through a fog. things seem unreal
  • Experiencing repeated, unexplained, and sudden intrusions of thoughts, feelings, impulses, or actions that you cannot control
  • Experiencing sudden and unexplained repeated withdrawal from thoughts, feelings, behavior that one does not control
  • Feeling torn apart with different senses of self that seem relatively independent of each other and are often in conflict or struggle
  • Feeling inexplicably very different at different times with different opinions, abilities, habits, and access to memory and learned information

Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment

DID is a treatable disorder once it is correctly diagnosed. Clinicians who understand the symptoms of DID can diagnose DID in the clinical interview. There are also paper-and-pencil tests that can help doctors diagnose DID and other dissociative disorders.

Studies show that DID symptoms improve over time when treated with phasic trauma treatment.

Phasic Trauma Treatment

Phasic trauma treatment is a psychotherapeutic treatment consisting of three phases:

(Video) Dissociative Identity Disorders and Trauma: GRCC Psychology Lecture

  1. security and stability
  2. Work on traumatic memories
  3. reintegration to life

In DID treatment, working directly with DID identities is crucial to lessening symptoms and maximizing the resilience found in most people with DID. Hefirst phase, security and stability, is the most important thing. During this phase, people learn how to stabilize the symptoms of DID and PTSD, using a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques and sometimes complementary/additional medications.

It is critical that the person with DID develop safety from suicidal and self-destructive behaviors, substance abuse, eating disorders, high-risk behaviors, unsafe people, and other dangerous behaviors and situations. This is because DID develops in a childish environment of repeated insecurity and unpredictable danger.

Without security development, DID treatment will not progress.

Not all people with DID are willing to address their traumatic experiences in depth. However, if the person with DID agrees and has achieved security and stability,Level 2it focuses more on carefully and slowly recalling one's life history, which is often experienced as PTSD flashbacks. Therefore, this phase also involves continued work toward safety and further stabilization of DID and PTSD symptoms.

Nophase 3, the individual's DID and PTSD symptoms are often substantially mild, and the individual with DID may even experience a subjective fusion of some or all of the ego states, with a complete fusion of the characteristics of these subjective identities. This frees up energy to focus on living better in the present.

Adjunctive/Complementary Treatments for Dissociative Identity Disorder

Hypnotherapy:Hypnotherapy can be helpful in stabilizing the symptoms of DID and PTSD. However, hypnotherapy can only be used if the therapist has been certified in the use of hypnosis.mihas specialized training in its use in DID and other post-traumatic disorders.Be sure to ask yourvendorabout his credentials in the use of hypnosis.

Medicines:Medications are adjunctive (complementary) treatments in the treatment of DID and do not directly affect the underlying symptoms of DID. In the treatment of DID, medications do not have a significant direct effect on symptoms unless other specific disorders are present. For example, there are medications that can substantially improve PTSD symptoms, although some people cannot take them due to side effects.

Medications for depression and mood symptoms often have limited effects, but may provide some symptom relief, provided the patient and physician have carefully identified which symptoms will and will not be relieved by the medications. Medications for anxiety symptoms can be moderately helpful but need to be carefully monitored, especially in people with a history of substance abuse.

(Video) Dr Mike Lloyd Introduces Dissociative Identity Disorder | #AskTheExperts

People with DID often have a chronic and complex sleep disorder, with difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, nightmares, and even complex behaviors that seem to arise from sleep. There are medications that can help with PTSD nightmares and this can improve sleep, if the patient does not experience bothersome side effects. Sedative medications are often only partially helpful. DID-specific psychotherapy is often needed to help with fears and memories related to bed, night and sleep and dissociative nocturnal symptoms.

Other types of psychotherapy that can help with the treatment of DID

Other forms of psychotherapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), focusing on trauma-related cognitive distortions, may be useful as an adjunct/adjunct to phasic psychotherapy for DID.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR):Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a treatment that improves the symptoms of PTSD, usually in people who have experienced a specific adult trauma.

EMDR can significantly worsen DID symptoms, especially if used before the DID patient is stabilized on treatment. EMDR can be an adjunctive/complementary treatment if the therapist has a thorough training in EMDR and specialized training in its use in DID and other complex post-traumatic disorders.

Group Therapy:Group therapy can be helpful in stabilizing people with DID if they are in a group dedicated to patients with that diagnosis and the group is facilitated by professionals knowledgeable about DID management. People with DID generally do not do well in general therapy groups, even those that focus on PTSD and trauma, but are not designed for severely dissociative patients.

In general, DID experts DO NOT recommend the use of support groups facilitated by non-DID treatment professionals, including online support groups. Both face-to-face and online “support” groups can have a very negative impact on the person with DID and their treatment.

Family Involvement:Family treatment, usually with the patient's spouse or partner, can be useful for education and to help support the patient and family during what is often long and difficult treatment. In particular, family members are educated not to interact directly with the patient's various ego states, but to view their partner as a "whole human being" and not as a group of separate "persons." Specialized couples therapy can be helpful if the therapist is knowledgeable about dealing with childhood trauma and its impact on adult relationships.

Rehabilitation therapies:Adjunctive/complementary rehabilitation therapies, such as art therapy and occupational therapy, may be helpful if the therapist is trained in the use of these modalities in the treatment of complex post-traumatic disorders, such as DID.

(Video) Dissociative Identity Disorder: Hospitalization Acute Care

For more information on dissociative identity disorder, visitThe Traumatic Disorders Program section of our websiteIt's inInternational Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation website.


How do you accept having DID? ›

My coping strategies for living with DID
  1. End the blame and the shame. It's important to tell yourself that this illness is not your fault. ...
  2. Build your knowledge. ...
  3. Find calm and relaxation. ...
  4. Start planning and organising. ...
  5. Develop emergency strategies. ...
  6. Form a support network. ...
  7. Communicate.
Jun 8, 2018

Is dissociation my coping mechanism? ›

Dissociation functions as a coping mechanism developed by the body to manage and protect against overwhelming emotions and distress 6. This can be a completely natural reaction to traumatic experiences, and can be helpful as a way of coping at the time.

What are 3 key features of dissociative identity disorder? ›

A blurred sense of identity. Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work or other important areas of your life. Inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress.

What is the controversy with dissociative identity disorder? ›

An important controversy concerning DID is associated with the idea that early traumatic experiences (such as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse) are especially important in the aetiology of dissociative disorders, while the memory of these events is completely or partly absent (Frankel, 1993).

What does DID switching feel like? ›

Some indicators that a switch may be about to occur include the following: feeling "spacey", depersonalized, or derealized; blurred vision; feeling distanced or slowed down; feeling an alter's presence; or feeling like time is beginning to jump (indicating minor episodes of time loss).

Can you realize you have DID? ›

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Most people with DID rarely show noticeable signs of the condition. Friends and family of people with DID may not even notice the switching—the sudden shifting in behavior and affect—that can occur in the condition.

How do you push through dissociation? ›

This page offers some practical suggestions for helping you cope with dissociation, such as:
  1. Keep a journal.
  2. Try visualisation.
  3. Try grounding techniques.
  4. Think about practical strategies.
  5. Make a personal crisis plan.
  6. Talk to people with similar experiences.
  7. Look after your wellbeing.
  8. Dealing with stigma.

What is the reverse of dissociation? ›

The key strategy to deal with dissociation is grounding. Grounding means connecting back into the here and now. Grounding in therapy (therapist does).

What are the 5 types of dissociation? ›

There are five main ways in which the dissociation of psychological processes changes the way a person experiences living: depersonalization, derealization, amnesia, identity confusion, and identity alteration.

What triggers dissociation? ›

A trigger is a reminder of something traumatic from the past, which can cause you to experience dissociation or other reactions. It could be something you hear, see, taste, smell or touch. It could also be a specific situation or way of moving your body.

Can you have DID without trauma? ›

It doesn't have to have been caused by a traumatic or stressful event. Many people think that this disorder might be more common than previously thought.

What serial killers had dissociative identity disorder? ›

In November 2020, Esquire spoke to Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychiatrist who specializes in the study of individuals with DID, who over the course of her career has assessed violent criminals and serial killers including Ted Bundy and Arthur Shawcross.

Which dissociative disorder is the most controversial? ›

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the most controversial of the dissociative disorders and is disputed and debated among mental health professionals. Previously called multiple personality disorder, this is the most severe kind of dissociative disorder.

Is dissociative identity disorder brain damage? ›

A growing body of neuroimaging research suggests that dissociative identity disorder is associated with changes in a number of brain regions involved in attention, memory, and emotions.

How do you trigger a DID switch? ›

There are a variety of triggers that can cause switching between alters, or identities, in people with dissociative identity disorder. These can include stress, memories, strong emotions, senses, alcohol and substance use, special events, or specific situations.

What triggers personality change in DID? ›

Common triggers include stress or substance abuse. Managing stress and avoiding drugs and alcohol may help reduce the frequency of different alters controlling your behavior.

Can you control when you switch with DID? ›

Alters (headmates) can switch for all types of reasons depending on the trigger. Switching between headmates is usually involuntary, and can cause a great amount of distress with the alter. Every DID system is unique. Some people with DID have more control over their switching than other people with DID.

Is dissociation the same as zoning out? ›

Zoning out is considered a form of dissociation, but it typically falls at the mild end of the spectrum.

How do you know if you DID or not? ›

To qualify for the diagnosis, the person must have a disruption of identity characterized by two distinct personality states, which include alterations in behavior, memory, consciousness, cognition, and sense of self.

Do people with DID know what they are doing? ›

At the time a person living with DID first seeks professional help, he or she is usually not aware of their condition. A very common complaint in people affected by DID is episodes of amnesia, or time loss. These individuals may be unable to remember events in all or part of a proceeding time period.

How do I get my dissociation back to reality? ›

So how do we begin to pivot away from dissociation and work on developing more effective coping skills?
  1. Learn to breathe. ...
  2. Try some grounding movements. ...
  3. Find safer ways to check out. ...
  4. Hack your house. ...
  5. Build out a support team. ...
  6. Keep a journal and start identifying your triggers. ...
  7. Get an emotional support animal.
Feb 12, 2019

What medication is best for dissociation? ›

Although there are no medications that specifically treat dissociative disorders, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or antipsychotic drugs to help control the mental health symptoms associated with dissociative disorders.

Will dissociation ever go away? ›

Can dissociative disorders go away without treatment? They can, but they usually do not. Typically those with dissociative identity disorder experience symptoms for six years or more before being correctly diagnosed and treated.

How do you help ground someone who is dissociating? ›

101 Grounding Techniques
  1. Open your eyes! ...
  2. Put your feet on the floor. ...
  3. Uncover your ears. ...
  4. Name 5 things you can see.
  5. Name 4 things you hear.
  6. Name 3 things you can smell.
  7. Touch a variety of textures and fabrics. ...
  8. Remind yourself of the date/year.
Dec 23, 2016

What is the best antidepressant for dissociation? ›

Studies show that a combination of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), a specific kind of antidepressant medication, and lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer, is an effective treatment for dissociative disorders, especially depersonalization-derealization disorder.

What happens in the brain during dissociation? ›

Dissociation involves disruptions of usually integrated functions of consciousness, perception, memory, identity, and affect (e.g., depersonalization, derealization, numbing, amnesia, and analgesia).

Is dissociation on a spectrum? ›

The cardinal feature of dissociation is a disruption in one or more mental functions. Dissociative amnesia, depersonalization, derealization, identity confusion, and identity alterations are core phenomena of dissociative psychopathology which constitute a single dimension characterized by a spectrum of severity.

What are the three types of dissociation? ›

There are three dissociative disorders, including dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia and depersonalization/derealization disorder. These conditions typically develop as a response to trauma. They're treatable — usually with psychotherapy (talk therapy).

Is dissociation a psychosis? ›

Dissociation is not a form of psychosis. These are two different conditions that may easily be confused for each other. Someone going through a dissociative episode may be thought to be having a psychotic episode, and in some cases, dissociation may be the initial phase to having a psychotic episode.

How do you recognize dissociation? ›

Common signs you or a loved one should watch out for include:
  1. Rapid mood swings.
  2. Trouble remembering personal details.
  3. Forgetfulness about things you've said or done.
  4. Behavior or abilities that change (altered identities)
  5. Depression, anxiety, or panic attacks.
  6. Thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
  7. Substance abuse.
Jun 28, 2021

What does extreme dissociation feel like? ›

You may suddenly lose your sense of identity or recognition of your surroundings. You could feel as though you're observing yourself from the outside in — or what some describe as an “out-of-body experience.” Your thoughts and perceptions might be foggy, and you could be confused by what's going on around you.

What mental illnesses are associated with dissociation? ›

Because dissociative disorders appear on the trauma spectrum, many patients may have conditions associated with trauma, as well as additional trauma-based conditions.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Substance use disorders / Dual Diagnosis.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.

Is dissociation a fight or flight? ›

Definition and Explanation of Dissociation

When we look at what they all have in common, we can say that dissociation is a form of the fight, flight, or freeze response. Dissociation can happen when we experience a threatening situation which we cannot escape from, and also cannot resolve or change.

Can you have DID and remember everything? ›

People with DID cannot remember important or everyday events if they occurred while a different identity was present. They can forget meetings, lose possessions or even not recognize their own children because they cannot remember their birth at that moment.

How rare is dissociation? ›

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare psychiatric disorder diagnosed in about 1.5% of the global population. This disorder is often misdiagnosed and often requires multiple assessments for an accurate diagnosis. Patients often present with self-injurious behavior and suicide attempts.

What causes alters to form? ›

According to this theory, alters are created when no existing parts can integrate new materials (e.g., memories, strong emotions, perceptions, attachment styles) because these materials are too threatening or are perceived as conflicting too strongly with what is already held.

Is dissociative identity disorder insanity? ›

As the effect of DID is not happening on its own and is occurring following a severe trauma, it should be considered a mental illness and thus be a sufficient reason for claiming the person to be not guilty by the reason of insanity (NGRI-DID).

What famous people have split personalities? ›

Famous people with dissociative identity disorder include comedienne Roseanne Barr, Adam Duritz, and retired NFL star Herschel Walker. Walker wrote a book about his struggles with DID, along with his suicide attempts, explaining he had a feeling of disconnect from childhood to the professional leagues.

Who is the famous legitimate case about dissociative identity disorder? ›

Billy Milligan is one of the most famous cases of DID. He was the first person in the United States with this disorder who was found not guilty of his crimes by reason of insanity.

What are at least 2 reasons the DID diagnosis has been controversial? ›

"A DID diagnosis has been blamed for misdiagnosis of other entities, patient mismanagement, and inadequate treatment of depression.

What disorder is no sense of self? ›

Identity disturbance is a phrase used to describe a loss of your sense of self. It is a key characteristic of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and can be a troubling symptom for those experiencing it.

Is DID more severe than Osdd? ›

OSDD: a matter of degree? In terms of other differences, it seems that as a general rule the degree of the trauma or attachment difficulties leading to OSDD will be less severe than people who are diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, especially polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder.

Does dissociation affect intelligence? ›

[24] also confirms this finding by showing that dissociative children have a lower IQ at 90.06 ± 10.3. The personality assessment of adults revealed that 50% of the subjects were emotionally unstable and neurotic. This revealed that neurotics were at higher risk to have dissociation.

Can a person with dissociative identity disorder live a normal life? ›

But with effective treatment from mental health providers who are trained in trauma and dissociation or able to receive consultation with someone trained, people with DID can and do recover. People with DID can live full and productive lives.

Do DID brains look different? ›

When compared to the brains of normal controls, DID patients show smaller cortical and subcortical volumes in the hippocampus, amygdala, parietal structures involved in perception and personal awareness, and frontal structures involved in movement execution and fear learning.

What should I do if I have DID? ›

Some medications may help with certain symptoms of DID, such as depression or anxiety. But the most effective treatment is psychotherapy. A healthcare provider with specialized training in mental health disorders, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can guide you toward the right treatment.

How does it feel to have DID? ›

With depersonalisation you might feel 'cut off' from yourself and your body, or like you are living in a dream. You may feel emotionally numb to memories and the things happening around you. It may feel like you are watching yourself live. The experience of depersonalisation can be very difficult to put into words.

Are you supposed to know you have DID? ›

✘ Myth: If you have DID, you can't know you have it. You don't know about your alters or what happened to you. While it is a common trait for host parts of a DID system to initially have no awareness of their trauma, or the inside chatterings of their mind, self-awareness is possible at any age.

Do you tell people you have DID? ›

By sharing your dissociative identity disorder diagnosis in an apologetic or embarrassed way, you tell your listener that DID is something to be ashamed of. Be honest, but keep in mind that how you present DID to others will impact their perception of it. Ignore the risks.

Can your DID go away? ›

Can dissociative disorders go away without treatment? They can, but they usually do not. Typically those with dissociative identity disorder experience symptoms for six years or more before being correctly diagnosed and treated.

Is it possible to have mild DID? ›

Examples of mild, common dissociation include daydreaming, highway hypnosis or “getting lost” in a book or movie, all of which involve “losing touch” with awareness of one's immediate surroundings.

Can you get better from DID? ›

Yes. If you have the right diagnosis and treatment, there's a good chance you'll recover. This might mean that you stop experiencing dissociative symptoms. For example, the separate parts of your identity can merge to become one sense of self.

Why is it hard to get diagnosed with DID? ›

Why might it be difficult to get diagnosed? You might have symptoms of other mental health problems as well as dissociation. If your doctor is more familiar with these mental health problems, they may only diagnose these problems without realising that you also have a dissociative disorder.

Can you forget you have DID? ›

In generalized amnesia, patients forget their identify and life history—eg, who they are, where they went, to whom they spoke, and what they did, said, thought, experienced, and felt. Some patients can no longer access well-learned skills and lose formerly known information about the world.

Can you think you have DID? ›

Someone diagnosed with DID may feel uncertain about their identity and who they are. They may feel the presence of other identities, each with their own names, voices, personal histories and mannerisms. The main symptoms of DID are: memory gaps about everyday events and personal information.

Do people with DID know they have other personalities? ›

The person with DID may or may not be aware of the other personality states. Usually stress, or even a reminder of a trauma, can trigger a switch of alters. This can sometimes be abrupt and unexpected. In some cases, the person with DID may benefit from a particular alter.

How do you love someone with DID? ›

Supporting a Spouse with Dissociative Identity Disorder after Treatment
  1. Encourage ongoing therapy. Most mental illnesses are not simply cured. ...
  2. Be patient. ...
  3. Don't play games with the identities. ...
  4. Try to understand triggers. ...
  5. Practice good mental hygiene together. ...
  6. Help with memory gaps.
Mar 8, 2019


1. Dissociative Identity Disorder The Hidden Condition
(Phoenix Publishing House)
2. Dissociative Identity Disorder
(Brooke Miller)
3. Reducing the Impact of Dissociative Identity Disorder
4. What happens when people have multiple personalities. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Explained
(Private Therapy Clinic)
5. Can Autism and Dissociative Identity Disorder co-occur?
(Autistic Selves)
6. The Dissociative Identity Disorder Controversy (Trauma vs. Iatrogenic)
(Dr. Todd Grande)


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