Dissociative Identity Disorder

Psychological Disorders

Psychological Disorders

Psychological disorders are behavior patterns or mental processes that cause serious personal suffering or interfere with a person's ability to cope with everyday life. There are six big disorder types...

Anxiety Disorders- generalized state of dread or uneasiness that occurs in response to a vague or imagined danger.

Mood Disorders- are made up of abnormal moods, mood changes, that seem inappropriate or inconsistent with the situations to which they are responding.

Dissociative Disorders- the separation of certain personality components or mental processes from conscious thought, after a traumatic/stressful event.

Somatoform-psychological problems are expressed through inexplicable physical symptoms such as paralysis

Schizophrenia- is characterized by loss of contact with reality, often symptoms are hallucinations, delusions and thought disorders

Personality Disorders- are patterns of inflexible traits, major parts of personality, that disrupt social life or work and may distress the affected individual.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a Dissociative Disorder and used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder. It is when two or more distinct personalities exist within an individual and at least two are dominant in controlling the individual's behavior. The DSM states that to diagnose Dissociative Identity Disorder, there must be two or more identities that control an individual's behavior, amnesia, the person has trouble functioning in everyday life, these happen not due to alcohol, drugs or even religious practices. This disorder is often caused by trauma during childhood. Individuals with DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, often experience lapses in memory, time loss, and identity confusion. People diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder often were abused physically, sexually, or psychologically.

The personalities may or may not be aware of each other; however, the personalities are often very different from each other in many ways. The different personalities, called alters, have their own gender, race, age, speech patterns, and gestures. The different alters are often formed to deal with a specific traumatic event, or so the host can separate themselves from the memory of this event. With dissociative identity disorder, people can't remember key information about themselves and their memory varies with the split personality; different personalities often remember different aspects of an individuals past. There is a host personality that identifies itself with the person's name and is typically the original personality of the individual, yet it often doesn't know about the other personalities. Identities can switch at any time and at any rate, so the host can also be in control for any amount of time.

Research on this disorder has been mostly focused on treatment and how it comes about. Over the years researchers have found that it usually has to do with the mind trying to protect itself from a traumatic event in an individual's childhood. The thinking around this disorder has changed from dealing with the multiple personalities to actually focusing on the dissociation of self. DID isn't very common and anybody can be afflicted by it. It is known in the media from the movies "Three Faces of Eve" and "Sybil" which show dramatic cases of DID and the treatment for it.


There is no treatment for DID as far as medication goes, because it is a mainly psychological disorder. There are therapies such as hypnotherapy, talk therapy, and art/movement therapy that have been said to help patients. In recent years, the focus of treatment has switched from dealing with the multiple personalities to focusing on the dissociation of self. Psychotherapy is the best form of treatment because it helps the person deal with the trauma that they experienced and caused their mind to form multiple personalities. If they stay committed their treatment can help them with their Dissociative Identity Disorder.