Dissociative identity disorder was previously called multiple personality disorder and it is rare, but found in people of any age, background, and race. However, there is a lot of misinformation about what it is and how to recognize the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder. If you believe that you suffer from a dissociative disorder, you should check out BetterHelp to get in touch with a therapist or find resources that may be beneficial.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, is a condition where a person has two or more different, distinct personalities. It is a mental health condition and is a type of dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorders are disorders that involve the disruption in consciousness, memory, identity, and perception.
Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder
The most recognizable symptom associated with DID is a split identity where there are at least 2 different personality states. There may be more than two identities associated with the disorder.
This may cause them to act like completely different people when they switch between the different identities or personalities. The different personalities will have their own unique characteristics and differences. They often have their own backgrounds, ideals, and roles. They can have different ages and genders as well. Each one of these identities may even have their own name and will sometimes have identifiable mannerisms and other physical characteristics.
The identities may present themselves during certain situations. Some may come out when there is high stress for example. In addition, they may have relationships with the other identities.
Another symptom associated with DID is called dissociative amnesia. This is a type of memory loss. It is not mere forgetfulness but can be a complete loss of memory from a certain time frame. Sometimes, people with DID will forget their entire memory as one of their identities.
There is also a symptom of DID that is called dissociative fugue. This is an episode of amnesia that makes it impossible for the person to recall specific personal information. This may also involve a detachment from emotion.
A person suffering with dissociative identity disorder may feel like there are two or more people inside their head. This may cause the sensation or feeling of being possessed or motivated by one or more separate identity or personality.
Dissociative disorders, including DID, often develop when someone has experienced some form of trauma in their lifetime. In fact, as many as 90 percent of the people who suffer from dissociative identity disorder have previously experienced abuse or neglect during their childhood.
A person suffering from DID may have thoughts of self-harm and suicide. They may also have hallucinations and flashbacks. They may have a difficult time remembering their past history or the trauma that they experienced as a child.
It is common for people who suffer from DID to also have symptoms related to borderline personality disorder. These symptoms include self-harming behaviors and impulsive behaviors. They also often have a difficult time maintaining positive relationships.
Some experts believe that DID develops more likely with those that have experienced severe trauma enough to make them dissociate in order to cope. Then, this leads to the development of different identities.
Furthermore, people who suffer from DID may have symptoms associated with trauma and PTSD. These symptoms include nightmares, anxiety, and flashbacks among other mental health concerns.
Treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy. Talk therapy helps a person who suffers from DID by teaching coping techniques. This can help them manage their symptoms and understand the underlying causes of the disorder.
Every person who suffers from DID is unique, but therapy may help to process memories related to trauma. In addition, it can help to improve relationships and the ability to properly function.
The types of therapy that are used for DID include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
In addition, hypnosis may be a tool for the treatment of DID. Medication is also sometimes used, but there are not any specifically recommended medications for DID. However, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotics, and antidepressants may be beneficial to some when recommended by a doctor.
Final Thoughts on Dissociative Identity Disorder
DID can be troubling and negatively impact a person’s welfare and wellbeing. However, there are effective treatments for it, primarily therapy. Therapy can help a person manage and cope with DID. In addition, things like mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques may be beneficial for the symptoms related to DID. If you think you or someone you know suffers from DID, it is best to speak with a qualified mental health professional.
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