What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2019
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Dissociative identity disorder, also known as DID, is one of the best-known mental disorders, made popular by fiction and films. Although controversial for years, it has been accepted as a real disease by the medical profession. While the reality of the disease is far from what people often see in fiction, the truth is that cases of this disorder are diagnosed around the world all the time. It is also known as "split personality" or "multiple personality" disorder.

Someone who has DID displays a series of completely different personalities, some of which are secondary and some which take over regularly, at different times or during different situations. A person who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder often retains his or her original identity, and adopts additional ones that "take over," depending on circumstance.

Diagnosing dissociative identity disorder is extremely complex. Psychiatrists use specific guidelines when looking for signs of the disorder, including blackout periods, "lost time," and the presence of distinct identities that are unaware of each other's existence.

The multiple personality controversy has been around since the disease was first seriously studied in the mid-20th century. Many experts believe it is not a real disorder but a manifestation of other mental disturbances. Other experts argue that the disorder may be a way for the mind to hide past abuse or to trick itself into forgetting certain events. A diagnosis of "pure" DID remains rare.


A person who suffers from dissociative identity disorder often changes personality during times of stress or difficult situations that his or her subconscious believes that he or she cannot handle. Multiple personalities tend to be absolutely different to each other, so, for example, a person who has a submissive personality in real life may have an alternate personality that is strong and stubborn, and another one that is bossy and domineering. It is also not uncommon for personalities to be of different ages, and the appearance of teen or child personalities in adults is commonplace.


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Post 3

BrickBack - People with schizophrenia can function well in society as long as they receive treatment and use their medications.

There are many groups for people with this disorder. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is an advocacy group that provides online discussion groups, and chapters all over the country.

They provide education to family members and those afflicted with schizophrenia so that they can understand the disorder and help the family member with the condition.

According to the dissociative identity disorder statistics about two million people in the United States suffer from this condition. It is important to receive treatment right away if you are suffering from this condition.

The dissociative identity disorder treatment consists of antipsychotic medication like Stelazin, Trilafan, Thorazin, and Prolixin. However, drugs such as Clozarit and Zyprexa have shown better success in reducing the episodes of hallucinations.

Post 2

You know that is an interesting question, but I don’t know the answer to it. I know that dissociative identity disorder symptoms do create the use of alters in order to escape from their painful and traumatic life.

Usually these people have such a traumatic memories that it is not uncommon for them to suppress them by developing dissociative identity disorder amnesia and completely forget their childhood.

Treatment for dissociative identify disorder can be pretty lengthy and last up to seven years. It requires an understanding of the various personalities and the therapist might use hypnosis in order to find out the source of the pain that caused the condition because the patient at a conscious level will not be able to disclose anything because they have blocked out from their memory.

Post 1

Recently i was reading a fictitious novel in which the main character was suffering from MPD. I would like to know whether it is possible for the person suffering from MPD to speak in a language which he doesn't even know in one of his alters, because i have seen a movie also where the same thing was shown-the person when she was in one of her alter used to speak a completely different language which even she doesn't know. Regards, Priya

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