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Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Is a Mental Disease That Involves Altering Personalities and Symptoms of DID

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 4

One Personality Taking Control of a Person

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a mental disease that simultaneously has more than one personality exists within a person. It used to be referred to as multiple personality disorder (MPD). It was changed from that term because it was somewhat misleading. A person would be diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder when it is recognized that he or she has personality states. Each entity has its own independent way of perceiving, relating, remembering, and thinking about the person, and they attempt to take control of the person's behavior at a given time. "Other terms used by therapists and survivors to describe these entities are: alternate personalities, alters, parts, states of consciousness, ego states, and identities."1 The person unfortunately always cannot recall some of the events that happened when any of the personalities takes control. The dominant identity may exhibit many emotional differences from other identities e. g. attitudes, gender orientation, mannerisms, speech and thought. As for physical differences, those are also capable of changing. A person may have altered allergies, whether he or she is left-or-right handed, or change of vision acuity. These distinctions are often really pronounced.

Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder

There are numerous associated features that ties with DID. The major ones are:
1. Alcohol or drug addiction
2. Depression or frustration
3. Frequent mood swing
4. Panic attack
5. Phobia for some particular or for multiple factors
6. Sleep disorder like insomnia sleep walking or shouting at night or feeling of night terror
7. Suicidal tendency or a tendency to self-harm

Whenever a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder seeks professional help for the first time, she or he is usually not aware of the condition. Thus, it is important that people close to them make a point of being an advocate for their mental illness. The DSM- IV-TR, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, is a handbook used by psychiatrists and psychologists to diagnose mental disorders. However, note that their colleagues debate the essence of the disease and its presence. DSM-IV-TR lists four diagnostic criteria for identifying dissociative identity disorder and differentiating it from similar disorders:

1. The patient has been exposed to traumatic stressor(s), which are stressors caused intentionally by human beings to others. Examples of them are abuse, genocide, rape, torture, etc., which are experienced as being more frightening than accidents, natural disasters, or "acts of God."
2. The existence of two or more distinct identities states with each having particular physical and emotional differences in an individual.
3. Only one personality takes control of the patient's behavior at a time. Also, all the personalities alternate acting as the dominant one. Whichever one it is depends on the circumstance the patient is currently in.
4. It is ascertained that the above symptoms are not due to drugs, alcohol or other substances. The symptoms also aren't attributed to any other general medical condition. Moreover, it is a necessity to exempt fantasy play or imaginary friends when considering a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder in a child.


Since some of the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder overlap with symptoms associated with other mental illnesses. It is common for patients to be diagnosed mistakenly to suffer from borderline personality disorder, depression, panic disorder, schizophrenia, or somatization disorder.


1none. Psych Central - An Introduction Dissociative Disorders (and Multiple Personaltiy Disorder). What is Dissociation? May 3, 2010. http://psychcentral.com/library/dissociation_intro.htm.


none. Dissociative Identity Disorder. 2010. 3 5 2010 http://www.dissociativeidentitydisorder.net/.

-. Dissociative identity disorder - children, causes, DSM, functioning, effects, therapy, adults, drug, person, people, used, brain, personality, score, skills, women, traits, mood, Definition. 2010. 4 5 2010 http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Dissociative-identity-disorder.html.

-. NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness l Home. 2000. 3 5 2010 http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder_%28formerly_Multiple_Personality_Disorder%29.htm.

-. Psych Central - An Introduction Dissociative Disorders (and Multiple Personality Disorder). 1992. 3 5 2010 http://psychcentral.com/library/dissociation_intro.htm



Jun 11, 2010 1:31pm
Excellent article on dissociative identity disorder. :)
Jun 11, 2010 7:32pm
Thank you for reading and writing.
Jun 14, 2010 5:15pm
We can only fight ignorance with information, so I am glad to see this article. It is so often misunderstood. Good work!
Jun 19, 2010 11:35pm
Thank youf ro reading and commenting jpwriter.
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