Dissociative identity disorder definition
Dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) is a type of mental illness that indicates a dissociation or a mismatch between thoughts, memories, environments, actions, and self-identity. Such dissociation becomes an unhealthy way to escape past traumas, thus causing problems in daily life.
People with multiple personality disorder may feel uncertainty about their identity as well as the presence of other identities in them. These identities can be different names, backgrounds, sounds, and behaviors.
The most noticeable characteristic of these disorders is the change from one identity to another, which has a personality far different from the original characteristics.
The other identity is commonly referred to as alter. Sufferers who are aware of the existence of this alter will sometimes refer to themselves with the word “we” or “us”.
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Dissociative Identity Disorder Symptoms
A typical symptom in people with DID disorder is having two or more different personalities. Other personalities that sufferers are referred to as alternate personalities, while their original ones are called core personalities.
Each personality is alternate in people with multiple personality disorder, has different individual traits and ways of thinking. Alternative personalities can also have different names and behaviors. In fact, it may be possible to have a different gender.
When an alternate personality appears, the sufferer will experience amnesia (memory loss). That is why, the sufferer is generally unaware of the existence of an alternate personality nor a memory of what is done when the alternate personality takes over.
In some cases, people with multiple personalities take advantage of the alternative personalities they have.
For example, people with a shy core personality, can use alternate personalities to become more assertive and sociable. Usually this personality change arises as a result of being triggered by stress and traumatic events.
Even so, sufferers of this split disorder are very likely to face problems in their daily lives. He may have found items in the house that he could not remember when to buy them.
They also find it difficult to connect with people nearby because they don’t know their family or closest friends when an alternate personality takes over.
Psychological symptoms that may arise
In addition, people with dissociative identity disorder, also experience many psychological symptoms that also exist in other mental illnesses, including:
- Severe headaches and body aches.
- Derealization, which is the feeling that the surrounding environment is foreign, strange, or unreal.
- Volatile moods or depression.
- Depersonalization, i.e. feeling his soul detached from his body.
- Easily restless and anxious.
- Amnesia or feels the distortion of time.
- Sleep disorders, such as frequent nightmares or sleep walking.
- Tend to have an eating disorder.
- Hallucinations, i.e. false perceptions of something, such as hearing a voice that doesn’t actually exist.
- There are se**x problems, such as decreased se**x drive.
- Use of illegal drugs.
- Desire hurts his self and nearly 70% of people with split disorder have attempted sui**cide.
When to see a doctor?
If you experience any of the above multiple personality symptoms or get a report from someone nearby about a personality change in you, see a doctor.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
Both older persons and children are diagnosed using the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).
A doctor will also ask the person or caregiver about the symptoms they are experiencing, and will usually refer them to a mental health specialist.
To be diagnosed with DID, one must:
- Displays two or more alters that interfere with the person’s identity, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, or senses.
- It has gaps in their memories of personal information and everyday events, as well as past traumatic events.
- Have symptoms that cause significant stress in the work and social environment.
- Experiencing disorders that cannot be considered part of accepted cultural or religious practice. For example, in children, when imaginary friends or pretending to be unable to explain the symptoms.
- Experiencing amnesia or exhibit chaotic behavior that is not caused by alco**hol or drug use.
Some of the tests used for diagnosis include the interview schedule of dissociative disorders and the Rorschach Inkblot method.
Once a person receives the correct diagnosis, treatment is an integral part of learning to live with DID.