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What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

22 August, 2020 Atheeva Santosh

You might be more familiar with the former name of dissociative identity disorder; which is multiple personality disorder. It is a mental disorder where the patient loses connection with reality due to disruptions and breakdown of memory.

Dissociative identity disorder is a mental illness or a complex psychological condition where the person lacks a connection with one’s own thoughts, feelings, actions, identity, and behavior. This condition usually develops due to severe trauma in childhood or extreme and repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. In such cases, these people develop multiple personalities or an alternate personality with or without the awareness of the person’s original self. This disorder causes difficulty in leading a normal life.

Symptoms Of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Some of the most prominent and common symptoms linked to dissociative identity disorder are:

Split personality

This is the primary symptom that can be identified in a person suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. The person has two or more distinct personalities which differ from the original name, gender, and behavior of the person. These split personalities are usually called as “alternate personality” or “alters”. The person might have memories of different alters, but that does not imply that he is aware of his disorder. Certain situations, stress, or events that remind of trauma can trigger or switch the personalities.

Dissociative Amnesia

It is a condition where the person suffers from loss of memory that is beyond forgetfulness which cannot be explained by any medical condition. The person might fail to recall significant personal information or could be forgetful of any specific situation or time span. There can also be micro-amnesias where the person forgets several discussions or conversations that had occurred before. An episode of amnesia occurs suddenly and can last for hours, months, or years.

Depersonalization or blurred identity

This is one of the symptoms that make the person feel that he/she is detached from one’s own body. The person might even feel like he/she is possessed by someone else or may feel the presence of one or two other people talking inside the head.

Identity confusion

The people with dissociative identity disorder sense a confusion of what or who is they are in reality. They might have trouble finding or understanding their interests in life. Also, they will find difficulty in sorting out their political, social, or religious viewpoints. They can even be confused about their sexual orientation.


It is the feeling of detachment from the reality of the world. The person may feel that the world is he/she is living is not real.

Other psychological and physical symptoms are:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Hallucinations
  • Reduced amount of sleep
  • Headaches and body pains
  • Loss of appetite

You can buy pain medication online for coping with physical symptoms of headaches and body pain is available in 3MEDS, Delhi.

Dissociative Identity Disorder Causes

A history of trauma

- Trauma involves severe physical, emotional or sexual abuse

- It can be connected to accidents, natural disasters or war

- Can occur due to the loss of close family members or loved ones

- Might be based on isolation during any chronic illness

Inability to cope with reality –This is one the causes of the disorder where the person uses alternate personalities as a defense mechanism to protect oneself from:-

-  Difficult stressful situations in life

-  Painful memories of childhood

Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment

There is no permanent cure for this disorder, but certain treatments for the long-term can reduce the symptoms or make this disorder passive without causing much trouble to normal life. Some effective treatments are:

Psychotherapy: It is a talk therapy where the conversations or talks trigger the areas or conditions which bring the alternate personalities to the upfront. Thus the goal of psychotherapy is to fuse the alters with the original personality. The therapist makes the patient understand the one’s condition and the causes that have developed the disorder in the person.

Hypnotherapy: Clinical hypnosis is used to access the repressed memory of the patient so that it can be integrated with his/her original personality.

Adjunctive therapy: This is a movement therapy given to enhance the connection of the mind with certain parts of it that had been shut off by the patient to cope with trauma.

Medications do not provide any permanent cure and have less significance in the recovery of the disorder.  However, a few medications like anti-depressants, anti-psychotic drugs, and anti-anxiety medications are suggested by doctors to keep the symptoms of mental illness under control. You can order prescription drugs online in Delhi being safe at home.

The bottom line

There are stereotypes and taboos associated with mental illness in some societies or cultures. These have reduced to a great extent but still persist in some areas. Therefore be more aware of the mental illness along with physical illness. Mental disorders and illness are not something to be ashamed of; it is similar to any other physical illness. So, if at all you find out the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder in yourself or people around you, help them seek medical help, and provide the needed support.