Dissociative Identity Disorder

Edited by JuSilveira, Jen Moreau, Sharingknowledge, Irfan Khan and 1 other

Recently a film called "Split" came off, and everyone has been talking about.

(Relax: no spoiler alert is needed here).

split.jpg

Just a quick overview: the film is about a guy who suffers from DID and has around 23 personalities (some of them evil), and he ends up kidnapping these three girls. From this time on, a lot of things happen involving the girls and the different personalities, but I'll stop here before spoilers start to come out.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Of course, there is some fantasy here and there, but the film is focused on the guy's disorder, the DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is also commonly known as "Multiple Identity Disorder" (although this name is not particularly correct).

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

It is estimated that around 2% of the population suffers from this disorder, and this makes it as common as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In the USA the same percentage of adults suffers from this disorder, but almost half of the adult population experiences at least one dissociation event in their lives. A mild episode of dissociation is quite common: they are similar to a daydream.Anyone can be affected by DID; however, women are more likely to develop it.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Here I will give some key information about this psychological condition, showing that it is way more complex than what the fiction shows.

Ad

What is It?

The DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) is a type of dissociative disorder, which is a group of disorders where the person experiences a kind of disconnection with its own personality, and also a discontinuity between their memories, actions, and thoughts. This disconnection is involuntary and is a way of escaping reality, as a coping mechanism.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The name "Multiple Personality Disorder" is not used anymore because it was a bit misleading: it gives the impression of several different "people" within the same body. This is not really the case. A person who has DID alternates between multiple identities or states and these identities may have their own names, backgrounds, memories, characteristics and may even have different ages. It's like the parts of someone's personality are not coordinated and without a single "sense of self," it gives the impression of multiple personalities.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Dissociative identity disorder.jpg

There is a fascinating case that happened in Germany that can illustrate how far this disease can go, and how different the personalities can be. A 33 years old blind woman with DID who had ten personalities was able to see in 8 of them. This was perceived after she began psychotherapy: right after one of the sessions where she discussed a major trauma she started to be able to see again.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help


Causes:

Most people who have DID suffered from some kind of trauma or abuse in early childhood, usually when they are exposed to it for a long-term. They are often developed as a response to trauma, and a few times the "identities" that appear have the personality that would help to cope with the whole situation (usually a tough and stronger personality). The DID can also be developed on people involved in natural disasters or that witnessed some kind of combat.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Symptoms:

The main signs of dissociative disorders are:

  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Mental health problems (depression, suicide thoughts, and anxiety)
  • Emotional numbness
  • Memory loss of specific event, times and/or people. Memory loss can be caused other conditions but on DID this memory loss too deep to be explained by other conditions.
  • Constant mood changes
  • Self-destructive behavior

mental-health-1.jpg

Treatment:

The diagnosis of this disorder is a bit complicated because there is no imaging and/or laboratory test that can do it. The physical exams are often used to rule out other conditions that can cause some of the symptoms (the memory loss, for example, can be caused by brain injury or sleep deprivation), but not to diagnose the disorder itself. Once physical conditions are ruled out, the DID is diagnosed based on personal history and overall symptoms.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

The treatment for disorders like this one can include both medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy). Different than what people might think, the treatment doesn't focus on the different identities, but it focuses on the patient's symptoms/conditions that follow this disorder such as depression, painful memories, and dissociative events. This helps with the harmony between all these states and makes it easier for the patients to control their impulses

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

These approaches can help the person to deal with the whole disorder and have a life as normal as possible. However, it is important to know that there is no cure for this mental disorder.

images.jpg

Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Dissociative_Identity_Disorder. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Apr 26, 2017, from https://scienceaid.net/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Dissociative_Identity_Disorder." ScienceAid, scienceaid.net/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder Accessed 26 Apr 2017.

Chicago / Turabian ScienceAid.net. "Dissociative_Identity_Disorder." Accessed Apr 26, 2017. https://scienceaid.net/Dissociative_Identity_Disorder.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

Comments

ScienceAid welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Ask the author

JuSilveira
Premier Author
2 Articles Started
25 Article Edits
1,100 Points
JuSilveira is a premier author with ScienceAid. JuSilveira has achieved the level of "Recruit" with 1,100 points. JuSilveira has started 2 articles (including this one) and has also made 25 article edits. 100 people have read JuSilveira's article contributions.
JuSilveira's Message Board
JuSilveira: Hi, my name is JuSilveira.
JuSilveira: Can I help you with your problem about "Dissociative_Identity_Disorder"?
 

Article Info

Recent edits by: Irfan Khan, Sharingknowledge, Jen Moreau

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 21 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No