What exactly is dissociative identity disorder


Okay so I have seen a lot of explanations over the internet, all of them different from one another. I know what DID is but how does it work/how does one feel with it. Does the person forgets everything once the other personality ‘takes over’? Does the person remember what he did in his other personality once he returns back to normal? Does the person have control over when to change personalities. How does this whole thing work?

In: 6

I smell The Crowded Room influence or is it a coincidence? I’ve been thinking a lot about it, but yeah, the appearance of this show made me more curious (despite I still haven’t started it).

I wanted to ask that question as well, let me steal this post a bit.

I want to verify if it’s even valid disorder or people just pretend? It’s very hard to believe that the same body can change personality to the extent of different IQ, blood pressure or preferences. If that’s the case then this disorder has enormous potential to be a psychological revolution if we only could control it. Imagine the possibilities: legal euthanasia without dying – stimulate brain to create alter personality and dig the original one with incurable depression and no will to live, altering IQ, changing habits, maybe even solve issues with blood pressure.

It *might* not exist.

Link: https://www.npr.org/2011/10/20/141514464/real-sybil-admits-multiple-personalities-were-fake

Some psychologists think it’s real, some think it’s not real. Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/psych-unseen/202302/the-debate-over-whether-dissociative-identity-disorder-is-real

Due to the disagreements, even among psychologists who think it’s real, getting people to agree on how it works is difficult.

It’s a disorder that makes you believe you are not in control of your own actions, you are simply observing them happening in real time.

Yea you make conscious decisions to… let’s say… take a drink of water, but your brain doesn’t realize it’s made that decision. Since it has and doesnt know it, you can only watch it play out.

Does the person forget everything? It depends. Amnesia in DID is defined only as abnormal forgetting.

Memory loss in this disorder is based in dissociation. Blackouts are at the extreme end of dissociative amnesia, but there are different shades of both dissociation and abnormal forgetting that can happen in DID. Including when other alters are involved/in control. Such symptoms are also not always synonymous or connected to full switches.

It’s possible to be partially dissociated, where you’re an observer of an identity’s actions and words while being unable to intervene. Due to the dissociative nature of being in that state, amnesia can still happen with those episodes. But because severity of the memory loss matches the level of dissociation, and having present awareness means the person isn’t “completely” detached, the person may still remember the gist of what happened in that state. Even if they can’t recall any details.

There may be cases that only experience 100% amnesia, but the idea of *every* case *always* having blackouts between switches would be a simplified view of a very complex disorder.

Something that might be of interest is that one presentation of OSDD (Other Specified Dissociative Disorder) involves having distinct dissociative identities, but without the amnesia required to meet the full criteria of DID. This means that memory loss between these states isn’t a requirement for them to exist or to be clinically viewed as distinct from each other.

Depersonalization and derealization are more “common” forms of pathological dissociation that involve a detachment from your body and environment. DID goes several layers deeper, involving a detachment from identity, thoughts, memory, etc. It also acts as a form of extreme compartmentalization – an adaption that helps survive unbearable situations when it forms in childhood, but which becomes maladaptive outside of that environment.

Switches between identities happen due to triggers. So something external, often connected to trauma, causes the person to dissociate into one of these compartmentalized states to varying degrees. Though someone who has been in treatment for years may gain some level of control due to an increased level of integration between those states. It wouldn’t be foolproof though.

Hi, we have DID! It’s something that’s very difficult to explain to someone that doesn’t experience it, because it sounds so alien. Currently, there’s not enough good-faith research into plurality imo. But imagine your body is a car. A singlet (not a system) is the only person in the car and is the only person that drives it. For us, there are multiple people in the car and we take turns driving it. We call each other “headmates”, like roommates but sharing a brain. We have different likes, dislikes, genders, sexualities, voices, etc. just as any other two separate people. We have some amnesia between switching, but it’s not a total blackout, more like it’s really fuzzy. Every system is different, though. I would be more than happy to talk more about our experiences and the experiences of other systems that we’ve met.