The wonderful world of Dissociative Identity Disorder

The wonderful world of Dissociative Identity Disorder


Dissociative Identity Disorder formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder is a complex disorder. According to DSM-V, the disorder is characterized by two or more distinct personality states which mark a disruption in sense of self, consciousness, memory, and day-to-life. The disorder emerges as a result of overwhelming traumatic experiences or childhood sexual abuse. Usually, 90% of the cases reflect back to childhood abuse.


DID reflects a failure of integration of personality which usually happens at the age of 7-9 into a single unit. As of constant trauma and abuse the brain tries to protect the primary identity by dividing itself into various selves and takes the trauma inflicted on the primary identity. Each personality or as they are now called Alters has a  reported age, gender, knowledge, and a predominant mood that contrast with the primary identity. The alters may have different accents, likes and dislikes, and appearance and cohabit in an internal house-like structure.  Certain circumstances can cause a particular alter to emerge at any point in life. The various alters may have knowledge of other alters, can be in conflict or critical of others. There is no clear distinction between who is the original identity of the person with DID. Any alter can act as host and the primary identity can act as an alter.


An example of a woman named Chloe who has 22 alters ranging from protectors t persecutors to caretakers t gatekeeps to ghosts. She has both male and female alters who have different accents, likes, and dislikes. Along with the elder alters she has some littles. Recently the main identity i.e. Chloe and her sexual alter ( took the sexual trauma) got merges into one and emerged as Nin who is the host now. There are few alters which usually dissociates with the host. They are usually the protector, caretaker, gatekeeper, the teenager.   


Living with DID is not as easy as we have seen. It presents numerous challenges. Living life being scared, distressed, feeling of not having control over your body as well as being overwhelmed with alters are a few. DID causes a huge impact on day-to-day life. One may feel isolated and struggle with relationships and work. People with DID may suffer from amnesia also known as Dissociative amnesia which is the failure of restoring previous memories. This happens when an alter takes on completely over the body to protect the host or wants to come out and do something that they would like to do. This creates a fog of confusion in the mind of the host. Sometimes alters form relationships with other people of which the host is not aware of. Relationships are hard to maintain if they are in because the alters may not like the person with whom the host is with and may lash or on the significant other of the host. Many times the littles (children) come out as a result of positive trigger (toys) in a public place and gets scared by the surroundings.


Treatment for DID is generally is phase-oriented that is dealing with the trauma and emotions one by one. The alters may help the host in dealing with the trauma by appearing as they have a greater ability to deal with it. One method that is greatly used by psychologists is Psychotherapy or Talking Method. Psychotherapy emphasizes to cope with the trauma in a healthy manner. To protect itself from the trauma, the brain pushes the emotions and the trauma into the unconsciousness. This unresolved material in the unconsciousness results in amnesia and influences present behavior. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with them. Sometimes different alters appear as they are better able to cope up with the trauma.



From my point of view, the world of Dissociative identity disorder is a wonderful world. The mind is so powerful that to protect itself and the primary identity it dissociates or creates a wall and makes a new identity to deal with the surroundings. The most striking part I found is that every alters has their own lives, dreams, and aspirations as a normal singular person would have, how the alters have a home in the internal parts of the mind, the roles the alter play in the internal world.

What breaks my heart is the cause of the disorder: sexual abuse. In the primary years of our lives when we are learning about the world, when we are forming ourselves, that self is so distorted by the selfish deeds of the person that the child has to deal with it for his/her whole in the end I would express that DID is not something people should be scared of like the people who have DID are the most scared. The stigma that movies such have created by portraying the disorder in an extremely negative light. This creates fear among the general people and makes the life of people with DID more problematic. People should try to understand the roots of the disorder to make the world more harmonious for them.

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