Dissociative Identity Disorder

January 16, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder, is a posttraumatic disorder that manifests as complex dissociative states. A dissociative state interrupts the normal process of perception, memory and identity. DID may manifest as auditory hallucinations, flashbacks, self-destructive impulses, severe depression, suicidality, phobic anxiety, substance abuse, borderline features and other medical symptoms with no discernable cause. Children who have been severely abused, particularly early in life, are at risk for DID that may continue into adulthood.

Dissociative disorders like DID are difficult to treat due to their complexity. The first priority is always to ensure the person with DID has been removed from any abusive environments. After that, treatment is geared towards handling trust issues, toleration of emotion within the self and enabling the person with DID to function as effectively as possible.

Therapy can help a person work through the traumas that have caused DID and the symptoms of DID. Therapy tends to focus on:

  • Encouraging healthy coping behaviors
  • Logging and monitoring emotions
  • Developing a crisis plan


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