Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Condensed

See the latest coronavirus and vaccine informationLearn about the Lancaster General Hospital emergency department expansion and new entrance.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Topic Overview

What is dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare mental health condition. It was once known as multiple personality disorder. People who have it have two or more separate personalities. But they often don't know that the other personalities exist. And they can't remember things that happen when the other personalities are active.

What causes dissociative identity disorder (DID)?

DID may be a response to childhood trauma. People with DID may form separate personalities to deal with physical and emotional pain.

What are the symptoms?

Having separate personalities can change behavior and cause memory loss. And it can affect how a person thinks, feels, and acts. People with DID may feel anxious and stressed about the effects that separate personalities have on their life.

How is DID diagnosed?

A mental health professional usually diagnoses DID while treating the person for other conditions like anxiety, depression, or trauma-related disorders.

How is it treated?

Counseling is usually the main treatment for DID. The goal is to slowly merge the different personality traits together. This is called integration.

Treatment may include:

  • Therapy. Types may include supportive, cognitive, or cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Hypnosis. This can include learning self-hypnosis and calming techniques.
  • Medicines. Antidepressants may be helpful.

Credits

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

John Pope MD - Pediatrics

Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

Fred Volkmar MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Lisa S. Weinstock MD - Psychiatry

Share This Page: