Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a condition where an individual has two or more distinct personality states. Long ago, DID was considered to be a form of possession, whereas now, it is a disorder contained within DSM-5, categorised by 5 criteria:
- Two or more distinct personality states are present within an individual, each one having their own way of thinking and perceiving themselves, and the environment.
- When personality shifts occur, amnesia must also occur, resulting in gaps in memory for everyday events or personal information.
- The person with DID must be troubled by the disorder, or the disorder must negatively affect their life in one way or another
- The disorder must not be part of normal cultural or religious practices.
- The symptoms of DID must not be due to the effects of a substance (drug) or another medical condition
Excess of 70% of patients with DID have tried suicide, as a result, treatment is incredibly important to improve quality of life. The main form of treatment is psychotherapy, with the aim of joining the identity states into one. Antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs are often prescribed in addition to this.
Personality states DEF – personality states refer to dissociation from one’s usual sense of self, resulting in changes in emotion, behaviour, memory, and perception.