Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a mental disorder in which a patient’s mind splits into multiple personalities, each having a different set of memories. These multiple personalities are often called ‘alters.’ These alters may be of different genders.
Further, they may completely differ from one another on the basis of behaviour, memories, likes and dislikes, among others.
For instance, Robin (core person) may emerge as Jacob and the very next moment may behave as Emma.
DID sometimes becomes beneficial. Consequently, the core personality can use particular alters to fulfil specific purposes. For example, a shy person can use his/her more confident alter for a certain deal. Although shifting is not as easy as it looks. Further, it is mostly not controllable at all.
Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder:
However, it only rarely can benefit you. Mostly, it will harm you really badly.
– Suicide risks increase. About 70% patients attempt suicide
– Serious injuries like self-harm
Symptoms of every mental disorder are recognized by a standard manual which must be from any standard association. Thus, the symptoms here are as mentioned in the 5th edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
– The presence of multiple personalities
– Lack of identification
– Lack of time sensing
– Loss of a certain memory (amnesia)
– Recurrent gaps in the recall of everyday events
– Flashback of any traumatic event
Additional symptoms are as follows:
– Depression. Mood swings may or may not occur
– Sleep and eating disorder may happen
– Panic attacks
No lab test is helpful to diagnose DID. However, mental-health practitioners like clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts conduct interviews to diagnose it. Although in some cases professionals do some physical test to ensure that the symptoms are not because of any physical illness.
These interview sessions are very thorough. Therefore, these often last for hours. Additionally, questions in the interview depend on standard questionnaires or manuals. Some include Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), Perceptual Alterations Scale, Dissociation Questionnaire and e.t.c.
The main goal of medical professionals working in the field of DID treatment is to integrate multiple personalities in a single well-identified personality. Additionally, treatment also helps in developing new coping methods. Moreover, it helps patient to express freely and handle painful moments firmly.
The focus of DID treatment is also on decreasing suicide risk.
And further, to ensure the safety of patients and of people around them.
Some treatment methods are as follows:
– Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
– Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
– Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
– Family therapy
Moreover, creative therapies like music, dance, and art are also useful. These therapies provide a medium for the patient to express their pain, thought, emotion in a safe way.
Although there is a lack of general agreement over the treatment of DID, yet, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation has published guidelines to help professionals to treat DID.
Though it is hard to completely cure or to recover, yet, it is quite possible to treat DID up to a certain level. Thus ensuring that the patient can live a happier and healthier life.
Edited by Preetika Dubey