Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare mental health condition where a person has two or more distinct personalities that control their behavior at different times. This disorder can lead to gaps in memory and other problems, such as anxiety, depression, and delusions. In the past, DID was called multiple personality disorder or split personality disorder.
What is dissociative identity disorder (DID)?
DID is one of several dissociative disorders that affect a person’s ability to connect with reality. It affects between 0.01 and 1% of the population and can occur at any age, with women more likely than men to have the disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
The signs and symptoms of DID include having multiple distinct identities, with each identity having its own personal history, traits, likes and dislikes. Alters, or alternate personalities, can be very different from one another, with different genders, ethnicities, interests, and ways of interacting with their environments. Other common symptoms can include anxiety, delusions, depression, disorientation, drug or alcohol abuse, memory loss, and suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
Is there a test for DID?
There is no single test to diagnose DID. A healthcare provider will review a person’s symptoms and personal health history and may perform tests to rule out underlying physical causes for the symptoms. DID symptoms often show up in childhood, but the disorder is usually not diagnosed until adulthood.
Various types of psychotherapy can help people manage the symptoms of DID. Treatment usually involves working with a therapist to integrate the different identities into one cohesive sense of self, improving memory, and reducing symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
Overall, understanding the signs and symptoms of DID is crucial to receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms of DID, it is important to seek professional help.