Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is a psychological disorder of dissociation, in which a person afflicted experiences the influence of different personalities at different times. This regularly occurs alongside memory loss too extensive to be considered normal. Dissociative Identity Disorder.jpg

  • Experienced Trauma -- DID is used as a coping mechanism for the brain to process an experience that otherwise could not be assimilated
  • Iatroginic -- Symptoms of the disease are at least partly brought on by the influence of therapy, as patients of DID are considered highly susceptible

It is not coherently agreed as to what exactly causes DID, but patients typically report having suffered physical or sexual abuse, childhood trauma, or, already suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). From this doctors and medical professionals can surmise that patients who suffer from DID contract the Disorder through trauma of some kind.

  • Depression -- Suicidal thoughts & tendencies
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Headaches
  • Flashbacks
  • Delusions
  • Self-destructive behavior & tendencies
  • Childhood behavioral problems
  • Hallucinations

Patients typically contact a psychiatrist or other medical professional after experiencing loss of time and memory gaps, meeting strangers who claim to know them, and other strange behavior. Sometimes, personality switches can be triggered by psychologically stressful events.

  • Long-term psychotherapy
  • Cognitive/Creative therapies
  • Anti-depressants/Anti-anxiety medications typically supplement treatment

Often times psychotherapy is paired with hypnosis, with the therapist attempting to make contact with all or the majority of personalities acting within the individual. Retrieving and unpacking past traumas as well as curbing harmful tendencies are the main goals.

  • Orbitofrontal Cortex
Orbitofrontal cortex.gif

Generally considered the "decision-making" part of the brain, has been identified through neuroimaging, as functioning differently under Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  • Reinders' study

“Subjects listened to two autobiographical audiotaped memory scripts involving a neutral and a trauma-related experience. The neutral memory script was regarded as a personal experience by both personality states. However, only the Traumatic Personality State (TPS) experienced the trauma-related script as personally relevant”.

This shows that different personalities have different autobiographical identites and perpetuates a theory that the prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex can be deactivated from TPS to Neutral Personality State (NPS).