dissociative identity disorderJoe Segen2016-12-27T21:58:52+00:00
dissociative identity disorder
dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder)
A mental disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states that alternately control the individual’s behaviour, accompanied by memory lapses for important information that are not caused by alcohol, drugs or medications and other medical conditions such as complex partial seizures.
MPD/DID is characterised by a wide range of clinical manifestations ranging from adequate functionality to Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque derailing. MPD/DID incorporates symptoms of dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue and depersonalization disorder and are not diagnosed separately. Most of individuals diagnosed with MPD/DID report sexual and/or physical abuse during childhood, but false memories cannot be excluded in many cases.
The number of alter egos ranges from 2 to 4,500. Many patients have multiple other mental disorders including depression, substance abuse, eating, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and personality disorders. It is a controversial condition and became a “fashionable diagnosis” that peaked in the mid-1990s. The reported prevalence ranges from 1% to 5%; it is more commonly diagnosed in the US than in other countries; it is 5 to 9 times more common in women.
Aetiology Trauma, iatrogenic due to sloppy psychotherapy, therapeutic role playing gone awry, childhood sexual, physical or psychological trauma, and dysfunctional coping mechanisms.
Current or recent trauma may affect a person’s assessment of the more distant past, changing past experiences, resulting in dissociative states. The bottom line is no one knows.
Prognosis Unknown; many cases wax and wane in severity; few disappear spontaneously.
Synonyms Dissociative amnesia, dissociative personality disorder, DSM 300.14, hysterical neurosis—dissociative type, interpersonality amnesia, MPD, multiple personality disorder, split personality disorder
Note: While the term multiple personality disorder got more hits on 03.04.3015, it is slowly waning in popularity. Dissociative identity disorder is preferred by the professional community.