Home Mental disordersPersonality disorders Dissociative identity disorder: symptoms and treatment

Dissociative identity disorder: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Dissociative identity disorder, previously called multiple personality disorder, is defined by the presence of two or more personalities in the same person whose behavior is altered. Amnesia is a condition that is present, which causes the person not to remember data as they have been stored with another of the personalities. This causes some characters to know something that others do not have. The dissociative term refers to separation from reality and usually always appears during childhood and can continue into adulthood in its chronic stage. If you want to know more about one of the most well-known psychological disorders, keep reading this FastlyHealarticle, where we will explain its symptoms, treatments, and prognosis.

How does dissociative identity disorder occur?

This disorder appears mainly due to some traumatic event, acting as a defense mechanism against the inability to face pain and fear. This situation usually occurs in the family environment, for example, when one of the parents sexually abuses a child. Being a relative, the abuse may alternate with displays of affection, which generates a state of confusion in the child.

Not all people can dissociate, that is, escape from reality by generating another personality, so it is a response to a traumatic situation that does not occur in all cases. It usually occurs in people who are constantly abused.

Another cause that dissociative identity disorder can generate is the death of a family member.

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder

Some of the symptoms that characterize this disorder can be confused with other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolarity, or anxiety. The most common symptoms are depression, panic attacks, phobias, sexual dysfunctions, or appetite disturbances. Symptoms may vary depending on whether the disorder occurs in children or adults. In the case of adolescents and adults, suicide is frequently used more than once, and self-mutilation occurs, in addition to drug and alcohol abuse. Other common symptoms are:

  • Headache.
  • The person hears internal conversations between different personalities.
  • She does not remember some data or does not recognize any act carried out by herself.
  • Assaults on other people.

These people may feel confused when told about something they said or did, not remembering it because they were executed with another personality. Therefore, they can also talk about them using the plural. In addition, they often have a history of multiple psychiatric diagnoses with a negative response to treatment.

Treatment of dissociative identity disorder

The main objective of treatment for dissociative identity disorder is to reduce its effects and achieve, as far as possible, greater well-being and quality of life for the patient. One of the solutions that will be tried carried out through a therapist is the integration of the personalities into one. To achieve this, a prolonged treatment is required that can last for years, and usually, the person must continue to go to the therapist even when the expected result has been obtained.

In those cases in which integration is not pursued or has not been achieved, everything possible will be done to reduce the effects of the disorder and have them affect the patient to a lesser extent.

A relationship of trust must be established between the patient and the therapist to work as effectively as possible. You must get to know the different personalities to develop a relationship between them and get everyone to do their part to achieve the patient’s stability. Another step in treatment is coping with the trauma that led to the disorder. It consists of a complex stage for the patient since he must remember the traumatic events.

Other treatments involve hypnosis or the administration of medications to control some of the effects of the disorder.

Prognosis of dissociative identity disorder

The prognosis of people with a dissociative identity disorder is linked to the different symptoms that derive from it. Sometimes it is difficult to detect signs initially since the person who suffers from the condition does not disclose all the necessary data for its diagnosis. For this reason, some show dissociative and post-traumatic symptoms, characteristic of people who have suffered a traumatic experience. Other patients may show severe psychiatric disorders that affect personality. Depending on each patient, the prognosis will be more or less favorable since some situations require a treatment that tends to be chaotic and take a long time. In contrast, others allow improvements to be obtained in a shorter period. The prognosis will depend on a few factors:

  • Several personalities and the character of each one.
  • Range of amnesia suffered by the patient.
  • Cause of the disorder: sexual abuse, death of a family member, etc.
  • The patient’s ability to cooperate.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .

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