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Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders have caused much controversy in the medical community, especially with the advent of books and movies about people with repressed or forgotten memories of childhood abuse and multiple personalities numbering 10 or more. These disorders are now commonly recognized as the effects of severe trauma in early childhood, typically extreme, repeated physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Though some doctors feel that caution is required to avoid ‘leading’ the patient to remember things that did not happen, or to ‘create’ alternate identities, in all but the most extreme and unusual cases neither of these concerns apply. Mild dissociation is like daydreaming, or getting lost in a good book, or driving down a familiar stretch of road and finding that you’ve forgotten the last few miles of the drive. Severe and chronic dissociation differs from what most of us experience in these examples. Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously called Multiple Personality Disorder, and other Dissociative Disorders result in broken connections between thoughts, memories and sense of identity. Other dissociative disorders include psychogenic amnesia where the patient is unable to recall personally significant memories, psychogenic fugue with memory loss characteristic of amnesia, loss of identity, and fleeing home environment, and Dissociative Identity Disorder, where the patient appears to have two or more distinct, alternating personalities. Dissociation is typically a psychological defense mechanism that has psychobiological.phpects. Research seems to illustrate that this process is initially used to deflect traumatic experiences and allow the patient to handle trauma, and that it evolves over time into a pathological process. The disorders most often occur in childhood, when a child is subjected to trauma. Children who learn to disassociate to endure extended abuse will often use this coping mechanism in response to any stress they endure during their adult life. On rare occasions, adults may develop dissociative disorders because of severe trauma.
What are the symptoms?
How is it diagnosed and treated?
The primary problem in diagnosing DID is the confusion regarding dissociative disorders and the effects of psychological trauma, and misconception about the clinical.phpects of the diagnosis. DID is relatively common but patients may minimize or conceal symptoms, or symptoms can be coincident with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, panic, and eating disorders and therefore the doctor may miss the signs of DID. The American Psychiatric Association defines the diagnostic criteria for DID, as follows:
Treatment(s) can include:
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