What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID is considered to be a mental disorder which is characterized by having two or more personalities in a single person. Each of these personas are unique in their own way and can react in place of a person with this mental disorder. They can have their own unique voice, appearance, preferences and even skills.
They can even take the place of the person’s main persona during times of trauma or strong emotion. Think of it as having two or more people in a car taking the wheel when the car is on fire or about to crash. A switch can be caused by a similar traumatic event that initially caused a person to develop DID. In this state a person will have a different outlook, preferences and methods to handle the issue at hand. The “core” personality may or may not even remember what occurred during the switch.
What Can Cause Dissociative Identity Disorder?
The majority of people suffering from DID develop this mental disorder after a traumatic event in their life. Accidents, assaults and disasters can all be the catalyst for someone to develop an alternate persona to handle the stress of the event. It is mostly a defense or coping mechanism for an affected person to detach the painful trauma from “themselves” and have “another” be able to handle it head on.
The Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Sometimes it can be hard to find out whether someone has DID as most of the symptoms of DID can easily pass for another mental illness. Most people affected by DID also tend to hide their symptoms as there is always going to be attached social stigma to mental illness.
Changing Personalities and Sudden Mood Swings
The most common symptom of DID is that people who have this disorder seem to switch personalities, preferences and even outlooks. They do this to tackle issues that their “core” personality might not be able to handle. These are more apparent during traumatic events that they experience relating to the creation of the alternate personas that they have.
One moment the person might be breaking down unable to cope with the situation and the next taking command of the situation and navigating through it without a problem as if they were made to handle it. This is the case in most personas as they’re created to handle specific situations. Constantly seeing “switches” in a person’s ability to cope with a situation is a sign that they may have DID.
Amnesia and Other Memory Issues
Amnesia can be present in some cases of DID as the switch takes place but not always. The “core” persona might not be able to remember what their other personas have been doing during their time in control. The “core” might not even remember other people and places that their personas have made an attachment to.
Hearing Voices or Auditory Hallucinations
Hearing voices is another sign of DID. As an onlooker you might notice that a person would be having an internal struggle, arguing with themselves with what they’re meant to do in a situation. Unlike other mental disorders where the voices are almost always chaotic and malicious, these auditory hallucinations could be the voices of the personas debating on what to do or simply just speaking with the “core” persona..