A condition in which a normal cognitive processes are
severely disjointed and fragmented. Creating significant
disruptions in memory, awareness, or personality that in
length from a matter of minutes to years, also known as
 Normal people do this when (for an example) your house gets broken
into and your blood runs cold and you freeze in that spot, until you
realize that the threat is gone, then you go back to normal.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersIV Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is the presences of two or more
distenked personalities at different times that takes control of the
individuals behavior.
Can also have depersonalization and/or derealization. (a feeling threat they or
the surroundings are not real somehow)
DID was once known as Multiple Person Disorder.
Was thought to be rare to have until starting in the 1980’s
Now is to be as common as schizophrenia and more common than anorexia nervosa.
 There is evidence of it being around the Pal eolithic Era (750,000 years ago)
No one knows yet what causes DID there are two main
1) Iatrogenesis- iatrongenesis literately means physician
origin. This means that it, DID, is made up by the therapist. It
works like the Theory of Hypnosis. Suggesting the concept of
DID and the patent goes on with it.
2) Sever childhood trauma, though it is not enough to
actually cause DID, you need the following;
 The Capacity/ability to dissociate
 Experience sever abuse that over whelms the child
 Secondary structuring
 Lack of soothing or restorative experiences
Though childhood abuse is seeming to be the head cause of
the disorder the symptoms are usually seen in adults.
Some symptoms are
 Lost memories
 Time lapse
 Hearing other voices in your head
There really is not a more sever case in the way you or I think.
It goes as how many “people” you have. Some people who
have DID have only 2 alters where there have been recorded
up to 50 alters in a single host body.
Physically these people are healthily however many suffer
from depression and have suicidal thoughts. Many of them
also do not work in fear of having black out moments and
not knowing what they are doing.
 They may also turn to drug and or alchol to help them deal
with what is happening
•an innate ability to dissociate easily
•repeated episodes of severe physical or sexual abuse
in childhood
•lack of a supportive or comforting person to
counteract abusive relative(s)
•influence of other relatives with dissociative
symptoms or disorders
The primary cause of DID is severe and prolonged trauma experienced during childhood. This
trauma is associated with emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or some combination of two or
more. One theory is that young children, faced with a routine of torture, abuse, sexual abuse or
neglect , dissociate themselves from their trauma by creating separate identities. A separate
personality may suffer while the primary identity "escapes" the unbearable experience.
Dissociation, which is easy for a child to achieve, becomes an easy defense. This strategy
displaces the suffering onto another identity usually a child . Over time, the child, who on
average is around six years old at the time when the first identity is created and then it
branches. It usually starts with the child, then a protector of the child and can fracture even
more from there depending on the number of episodes of abuse and the severity.
Psychotherapy: Through psychotherapy a patient can start to mend
relationships in their lives and find positive support. Which also lessens the
anxiety and can make episodes fewer and less sever.
Hypnosis: Though said to be the hardest part of treatment for patients.
Hypnosis is the most effective because it brings the person back to the
moment of trauma and as an adult they can start to understand why and
what happened. Hypnosis can also bring the identities to know each other
with is a big part of healing.
Medications: Medications are used to treat other mind disorders associated
with DID. They lessen the symptoms of impulse control and anger and
Self help: Through group therapy and knowing they are not the only person
that suffers from this disease they can begin to feel the release from anxiety.
Which can assist in other aspects of treatment such as psychotherapy.
Sybil born Shirley Arndell Mason.
Was the most famous case of DID.
She had 9 distinctive personalities.
She was a teacher and an amateur
artist. Her art is on display in
Lexington Kentucky.
 The reason for Shirley's diagnosis is
because her therapists believed her
mother a schizophrenic was
sexually abusing her. Sybil was the
most famous she has a book written
about he and 2 movies the most
recent came out in 2007. The movie
stars Sally Field. Its called the 3 faces
of eve.
Billy Milligan was a college student
with 24 separate personalities. Not
much is known about what caused
his DID. Speculation says it was
most likely abuse from his father in
his early childhood .
 He raped several women. Was
charged for the rapes but was
acquitted due to mental illness. One
of the identities claiming to have
raped the women was female. He
was fluent in Arabic yet he had never
gone to the country or studied the
language. he experienced a
phenomenon known as xenoglossy:
speaking languages not taught or
experienced. This is common among
people with DID.
Major types of dissociative disorders defined by the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual:
 Dissociative Amnesia: patient loses autobiographical
memory for certain past experiences
 Dissociative Fugue: patient loses entire autobiographical
memory and often relocates and assumes a new identity
 Depersonalization Disorder: patient feels detached from
their own body and experiences
 Dissociative Disorders Not Otherwise Specified: patient
has dissociative symptoms, but does not qualify for any
other diagnosis
Dissociative Disorders are not caused by
brain injury or obvious disease and are
thought to be psychogenic in nature
Dissociative Amnesia usually occurs soon
after a traumatic event but can also be
caused by ongoing internal conflict or an
intolerable situation
Neurological causes are being researched,
but nothing definitive has been found
Dissociative disorders are rare and difficult to
Some dissociative disorders may be over diagnosed
due to recent media coverage
Many clinicians have limited experience with
dissociative disorders
Patients are often afraid to talk about their symptoms
because they are afraid of being misunderstood
Patients recovered memories could be inaccurate and
could be affected by their therapists’ suggestions—
including suggestions made while the patients are
Dissociative Amnesia-
The sudden loss of
memory for significant personal information
Dissociative Fugue and Dissociative Amnesia
are both caused by severe stress as the
result of:
Extreme violence
Dissociative Amnesia and Dissociative Fugue
are treated the same ways, very slowly,
Psychotherapy- Psychological techniques that help the person gain
insight into problems and communicate conflict.
Cognitive therapy- changes dysfunctional thinking patterns and the
feelings involved.
Medication- Can't cure dissociative disorders, but can help ease
Family therapy- Teaches patient's family about the disorder(s).
Art and music therapy- Helps patient express feelings creatively.
Clinical hypnosis- Uses intense relaxed and concentrated focus to
alter the patient's state of awareness.
Dissociative Fugue
In 1926, famous author
Agatha Christie vanished.
She was found in a hotel in
England over a week later.
She had no idea what
happened for her to arrive
at the hotel.
The case of David
Fitzgerald, of London, was
televised as he tried to
recover his memory lost
from dissociative fugue.