Share |

(Printable version of this page)

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)


Dissociative Identity Disorder is found more commonly in females than in males and is often difficult to diagnose.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (herein known as DID) is often a misunderstood mental illness. DID was formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder and in recent years has become better understood as a complex and chronic post traumatic mental health issue. It has been attributed to severe trauma from extremely frightening or life threatening experiences like child abuse, sexual abuse, war, and accidents. This is a condition in which a person displays at least two or more recurring distinct personalities or identities. These are known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. Each alternate personality has a unique set of memories, behaviours, thoughts and emotions related to each specific personality.

Signs and symptoms of DID include:

  • Lapses in memory (dissociation), particularly of important life events like birthdays
  • Experiencing blackouts in time, resulting in finding oneself in places but not recalling how one traveled there
  • Being frequently accused of lying when they do not believe they are lying (for example, being told of things they did but cannot recall)
  • Finding items in one’s possession but not recalling how those things were acquired
  • Encountering people with whom one is unfamiliar but who seem to know them sometimes as someone else
  • Being called names that are completely unlike their own name or nickname
  • Hearing voices inside their head that are not their own
  • Not recognizing themselves in the mirror
  • Feeling unreal
  • Feeling like they are watching themselves move through life rather than living their own life
  • Feeling like more than one person

What DID is not:

  • Not due to alcohol or drug intoxication
  • Not due to imaginary playmates or fantasy play
  • Not due to a medical condition
Discussing Dissociation – http://discussingdissociation/
Dissociative Identity Disorder on emental Health -
Medicine -
Mind -
Mind Your Mind -
Ontario Centre of Excellencee for Child and Youth Mental Health –