Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is characterized by at least two distinct and enduring personality states. It used to be called multiple personality disorder, but we now know that it is more that there is a splintering or fracturing of personality rather than the addition or growth of additional personalities. It is very rare and is typically associated with a history of trauma.
DID reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory, and consciousness into a single multidimensional self. It may feel like there are multiple people talking and living inside your head. These different identities, or alters, frequently have their own name, age, gender, voices, and personality traits.
A person with DID may or may not be aware of the other personality states and memories of the times when an alter is dominant. Stress, or even a reminder of a trauma, can trigger a switch of alters.
Treatment for DID can be difficult, and usually entails long term therapy and potentially medication to treat comorbid conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
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