What are the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder?

What are the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder?

What are the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder?

The symptoms of DID (dissociative identity disorder) have been known to include:

  • The presence of different identities or personalities – A DID sufferer will have at least two, but often more clearly different identity or personality states which take control of their behaviour recurrently. This will be clearly different from a person’s usual mood variations and these identities will be distinct, exhibiting differing mannerisms, way of speaking, thinking and acting. 
  • Memory issues - Lapses in one’s memory, this is known as dissociation and is specifically experienced with regard to important life events such as weddings, birthdays and the loss of a loved one. DID patients may often have people tell them they are lying when in actual fact they do not remember specific events occurring or can’t recall being told specific things.  These lapses in memory cannot be explained by another underlying medical condition, or drug abuse (although drug abuse is often a complication of DID).
  • Blackouts – Suffering from blackouts which often ends up with the individual not knowing how they got to a certain place.
  • Confusion of identities – The individual may encounter people whom another alter or identity has met before, but the identity now present and ‘in control’ has never met and therefore regards them as strangers. This makes it confusing for those who believe to have met the DID sufferer before, but in reality, they would have met another personality within them. This can also lead to name confusion wherein the individual may be called names that are unlike their birth name or even their nickname, as these are often the names of other personalities who have made an appearance during the time of meeting a specific person. The degree to which personalities will be aware of one another varies and as such, the affected person may or may not be familiar with the name/s others call them in addition to their actual given name at birth.
  • Changes in handwriting – The person suffering from DID may often find notes or lists written by them but in a different handwriting (presumably when another personality is in control).
  • Hearing voices – The individual may hear voices in their head that are not their own.
  • Derealisation – Not feeling real
  • Depersonalisation – Feeling as though they are watching themselves in a movie or from someone else’s eyes.
  • Feeling unrecognisable – Not being able to recognise oneself in the mirror.
  • More than one person – Feeling as though they are not just one person.
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