Dissociative Identity Disorder Evaluation from an Expert

Dissociative identity disorder, popularly known as multiple personality disorder, is a rare mental disorder. People with this disorder have different self-perceptions and identities, called multiple personalities or alters. Each alter may have unique memories, age, beliefs, appearance, speaking style, preferences, names, and behaviors.

We can think of dissociation as a state of disintegration of a whole. In psychological terms, we can define this state of fragmentation as consciousness, perception, sensation, memory, identity and physical separation. In the face of this spiritual fragmentation, the person may attempt to maintain his spiritual integrity. We can think that in dissociative identity disorder, this integrity is achieved with the help of different identities.

Alter identities can be two or more. The distinctive features of dissociative identity disorder are that these different identities do not recognize each other and that the change between alter personalities is sudden. Contrary to popular belief, these personalities, which are often interpreted as being spoiled or doing it on purpose, are quite real for the person. This reality is perceived by the person as a separate personality or an extension of the personality.


Identity and memory disorders: The person may forget part or all of his identity or feel as if he is experiencing a different identity.

Loss of conscious control: Sudden and involuntary transitions between alters may occur.

Flashbacks: The person may feel as if he or she is reliving traumatic events from the past.

Depersonalization and derealization: The person may feel disconnected from his or her body or environment. He may become alienated from his own body or his environment.

Hearing different voices or visuals: The person may feel like they are hearing voices or seeing alters.

Depression or anxiety: It may be accompanied by symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, sleep disorders, anxiety, headaches and difficulty concentrating.


 Although the exact cause of dissociative identity disorder is unknown, severe and repetitive trauma experienced during childhood is an important risk factor in the development of the disorder. These traumas can cause dissociation and lead to the formation of different personalities. Additionally, genetic factors in the formation of the disorder are also mentioned in the literature.


 Symptoms may be implicit in the first sessions. Secondary symptoms caused by dissociation may be noticeable first. For example, difficulty in anger control, relationship problems or childish attitudes can be given as examples of these symptoms. People often seek therapy for these reasons. Psychotherapy is very important in dissociative identity disorder. The psychotherapist helps process traumatic memories, improve communication and cooperation between alters, and create healthy coping mechanisms. In addition, psychoeducation can be given to family members when deemed necessary. In some cases, drug therapy can also be used as a support.

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