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Dissociative Identity Disorder

Abnormality in simpler words can be defined as a behaviour which is socially unacceptable, causes discomfort to a person and that becomes an obstacle to function normally. When it comes to psychology the diagnosis and classification of various disorders is done by DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and ICD (International classification of diseases).Currently, in the DSM-5 (the fifth edition), abnormal behaviour is generally defined as behaviour that violates a norm in society, is maladaptive, is rare given the context of the culture and environment, and is causing the person distress in their daily life.

Dissociative Identity Disorder was earlier known as Multiple Personality Disorder. It is a disorder where a person seems to have two or more distinct personalities within one body. These disorders involve issues with memory, identity, emotions and perception. Due to occurrence of these personalities a person often tends to forget the situation and sometimes even his/her own identity. The common symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder includes forgetting, experience of detachment from oneself, distorted sense of identity. The dissociation is the difference between a person’s thought and behaviour during a trauma dissociation helps a person overcome the painful stream of emotions and may even does not recall major parts of a traumatic events.

There can be various causes of this disorder the most frequent cause is any past trauma or a triggering childhood experience. Other reasons can be sexual abuse, a frightening home environment or repetitive stressful situations in life.

Understanding through an example-

One of the example of DID is -when a female soldier of about 25 years of age ,she was having constant gaps in her memory and was not able to recall certain events and there was a change in her behaviour due to which she was admitted to the hospital earlier doctors suggested that it can be amnesia but after close observation it was observed that generally at times she was cooperative and helpful but at certain situations she became hostile, then she was tested and found highly hypnotizable and then it was concluded that she had been suffering from these gaps in memory from the past as well . The change in expressions and behaviour was also observed. On some other occasion she was admitted to the hospital as there was a deep wound on her thigh she answered that it was because she had been running in the field and fell, the explanation was not consistent with the type of wound she had and that was the reason hypnosis was used (trance mental state) on her and it was found that there was a different identity that calmly reported taking out a knife and cutting herself with her own version of explanation for this behaviour and then DID was diagnosed. With the help of psychotherapy at consistent rate she integrated pieces of her personality and it was found that due to divorce of her parents in childhood and facing sexual assault at a very young age, these experiences lead to this abnormal behaviour.

Primarily the treatment of Dissociative Identity disorder includes psychotherapy which is use of psychological methods based on regular interaction. Psychotherapy helps a person in changing a behaviour and overcoming problems.

References –


What do you think?

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Written by Tanmeet Kapoor

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Nice presentation!
Example of a case study is done well.


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Thank you for sharing this


Thank you very much for sharing this article. This article was really very informative as I have learnt a lot about dissociative indentity disorder. I really did not know that one of it’s causes can be childhood trauma. I was wrong about the symptoms too. Thus, for me, it was a great article. The explanation through example was like a cherry on the cake. I want to wish you all the best for your future.

Laiqua Mustafa

Hey, this was a very crisp and clear write up. Even though did is a very rare disorder, it should be diagnosed and treated at the earliest to avoid any future circumstances. It would have been much more helpful if the causes and treatment were mentioned in detail. Great effort, looking forward to much interesting articles.

Thryaksha Ashok Garla

A topic that I’m very interested in. This is amazing.

Shubhra Vyas

A really informative article with precise and clear explanation and the case study really helps getting an insight about it. Great work!

Elysia Fernandes

Yess! DID is a lot more common than we think with nearly 2% of the world’s population. A very important article written very beautifully.

Ayeman Qamri

An example was really nice, you can add a bit more and make it more informative.loved to read it.Keep on writing

Fiona Gladstone

A really interesting disorder to learn and read about! This article was very engaging and had my attention all along. Brownie points for referring to the DSM and ICD criteria. Although I really wish this article could’ve been more detailed specifically pointing out the signs and symptoms, diagnosis and how to manage treat the disorder. Looking forward to read more articles by you

Mehal Sampat

Tanmeet, it is a very powerful article. A case study used is always cherry on the cake when it comes to psychology.

However, you could have elaborated more on the causes, biopsychosocial perspective and treatment and even whether nature vs. nurture debate is applicable on it or not

Sraddha Kausthub

The article provided a comprehensive account of DID, from it’s definition to an example.

A nice article! Simple to understand with the case study.

Parishree Pandya

A well written article and the case study was well explained too. Could have added some diagnosis and cope up/treatment methods in detail though.



Siya Naik

Great article. Case study makes it more informative. Great work.

Shramana Singha Roy

This one was very informative. A worth reading. Thank you so much for sharing

Jigyasa vashistha

great informative article..thanks for this one

Mehra Arshad

The topic you have chosen is really good and interesting. I liked the content more as you added the case study.