FAQ - Dissociative Disorders
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Is Dissociative Identity Disorder a neurotic or psychotic disorder?

Also, any info on the demographics would be lovely. Sources are wonderful!

psychotic disorder.  (+ info)

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder?

i have to mimic a mental illness for a day for my ap psychology course, and i chose dissociative identity disorder.
since i'm supposed to act like i have the disorder, what are some symptoms i can portray?
what scenarios or scenes can i act out to pretend that i have the disorder?
this is not meant to make fun or offend anyone with the disorder, it's for educational purposes so that we can know how hard it would be like to live with a mental illness, so please leave helpful answers.

You can't fake Dissociative Identity Disorder. I have it, and I can tell you that most of the time we do our best to cover it up so that people DO NOT see it. However, I can give you some hints. Some alters are better in certain situations than others. Each has a purpose, and surfaces based on when they are needed functionally. Various triggers can bring different alters out, because each has their own experiences and memories. I have an alter who is a social butterfly who can cover up all of my negative thoughts like a mask when talking to other people, and then I have another who isn't social at all, because he just wants to work to not think of anything bad. Then there are little alters who get triggered by memories or something in the world that reminds them of the memories, and they get scared and relive the trauma. Then there are defensive alters who, in threatening, triggering, or stressful situations, comes out to defend, and sometimes gets aggressive. When my defensive alter is reminded of an abuser he can get hostile. I have a self-loathing alter who just repeats everything her abusers told her in her mind, and then she becomes self-destructive. Other symptoms would be time loss (due to switching alters), dissociation itself/zoning out or depersonalizing, panic attacks that lead to switching, depression, talking to yourself (even though the voices are usually in your head)... I'm not sure if you can fake all of this, as it's pretty much out of our control. But have fun trying!  (+ info)

how does a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder?

how does a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder act
give me a example of how the seem to act ?

From the net:

'What Are the Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person's behavior. With dissociative identity disorder, there's also an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness. With dissociative identity disorder, there are also highly distinct memory variations, which fluctuate with the person's split personality.

The "alters" or different identities have their own age, sex, or race. Each has his or her own postures, gestures, and distinct way of talking. Sometimes the alters are imaginary people; sometimes they are animals. As each personality reveals itself and controls the individuals' behavior and thoughts, it's called "switching." Switching can take seconds to minutes to days. When under hypnosis, the person's different "alters" or identities may be very responsive to the therapist's requests.

Along with the dissociation and multiple or split personalities, people with dissociative disorders may experience any of the following symptoms:

Mood swings
Suicidal tendencies
Sleep disorders (insomnia, night terrors, and sleep walking)
Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias (flashbacks, reactions to stimuli or "triggers")
Alcohol and drug abuse
Compulsions and rituals
Psychotic-like symptoms (including auditory and visual hallucinations)'
Eating disorders

Other symptoms of dissociative identity disorder may include headache, amnesia, time loss, trances, and "out of body experiences." Some people with dissociative disorders have a tendency toward self-persecution, self-sabotage, and even violence (both self-inflicted and outwardly directed). As an example, someone with dissociative identity disorder may find themselves doing things they wouldn't normally do such as speeding, reckless driving, or stealing money from their employer or friend, yet they feel they are being compelled to do it. Some describe this feeling as being a passenger in their body rather than the driver. In other words, they truly believe they have no choice.

Full details from the link below.  (+ info)

How Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked To Dissociative Identity Disorder?

I tend to side with Hope, in that the real key is trauma. Both PTSD and DID are creative reactive measures to coping with trauma. DID is a reaction to severe trauma and a dissociative disorder. PTSD is also a reaction to trauma. Many people will in fact encounter some form of PTSD as a reaction to trauma during their lives, the issue is whether the symptoms are short lived (up to one month) or prolonged (more than one month), after which point it becomes diagnosable. PTSD is classed as an anxiety disorder, it may also include symptoms of dissociation.

Some researchers, such as (C.W. Duncan 1994), even suggest that DID is a dramatic form of PTSD. Whatever the truth, diagnosable PTSD is far more common, and is officially thought to affect
at least 8-10% of the general population as a lifetime prevelance. DID is far less common, it is thought that it affects about 1% of the general population.

Interestingly, many persons encountering DID and related disorders such as DD nos feel that all humans actually have multiple personalities rather than the percieved one personality. The issue, is more one of the degree of seperation and communication between the personalities.  (+ info)

What happens if Dissociative Disorder goes untreated?

And what other possibilities, aside from traumatic experiences, cause it?

this is going to sound extreme, but you could actually die.

when i was in my second stay at a psychiatric hospital, i met someone with a dissociative disorder. hers was due to repetitive rape in her early teenage years.

what happened to her with her disorder, was that she would slip into dissociation and then she would just walk and walk and walk. she was often being found miles from her home just walking by the police who would then take her home/to the hospital. it even happened when i was in hospital with her. she got permission to go out with her friend, her friend dropped her at the hospital but didn't walk her in. so she came into the hospital but then dissociated and walked off and out of the hospital.

it was really scary when she dissociated in front of my eyes. she'd suddenly change into someone who was very distant and seemed completely in another world. she started moaning and trying to get out of the locked ward doors. i tried to bring her away from them but she'd just say "i want to go out, i want to go out" in a sort of dreamlike state.

hers was so untreated for so long that these sorts of severe symptoms would happen. 70% of the time she was a normal 21 year old. but then she'd dissociate and walk miles. i really feared for her life because to be honest, in her state anything could have happened. she could have walked out in front of a car in a daze or even got raped again.

aside from traumatic experiences i guess drugs could cause it.

hope that helped a bit anyway.  (+ info)

What happens to the brain during Dissociative Identity Disorder??

Does there happen to be a nocturnal version of this disordr as well?

I'm pretty sure it's not a disease but a condition, so it's psychological and doesn't necessarily change the structure of the brain. I'm sure some are nocturnal.  (+ info)

Looking for info about dissociative diorders?

Is there anyone out here who has any Dissociative disorders, especially DID, or DDNOS? Anyone who has any links to info about them, or know anything about them?? Any info appreciated.
I've been diagnosed with it, so if there's anyone who has it...???

www.ask.com, www.yahoo.com search, www.APA.org I found them all great!  (+ info)

can u suffer from Dissociative disorder without having memory loss?

And can u suffer from it with out having a past trauma?

If you are referring specifically to Dissociative Identity Disorder (the "new" name for multiple personality disorder), it is possible but very, very unlikely.

~Dr. B.~  (+ info)

Doctors who specialize in Dissociative identity Disorder?

I need to find a doctor/psychiatrist who specializes in DID (or multiple personality disorder) that lives in the US. Numbers/names would be great.

Both of these organizations keep lists of therapists who specialize in DID. try contacting both of them for referrals in your area-
http://sidran.org/sub.cfm?sectionID=5  (+ info)

Have you ever had a dissociative episode or dissociative disorder?

I'm not talking about amnesia or losing time. I'm talkint about intense fear, so intense you don't think you can breathe. For a few moments, it's not a matter of not knowing who you are, it's not knowing WHAT you are. What is this place called Earth and how did you get here? And yes, who ae you? But mostly, it is the fear, a fear so great that all you can do is lie perfectly still and try to empty your mind and wait for it to go away. This started when I was about five years old.

I have never found anyone who experienced anything remotely similar. I know there must be *someone* out there who understands. If you do, please email me (email link in my profile).

Thanks for listening.
Thanks for the answers so far, I have considered that this may be a panic attack but it seems to have elements of both, certainly an element of depersonalization and dehumanization, and since it has happened at least since I was 5 years old the root cause has to be during my childhood. Yes, I have had therapy and even hypnotic regression to try to figure this out.

Right now mostly I would just like to talk to other people who have experienced this so I don't feel so alone in the world. You can email me through my YA ID.

Thanks everyone! You're a great bunch of people!

I'm not sure why you're calling this a dissociative episode, because my understanding is that a dissociative episode is a "psychotic break" where you do not have any recognition of the reality going on around you.

I've had dissociative amnesia (due to emotional trauma and fear) and my therpist uses the term "dissociative episode" to describe what happened to me.

Sorry I can't be more help but the terminology is confusing me.  (+ info)

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