Previously known as multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder pertains to an individual who develops different personalities as a result of a severe trauma at some point in their lifetime. Whether it be due to physical abuse or sexual abuse, victims of dissociative identity disorder require immediate treatment to live happy and healthy lives. This particular mental disorder has become incredibly common throughout the world and with that being said, its statistics are surprising.
The Statistics of the Disorder
1. D.I.D is one of the more well-known mental disorders that are experienced by people throughout the world.
2. While research is currently being conducted to thoroughly understand this personality disorder, it is still relatively vague in the minds of researchers.
3. Approximately 1% of the general population has been diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder.
4. Over 7% of the general population have admitted to experiencing several of the above symptoms of the disorder and 1/3 of people have had several out of body experiences before in their lifetime.
5. This could mean that far more than 1% of the general population have D.I.D but have yet to be diagnosed.
Mental disorders are constantly being researched and studied so that psychiatric professionals can have a more thorough understanding of the human psyche. With the hundreds of mental disorders experienced by people throughout the world, dissociative identity disorder is one of the more well-known disorders. With the ability to form multiple personalities, to have an out of body experience, and to feel as if you have no control over your own actions, it truly is a mental disorder to be feared and immediately treated.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Commonly referred to as D.I.D, this mental diagnosis is not uncommon to the general public. The majority of us have experienced a mild case of dissociation at one point in our lives, whether we have been daydreaming or dissociative while being overwhelmed. In comparison to this, dissociative identity disorder is incredibly severe and prevents individuals from being able to connect their feelings, actions, and even form an identity. The majority of researchers have concluded that it is a result of severe trauma and is a coping mechanism for the person involved Those with D.I.D generally dissociate themselves from a particular event that is too traumatic for them to consciously realize.
Understanding the Symptoms
In order to diagnose someone with D.I.D they must have manifested two or more different identities that are distinct and have their own personalities. These personalities have the tendency to control the conscious state of the person and manipulate their behavior. Patients have also been known to be unable to remember personal information to an extent that is too far to be related to general forgetfulness. They may also experience different memories, depending on the particular identity that has “control” of their conscious mind at the time.
Some other common symptoms include:
• Suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
• Anxiety attacks.
• Severe phobias.
• Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs..
• Hallucinations (whether visual or auditory).
• Mood swings.
• Severe depression.
• Insomnia, sleep walking, and/or night terrors.
• Out of body experiences.
• Outward and self-inflicted violence.
The Different Personalities
When a patient with dissociative identity disorder develops two or more manifestations, they are generally completely different characters. This means that they will generally have different ages, genders, and races. They will each talk differently, force the person to act differently and even determine how their body moves. Although you may assume that the personalities have to be human, they can also be in the form of animals. When you attempt to have a conversation with an individual with dissociative identity disorder, they will go through a common process known as switching. Switching is the act of each personality revealing themselves and controlling the thoughts and behavior of the patient.
The Feeling of Being Out of Control
The most interesting aspect of dissociative identity disorder is the fact that the affected individual will not be able to comprehend that they are participating in the behaviors and actions directly. Due to their mental instability, they will believe that their multiple personalities are responsible for their reckless or dangerous behavior. As an example, if someone is caught stealing, they will whole-heartedly believe that it is one of their personalities forcing them to steal, giving them no conscious choice.
The Development of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Although there has been an ample amount of research into this particular mental disorder, it is still relatively unclear as to how individuals can develop dissociative identity disorder. From the research that has been conducted, psychiatric professionals have found a correlation between environmental and biological factors. 98% to 99% of patients who have experienced D.I.D have recalled some type of recurring disturbing events that happened during their childhood such as consistent neglect or emotional abuse.