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Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a mental disorder. It was once named as multiple personality disorder (MPD), a term that is still sometimes used to refer to it, though it is considered outdated and misinformative by many.

Definition and SymptomsEdit

In order to suffer from DID, patients must have developed at least one other identity or dissociative state, which must be distinct and enduring. There are other dissociative disorders that exist, and can be classified in other ways with other symptoms, but DID is specifically classified by the presence of another "being" who can control the body. Once the patient returns to the normal (or perhaps another) identity, their memory is impaired in a way that cannot be explained by ordinary "forgetfulness", and they cannot recall personal information. In other words, the patient does not remember assuming the alternate identity or identities. The degree of memory impairment varies from individual to individual; in a number of cases, the sufferer is not even aware of the existence of the other identities or dissociative states, unless informed otherwise. These symptoms are not influence by current substance abuse, seizures, or other medical conditions; and they can definitely not be attributed to "faking".

The number of alternate identities also varies with each sufferer. Most have identified fewer than ten identities, but in at least one case, as many as 4,500 were identified.

CausesEdit

The general cause of DID has been widely debated in the psychiatric community. There have been a number of different hypotheses explaining the cause, but only three are highly prevalent in the debate:

  1. DID is a reaction to trauma, as patients reported experiencing severe physical and sexual abuse, especially during childhood; or an early loss, serious medical illness, or other traumatic event.
  2. DID can be created through the use of recovered-memory therapy, a form of therapy in which one or more controversial and/or unproven interviewing techniques (e.g. hypnosis and guided-imagery) and sedative-hypnotic drugs are used to literally recover memories allegedly buried in the subconscious.
  3. DID can be influenced by non-traumatic events, as children with DID had parents with DID, were exposed to DID depicted in popular culture, or were diagnosed with psychosis due to hearing voices.

On Criminal MindsEdit

SourcesEdit

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