Dissociative Identity Disorder


This academic page is intended to improve knowledge, understanding and recognition on dissociative identity disorder.

“Had I not been dissociative, I never would have survived.” 
― Wendy Hoffman, therapist, survivor of ritual abuse


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DID is a complex psychological disorder that is often overlooked and misdiagnosed but that does not mean that treatment and improvement in a patient’s quality of life is not possible. Many individuals living with DID are highly intellectual and successful but they may have challenges processing and coping with certain life events that may trigger alters to appear or one to uncontrollably dissociate. Not all alters are conscious to the individual and different alters may exist longer than others. These alters or the act of dissociating all stem from a learned self-survival tool at a very young age due to long-term trauma effects, mostly from being routinely abused sexually, physically and emotionally. The scope of DID is very large and to this day, has a lot of room to research and learn from.


This video is by Special Books by Special Kids - they interview individuals with a diagnosis from across the world with hope of spreading empathy.

Lauren lives with dissociative identity disorder and has twelve distinct personalities. Each manifests as a voice inside her head that Lauren describes as “angels and devils.” After proper therapy Lauren is now able to cope with her condition and self-advocate. She wants the world to know that auditory hallucinations do not make her any less of a human.


Quick Facts

Before 1994, DID was referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).

This disorder has been studied by different professionals for more than 100 years and is considered as one of the most complex psychiatric conditions, resulting in it being commonly misdiagnosed, overlooked and challenging to treat to this day.

DID is also known to be controversial within the legal system as well as within psychiatry due to stigmatizing media portrayals, debates on therapist-induced false memories, and the possibility of a person faking DID symptoms to avoid responsibility or crime punishment.

The skepticism of DID from professionals and misconceptions of DID from the general public are due to misrepresentations of it in media portrayals, limited training in the medical field, and lack of research within the scope of DID.