Dissociative Disorders

 

Learn more about the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously Multiple Personality Disorder), Dissociative Amnesia, and Depersonalization/ Derealization Disorder.  The most common treatment for these disorders is psychotherapy.


Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Disruption of identity characterized by two or more distinct personality states.  The disruption in identity causes a significant disconnection in sense of self, accompanied by related alteration in emotions, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning. 
  • Recurrent gaps in memory of everyday events, important personal information, and/or traumatic events, that is inconsistent with ordinary forgetting.
  • The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning,
  • The disturbance is not a normal part of cultural or religious practice.
  • These symptoms cannot be attributed to any other substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.

Dissociative Amnesia 

  • An inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is inconsistent with ordinary forgetting.
  • The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  • These symptoms cannot be attributed to any other substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.

With dissociative fugue: Purposeful travel or bewildered wandering that is associated with amnesia for identity or other important personal information.

Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder 

  • The presence of persistent or recurrent experiences of depersonalization, derealization or both, as defined as:
    • Depersonalization: Experiences of unreality, detachment, or being an outside observer of one’s thoughts, feelings, body, sensations or actions.
    • Derealization: Experiences of unreality or detachment with respect to surroundings, such as people or objects seem unreal or distorted.
  • During the depersonalization or derealization experiences, reality testing (ability to evaluate if internal emotions or thoughts are consistent with the external world) remains intact.
  • The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in work, social or other important areas of functioning.
  • These symptoms cannot be attributed to any other substance, medication, or other medical or mental condition.
 

The above criteria are adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).