What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

By brett
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2. Primary Symptoms

The classic symptom is the presence of two or more distinct identities. Oftentimes, family and friends suspect a problem long before the patient realizes what is wrong. They may notice abrupt changes in demeanor or personal preferences. When they confront the individual, he or she may react as though falsely accused. In some cases, however, the patient recognizes when an alternate identity is about to become dominant and may hear themselves speaking in another voice that they feel they cannot control. These so-called switches may occur in response to environmental triggers.

Some patients experience a more subtle splitting of the personality that is not obvious to onlookers. Their multiple identities do not switch on and off, but rather overlap and compete indirectly for influence. Some hear voices inside the head that make suggestions or commands. Other symptoms frequently reported are an overall sense of detachment from life. Other people may seem to have exaggerated appearances or personalities, and situations feel unreal.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

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