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Dissociative identity disorder: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Dissociative identity disorder: what é, symptoms and treatment
Dissociative identity disorder: what é, symptoms and treatment

Dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder, is a mental disorder in which a person behaves as if they are two or more different people, who vary in relation to their thoughts, memories, feelings or actions.

This psychological imbalance causes changes in self-perception, loss of control over behavior and memory disorders, which may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as a feeling of being lost, sudden changes in attitudes and opinions or a feeling of that the body does not belong to you.

The treatment of this disorder is guided by the psychiatrist, and should be done with psychotherapy and, if necessary, the use of medication to relieve anxiety or depressive symptoms and, although there is no cure, it can allow a more harmonious association between personalities and a better balance of behavior.

Main symptoms

Symptoms of multiple personality disorder include:

  • Absence of a unique identity, that is, there are two or more personalities with characteristics, ways of thinking and acting that are their own;
  • Lack of identification with one's own body or the feeling that it belongs to someone else;
  • Constant changes in behavior, attitudes and opinions;
  • Memory failures about past events;
  • Memory lapses for everyday situations, such as forgetting to use the phone, for example;
  • Feeling that the world is not real;
  • Sensation of being separated from the body;
  • Hearing voices or having other types of hallucinations, such as visual or sensory.

Symptoms cause suffering for the affected person, in addition to impairment in social, professional or other important areas of life.In addition, it is possible that the symptoms are associated with other syndromes, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drug abuse, self-harm or suicidal behavior, for example.

Possible causes

Dissociative identity disorder is caused by a number of factors, which can affect anyone, however, this syndrome is more likely to develop in people who have experienced extreme stress or who have experienced major trauma during childhood, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

These childhood traumas can cause changes in the person's ability to form an identity, especially when the abusers are family members or caregivers. However, the risk of developing this disorder decreases if the child feels protected and reassured by caregivers.

How to confirm

The diagnosis of multiple personality disorder syndrome is made by the psychiatrist, through the evaluation of symptoms, and it is also important to exclude the existence of other psychiatric and neurological diseases, or use of substances that may cause these symptoms.

How the treatment is done

Dissociative identity disorder does not have a cure, however, the symptoms can be controlled and alleviated with the treatment indicated by the psychiatrist, with the aim of transforming multiple identities into just one. Thus, psychotherapy and the use of medication, such as anxiolytics and antidepressants, may be indicated in order to relieve symptoms.

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