See PODS and First Person Plural for more information on DID.
Do I have multiple personalities?
Dissociative identity disorder is still sometimes called multiple personality disorder (MPD). This is because many people experience the changes in parts of their identity as completely separate personalities in one body. In fact the parts of your identity are all part of one personality but they are not joined up or working together as a whole.
Dissociative identity disorder is not a personality disorder. It is the result of a natural way of coping with sustained childhood trauma. Our information on causes of dissociative disorders has more info.
Other dissociative disorders
There are a number of other dissociative disorders. The diagnosis you are given will depend on the symptoms you experience most and how these affect your life.
These are the main symptoms or characteristics of each disorder:
|If you have...
|depersonalisation or derealisation disorder
||experience regular depersonalisation or derealisation
||be unable to remember important information about who you are, your life history or specific events
|dissociative amnesia with fugue
||experience a state of mind where you forget everything about who you are (a fugue). In the fugue you may travel to a new location and act like a different person in a different life.
|other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD)
||have dissociative symptoms that don't fit into any other diagnosis. The person making your diagnosis will explain why your symptoms don't fit into any other diagnosis.
|unspecified dissociative disorder (UDD)
||have dissociative symptoms that don't fit into any other diagnosis but the person making your diagnosis hasn't explained why not or doesn't have enough information to make a full diagnosis (for example in an emergency)
Other mental health problems
Many people with dissociative disorders have other mental health problems too. These can include:
They may be associated with dissociation or they could be a separate problem.
This information was published in July 2016. We will revise it in 2019.