Do you have dissociative identity disorder? How do you know if you have alter personalities? Let’s talk about that now.

Profession's montage

Hi everyone! We are going to be discussing how to tell if you have dissociative identity disorder. As a disclaimer, please be aware that I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose you. Furthermore, don’t use this information to diagnose yourself. Self-diagnosis is a real problem that we will get to later.

Dissociative identity disorder, or DID, is a mental disorder characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states that control the body. In other words, it’s multiple personality disorder and that’s what it is also been called. I have made several videos about DID, including my own experience with it, and ultimate how I overcame it. If you would like to see any of these, I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description to my website where I have a list of all the videos about this topic. [DID Videos]

DID is uncommon, but aspects of it are part of each and every one of us. For those of you who are not familiar with subpersonalities, I’ll fill you in. Subpersonalities are common in all of us, but the severity of dissociation that occurs between them is what differs, making severe dissociation, or dissociative identity disorder, rare. I have a detailed video dedicated just to subpersonalities that may answer most of your questions in this area, so I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description to this video. [Subpersonalities]

The concept of subpersonalities is that each one of us has different parts of our personality. We’ve all said, “A part of me wants this, but another wants this, and I don’t know what I want.” That is a basic example of subpersonalities where one could want you to not eat that piece of cake because you are trying to cut back, yet another wants you to dig in and not worry about it, then you don’t know which one since you feel conflicted. We all have these inner voices and dialogue amongst parts of ourselves.

Who am I

What if dissociation occurs with these subpersonalities? That too is a common part of subpersonalities since dissociation is part of our everyday lives as well. Maybe when we are walking and looking at our cell phone, we lose our focus. We can lose our focus when driving, also known as highway hypnosis. This condition is when we are driving and respond to the events of the road, such as turns and speed, yet have no recollection of doing so. I’ve certainly done this during several roads close to where I live and when I realize, I can get concerned since I think, “I wasn’t paying attention to the road. I could’ve crashed.” We go on autopilot, but that doesn’t mean another personality has taken control of us during these times.

Highway, road, sunset.

However, in regard to dissociation and subpersonalities, we may experience dissociation to some degree when one of our subpersonalities emerges. But, we typically will have memory of them and know who they are. Our internalized parents are another good example of subpersonalities where, perhaps even long after our mother is out of our lives or deceased, we will still hear her talking to us in our mind, which can be problematic if she is still dictating to us what we need to do. So you may not have DID, but could very well be aware of your subpersonalities and experience some dissociation.

Severe dissociation, however, where the individual usually doesn’t remember and has no control, is often considered dissociative identity disorder. In order to have DID, you would need to have at least two separate personality states. For instance, your everyday self that perhaps has anxiety and depression, then all of a sudden you get angry and the next thing you realize is that you destroyed your room in a rage, and haven’t a clue how it happened. This identity that controls you during this moment of rage is described by your family and friends as ‘not you.’ They describe to you that this personality talks different, behave very differently, and even insists that they have a different name. It may not necessarily be this severe for some, but for many individuals with this disorder, they often have on average of five to eight alter personalities.

Another crucial part of having DID is past trauma. DID and alter personality states almost always stem from childhood trauma. Trauma can be anything such as physical, emotional, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, and so on. We each have our own definition of trauma and abuse. The reason this is essential for DID is because a child’s mind will continuously dissociate when faced with chronic and repeated abuse. Furthermore, it’s very common for an alter personality to form of the abuser, where that abuser continuously repeats this abuse again and again to oneself. This indicates that the mind wants to heal, and to heal it has to relive, forgive, and move on. But for many people, this seems like an impossible feat.

What if a person has DID yet no past trauma? While this is unlikely, let’s look at how this could exist. First, it could be that the individual did suffer with some sort of trauma but doesn’t remember it. We tend to forget and block out a lot of past memories, and when they reemerge, they could be false memories which can trick us into believing things that didn’t even happen. Furthermore, perhaps a child felt alone and isolated, so they needed to create imaginary friends, and perhaps even acted them out. They begin to get really good at this to the point that their still developing brain masters this technique of hypnosis. I’ve discussed before about hypnosis being a key element in DID. How it works is that the individual believes and it comes true.

So, this child with imaginary friends believes they are their imaginary friends with all said characteristic that they make. With repeated acting out and dialogue, they learn this skill in the form of dissociation. However, when they age it may become uncontrollable and what was once fun has turned into something very serious where they are losing control and don’t remember what they have done during this dissociative state. They are essentially playing real life imagine friends to the point that they no longer have control of their life. Since trauma is an integral part of DID, what about an alter personality that has PTSD with no actual trauma. This can be due to illusion, imagination, or false memories that don’t exist.

Besides trauma, some may even believe alters form due to mind altering drugs, substances, and medication, false memories suggested by a therapist, government mind control MKUltra, which can incorporate severe trauma and abuse, past life memories, multiple spirits in one body, spirit guides, demons, and/or other spiritual phenomena. These are all acceptable and valid answers to the reason why as each person with this disorder does not have it for the same reasons. You don’t have to believe these types of things exist, but for those that have experienced them first hand know the reality of all these potential alternative causes and the reasons for the existence of this disorder.

Another thing to bring up here is a relationship with being transgender. If you’ve seen my previous video about how to tell if you are transgender, I mentioned that transgender and transsexuality can be both physiological and psychological. It’s not uncommon for trans individuals to have dealt with abuse as a child, and for some individuals, the dissociation of their birth sex, that was abused and traumatized, to be someone else that they feel are happier, is also not uncommon. They transition because that is the only way, and maybe years later, they come out of the dissociative state and realize that they have made a terrible mistake. It can be a dissociative disorder, but that doesn’t mean all cases are the same.

The very last thing I wanted to mention, that many people have mentioned in the comments of my videos, and yet it’s a hesitant topic for many individuals, is a site called Tumblr. I had never heard so many references to this website until people started commenting on my videos accusing me of being on this site. It is a social media site, but with further evaluation, there is a lot of behavior that is very eccentric shall we say. Terms I’ve personally heard that caught my attention in my own comment section were ‘special snowflake,’ ‘headmates,’ and ‘social justice warrior.’ These are just terms, and I had never heard them before people started mentioning them to me. After thorough research, looking at Tumblr and some of the people on it who, and this applies to LGBT issues as well, identify as whatever they want based on a list of nearly a hundred different genders, disorders, and make belief stories and alter personality stories is something that can cause serious harm in some individuals. The action of self-diagnosing and self-labeling can be extremely unhealthy for some individuals.

The reason this can be dangerous, especially for those in their teen years, is because someone may feel alone and they resort to the Internet to find a community they can interact with. They could potentially find a group online who accepts them with open arms and as a so called ‘safe space.’ This individual begins to read posts from others, politically correct terminology, and so on and make a conclusion to say, “That’s me.” What this individual is actually doing at this time is choosing to distance themselves and dissociate from their true existence, which could be an escapism of trauma they have endured or current problems in their life. They don’t want to face the reality of the situation.

safety pin as a symbol of solidarity and human rights

Due to this safe space and their freedom of expression, they can feel they are entitled to their politically correct expressions and terminology. If someone refuses to respect this, no matter how obscure the person identifies as, this person will often suffer from what’s called cognitive dissonance where information presented to them will conflict with their own beliefs which they hold dear to them. They then enter into a state of confirmation bias where information presented to them that they disagree with is a reason to not believe those same things. I have a video dedicated to both those topics and I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description for you to check it out. [Cognitive Dissonance]

As a result, these people, to make up for a lack of confidence and self-esteem, will often completely shut down any opposing views. Their view is the only one that matters, and they expect you to respect it. However, this is not how the world works. If you find yourself in this predicament, the number one thing is to learn to build your self confidence and esteem to the point that you can have a proper debate with those that disagree with you. We all have this problem, but I’ve personally found that those with traumas and have been bullied are most susceptible to this type of behavior because it creates a need to escape from oneself and the negative actions of others, but it can be overcome in time by address the root causes.

If you have DID, you can cure and overcome this. Often it’s the whole point of therapy to get to a place where you are able to function and live in harmony. But, you can go even further and actually overcome this entire disorder simply by addressing the causes of the behavior and being dedicated. Anyone telling you that it’s not possible to cure this or are trying to put you down is only putting doubt in your mind. With doubt, you will not be able to overcome it. By eliminating doubt and learning each and every moment you can, this will be something you overcome in time. These alter personalities exist to help you cope and teach you the skills necessary for you to overcome these obstacles.

So the conclusion here is that while DID and severe dissociation and distinction between alter personality states is uncommon, subpersonalities are part of all of us on a milder scale. If you are struggling with coping with past abuse and your mind has dissociated to protect you from knowing the truth, know that it’s not impossible to overcome this challenge. You don’t have to live in pain and struggle for the rest of your life. People are here to support you and care about you.

If you have any other input on this topic, I would love to hear it so please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you agree or disagree with, and/or how this has helped you or someone close to you. I hope this information was informative and helpful to you. Have a wonderful day!

Additional Info

This was the final of the three videos I recorded all in one day. (Time to record more!) This topic is one of my most viewed and asked about, so I decided to talk about how to tell if you have the disorder. While it is unlikely, we all have various types of personalities within us to some extent. With that being said, I’ve heard from so many people who have this disorder to some degree, and how much I have been able to help them get to a comfortable place. I’m so happy to have been able to do this, and form my own experience, I know it’s possible to overcome any challenge that is presented to the individual.

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April 28, 2019 6:30 PM

Recently found your videos, etc. on this topic. What do you think on the specific subtopic of those clinically diagnosed who don’t wish for integration (or to be cured, for lack of better terminology)? I do not wish to start a debate or anything, I just want to know what your thoughts are on someone who has DID and doesn’t wish for integration is all. Thanks!