Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dissociative identity disorder

Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative identity disorder is a diagnosis described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Revised, as the existence in an individual of two or more distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. At least two of these personalities are considered to routinely take control of the individual's behavior, and there is also some associated memory loss, which is beyond normal forgetfulness. This memory loss is often referred to as "losing time". These symptoms must occur independently of substance abuse, or a general medical condition.
Dissociative identity disorder was initially named multiple personality disorder, and, as referenced above, that name remains in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. Regardless of whether the disorder is termed dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder, it is in no way related to schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder are commonly linked in the minds of lay people, it is a misconception.
While dissociation is a demonstrable psychiatric condition that is tied to several different disorders, specifically those involving early childhood trauma and anxiety, multiple personality remains controversial. Despite the controversy, many mental health institutes such as McLean Hospital, perhaps the best mental health institute in the world, have wards specifically designated for dissociative identity disorder.

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