Dissociative Identity Disorder?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Since I was young I’ve had major social problems, Insomnia, time lapses of 2 hours or more, out of body experiences and other like minded things. Within the last six years I’ve had four major psychotic episodes witnessed by friends that stated I was not “me” I referred to myself in third person and called myself different names. It became clear that this was very possibly DID and some friends from the local hospital tried to get me aid to see someone on this, but to no avail. I’m looking for some sort of answer and what I can do now. This last episode delved me into a darkness of two months that I vaguely remember.

A. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is rare. For a variety of reasons, it’s difficult to diagnose. There are even some clinicians who are not convinced that the disorder is real.

You described having “four major psychotic episodes” witnessed by your friends who observed your “odd” behavior. Psychotic episodes are serious psychological occurrences in which an individual has a break with reality. Perhaps you didn’t mean that you literally had a psychotic break; sometimes people use the term “psychosis” colloquially to mean something different than its clinical definition. If I could speak to you in person, I would want more details about the “major psychotic episodes.”

Some of your symptoms, such as referring to yourself in the third person and calling yourself different names, are not characteristic of DID. In fact, they are not symptoms of any particular mental health disorder. Blackouts, lapses in memory, and so forth are potentially indicative of DID but only an in-depth psychiatric evaluation, with a mental health professional, could clarify a diagnosis.

If you have not done so already, you should undergo both a mental health and medical evaluation. A medical evaluation is important to rule out physical health causes. You may also want to consider having a sleep study. A sleep study could determine whether or not you have a sleep disorder, which may be contributing to your symptoms. A mental health evaluation could determine if you have DID, or any other mental health disorder. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Dissociative Identity Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/02/04/dissociative-identity-disorder/

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