I’m not aware of any particular disorder that would encompass the symptoms you have described. There are possibilities, including dissociative identity disorder (DID) however, I’m not certain if the voices are indicative of separate personalities or signs of an active imagination. The fact that you’ve had these since childhood suggests that they may have been imaginary people, possibly in response to having had experienced trauma. It’s not uncommon for children to have these experiences, especially among those who had experienced trauma. Perhaps you carried these imaginary people with you because they offer psychological protection or comfort. I would need to interview you, at length, to determine their origins or rationale for existing.
The fact that your psychiatrist diagnosed you with anxiety and depression, despite having knowledge of your personalities (assuming you shared that information), might indicate that you don’t have DID and instead an active imagination.
It would be interesting to know what your psychiatrist thinks about your symptoms. As you said, you haven’t seen him in months. You should contact him and ask him directly what he thinks. Even if you can’t see him in-person, he’s likely available via telephone or perhaps the Internet. If you have not told your psychiatrist about your symptoms, you should do so immediately. He needs to be aware of all of your symptoms. The information you share with him is important because it informs decisions about treatment.
The good news is that you are improving. Your anxiety and depression seem to be getting better. It would also suggest that the treatments are working. Still, it’s good to inform him about all your symptoms, in the event that an adjustment is necessary.
You mentioned that you disassociate on occasions. This might be the result of trauma. It may have been something that you have done all of your life without realizing it. Relatedly, disassociation is associated with DID. Relative to other disorders, DID is rare and likely not a diagnosis that would be given to someone under the age of 18.
You might also consider consulting an in-person therapist, in addition to your psychiatrist. That’s the ideal place to assess the origins of your symptoms and to explore their causes. Psychiatrists typically focus on medication whereas therapists focus on the psychological aspects of one’s symptoms. If you do choose to consult a therapist, consider choosing one whose specialty is trauma and/or dissociative disorders.
The most concerning aspect of your symptoms is that sometimes you engage in either self-harm or harm to others, seemingly without your knowledge. These dissociative events are unusual and should be reported to your treating professionals.
In the meantime, you might want to keep a journal about these personalities. It could help to clarify whether or not they are actually personalities or a function of your imagination. Having documentation of these experiences, would also be useful in counseling, should you decide to go, and can be shared with your psychiatrist. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle