Psychology 2310A/B Lecture Notes - Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Controversial Diagnosis
DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria
Two or more distinct identities or personality states
oEach has its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to environment, self
Recurrently take control of persons behaviour (not pleasant)
Loss of memory for personal information
Not due to physiological effect of a substance or general medical condition
oIf it is caused by any of these things, it must be short term and healable through other
Associated Features
Often history of severe childhood abuse
Post-traumatic symptoms
High rates of comorbidity – depression, anxiety, borderline personality, suicide, substance abuse,
PTSD, eating disorders
Self-mutilation, suicide attempts, aggression
Destructive relationships
Usually highly hypnotizable, dissociative tendencies
Tends to be chronic and recurrent
More common in women than men (3 – 9 x)
Women tend to have more identities
Typically diagnosed at 29 – 35 years
Average of 6-7 years between first symptom presentation and diagnosis of DID
Common “alters”  the case of Sybil
The Host
The Child
The Avenger
The Protector
The Trauma Repository
The Narcissist
The Helper
History of DID
Extremely rare until 30 years ago
1957 – “Three Faces of Eve”
1970s – “Sybil” - book, film
oDrew media attention to multiple personality
1980’s – dramatic increase in cases
owith more media attention, people could self-diagnose themselves
omedia attention also could have helped people with the disorder to come out and say they
have DID
oclinicians could have been very interested in DID, and therefore diagnose more people
with the disorder
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