Does dissociative identity disorder mean having a double personality?

Expert answer:

Yes, dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder or double personality disorder, is characterized by the presence of two or more identities that control some behavior of the person.

These personalities are independent of each other and in many cases are unaware of the existence of the others.

Some people may have up to 10 personalities or more, being the most common disorder in women. There are also cases in which one particular identity does not recognize the family members of the individual, while another can recognize and show affection for the same.

These people also memory loss recent and older.


Individuals with dissociative identity disorder can not remember their own personal information. The disorder is often associated with serious trauma and constants suffered during the childhood.

The duration, proximity and severity of the traumas suffered during this period are factors directly associated with the development of dissociative disorder.

However, not all people who go through traumatic situations develop dissociative personality disorder.

There are several factors that can contribute to the development or not of the symptoms, such as the different way that each one has to absorb and deal with these traumas.

It is also known that individuals who use drugs and chemical substances or who have suffered sexual abuse are more likely to present dissociative identity disorder.

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder may also include posttraumatic stress, self-mutilation and the diagnosis is difficult.

The psychiatrist is the specialist responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of dissociative identity disorder.

Learn more at:

What is the treatment for dissociative identity disorder?

What are the causes of dissociative identity disorder?