The disorder consists of two or more recognizable identities which change personality and appearance. Though there are as many as one hundred separate personalities, there are five different generalized alters (Swartz, 2001). These consist of a depressed personality, a strong and angry protector, a scared and hurt child personality, a helping personality, and finally an internal persecutor personality. Each one of these derives from traumatic childhood memories and allows the victims to act now as they could not act in the time of the traumatic experience. The depressive personality causes one to repress the harmful memories and have mood swings similar to bipolar disorder. This is common as it expresses the sadness they felt at the time but could not show. The strong angry protector is a result of the victim not being able to protect themselves from the disturbing situations endured, it allows them to express their true anger they could not before. The scared, hurt child shows tendencies such as mistrust, anxiety attacks, and substance abuse. It is commonly the most emotionally agonizing as it provokes the authentic memories. It challenges the individual to return to the feelings they felt during the trauma. The helping personality acts as a therapist as it tries to work through the intense emotions in the given context. This personality tries to make sense of the past and present circumstances in order to bring an inner peace by providing answers as to why the trauma may have taken place. The last personality, the internal prosecutor, blames the other personalities for the history of abuse. This personality may only be obtained if the patient is aware they have other personalities. It is often named after the oppressor or offender as it never takes responsibility for its actions.
Living with DID becomes difficult, in order to bring ease to the patient there are many treatment options available, even though there is no found alleviation. Like many psychological disorders, treatment for DID is a long-term commitment. The four most effective treatments are psychotherapy, medications, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and hypnotherapy.
Psychotherapy is a main form of treatment for a patient with dissociative identity disorder. In the past the psychologists attempted to integrate the patient back into one personality. This method failed as it made the patient feel as if the psychologist was trying to “kill” a part of them. When the psychologists decided not to use this method, they developed a new approach. The new main goal in therapy sessions is to guide the patient so that they can make peace with past experiences that may have been catalysts for the disorder. It is also to teach the individual to live with the coexistent personalities.
Medications are often used on patients with DID but are not the most effective method. It is often not recommended to patients as having multiple personalities is unpredictable. Medications may...