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Diagnosing Dissociative Identity Disorder


This research paper aims to investigate Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), focusing on its central concepts and the diagnosis stage. The trauma-induced condition includes personality dissociation, memory and consciousness issues, as well as behavior oriented against the root of the patient’s trauma. Management of the symptoms requires regular therapy sessions with a professional. Since the symptoms are similar to those of other psychological disorders, research has been conducted in the past decade to develop an accurate system of DID diagnosis. The most reliable methodology remains based on neuroanatomical comparisons between healthy experimental groups and DID patients. Alternative necessary diagnostic procedures include interviews and sessions with a qualified therapist. Previous misdiagnoses and misconceptions led to the negative representation of the people with the condition; it is essential to gradually limit the stigmatized perception around DID.

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Dissociative Identity Disorder

Psychological disorders have been affecting people worldwide for centuries, yet only now are serious research and diagnostic measures being taken to investigate the issue. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is an example of a psychological disorder that has been highly stigmatized in the past, with few people understanding the diagnosis and how it affects the people diagnosed. Therefore, the disorder must be further investigated to highlight its central concepts and minimize its stigma.

Central Concepts

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a condition that generally results from a traumatic event as a stress response. The trauma experienced negatively affects the development of an individual’s personality (Trifu, 2019). Consequently, a person undergoes dissociation, as one ego divides into partial selves (Trifu, 2019). Since the dissociation occurs in response to trauma, the alternate personalities can serve multiple purposes, such as victims and protectors. Furthermore, the therapist working with a DID patient must not attempt to extract personal information when it is causing evident patient discomfort, primarily since the truth is closely related to fantasized memories (Trifu, 2019). The condition leads to severe memory and identity loss or inability, issues with consciousness (Trifu, 2019). Hence, DID severely impacts a person’s life, urging researchers to develop an accurate method of diagnosis.


Dissociative Identity Disorder remained ambiguous for many years in psychology, with patients often being misdiagnosed and consequently mistreated for their disorder. The trauma associated with the disorder often leads to confusion in the process of setting a diagnosis since similar trauma responses can be noted in other conditions (Bailey & Brown, 2020). For example, dissociative PTSD includes similar symptoms of depersonalization, amnesia, identity confusion, and alteration (Bailey & Brown, 2020). This explains why even experienced psychiatrists can find it extremely difficult to diagnose a patient without biological research methods accurately.


The process of diagnosing an individual that showcases some of the symptoms can be difficult and inconsistent. Therefore, extensive research has been dedicated to an accurate methodology that would provide credible diagnosis data. A study by Reinders et al. (2018) investigated the role of neuroanatomical structures in identifying individuals with DID. To reach the study’s aim, the researchers gathered a sample of individuals with DID and healthy participants, the control group (Reinders et al., 2018). From the participants with DID, official diagnoses were previously made by psychiatrists in private sessions (Reinders et al., 2018). It was essential to provide substantial evidence prior to the study to confirm the researcher’s sampling accuracy. Magnetic resonance imaging was then incorporated into the procedure to scan both DID patients and the control group in short periods of time (Reinders et al., 2018). The results demonstrated a key difference in the neural structure between the two research groups, as several gyrus morphological elements remained in lower levels for DID patients (Reinders et al., 2018). The study revealed an accurate biological method of identifying abnormal neuroanatomical structures, which could signify a DID diagnosis.


The paper highlighted the main symptoms and reasons behind the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Due to the similarities to other psychological disorders, a possible DID patient must undergo an MRI or another type of brain scanning to receive accurate results. Of course, interview sessions with a therapist constitute a mandatory diagnosis and treatment plan section. Finally, correct media representation is critical for people struggling with stigmatized perceptions about their condition, including possible discrimination and other forms of mistreatment. Future research should focus on more accessible methods of DID management and diagnosis for broader populations.


Bailey, T. D., & Brown, L. S. (2020). Complex trauma: Missed and misdiagnosis in forensic evaluations. Psychological Injury and Law, 13, 109-123. Web.

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Reinders, A., Marquand, A., Schlumpf, Y., Chalavi, S., Vissia, E., Nijenhuis, E.,Veltman, D. (2018). Aiding the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder: Pattern recognition study of brain biomarkers. British Journal of Psychiatry, 215 (3), 536-544. Web.

Trifu, S. (2019). Dissociative Identity Disorder. Psychotic functioning and impairment of growing up processes. Journal of Educational Sciences and Psychology, 9 (2), 102-108.

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