Dissociative disorders – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Maybe you’ve had the experience of driving
on “autopilot.” One minute you got in your car, and the next
minute you’ve arrived at your destination, but you can’t actually remember the details
of the drive. This is an example of normal, everyday dissociation,
a term that describes a mental state of disconnection from what is going around you. Normally this day-dreamy state doesn’t last
very long, and most people can snap out of it if something or someone requires their
attention. But for some people, dissociation is more
pervasive, and can’t be turned off so easily. In fact, the feeling of disconnection may
become so intense and happen so often that it stops a person from functioning in their
daily life. When this is the case, we say the person has
a dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorders are a group disorders
that cause an impaired awareness of your own actions, thoughts, physical sensations, and
even identity, which is a sense of who you are. Dissociative disorders tend to stem usually
stem from trauma, usually early childhood abuse or neglect, and are thought to be a
way of adapting to negative feelings and experiences. Dissociative disorders are divided into three
main types: depersonalization/derealization disorder, dissociative amnesia, and dissociative
identity disorder. Each of these disorders fall along a spectrum
of severity, with depersonalization/derealization disorder being the least severe of the dissociative
disorders, dissociative amnesia falling somewhere in the middle, and dissociative identity disorder
being the most severe. Typically, individuals with more severe dissociative
disorders may have elements of less severe ones as well. With depersonalization/derealization disorder,
depersonalization refers to a feeling of detachment from oneself, your own person, while derealization
refers to a feeling that that the world around you is not fully real. Those with the disorder often feel as if they
are watching themselves from the outside, maybe watching a movie about their life. They might feel emotionally or physically
numb, or have a weak sense of self. Individuals with depersonalization/derealization
disorder might speak in a deadpan manner, with little emotion, and have trouble forming
relationships. In severe cases, a person may have trouble
recognizing familiar places, people, or objects, and this can make it had to learn tasks. Other symptoms include an altered sense of
time, where things seem to move too fast or slow, brain fog or light-headedness, and being
prone to rumination and anxiety. Dissociative amnesia is when a person blocks
out or forgets important personal information that most people would remember for a lifetime,
like where they lived as a child, or what their mother looked like. Dissociative amnesia can be divided into four
types: localized, generalized, systematized, and continuous. Most people with dissociative amnesia have
localized amnesia, meaning they have trouble recalling a traumatic event. Sometimes the memory loss is broader, and
includes months or years surrounding the event. Generalized amnesia is where a person can’t
remember any of their past, even the non-traumatic parts. The onset of generalized amnesia can be sudden,
stress-induced, and may be accompanied by a dissociative fugue, meaning a temporary
period of disorientation and wandering or travel. In a fugue state, a person may be confused
about who they are, or they may believe they are someone else. They may also temporarily lose deeply-ingrained
skills. For example, a computer engineer might forget
how to use a laptop. In systematized amnesia, a person only forgets
a category of information which is in some way associated with a trauma, like forgetting
everything about a certain person, or a specific location, even if it was a significant part
of their life. And finally, continuous amnesia happens when
a person forgets each new event after it happens, and retains nothing but the present moment–
a bit like the fish Dora in movie Finding Nemo. And continuous amnesia doesn’t always relate
back to psychological trauma. The third type of dissociative disorder is
dissociative identity disorder, which used to be called multiple personality disorder. Dissociative identity disorder can be broken
down into two types: covert dissociative identity disorder, and overt dissociative identity
disorder. By far the most common type, covert dissociative
identity disorder occurs when a person experiences sudden and dramatic shifts in the way they
perceive, think, or feel, as if they have taken on characteristics of a different person
or people. Some people with covert may hear that person’s
voice, and feel that it is speaking to them. Those with covert dissociative identity disorder
are usually aware that their experience is unusual, and may feel disoriented and powerless
to understand their moods and behavior. On the other hand, those with overt dissociative
identity disorder outright assume two or more distinct identities, sometimes called personalities,
or alters. The identities are distinct because they tend
to talk and act differently than the original person. They may have opposing tastes or political
views, be different ages, genders, or nationalities. These alternate identities completely take
a person’s body and mind, suppressing all other identities temporarily. Those with overt dissociative identity disorder
are not aware that this is happening, and may report forgetting whole portions of their
day. They may find groceries they can’t recall
buying, or discover injuries to their body that they can’t recall getting, and it’s
not unusual for some people to have a period of fugue, and suddenly find themselves in
a different town or city. Having overt dissociative identity disorder
can potentially endanger the person, especially if one identity engages in self-mutilation
or risky behavior. The prevalence of suicide among those with
the condition is very high, with almost three quarters attempting suicide at least once
in their life. Diagnosing dissociative disorders can be tricky,
and some of the symptoms can be seen in substance intoxication, especially of hallucinogens
like LSD, and dissociative drugs like PCP and Ketamine. Other causes include seizures, brain trauma,
as well as chronic conditions like dementia. Psychiatric conditions like an anxiety disorder
can cause an impaired sense of identity, time, and sensation, especially during a panic attack,
but these symptoms usually last minutes to hours. With dissociative disorders, the symptoms
can persist for years. Finally, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
can also cause dramatic mood swings mimicking dissociative identity disorder, but while
these depressive or euphoric moods can last for at least a week, the change in personality
in dissociative identity disorder only last for minutes to hours each time. Treatment for dissociative disorders typically
involves psychotherapy so people can process their trauma safely. In the case of dissociative identity disorder,
the goal of therapy is to facilitate fusion of identities, where a person’s personality
states are integrated and the person feels more whole. All right, as a quick recap, dissociative
disorders often develop in as an attempt to adapt to severe or prolonged trauma. Falling on the least severe end of the spectrum,
depersonalization/ derealization disorder is due to a disruption in the normal perception
of events. Falling in the middle of the spectrum, dissociative
amnesia is due to a disruption in memory. Falling on the most severe end of the spectrum,
dissociative identity disorder is due to a problem with having a single, complete identity.


  1. Some information was incorrect and may cause some assumptions yet a lot of it was helpful. I’m super tired and not all here atm or I would explain what I mean better lol

  2. I always find in Osmosis videos, especially the ones on mental disorders, that very little time is dedicated to explaining treatments and how they work, and in many cases, you omit many treatments, like in this case, where pharmacotherapy was not mentioned at all.

  3. Subscribed for the high level of detail and good voiceover. Share the proper youtube content not the trendy or and drama

  4. Thanks for this informative video! I have all of these symptoms. It's as if I'm paralyzed and can barely function!

  5. so happy I found this video, I was never sure how to describe to people what I experience but this is perfect, I can get help now

  6. I remember trying to explain to doctors many, many times about feeling like I was living in a movie, or the sudden realization that I am here, in my body, like watching a movie from the inside out. They all treated me like I was nuts and said I just had anxiety. FF 2 years later when I was diagnosed with PTSD and dissociative disorder. I cried when someone finally said she thought she knew what was going on and started asking me all questions no one asked me before and it was to the T what I was experiencing. Did some therapy with her and it helped immensely. Unfortunately she left that clinic and no other dr has been able to understand.

  7. In my search for how EMDR therapy works, I was caught off guard by a simple statement. That statement was "If you have had or have dissociation disorder, it must be dealt with before continuing with EMDR treatment. Your video has helped me understand and relate it's content "in a generalized fashion" for me to better define and understand myself and needs. Thank you.

  8. 7:50 this is clearly wrong.
    sorry to disappoint you, but I have heard from many people with DID that while this may be the goal of therapy, it's not helpful to always try to integrate personalities.

  9. To my understanding, the current therapy and “resolution” of D.I.D. No longer includes “integration” therapy but teaching the alters to work together and to communicate more effectively so the person with D.I.D. Is able to know what one alter is doing at any given time so that they are more aware of their surroundings and environmental changes and dangers. The current expectation is that the person will have D.I.D. And alters for the rest of their lives. But this is what I understand from talking to a therapist and watching videos in the subject on YouTube. I have a family member with D.I.D.

  10. Also, as a former youth pastor, I can say that many denominations of churches (I am Christian) no longer consider this as a demon possession or even demon oppression but as a psychological condition like depression or amnesia. Something God can fix and we can pray about but will probably still need psychotherapy and possible medical help.

  11. This is by far the best video I've seen on DID. I'm glad I watched it. I was misdiagnosed when I was a teen back in the stone ages before the internet was as popular as it is now. We didn't have Google and YouTube back then. So I was given the wrong meds. My suggestion is that everyone should do their homework because doctors these days are just too busy (due to Health Ins Companies) to give thorough proper care as they did in the past. Thanks for posting this very informative video.

  12. Great quality content, useful information, clear graphic.. Really well done!
    Bless you guys to help to understand to tackle any stigma!!!

  13. I have overt dissociative identity disorder and this video was really great for me to show to friends and family to help explain it to them! Thanks for making this video!

  14. I have DID. Clary, Serene (me), Sarah, and another unknown person. Each of us have different physical strength and health. For example I cannot drink milk because I’m lactose intolerant but the other people can. We are sisters and often help each other. I’m so sick and tired people think of us in a negative way.

  15. I think my girlfriend has generalized dissociative amnesia or covert dissociative identity disorder, blacks out and rants about how much she hates me and how she wants to kill herself then in the morning she doesn’t remember and is so grateful for me saying how perfect I am

  16. Omg thanks mine has gotten severe but the symptoms have appeared a few days ago im not sure why. my brain must have suffered for Too long been dealing with autism symptoms ever since i was born? And bipolar 1 i recently realized i may have. I switchu between me gina kitty and trauma

  17. I dont really know I'd I got this or not but recently at work it has been so stressful that I become mute and I can hear everyone around me but I'm in my own head If that makes since… does that soun like dissociative disorder to you?

  18. I need help im 100% sure their are 7 people in my head that are all me and the closest thing i can say to explain it is imagine in an alternate universe their was another you that had all the same experiences but acted and thought different its like that but im all at once i can become anyone i want and doing so helps me in some situations also i can have conversations with them/me like angles and devils on ones shoulder in cartoons actually this makes me always look at all sides of everything and I think very rationally in fact it's made me not care about what others think in a good way and changing helps me in social situations so i really like it i just really want to know what it is and i can't find anything

  19. How is person with DID alternate personalities decided? Is it like a random thing or are there certain things that influence them?

  20. Shit 😒people cause all these diagnoses 🤔why ask for help from people who cause it 🤦‍♂️ carzy unnecessary world we live in

  21. Hello I live with dissociated identity disorder when the older term split personality disorder I've lived with it since I was small they've tried to help me but it really doesn't really work too well and it kind of sucks not being able to remember most parts of my life because of it I got to give it to you and you have a pretty down so good job money research thanks for speaking out about people like us

  22. I’ve been trying to figure myself out for 20+ years. Never knew how to explain it. Never felt right telling anyone. Never thought that all the puzzle pieces were to the same picture. When I finally stumbled upon this video, I never became so still, literally taking my breath away, time stopping, mind focused, but most of all, eyes watering as tears ran down my face. This video isn’t just a great collaboration of information for people to cope with or students to learn from. This video gave me all the answers I’ve been searching for my entire life, and even better, knowing what it all is means I can now finally find ways to help myself instead of losing my mind in the abyss. Thank you so much for making this video, so so much ❤️❤️❤️

  23. I found this to be quite helpful actually. Currently, I feel that i'm going through the same issues and have been to several neurologists to try and find a diagnosis but, this seems to be above their awareness. Even the states "leading neurologist" Makes me very frustrated…This is causing me to have seizures and do things that "I" normally wouldn't think of doing and my dr's just seem to get freaked out by me instead of trying to help despite my constant begging! Please help!!!!!

  24. I had a dream where I had overt dissociative identity disorder and I'm actually suprised I guessed the right disorder to match my symptoms in my sleep

  25. I kept zoning out one time while texting. During that the place around me changed Into different settings like work and hallucinated me on top of a warehouse with my legs dangling off a tall storage thing. Every time I zoned out I came back to someone calling my name constantly. Basically day dreaming to calm me down

  26. A dissasociative disorder is necessary for mind control, or the monarch project. Usually caused by trauma, or can even be temporarily caused by acid. I just learned how many of our youth suffer with this. This is on my research list.

  27. fascinating ans enjoyable/?!!! psychiatrists love their job….so intriguing listening to peoples fascinating stories, and gettting paid for it

  28. so you get diagnosed……. then judged ,labeled, hospitalized, drugged, humiliated, ect, lobotomy, humliated, stripped of your rights., restrained, put in an isolation unit, jailed,shamed, tormented, disowned, trialled, naked.

  29. Ive been suffering with this for over 4 years almost everyday of my life & i wouldn’t wish this on anybody.

  30. I was out for a month or 2 I don’t remember my brothers birthday but I don’t think I have this problem because I love my family and I was never abused but I forget chunks of of the years idk why tho

  31. I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic attacks and depression. I actually get symptoms of depersonalization/derealization because of my diagnosis, even though I haven't been diagnosed with either of those conditions. I have gone through periods of time where I don't recognize my reflection or words that I write/type. I will miss huge chunks of time for no reason, feel like I'm watching the world from a third person pov, and sometimes even snap my fingers or flick myself to try and see if I'm dreaming. Thankfully, these symptoms are much less prevalent now that I am on anxiety meds.

  32. As a person with C/PTSD I dissociate a lot and I 2 system friends with D.I.D as well it's harder than you think

  33. Nope i dont have any of this but im a supporter of D.I.D

    But i have a

    (Secret) sorry i dont want to tell you cus none knows this even mah parents

  34. I have trouble recalling any events around my trauma, sometimes i have flashes of memories but they’re never a 1st person view. I see myself do stuff but its never rlly me doing it since im not in my body. Like a movie. I sometimes look at my hands and forget that they’re mine like my brain is actually just a soul looked in a body. Do i have this? I have moments when i black out and know how i got here but dont know what i talked about or what i did on my way. The only key thing i have that is different is that i dont have moments where i zone out and feel out of my body, what i do have is that i sometimes imagine myself in a situation but it feels so real i dont see the real world, i only see what im imagining. For example: i jump off a cliff, as soon as i hit the ground i jerk up even tho im awake and here. So its basically me dreaming but when im awake. Im so confused

  35. For everyone who’s confused- hello! My name’s Primrose! I’m the primary protector of the Peony System! We have DID and we’re not demons. We actually do have one angel alter, a couple fairies, and one- bat- thing? But she’s five years old and is a trauma holder, and has bat wings because she related to a vampire in a children’s book. None of us have gone through “satanic / occult” abuse. It’s actually the opposite. We were abused by students and teachers of a Christian school, from grade 3, to grade 8, when we graduated.
    We are currently all knowledgeable, practicing Christians except for two of us that experienced the worst of the abuse and therefore want nothing to do with the doctrines that we’re forced on us. We are currently struggling to go to school because our host (the one who identifies with the body and birth name) has extreme anxiety, and it effects all of us.
    We are not demons. Our disorder was formed from abuse by CHRISTIANS. And we’re not even that severe of a case.
    Oh and also, DID isn’t even USUALLY caused by ritual/satanic/occult abuse. It’s usually caused by the families of young children. The stats mirror those of the child abuse stats.
    The End (our Instagram is the_peony_system if you have any questions)

  36. Can someone relate to my problems? I would be really happy for an answer. I "got" this disorder by my doctor but I am not sure if its right. I get attacks when im awake and when i am sleeping. I usually thinking negative thoughts about myself or people that I care about. If im in school getting theese attacks I can think that people are watching me and thinks that I am weird. My heart is raising and I can not see clear. I usually get paralyzed because that is the easiest way to stop it. If I am moving my hands it feel unatrual. Really hard to explain. It is all over in 10 seconds and after the attack I get happy and can easily talk again (even though i am a quite and shy person). I get around 10-15 attacks per day and it is really frustating. I also feel when the attacks are coming and trying to avoide them by not doing things that I wanna do. They are always on my mind.

    While writing this I am thinking "Why would anybody care about my issues, I am just a loser" and if I get an attack now I will probably have theese thoughts. I dont have any friends and living a lonely life if that would matter, no job either.

  37. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia but now with DID and I don’t believe I have DID but I think I know what DID feels like.
    My hallucinations have mostly gone except for a single voice who is like any imaginary friend.
    He praises me, insults me, tells me what to do and offers both good and bad advice. Lucky I’m on medication and high functioning so it’s become more of a daily experience then a full time mental disorder.
    I remember 2 years ago I could barely get out of bed and now I have a job and I’m planning of moving out.
    Anyway… my hallucination follows me around and talks to me at random. I don’t see him but I know what he looks like and I know who he is, I see him in the corner of my eye or in my house even if I don’t see him with my eyes.
    My hallucination is pushing me to become more like him to the point that he requests me to get surgery so I can look like him. I feel like he’s trying to live his life threw mine or if he’s just trying to help me.
    I experience delusions (though far less then before) and I believe that we are the same person and I sometimes think he is controlling what I do.
    I don’t what DID is but I think I catch the grasp of the concept.

  38. This video literally made me cry. I thought I was crazy because I have often felt like I was an outsider who was watching my life on a video. I would also sit in front of the mirror and not recognize the person in the mirror was me.

  39. Me: Somewhat nice but sarcastic Me: Wants to murder everybody and has no emotion Me: Cool and awesome with no limits Me: Likes to adventure Me: super lazy with and takes the easy route Me: pacifist with no evil intents (the mains)

  40. I always wondered why I sometimes I have periods of time where I'm like looking at everything as it's them or me that's not real or sometimes I'll see myself but it's like when a movie tries to show the screen in 1st person view that's how I feel like if I'm just doing things through this body that doesn't seem real

  41. A both good and bad news is that I came to terms with my alters but some of them are just outright psychopaths boy isn't it a hard time keeping them locked in

  42. Big difference between the brain and the soul expressing itself through it, the soul is not an identity. Think of it as a pianist, if the piano (the brain) is broken then the song he wants to express will be out of tune.
    So please guys, let us not say it’s the devil just because we don’t understand the way God has made our souls and bodies connect. 😊🙏

  43. I just found out that my father has this disorder I though he was hating me, poor dad never though of how bad his childhood was.

  44. So, I’m your opinion do I have any of these. I’ve never felt an ability to connect to things in the real world or how it works. I also forget most locational things and always feel like things are hazy. I’ve never been able to really connect with non fictional friends things or people. I also hear a voice in my head that only shows up when I’m at school. When I go to school I change from what I think is social anxiety to a different person but I hear the normal me talking in my head. But I still feel a sense that that was also me. Also sometimes I do have injuries or conversations I can’t remember but then I just have bad memory about real world things anyways.
    So what do you guys think?

  45. Overt DID is demonic obsession and I Live in the United States but am in the deliverance ministry GOD appointed not man appointed! Anyway those things will GO if cast out, I had this same problem in my life from truama early in child hood! I went to school for Psychology however I have seen that this is a spiritual matter and thus the only way to deal with it. Many times medications are path ways for demonic activity, even prescribed drugs and especially drunkenness on alcohol HUGE doorway!

  46. I clicked this to see if I have any symptoms of DID and nope, I do not. I have symptoms of what I was already diagnosed with, General Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, and those are giving me dissociative symptoms (and probably memory loss to boot). I've always had identity problems, but not on this level. I think those are also related to anxiety and being transgender. When you're trans and don't know it, identity issues and dissociation are probably going to come with the territory (because you get sooo much anxiety and if you're like me as I was pre-hrt, you're asking yourself constantly, "WHO AM I?!"), so you're going to get to know them pretty well before you start figuring things out. I've transitioned and I still get anxiety related to it from time to time. I was wondering, if it's possible, if at any point in time I've checked out, another person took over. I think, if I did, my friends/parents would have told me. So, DID, no, but dissociative symptoms exasperated by depression/anxiety, yes. I always low key think professional psychologists watch these videos (I do just out of interest), so I'm always leaving details about trans-life and mentality as I experience them, and watch others experience them, just so they can see it and take notes like, "Hmmmm, yes, good, will put this in my paper, so medical professionals who give a damn are aware. Yes. Good. Indeed!"

  47. My therapist brought up the idea of this for me. I think I have five personalities in a sense and I’m watching myself. My trauma was just later in life than expected

  48. Fusion is no longer the goal treatment for DID. Collaboration among alters is the goal. Since its the way the mind copes with traumas it can and will develop more alters with future trauma. Which is why collaboration is important. Sometimes two existing alters can bond or intergrate inside the system but, thats another video.

  49. I have dissociative amnesia. There's a lot of my childhood i can't remember because of abuse. Whenever something traumatic happens to me I won't be able to remember it the next day.

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