Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment

(Also Known As: DID Treatment, Personality Disorder Treatment, Multiple Personalities Treatment, Identity Disorder Treatment)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How Is Dissociative Identity Disorder Treated?

Treatment for dissociative identity disorder is designed to integrate multiple personalities into a single identity. However, this method is not always possible. In this case, treatment approaches aim to establish a working relationship among the various identities in order to make the individual function normally. 3

Using drug therapy in treating identity disorder is effective in curing anxiety and depression, but does not heal DID itself.

Oftentimes, psychotherapy can be a tedious and emotionally draining procedure. The patient may encounter emotional conflicts from the response of the multiple personalities and from the pain that may arise as soon as the traumatic experiences are recalled during the session. In general, a session or two of psychotherapy per week for three to six years might be necessary.

The main form of treatment used in dissociative identity disorder is psychotherapy with hypnosis. The objective is to create a single unified personality. The therapist aims to get in touch with the various alters and attempt to develop an understanding of their roles and functions in the life of the patient. 4

Likewise, the therapist tries to establish a connection between personalities that exhibit violent or self-destructive impulses. Aside from that, they would also try to uncover past traumatic experiences. The usual method is outpatient, but confinement can be recommended to attain a certain goal. Using behavior analysis in treating dissociative identity disorder is not recommended.

Due to its ability to facilitate retrieval of loss memory, hypnotherapy and non-verbal therapy are commonly used in the treatment of dissociative identity disorder. It can increase communication among each personality as well as between the identities and the therapist.

Non-verbal approaches like art and play therapy have likewise been effective in treating DID. Art therapy is a much more independent expression of thoughts and feelings than the verbal method.

Prognosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder does not resolve by itself. Depending on their symptoms, patients with DID can be divided into several groups:

  1. Patients whose symptoms resemble dissociative and posttraumatic disorders do well and totally recover after treatment.
  2. Patients, whose main symptoms is related to other disorders such as personality disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse recover slowly and the treatment may prove ineffective or longer and is laden with problems.
  3. Patients who not only suffer from severe symptoms but also with deep emotional attachment to their abusers are a challenge to doctors and therapists. They will require longer treatments and the aim is to regulate the symptoms more than integrate the multiple personalities. 5

Could You Have Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative Identity Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Borderline Personality Disorder – Personality Disorder, Mood Changes, Dissociation, Splitting Personality
Depersonalization Disorder – Recurrent De-Realization, Feeling of Disconnection from the Body and Mind, Out of the Body Experience
Dissociative Amnesia – Functional Amnesia, Abnormal Memory Functioning Without Brain Damage, Retrograde Amnesia
Schizophrenia – Mental Disorder, Paranoia, Hallucination, Delusion, Disorganized Speech and Thinking
Somatization Disorder – Hysteria, Variable Physical Symptoms with no Identifiable Physical Origins