Dissociative Identity Disorder - Causes and Risks

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If identified, what was the cause of your dissociative identity disorder? Do any relatives have it?

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What are causes and risk factors of dissociative identity disorder?

While there is no proven specific cause of DID, the prevailing psychological theory about how the condition usually develops is as a reaction to severe childhood trauma. Specifically, it is thought that one way that some individuals respond to being severely traumatized as a young child is to wall off altered states of consciousness, in other words to dissociate, those memories. When that reaction becomes extreme, DID may be the result. As with other mental disorders, having a family member with DID may be a risk factor, in that it indicates a potential vulnerability to developing the disorder but does not translate into the condition being literally hereditary.

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Comment from: Ophelia 027, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 27

I was a caregiver to a young women with dissociative identity disorder (DID), who is now dead. She was a dear friend, and I recognized the disorder in her before she was formally diagnosed. I knew she had been abused and had been hospitalized twice before when younger (10 year old, according to her), as she herself revealed to me. At age 23, she had a six year old son and professed herself a homosexual. I was told her son was a product of incest. I do not think she received good treatment ever. She self-mutilated by burning herself when she was in my life. Seven years later she died in a fire supposedly started by a dropped cigarette in the middle of the night. I will never know whether it was an accident. She is finally at peace.

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Comment from: crissy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

My dissociative identity disorder did not start till I was in a near fatal car wreck in which I suffered a traumatic brain injury. When this happens I am told I always go back to my wreck and I talk about it like it was very recent and I also am told I feel and taste blood and suffer bad headaches after and I never remember these; in fact I lose the whole day.

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