“As an undergraduate student in psychology, I was taught that multiple personalities were a very rare and bizarre disorder. That is all that I was taught on ... It soon became apparent that what I had been taught was simply not true. Not only was I meeting people with multiplicity; these individuals entering my life were normal human beings with much to offer. They were simply people who had endured more than their share of pain in this life and were struggling to make sense of it.”
― Deborah Bray Haddock, The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook
There are many functions and roles which are common for alters across the systems of individuals with dissociative identity disorder (DID) or other specified dissociative disorder, subtype 1 (OSDD-1). The most frequently reported major categories of alter functions are described below.
It is important to remember that different systems have different needs, and systems may or may not have one or more alters for each of the above jobs. In smaller systems particularly, alters might hold multiple roles, some of which may even at first seem contradictory. For example, an alter might be persecutory to the system yet strive to protect it from outsiders. Other alters might hold roles that are specific to the system and would be difficult to define or generalize. Alters may hold unexpected roles, such as a child part handling finances or presenting in a persecutory manner. While fragments may be defined by their roles, other parts may be able to act in more complex and less reactive ways. The most well developed alters may be able to handle a wide variety of roles if this becomes necessary for the system's continued functioning. Finally, it should be remembered that an alter's roles can change over time.
All content on this website is provided for the purpose of general information only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a licensed professional before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about potential mental health conditions.
This website was last updated 6/10/2023.
This page was last updated 11/12/2021.