Identity Alteration

DID Research

“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

Effects of Identity Alterations

Identity alteration refers here to alter interactions on a basic level. Identity alteration describes how alters manifest and interact with the outside world. Two of the main manifestations of identity alteration are switching and passive influence. Switching completely changes the presenting identity while passive influence allows alters to influence presentation from the background.  Switching can lead to  time loss and black outs, though coconsciousness can prevent these effects while introducing a new dimension of identity alteration by allowing multiple alters to be present and to present their own unique self views at once. Splitting refers to the creation of a new alter and so involves the accommodation of a completely new identity and sense of self.

For more information, see:

Switching and Passive Influence

Time Loss, Black Outs, and Co-consciousness


Image transcript: "Our system can't always share memories, so we end up cast in the role of 'the ditzy friend.' It gets wearing sometimes. We wish more people could see us for the people we are, not the one flakey person we pretend to be to hide all the gaps and slips." The text is attributed to an anonymous DID/OSDD-1 system.

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This page was last updated 12/17/2018.