Is dissociative identity disorder multiple mental illnesses in one mind?

No. DID is one mental illness in one mind. There are not separate personalities in my head nor are there separate people. My alters are different aspects of myself.

You have different aspects of yourself too. Think of how you act when you are with your friends on Friday night as compared to how you behave with your parents or grandparents. There is a great difference in how you behave at a party then how you behave at work. Those different aspects of you are ego states that you have formed. The difference is you can communicate easily with these different aspects because there are no amnesiac barriers preventing it. In DID these ego states have been separated by amnesiac barriers put up to protect the person from the overwhelming emotions that came from severe and repeated early childhood abuse.

There is one mind and one disorder which looks on the surface to someone not in the now like there is one mind with several different disorders.


Cluster B personalities are very good manipulator of reality.

If you are giving an example of someone who has one or more personalities that are operating from a Cluster B personality type, then they are most likely manipulating the therapist.

Narcissists that are intelligent often convince the therapist, lawyers, courts etc that it is actually the victim that is crazy.

In marriage counseling, the narcissist can convince the therapist that they are the victim of abuse, and not the other way around.

Therapists have been played by narcissists and psychopaths for a long time.

So if someone with multiple personalities were to have personality disorders , then they could design the way they are diagnised, by how they act in therapy.

As a side note...Are you sure the people you are talking about have multiple personality disorder ?

Psychopaths are chameleons. They can switch personalities to suit the situation they are in. They can appear to have multi-personality disorder, when they are actually just manipulating you.


That's an interesting question. I agree that someone with DID can have several mental health issues (depression, anxiety, etc.), and they can either affect the "host" of the system or any one of the alters. For example, I have a severely depressed child alter named Suicidal Annie. As you can imagine, her main mental health problem is depression. It's very obvious when she is "out".

As to the cause for misdiagnosis, I think your suggestion is right on target. Some people with DID can also have alters who are Borderline, Bipolar, etc, hence, confusing the diagnostic process.


DID is one disorder. However that does not mean that the person with it may not have other mental illnesses. It is possible for an "alter" to have a mental disorder that a "host" does not. DID can be misdiagnosed: DID looks like many disorders and it rare and some out there professionals do not think DID is a real disorder.

Below is a link that contains more specific information:

Why Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is Often Misdiagnosed


Alters can present with different syptoms, but it is still one disorder.

A psychiatrist would not try to diagnose an alter discretely because the symptioms for one alter may not tell the entire story.


Yes. I believe that the separate personalities do in fact have their very own mental health issues as well as physical ailments just as they have individual attractions, likes and dislikes. As a matter of fact, I also believe the alters can have alters. I know this theory may be scary for some to embrace but the reality is, we still do not know the capabilities of the brain and what it will do to survive.


No, the disorder is one mental illness in one mind. One mind manufactures multiple identities as a defense against overwhelming thoughts, usually brought on by trauma in childhood.


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