The Trauma-Stressor and Dissociative Disorders Project

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  • Dissociative identity disorder DID, multiple personality disorder, MPDPrior to the DSM-IV, <ref name=DSMIV/> <ref name=DSM5Deskref/> dissociative identity disorder was known as multiple personality disorder, which was from 1980-1994. The International Classification of Diseases,(ICD) still uses this label, <ref name=ICD10/> even though the ICD-11 is expected to change it. The term is misleading. No one can have more than one personality, nor is the disorder a personality disorder. {{See also| Multiple Personality Disorder}}
  • Other specified dissociative disorder OSDD, DDNOS
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD
  • Complex Posttraumatic stress disorder C-PTSD, Dissociative PTSD

Psychological traumaThe most fundamental effect of trauma is dissociation, so we define trauma as the event(s) that cause dissociation. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|75}} The original trauma in those with dissociative identity disorder was failure of secure attachment with a primary attachment figure in early childhood. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|83}} is the key making up what is known as the dissociative disorders and the trauma-stressor disorders in the DSM-5. Nowhere has information been selected and presented as it is here. The project has pride in offering only the most recent information and facts and theory as presented by the top experts in the field of trauma and dissociation. With that in mind, here are our two main categories: dissociative disorders and the trauma and stressor-related disorders.

Dissociative disorders

The Dissociative Disorders (DD), include dissociative identity disorder (DID) which is better known by the highly inadequate and inappropriate name multiple personality disorder, as well as dissociative amnesia (DA), depersonalization disorder/derealization (DPD), other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD), (formerly dissociative disorder not otherwise specified DDNOS, and other specified dissociative disorders. [1]:155-159

Trauma and Stressor-related disorders

The Trauma and Stressor-related disordersincluded reactive attachment disorder (RADOriginally the only attachment disorder listed in the [[DSM]]. A stressor-related disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder was originally a subtype of RAD.), disinhibited social engagement disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder (ASD), adjustment disorders, other specified trauma and stressor-related disorder and unspecified trauma and stressor-related disorder. [1]:141-153




DSM-5 Category: Dissociative Disorders

The DSM-5, was released May, 2013 and the DSM-5 committees have settled on the following categories:

  • Dissociative identity disorder (DID)
  • Dissociative amnesia (DA), with or without dissociative fuguepsychogenic fugueA temporary loss of personal identity due to trauma, reclassified as dissociative amnesia within the DSM-5. Dissociative amnesia includes dissociative fugue as a subtype, since fugue is a rare disorder that always involves amnesia, but does not always include confused wandering or loss of personality identity. <ref name=DSMIV/> <ref name=DSM5Deskref/> <ref name=Spiegel2013/>Dissociative amnesia (DA) was previously called psychogenic amnesia is a form of temporary amnesia that presents often in traumatic situations; for example in car accidents or victim or witness of a violent crime. Dissociative Amnesia is described in the DSM as a disorder that causes significant distress or impairment in functioning, such as when a person cannot remember significant events that happened to them. <ref> (DF)
  • Depersonalization/derealization disorder
  • Other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD, formerly dissociative disorder not otherwise specified)
  • Unspecified dissociative disorder (UDD)

DSM-5 Category: Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

The Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders are:

Note: Complex posttraumatic stress disorder per say is similar to dissociative-PTSD in the DSM-5. The only exception is that it is not clearly stated that the etiologyThe study of the cause of a disorder or disease. In the case of dissociative identity disorder, early and severe childhood trauma, especially abuse is considered to be the cause. <ref> {{See also| Etiology}} is due to childhood trauma, which is the case when the term complex-PTSD is used. The term compex-PTSD is currently in the draft version of the ICD-11 manual.

Table of contents

  • Abuse: adult
  • Abuse: child
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Amnesia: memory loss and losing time
  • Adjustment disorder and styles
  • Alternate identity Types of altersAltered states of consciousnessExchangeable terms include parts, dissociative parts, personality states, self-states, states, identities, selves, or ego states. Alters are present only in those with dissociative identity disorder or similar presentations of other specified dissociative disorder, where the parts of the personality are highly dissociated and isolated. No alter, including the host alter, is a complete personality, even though an alter might feel as if they are. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55-67}}Alters are psychodynamically interacting parts, each with their own separate centers of subjectivity, identity, autonomy, and sense of personal history. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55}}An individual with dissociative identity disorder may have few or many |alters, which include a variety of ages, cross gender, animal or objects, with coconsciousness (see coconsciousness) at varying degrees, and [[communication]] can be limited to one direction. (one way amnesia) <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|301}}
  • Betrayal trauma theory
  • Books: trauma and dissociation
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Coconsciousness between alters (process of integration)
  • Comorbiddisorder and dissociative identity disorder
  • Conversion disorder physical symptoms
  • Denial of mental disorder
  • Society denial and impact of trauma and child abuse
  • Diagnosis of mental disorders includes DES, MID, SCID-D
  • Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders DSM-5
  • Disinhibited social engagement disorder
  • Dissociation
  • Somatoform disorders and dissociation
  • Dissociative disorders overview
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Eating disorders related to the trauma and dissociative disorders
  • Etiology of dissociative identity disorder
  • Eye movement desensitization and processing (EMDRA valid psychotherapeutic approach, especially for treating trauma. <ref> <ref>)
  • Grounding techniques
  • Category:Healing
  • Historyof dissociative identity disorder
  • Hostwhich is the alter in executive controlThe state that has control of an individual at that moment has executive control, and the dissociated state most often in executive control is commonly called the host. <ref name=Boon2011/>{{Rp|27}} of the self
  • Integration process to unificationAlso known as final fusion. See 'integration'.Integration (state of unification) occurs in the minds of all individuals and is a process rather than an end product. "If integration is impaired, the result is chaos, rigidity, or both. Chaos and rigidity can then be seen as the red flags of blocked integration and impaired development of the mind." <ref name=Siegel2012/>{{Rp|9}} The natural process of the mind is to link differential parts (distinct modes of information processing) into a functional and unified self. No child has unified personality when born, in fact, they need years of sufficient nurturing for the parts of their personality to integrate. <ref name=Siegel2012/>{{Rp|394}} "Integration is more like making a fruit salad than like making a smoothie: It requires that elements retain their individual uniqueness while simultaneously linking to other components of the system. The key is balance of differentiation and linkage." <ref name=Siegel2012/>{{Rp|199}} Integration is the normal process that occurs in early childhood, but if interrupted by trauma, the child may not be able to integrate. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|143}} of the self
  • International classification of diseases (ICD-10)
  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
  • Memory and understanding unprocessed trauma memory
  • Related diagnoses: BPD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia
  • Personality
  • Polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder
  • PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative PTSD
  • Ritual abuse and mind controlMind control programming only exists is specific to other specified dissociative disorder. It is not seen in dissociative identity disorder except under rare cases. Programming is the act of installing internal, pre-established reactions to external stimuli so that a person will automatically react in a predetermined manner to things like an auditory, visual or tactile signal or perform a specific set of action according to a date and/or time. This is achieved through using extreme, usually life-threatening trauma such as torture to create disassociated identities during childhood. <ref name=Miller2012/>{{Rp|viii, 19}} These states are created to be programmed so that the person with otherwise specified dissociative disorder engage in activities chosen by the abusive group (for example, a cult) without any conscious awareness of it and without a conscious choice on behalf of a state, for example activities like sex slavery, murder or spying. {{See also| Ritual_abuse}} This is not possible to do with people with dissociative identity disorder, and thus is the reason for cults creating members with otherwise specified dissociative disorder.
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizure-like movements common in complex dissociative disorders
  • Self harm
  • Structural dissociation of the personality
  • Terminology for trauma and dissociative disorders
  • Therapist
  • Trauma which is psychological
  • Trauma and Stressor-related disorders
  • Unified sense of self also known as being fully integrated, fusion or unification.
  • Videos: trauma and dissociation

Peer to peer tips for living with dissociative identity disorder

Child abuse and the Trauma and DissociationDissociation is a compartmentalization of experience, where elements of a trauma are not integrated into a unified sense of the self. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|4-810, 127}}The lay persons idea of [[dissociation]], that which exists in the normal mind, is not what is referred to in this document. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|233-234}} Project

Child abusers can go to great length to hide emotional, physical and sexual abuse they enact upon the young and innocent, but the fact remains that child abuse is common, and is a hidden epidemic. Abused individuals suffer shame, and often blame themselves for the acts perpetuated upon them. An abusive adult which a child relies on to survive cannot be easily ignored and so the relationship changes the abused. [2]:7-19 Abusers can go to great lengths to prevent their victims from recalling abuse. Some are masters of this. Freyd's "betrayal trauma theory" suggests [dissociative amnesia]] is an adaptive response to childhood abuse. [2]:225 [Dissociation|Pathological dissociation]] is a complex psychophysiologicalPsychophysiology refers to "the science which studies the physiology of psychic functions through the brain-body-interrelationships of the living organism in conjunction with the environment" <ref name=Mangina1983/>{{Rp|22}} Psychophysiology is concerned with measuring of psychological responses in order to understand behavior, including activities such as reactions to stress, sleep, memory, learning, perception or any activities that psychologists are inclined to study. <ref name=Andreassi2010/>{{Rp|Preface}} This includes measuring heart rate, biofeedback, neuroimaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) approaches to studying the brain and body, including the nervous system, memory, neurotransmitters, motor functions (movement) and brain wave activity for example.<ref name=Andreassi2010/> process that changes the accessibility of memory and knowledge, integration of behavior, and states. Dissociative identity disorder is the ultimate example of how overwhelming life events that occur can affect"a person's present emotional responsiveness, which can be inferred from facial expressions" including both the degree and range of expressive behavior. This can also be shown in tone of voice, hand and body movements. <ref name=Sadock2008/>{{Rp| 6}} the human mind, and how dissociative mechanisms can provide temporary adaptive protection from child abuse. [2]:225

Edit this site

We encourage those with knowledge of the trauma-stressor and dissociative disorders to join our project and help to create an accurate and helpful information based wiki. To do so, simply make an account and review our editor guidelines. All information is to be referenced except our section on peer to peer tips. See the bottom of the table of contents at the bottom of this page for the peer section.

New Editor Information

Other branches of the Trauma and Dissociation Project

Dissociative Identity is a peer written site, reviewed by a health care professional. The site offers up to date information on all aspects of dissociative identity disorder.

Suggested links

We strongly encourage all mental health professionals and students to join the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D) as well as the Society for Traumatic Stress Studies which offers access to reliable research, education, certification and more. The ISST-D is responsible for the professional publication titled: Journal of Trauma and Dissociation. The ISTSS equivalent is the Journal of Traumatic Stress, which focuses more on PTSD than dissociative disorders.


Transitory has donated the time and knowledge to create this work space. Thank you Transitory!

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  1. ^ a b Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5.
  2. ^ a b c Chu, James A. (2011). Rebuilding shattered lives treating complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Hoboken, N.J.:John Wiley & Sons.ISBN 9781118093146.