Dissociative identity disorder to PTSD: The Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

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It's time accuracy took precedence through a debris littered history, partly founded by a clucking of child abusers, cults, religions, de facto pseudosciences, pop-culture media presentations, poor court findings and inaccurate science news and articles written by journalists who reside within the thought process of the groups listed, or unwittingly turned to those people for information for their articles. In addition, educators and researchers with good intentions, who have not fully surmised the enormity of neurological evidence, have fortuitously helped to take the world for a ride down the wrong path. A pothole filled road was manufactured by entities with ulterior motives, those who lacked proper education and/or misinterpreted evidence gleamed directly from the afflicted. The year 2014 marks an important milestone where modern day technology regularly uses fMRI scans and other contemporary tools to discern certain aspects of the Trauma and Stressor and Dissociative Disorders and put an end to supposition and unwavering inaccuracies. We welcome you to this project where we present research that lies on the very cutting edge of science. The site name: www.dissociative-identity-disorder.net infers that information on dissociative identity disorder and all less complex "trauma caused disorders" are incorporated into this site.

Dissociative Disorders

The Dissociative Disorders (DD) in the DSM-5 include 300.14 dissociative identity disorder (DID), 300.12 dissociative amnesia (DA), 300.6 depersonalization - derealization disorder, 300.15 other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD), 300.15 and unspecified dissociative disorder.

Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

The Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in the DSM-5 includes 313.89 reactive attachment disorder (RAD), 313.89 disinhibited social engagement disorder, 309.81 posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 308.3 and acute stress disorder (ASD). The adjustment disorders consist of 309.89 other specified trauma and stressor-related disorder and 309.9 unspecified trauma and stressor-related disorder.

Structural dissociation of the personality

Structural dissociation follows a predetermined "course of action" in response to "exiguous servicing" of a child's innate needs. Inadequate responsiveness, mirroring, nutrition, cleanliness, kindness and safety all affect the neurological development of a child. Combine the lack of rudiment developmental requirements that any human child needs with psychological trauma and it sets the stage for a disruption of ganglia that comprise the personality. Through the accumulating effects of caregiver neglect, essential elements of the brain fail to fully development, affecting the minds ability to relay and interpret neurological impulse to and from the brain, leaving accumulated trauma floundering in the mind, replaying endlessly, until it's plucked by the hippocampus of the brain in an effort to process it to actual memory. If trauma accumulates in the mind, it eventually causes structural dissociation of the personality, where the personality, creates an imperfect barrier separating and isolating trauma from the ganglia that abhors it and its affects. Posttraumatic stress disorder and a "complex version of posttraumatic stress disorder" are Trauma Stressor-Related Disorders that fall within the boundaries of structural dissociation, and the complex Dissociative Disorders: other specified dissociative disorder and dissociative identity disorder do as well. These disorders are caused by structural dissociation, but borderline personality disorder (Personality Disorder rather than a Trauma Stressor-Related or Dissociative Disorder) is not, however, after borderline personality disorder has established itself, an individual with unprocessed trauma can eventually succumb to structural dissociation and will then suffer dissociative symptoms.

See the page on Structural Dissociation for referenced and more detailed information.

In "image B", this fMRI scan shows a distinct state switching with an other distinct state, which is only possible in DID. DID is the only disorder where two or more distinct states can and do switch. (Schlumpf et al. 2014), (Van der Hart et al. 2006)

Diagnosis of DID and OSDD

Diagnostic manuals (DSM, ICD) give the minimum criteria required to determine mental disorders, but are not meant to be referenced otherwise. The DSM-5 offers criteria to diagnose the complex Dissociative Disorders: other specified dissociative disorder and dissociative identity disorder, but an understanding of distinct states and less than distinct states ("discontinuities in sense of self and agency") is necessary. See distinct state and less than distinct state for more. Dissociative identity disorder is the only disorder with two or more distinct states, and so is the only disorder where two distinct states can switch. In addition, true amnesia exists only between distinct states, so dissociative identity disorder is the only disorder associated with true amnesia. In other specified dissociative disorder there are switches between states, but there is only one distinct state in this disorder, the bulk are less than distinct states, or as the DSM calls them: "discontinuities in sense of self and agency." Dissociative amnesia resides among all individuals with Dissociative Disorders. See amnesia for more. Complex Dissociative Disorders have elaborate and autonomous states, with the most elaborate, dissociated and distinct of any disorder belonging to dissociative identity disorder. Phobia between the states in dissociative identity disorder is far more impassioned than in any other "state disorder;" in fact, the states are so phobic of trauma, and their childhood that strong dissociative boundaries inhibit acceptance and therefore knowledge beyond their own moments of consciousness. This makes the distinct states of these individuals deny psychological injury, and appear strong and relatively fearless. In contrast, individuals with other specified dissociative disorder are so manipulated by their past, their pronounced fear overwhelms them, making them slaves to external triggers.

See the categories on Structural Dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, other specified dissociative disorder and the DSM for referenced and more detailed information.

Differences between PTSD and C-PTSD

Both types of posttraumatic stress disorder have one distinct state, but complex-posttraumatic stress disorder differs from the simpler version of this disorder in that it has two less than distinct states. When comparing elaboration, distinctness and autonomy, the states in both simple and complex-posttraumatic stress disorder are similar, but when there are three states to act and react, as is the case in the complex version, the result is symptoms that not only multiply, but also intensify. Both types of posttraumatic stress disorder succumb to dissociative amnesia.

See the categories on posttraumatic stress disorder, and the complex-posttraumatic stress disorder for referenced and more detailed information.

Dissociative boundaries (trauma barriers)

All Trauma Stressor-Related and Dissociative Disorders have dissociative boundaries associated with affected states and the boundaries vary in complexity. In dissociative identity disorder they reach their ultimate complexity, with their chemical, neurological and the physical makeup efficient at resisting, containing, replicating, and isolating trauma. The depth of trauma suffered by individuals with this disorder would otherwise be overwhelming. Scans (fMRI) show that dissociative boundaries affect state behavior in the following ways. In dissociative identity disorder only one state is ever conscious at any given time, but the distinct state in other specified dissociative disorder is always present at the same time a less than distinct state is, and all states can be conscious at the same time. The dissociative boundaries in the two varieties of posttraumatic stress disorder are slight in comparison to the complex Dissociative Disorders; the distinct state is always present, and the less than distinct state(s) appear only when triggered to act. Borderline personality disorder is seen as having two less than distinct states and one distinct state, and either both less than distinct states are conscious together, or the distinct state is conscious alone. As you can see, each of these disorders and their associated dissociative boundaries are highly unique.

See the categories on Structural Dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, and other specified dissociative disorder for referenced and more detailed information.


Trauma processing is the movement of trauma from the mind to the hippocampus of the brain where it enters memory. Integration, on the other-hand, is the association of states, a process which can't complete without processing trauma, which occurs simultaneously with integration. Dissociative boundaries break down, and broken pathways are reconstructed in and around affected neurons. After the damage is repaired then the symptoms associated with damaged linkage fades away. Communication between the mind and the hippocampus of the brain is finally repaired so future trauma can be processed normally and moved to memory. The end result is a normal functioning mind and brain that is free from the disabling symptoms that resulted from the inability to process trauma.

See the categories on Structural Dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, and other specified dissociative disorder and integration for referenced and more detailed information.


DSM-5 Category: Dissociative Disorders

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

DSM-5 Category: Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

The Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders are:
New Editor Information

Child abuse and the Trauma and Dissociation

Child abusers can go to great length to hide emotional, physical and sexual abuse enacted upon the young and innocent, but the fact remains that child abuse is common, and is a hidden epidemic.

This page is an introduction, see the following pages for more information: Structural dissociation, other specified dissociative disorder, and dissociative identity disorder.

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