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FranzOren
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30 May 2021, 10:11 pm

Are Dissociative Disorders kind of a delusion? A delusion that you are someone else and constantly change your identities.



Hannibalthecannibal
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05 Jun 2021, 11:08 pm

FranzOren wrote:
Are Dissociative Disorders kind of a delusion? A delusion that you are someone else and constantly change your identities.


Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders are very different from experiencing a delusion or having Delusional Disorder, however I can see how it would be easy to think they are related.

Dissociation is the state of being or feeling disconnected. It often occurs as a response to trauma, the same goes for most Dissociative Disorders. In many cases, the brain uses dissociation as a defense mechanism against information that's so bizarre it can't process it at that time, or for a long time. People who experience dissociation do not automatically have psychosis (delusions or hallucinations), although they can, and vice versa. People who experience psychosis do not automatically experience dissociation.

Dissociation as a symptom is most often seen in PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and sometimes with severe depression or anxiety. I noticed you specifically mentioned constantly changing identities and thinking you are someone else so I'm going to assume you're talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). Only people with DID or OSDD (a subtype of DID) experience what appears like different personalities which is commonly called having alters. People who experience dissociation as a symptom, like in PTSD or BPD, do not experience this. MOST people who experience dissociation do not have alters.

Creating and forming alters in DID is linked to experiencing severe trauma from a young age and cannot develop through genetics. This time frame of vulnerability is thought to be from ages five to ten. This is when you are developing a sense of self, an identity and an ego, and one or multiple acts of severe trauma causes that normal development to "fragmentize". This leads to memory that's compartmentalized, only to be accessed when it can be. Upon accessing these memories or experiences you typically associate with your sense of self during that time. For example, say you experienced severe trauma at the age of eight, and at that time you had certain memories, likes and dislikes, interests, and a known personality. Twenty years later you experience a trigger that reminds you of that traumatic experience. This then leads to dissociation, which then leads to what's called switching, which is the act of an alter presenting itself. You may then act unlike your adult self and suddenly appear to change your interests, beliefs, have verbal regression like a child, and you may remember memories from that time period of eight years old you could not recall beforehand.

These changes are actually happening. Yes, you are dissociating, and yes, you are switching. Delusions are distressing beliefs that occur even after being presented with contrary evidence. People with DID KNOW they are one person, or don't even realize they have alters and think they're just especially forgetful and sensitive. Professionals know they aren't actually multiple people, however externally it may look like they become someone else, hence saying they have multiple personalities or are multiple people.

As I said, it's possible to experience both delusions and dissociation, but it's common for them to exist separately. They usually aren't related, actually.

If you have any questions or are confused feel free to ask!



FranzOren
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06 Jun 2021, 8:16 am

Thank you!

I appreciate your explanation. I am sorry that I was wrong. Because I once had a delusion that I was someone else, but I am not sure is if is related to Dissociative Disorder of some sort, as you explained above. That is why I thought there must be a delusion that makes you forget who you truly are.

I am no longer confused anymore.