Identity Disorders: Dissociative Analysis

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Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), also known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is recognised most commonly as a mental psychological condition explained by a biomedical model. However, there has been much controversy surrounding the diagnosis of DID (Gillig 2009). A number of sociological and anthropological studies (Erchak 1992; Kenny 1981; Krippner 1987; Merskey 1992; Nathan 1994; Spanos 1996) have contested the notion that DID is a naturally occurring biological reality. These findings demonstrate an alternative perspective which disproves DID as mental illness that transpires naturally and stresses that DID is a social construct that exists only in particular historical and cultural frameworks. By analysing the representations …show more content…
For example, according to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (APA 2013), DID is considered a dissociative disorder characterised by a disruption and/or discontinuity of regular psychological functioning such as consciousness, memory, identity, perception, emotion and behaviour. The DSM-5 (APA 2013) suggests that dissociative symptoms are experienced as abrupt interferences into awareness and behaviour, with accompanying losses of continuity in subjective experience as well as the incapability to access information or to control mental functions that are usually controllable. Essentially, the DSM-5 recognises DID as a symptoms-based illness, which identifies five main criteria for appropriate diagnosis which firstly includes the disruption of identity by two or more distinct personality states, which can involve the noticeable disorganisation of self-awareness and agency accompanied by related changes in psychological functioning. Secondly, present are frequent disruptions in the recollection of everyday events and/or traumatic events that are inconsistent with common forgetting. Third, DID symptoms cause clinically substantial distress or impairment in social and occupational areas of functioning. Fourth, the disorder is not a normal part of a generally accepted cultural or religious practice. And finally, the symptoms are not attributed with physiological effects of a substance or other medical conditions (APA

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