Dissociative Personality Disorder, Depression, and Addiction

Dissociative Personality Disorder, Depression, and Addiction

Dissociative personality disorder, also known as dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder, is a rare condition where a person portrays two or multiple distinct identities or personality states. The disorder is a severe form of dissociation, the mental process that creates fragments in between the individual’s thoughts, memories, feelings, behaviors, and sense of identity. The dissociative component to the disorder describes a person’s ability to separate themselves from their conscious-self or reality.

Symptoms of dissociative personality disorder are characterized by the existence of two or more distinct or split identities, or personality states that possess control over the individual’s behavior. Other noticeable symptoms include memory variations and the inability to remember important personal information that cannot result from just forgetfulness. Differing personalities will be presented with personality-specific gestures, postures, speech patterns, thoughts and behaviors. Individuals with dissociative personality disorder can “switch” identities within seconds, but sometimes altering personalities take hours or even days to appear.

Why Dissociate Personality Disorder Often Co-Exists with Depression and Addiction

Dissociate personality disorder can interfere with an individual’s health, wellbeing, relationships and ability to live a normal, healthy life. Individuals with this disorder may also struggle with depression, anxiety, mood swings, anxiety issues, suicidal tendencies and psychotic or compulsive- like symptoms. Due to the hardships of living with dissociative personality disorder many individuals develop self-sabotaging or self-harming behaviors. Researchers believe the development of dissociative personality disorder stems from experiencing physical or sexual abuse or trauma early in life. Another theory is that they develop as symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative personalities develop as a coping mechanism to escape painful memories and emotions.

PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders and other co-occurring issues and symptoms associated with dissociative personality disorder all increase the risk of self-destructive behavior, especially substance abuse and addiction. Individuals with dissociative personality disorder exhibit self-sabotaging and reckless behavior to cope with their overwhelming feeling of pain. Dissociative and multiple personalities can involve intense behaviors compelled by the distinct identity which can lead to drastic, uncharacteristic thought-processes, decision-making, and actions.

Available Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Treating co-occurring issues such as dissociative personality disorder, depression, and addiction is extremely complex and requires professional help. Recovery professionals will address all issues with Dual Diagnosis or integrated treatment which involves treating all disorders simultaneously as each issue perpetuates the other. Substance abuse and addiction treatment will typical involved medically-supervised detox to treat the chemical dependence and withdrawal symptoms and then treatment will involve a variety of the following methods to address all co-existing disorders:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Alternative therapies
  • Creative therapies
  • Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or tranquilizers
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Individual or group counseling
  • Support/Peer groups
  • Family counseling and therapies

Call for Mental Health and Addiction Help

If you or a loved one is ready to find treatment for co-occurring issues, like dissociative personality disorder, depression, addiction and more, our professionals can assist you with your search 24 hours a day. Our recovery professionals are available to answer your questions, provide you with information and help you find the treatment and recovery services that will work for your own, individual needs. To get help finding quality, professional treatment and care for co-occurring issues, call our toll-free number now. A recovery professional is ready to help in any way they can.