Karen answers Psych Major

Richard Baer on Jan 24th 2009

Comment by Psych. Major on January 22, 2009 7:47 pm


What is the difference between multiple personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder? Why do you prefer to say you had multiplicty, use the name alters, and the words switching and losing time? Curious? Why is the medical field so adament about refering to this illness as DID?

Psych. Major.

Dear Psych. Major,

Multiple Personality Disorder is the old term for what is now included in Dissociative Identity Disorder, but Dr. Baer has told me he prefers the old term because it more specifically describes the disorder I had.  DID seems to be a broader concept, he says.

I myself prefer to use the term “multiplicity” because it simply sounds less threatening to me. I hate to use the proper terminology that defines the illness, because it makes me feel ill. I use the word “alters” to describe my past alternate personalities because this word also sounds better and more friendly to me. I use both “switching” and “lost or losing time” because that is what it is.  My choice of words describes my experiences.

Thank you for your interesting questions,


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