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Treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a product of severe trauma either in childhood or throughout life.


Because DID is a unique and nuanced disorder, it requires specialization to treat. The team at Alter uses a combination of modalities and interventions to help address the various contributing factors related to DID as well as cope with the diverse range of symptoms that may arise as a result of the diagnosis.

What We Offer For Dissociative Identity Disorder

Alter helps minimize the symptoms of memory loss, dissociation, and mood instability while treating any co-occurring disorders like depression and PTSD.


Duration of Treatment

DID clients usually admit at crisis stabilization (CS) or residential (RTC) centers and then continue on to partial hospitalization (PHP) and then intensive outpatient program (IOP).

Why Choose Alter for Dissociative Identity Disorder

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The Leading Dissociative Identity Centers in America

We prioritize treating both the symptoms and potential causes of DID in order to get better results for our clients.


We are highly trauma-informed with three therapists who provide trauma therapy specifically, including EMDR and/or brainspotting, which has been shown to help with treatment for DID.

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.


Inspirational Client Success Story

“After going to several behavioral programs, Alter Behavioral Health was by far the best in-patient facility I’ve ever been to. They have a great clinical team and therapist that make a difference. I highly recommend the program to anyone struggling with mental health.”


– Megan C.

How Dissociative Identity Disorder Impacts the Family

Living with someone who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) can be extremely taxing on family dynamics. The presence of different “alters” with unique personalities can put a strain on all members of the family, causing confusion and fatigue. Addressing these challenges requires open communication, understanding, and support within the family unit, alongside professional therapy to help both the individual with DID and their loved ones navigate these complexities and build healthier relationships.

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family group therapy

Family Involvement in the Treatment Process

Because mental illness impacts the entire family, we prioritize keeping the family in the loop at every step of the process. Depending on what the client allows us to share, we provide progress updates on symptoms and medications, in addition to resources for the family so they can better understand their loved one’s condition and how to support them.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dissociative Identity Disorder

What is dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is where an individual has developed two or more distinct identities, also called personalities, typically resulting from a history of severe childhood trauma. The dissociated state that accompanies alternate personalities is unwanted and involuntary. Dissociation is the body’s way of coping with intolerable conditions.


DID used to be known as multiple personality disorder. The current science surrounding DID considers advances in our deeper understanding of the symptomology, where the person’s dissociative state is largely mentally and emotionally detached from the alternate personalities, feeling as if their alter-personalities are taking over, and the patient is passively observing how the prominent personality interacts. Most people with DID suffer from depression and extreme anxiety. Their condition is often accompanied by hallucinations of any or all of the senses.

DID is usually the result of overwhelming childhood trauma or stress. Most often, it is directly resulting from physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, but also neglect. Some individuals who develop DID have experienced an important early loss or suffered a serious, traumatic medical illness.


In place of the typical biological childhood development, they learn to integrate complex information and experiences they cannot process into distinct personalities that help them cope by compartmentalizing the experience. Sexual and physical abuse that occurs during development disrupts a person’s natural growth into a single identity, including the need to trust the parent or caregiver who is usually the abuser.


They experience trauma as a result of betrayal from caretakers. The individual becomes separated from the emotional and mental pain as personalities stand in their place, causing a sense of lost time and fragments of life experiences they can’t remember.

  • Presence of alters: Individuals with DID may experience the presence of two or more distinct personality states or identities within themselves. These alters may have different names, ages, genders, voices, mannerisms, and preferences. The transitions between alters may be sudden and abrupt, and each alter may have its own memories, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Dissociative amnesia: Episodes of dissociative amnesia, where the individual may have gaps in memory for significant events, personal information, or periods of time. This can include forgetting actions, conversations, or experiences associated with specific alters. Memory loss may be selective and may occur during times of stress or emotional arousal.
  • Identity confusion: Individuals with DID may experience confusion or uncertainty about their own identity, sense of self, or personal history. They may struggle to integrate their different identities and may have difficulty maintaining a coherent sense of self-identity.
  • Depersonalization and derealization: Episodes of depersonalization, where the individual feels disconnected from their own thoughts, feelings, or body, as well as derealization, where they feel disconnected from their surroundings or perceive the world as unreal or distorted. These experiences may occur during periods of stress or emotional distress.
  • Identity alteration: Alters may exhibit different behaviors, preferences, skills, and attitudes compared to the individual’s primary identity. They may have their own distinct roles, functions, and relationships within the internal system, and they may emerge in response to specific triggers or situations.
  • Emotional dysregulation: Individuals with DID may experience intense and rapidly shifting emotions that are difficult to regulate. They may have episodes of anxiety, depression, anger, shame, or guilt, which may be associated with specific alters or traumatic memories.
  • Self-harm and suicidal behavior: Individuals with DID may engage in self-harming behaviors, such as cutting, burning, or hitting themselves, as a way of coping with distressing emotions or memories. They may also experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors, particularly during periods of crisis or internal conflict.
  • Other symptoms: Individuals with DID may also experience a range of other symptoms, including headaches, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, substance abuse, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, and difficulties in work or school.

Medications such as antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety treatments are often prescribed to help with accompanying symptoms but not as a cure for DID. There are no medicines to treat DID directly.

Recognizing alters switching can involve sudden changes in behavior, speech patterns, or mannerisms. Your loved one may seem disoriented or confused. During transitions, stay calm, reassure them, and provide grounding techniques like deep breathing or focusing on the present moment.

Offer reassurance and validation without pressuring them to remember. Encourage grounding techniques like touching objects or focusing on sensory experiences. Avoid overwhelming stimuli and provide a safe, calm environment.
Respect each alter’s unique identity and preferences. Set clear, consistent boundaries while offering support and understanding. Communicate openly and validate their experiences without judgment.
Integration is possible through therapy but varies for each individual. It involves merging alters into a cohesive sense of self. Therapy focuses on resolving conflicts, processing trauma, and fostering internal communication.
Encourage them to seek therapy specializing in trauma treatment, such as EMDR or trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Offer emotional support and provide a safe space for them to express their feelings.
Triggers vary but may include reminders of past trauma, stress, or conflict. Collaborate with your loved one to identify triggers and develop coping strategies to manage them effectively.

Create a consistent routine, minimize stressors, and foster open communication. Educate yourself about DID and advocate for your loved one’s needs. Encourage self-care and offer practical assistance when needed.

Practice patience, active listening, and empathy. Use clear, simple language and repeat information when necessary. Respect communication preferences and avoid forcing disclosure.
Challenges may include stigma, accessing specialized care, and managing symptoms. Offer unconditional support, advocate for their needs, and participate in therapy sessions if appropriate. Encourage resilience and celebrate progress.

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.

We Accept Most Insurance

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We Accept Most Insurance

We accept most major insurance providers including the ones displayed here.
Submit your insurance to confirm coverage.

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Our facilities have been awarded prestigious recognition and certifications by adhering to rigorous guidelines and exceeding quality standards with consistent, safe & effective healthcare services.