You may be familiar with multiple personality disorder through movies and TV shows you've seen. Based on some media depictions, what it's like to have multiple personality disorder seems straightforward enough — a person with the disorder experiences a fragmented identity, which leads to two, or multiple personality types. But according to experts, the facts about what it means to have multiple personality disorder are not that cut and dry.
"The first ‘shocking fact’ is that MPD doesn’t exist," Dr. John Mayer, licensed clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. "In fact, it has been discredited by the mental health community long ago."
Although it's fairly common to use the term "multiple personality disorder," it's more officially referred to as "dissociative identity disorder" or DID. It's a mental health condition that is often highly misunderstood, Dr. Sal Raichbach PsyD, LCSW of the Ambrosia Treatment Center tells Bustle.
"TV and movies often sensationalize the way the people with DID act, often portraying switching between very distinct and dramatic personalities," Dr. Raichbach says. But this isn’t always the case. Instead, it can be a lot less obvious. Many people tend to be unaware that a person lives with this condition. "People with Dissociative Identity Disorder don’t always pop in and out of different people, but instead, experience several states of disassociation from their true self," he says.
So it's definitely more complex than you probably think. Here are some other important facts you should know about dissociative identity disorder, according to experts.