Multiple personality disorder, addicts and addiction

How often are drug addicts and alcoholics dually diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder?

minute read

Do Some Addicts Have Multiple Personality Disorder?

The short answer is: Yes, some addicts can be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders such as Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D).

Is it common to have 5-25 Personalities?

Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D), renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.), is a very complex and controversial diagnosis to attach to someone. The likes of ‘Sybil’ come to mind when people think of M.P.D. A much milder version is more often the norm, than the crazy, out of control patient often depicted by Hollywood.

The official Psychiatric diagnostic criteria for D.I.D., according to the DSM IV –TR include; the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states, at least two of these identities recurrently take control of the person’s behavior, and the inability to recall important personal information that is to extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

Memory Problems

Family and friends of a D.I.D. may report the patient has frequent gaps in memory (personal), both past and recent, reports of finding items of clothing at home that the individual cannot remember having, and not remembering a whole segment of the day, as to where they were or what they were doing. Misplacing keys, wallets, purses, & cars in parking lots is common.

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde : Identity and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Quite often, the D.I.D. patient will be described as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, meaning one moment the person may seem very passive and submissive, and then suddenly an impatient, controlling and/or self-destructive person emerges. It is very common that a person with D.I.D. will be misdiagnosed for six to seven years before the dissociative identifies are correctly identified. Usually the misdiagnosis given is Bi-Polar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Each personality state may be experienced as if it has a distinct personal history, self-image, and identity, including different names. I have had clients where one personality will write left handed with beautiful handwriting, while another personality will insist he/she can only use the right hand to write. To be talking to an adult one minute and a young, rebellious adolescent another is fairly common.

Causes of DID: Real or Perceived Mental, Physical, or Sexual Abuse

My experience with multiple personalities that use alcohol or drugs often have only one personality who uses. Sometimes the host personality may be aware that he/she drinks, but no clue about getting stoned. In discussing the addictive behavior, quite often the emerging personality years prior chose to use an addictive path to distract the host personality from some form of abuse (mental, physical, or sexual). Or even still, chose to be sexually promiscuous as a survival mode on the streets.

Why Use Drugs or Alcohol?

This is really a simple one to explain. Just like Bi-polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Hyper-Attention Deficit Disorder, and just about any type of disorder can crossover into addictions because people strive to feel normal. So, yes I have many clients who are addicts that do have Multiple Personality Disorder. With alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, and any kind of addiction, there are those who will do anything to feel normal. Whether to not feel the pain of shame or to settle the chaos inside, people choose everyday to medicate in an effort to distract, avoid, or to deny their life struggles.

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Problems for an Addict with Dissociative Identity Disorder

There is no doubt that D.I.D. is a mysterious disorder. One that needs attention and extensive counseling to resolve. Having one of many personalities that is an addict creates enormous problems in overcoming addictions because until that addicted personality is integrated (becomes whole) to the host he/she will always have the alternative to escape real or perceived danger with drugs and/or alcohol.

If you would like to read more about MPD write comments and questions below or contact Dr. Steve.

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About the author
Dr. Jackson received his Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Omega Bible Institute and Seminary in 2009. He developed the Christian recovery treatment programs for Calvary Rehab Center and the Genesis Center for Recovery. He has trained and practiced Christian Counseling in all areas of drug/alcohol/gambling/sex and relationship addictions. He currently has his own web based online program called 12 Day Rehab Systems, designed for those who can work on recovery while maintaining career and family obligations. Dr. Jackson has been clean and sober since 1984. Learn more about Recovery with Dr. Steve.


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  1. Oh how I wish I could get my husband to seek help. He has never been officially diagnosed with D.I.D. but I have had extensive conversations with his personalities. They only appear when he is drunk…and he says he needs to get drunk or it gets worse. Of course I would also ammaturely diagnose him with PTSD from having been front-line military and in one of the worst prisons in the USA on top of horrible experiences from childhood on. He tells me that “dudes drink” and I have just never been around a dude that much (family of all women). I pray that God will send him a real “dude” that relies on God for strength. My husband just says that he can’t relate to guys in AA or other programs he has tried. He feels like he has been through really tough stuff and that drinking would be normal. He watched a show on TV where this military guy says “I sleep between 2 men every night: Jack Daniels and Jim Bean.” Like it is fine for him to lean on alcohol to numb the nightmares. I tell him my grandfather was in prison camp in WW2 for 18 months…and NEVER drank alcohol! “Well…that was a stronger generation” he says. Oh how I wish he could see the reckless love of God and how sweet it would be to have a sober life…365 days a year of clear thinking and no arguments that pop up from the personality that hates me. Is there anyway to encourage him to seek help? Intervention? Or join me in prayer and let’s see God take over!

  2. Hello I’m a Christian woman struggling in jus only a two year marriage I’m not sure how to stay married I pray and I trust God to heal and deliver my husband when I think my marriage is getting some where it goes backwards my husband drinks alot maybe miss a couple days sometimes or have to have something to drink everyday even its beers not a beer though miss the couple days like I mentioned then go back to it with hard liquor and jus found out recently he smokes weed when I thought it was hookah because i told him I did research on it and he said its not hookah but weed in liquid form but he had been lying saying he doesn’t smoke knowing didn’t care for a man smoking weed not lone a alcoholic and there’s times he will have something to drink hard and will Try to cover it with a mint I’ll say u must of had something because I smell mouth wash he will say no I jus put a mint in mouth one day or a few days he will act like he’s so in love with me asking what I need for him to do and laughing and talking to me bout things baby guess what blah blah then the next a few days if it goes that long he’s mad argumental acting as I I did something wrong he will find something to be mad at me for pressuring our daughter that’s nine to look up what she want to do in activity book but I take her &her sister different places festivals zoo etc & I teach them here at home we read&so forth for the summer break he acts as if we cant jus relax knowing I take them to school and pick up he works I work as a school bus driver so I’m on break also I love having my children but he’s forcing something for her to do something that she &myself will be obligated to be at everyday hes even back and forth& tiff for tat with our daughter also he asked where’s your mom I heard them I was in my room she said I don’t know our youngest daughter said in the room then he said ok I’m not gone know nothin either when u ask one minute he’s playing like hes a kid like she’s his friend pretty much like she’s one of his guys weird then if she does something like children do then that’s when he wants to be her dad I can write a book I’m sorry its very long but I feel I’m married to an alcoholic and multiple personality guy he’s super happy it seem one day or another then seem super mad over small things that doesn’t need to get out of hand and he must be right. I want my marriage but don’t know how to handle him I’m scared not knowing what’s next or what’s going on.I’ve been trying hard to be a real and good model for our girls its hard when I feel hindered. Thank u for reading

  3. My nephew is a addict he has been using for almost 7 or 8yrs I didn’t see him for a couple of months but when I did he was talking to him self and seems to have multiple personalities he is no longer himself I want to get him help. But don’t know how please I don’t know what I should do

  4. I love this blog.
    Well I managed to make it so far to a year clean from drugs. I’m no where near intergration but the host is starting to take control.
    I am afraid though the Therapist I have been seeing can’t see me any more as it was through the treatment center I was going through.
    Through out the years I have encountered many Therapists who will say “aint no such thing” then I get sent for further testing usually resulting in the Therapist saying do you mind if my do you mind if my Supervisor sits in and How can I help you I’ve never worked with a multiple.
    I end up feeling helpless, different,and like a freaking guina pig.
    Any suggestions on what to look for in finding a new Therapist?

  5. I’m sponsoring someone with DID. Are there any resources you can recommend for me? I don’t want to do damage or undo any progress. Right now I’m approaching doing the 12 step process as a team with all of the 8 active parts.

    1. Hi Brandi. That’s a serious case, and you should be very careful. I did some research and found these helpful resources:

      However, I suggest that you consult with a licensed therapist who treated people with DID. You may find a licensed therapist here:

  6. I went crazy a few days ago and other voices were coming out of me. Family thought I was possessed. I was sick for 5 hours before I came to. I need help, my family is scared of me

  7. I’m going through some rough times with my ex that I’m living with. He’s been telling me the devil talks to him. He is like a different person most of the time. He’s violent and angry and won’t get help. He cuts himself, and now recently he’s been talking out loud to whomever is in his head. How do I help him? He’s also an addict

    1. Hi Andrea. It seems to me that your husband has serious problems, and he may become dangerous to you or himself. He need hospitalization. Call 911 ASAP.

  8. I have been reading some of these blogs and your answers.
    I think thier fascinating.
    I have been diagnosed since the age of 11 yrs old. I am now 58 yrs old. Diagnosed rediagnosed and rediagnosed many times over. I feel as though one time I had intergrated but fractured all over again when a traumatic whatever happened with the therapist.
    I find that I get glimpses very small ones of things that happen from even as the day before. It leaves me really confused.
    It seems like every morning I wake up I have to put all the memory back in my brain.However I miss significant peices.
    I wonder if I will ever be whole . Im in Therapy now and cant remember what was even said by the next day.
    I am clean and sober again for 8 months and just wonder if having a somewhat normal life is even possible.

  9. I have a question. Lets say we have a patient with Multi Personalities. If we give them a sleeping pill, would it put all of them asleep or just that particular personality?

    1. Hi Lindsey. You can just put asleep only one personality. The sleeping pill affects the brain which means that affects the person.

  10. Dr. Steve – Can you recommend a psychotherapist in the Northern Virginia/DC area who specializes in this? Thank you. -Jim

  11. I had a boyfren and having DID. This lately, he keep changing. And i barely cant handle no more. I need strength and more information of handling him.

  12. Wow about the most accurate description of my head. Been diagnosed since 11 now 57 and trying to stay clean and sober
    In a group that I can’t shift fast enough to stay focused Thank you

    1. Hi Adela. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you succeed on your road to long term recovery.
      Please feel free to write us again if you need any advise or help.

  13. Dr. Steve, I have been researching this subject because of people telling me how I become a different person when in an alcoholic blackout. I remember nothing, ever, even severe physical pain i do not remember. My eyes turn black, i become promiscuous but when someone advances on me i fight them off and have extraordinary strength. Just wanted an opinion before I go further into exploring this. Thank you for your time.

  14. I have a friend who has an addictive personality complex. With anything, her eyes roll back in here head and its euphoria for her. Whether its that first hit of a cigarette, sip of strong alcohol, hitting that one spot in her neck during a massage, sex, and now drugs. Once she reaches that high….no matter which activity got her there, she craves it again and again. She’s in Cocaine detox at the moment. How can she ever beat this with that personality complex she was born with??

  15. I’m in a relationship with a guy who is an alcoholic, in the 9 months we’ve been together for about 9 months and the whole time I have noticed the strangest things out of nowhere he just switches up his tone of voice changes the accent changes even his facial is face changes it’s like he just becomes at least I’ve seen two or three different types of different personalities and he says he doesn’t remember certain things one is very dangerous and very violent I don’t like that one at all can you please just give me more information he hasn’t been diagnosed he says he would like to go to the doctor but he is a severe alcoholic and doesn’t really want to get hell kind of

  16. Hello Dr. Steve, I truly hope that you can help. My girlfriend was abused as a small child and has DID. I have currently only met her protector whose name is Effy. I love my girlfriend but her protector alter worries me as she is highly addicted to heroin and can be extremely aggressive. I’m worried that one day i’ll get home and she’ll be gone forever out using. My girlfriend has also told me that her alter uses heroin to keep her locked up. We both have a baby on the way and now we have our child to look out for. I guess my question is, how does one handle an alter addicted to such a substance, what do I do if her alter walks out to do heroin and will our childs safety be fine. She has tried brainspotting and it made everything worse. She doesn’t want therapy. Is there anything I can do?? Please help

  17. Michelle, I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much. Certainly, DID can have that impact. You need to find help. No need to live with that kind of fear. At my office we can address these issues usually within 3 to 5 days of intensive counseling. There is hope and a way to healing. Altars are created to protect the person and that is what she is trying to do. Through Christian inner healing you can have your life back. It seems the biggest challenge for you would be to convince her to allow you come to therapy.

  18. Melissa, Your sister needs help. The only way to help her is to have her contact me. Or find someone who is truly trained in this specific disorder. Therapists not trained to resolve DID will never help her to a point of healing. There is not need to spend months or years with a Therapist. Most of my client receive healing within a week or less of counseling. We will resolve the addiction as well.

  19. Hello. I’m very worried about my (older) sister. She is 55 and she has become an alcoholic in just the past 3 or 4 years. I’ve only noticed it becoming severe in the last 2 years. I live 1 1/2 hours from her so I don’t see her that often, but we do talk regularly, however, because of her recent behavior, I don’t call as often. I’ve told her that I see another personality come out when she is drinking. It is very scary and not like her at all. When she starts drinking, a sexy vamp comes out that begins calling childhood male friends, cousins, etc to talk sexy with them, but something I noticed recently, is that her normally very sweet, humorous, maternal, concerned behavior with me changes completely into a disinterested, hateful, cruel something or other and she becomes slightly violent. She doesn’t retain any of the normal characteristics that I’ve known my whole life. I’ve begged her to stop and now, it has come to me telling her I will have no more to do with her if she doesn’t, but, alas, she won’t stop drinking. I’ve described to hear what appears to be another personality that takes over when she is drunk. The strange thing is that once over the initial slurring and sexy vampiness, a completely sober acting different person takes over…showing no signs of alcohol intake. If you have any advice, I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you

  20. Hi Dr. Steve. I’m 51 female. I just found out about a personality I have. I have always”lost time” but really didn’t know it. I knew something was weird when I woke and my hair was a different color or cut. My house moved around.. etc. It seemed to stop for about 10 years when I was married. When my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, it started back up. I’ve always just kinda ignored it. I’ve had counseling for PTSD but I have so much trouble with time lines it just frustrated me. Recently I got into a new relationship with a Dom. All hell has broke loose. He told me he met her and maybe one other, but she’s mean nasty VB and hates me! She’s threatened to kill me. I also believe she’s doing drugs. I’ve seen text’s from her and they c are terrible. I think she’s ruined every relationship I’ve been in. I’ve made appointments with Dr.’s only to have her sabotage them. I’m kinda sacred…

  21. Hi
    I’m 29 years old and I have been on methadone for a couple years and I also have dissociative identity disorder.
    What I’d like to know is if methadone dependence.affect personality switches.
    Does it make it harder for the personalities to come out??

  22. Hi, again,
    Well, not sure why I thought there was an actual forum other than this, didn’t find anything else on the site after leaving my 11/12/15 comments. I am still looking for therapy, support, ideas for dealing with some of my alters needing/wanting to drink to excess. Their behavior is becoming more and more drastic and I am very worried that we will get hurt due to our carelessness.

    As I said above, my current therapist of many years is great with helping support DID integration/organization and daily dealing with the world, but she is very lacking in the alcohol treatment. Can you direct me to a program, almost anywhere if it can be done online or by phone, where the therapist has a great deal of experience helping people with DID AND addiction issues?

    Thanks, I’m getting desperate!

  23. Hi Dr Steve.
    My partner can’t seem to control his drinking. He can’t remember things he’s said or done while drunk. It’s like he is a completely different person. I know he loves me, but when he’s drunk, this person doesn’t even like me. I need some advice on how to address this issue. It’s a touchy subject he never wants to talk about.

    Please help


    1. Hi Emma. I suggest you consider getting him into an alcohol rehab facility for a period of time. If he has troubles speaking to you he may feel more comfortable opening up to a counselor or psychologist. Also, rehab is a great place where he will be able to realize the extent of his addiction problem, because many times people who have trouble controlling their drinking aren’t aware or are in denial about the reality of their habit. Counseling therapy may be helpful for you too. You can learn ways to speak with him, how to address certain behaviors, or how to deal with unwanted situations caused by alcohol. I am sure he loves you, and by writing here you show that you also want to find a solution and not let go yet. But, keep in mind that problems such as this can be too much for one person to grasp on their own, and you can ask for the help of professionals who can explain and assist a lot.

  24. Hi Dr. Steve! I need help! I have been in a relationship with my daughters father for 8 years. I have began to realize that he has some sort of problem. I am not a dr. by any means, but I believe he has mpd. I always constantly thought he was cheating on me. Still to this day.. 5 years after this mess started, I have yet to catch him. I left him and moved into my sisters house about 6 months ago. I have still been seeing him. He is the sweetest guy I’ve ever met one minute, then the next minute he is very sexual, does drugs, (heroin I believe), and has extremely sociopathic tendencies the next minute. He constantly has headaches and memory problems. I have found where he has put apps on my phone to stalk me in a way. These apps show him all my text messages, phone calls, etc. All he ever says is.. “I just want us to be normal” I can’t just go about my day and act like everything is ok like he wants me to. He constantly tells me I’m crazy and tells me I’m the one who “needs help”. Back when I first left him, I left a recorder in our home because I was worried when he had my daughter. He will “nod out” while sitting on the couch and even while driving. He has told me he will take a lie detector test to prove I’m wrong about everything but I don’t feel that this will help especially if he has multiple personalities. He constantly tells me he loves me. Also he has referred to himself as “we” a few times as well. I would love more than anything to make my relationship work. But I feel like it’s impossible because he blames all our problems on me! I can’t handle much more because I feel like he is mentally and physically killing me! I have lost tons of weight and had severe hair loss! There is much more to this, but this is my problem in a nutshell. From what I’ve told you.. Do you think I’m right about him having mpd? And if so, what can I do to help him? Or do I need to just leave him for good!?? Anyways.. Thank you so much for taking time to help us!!

  25. I have DID, diagnosed in 1989ish, at about 30 years old. Severe satanic ritual abuse and lots of sexual abuse from various male family members and their friends.

    Alcohol became a huge problem about 7 or 8 years ago and i feel we have hit bottom on numerous occasions but have been unable to find help with it. I am not the one who wants to get obliterated, though I have, in the past, really liked to drink. At 56, with more worries about falling and other health problems, not to mention the aftereffects the next day, I just don’t want to drink so much, or at all if possible.

    The problem, many inside do and no matter the deals we make with one another, about how much and when we will drink deals break and mayhem ensues.

    I have a great therapist who has helped me organize my system in many incredible and very helpful ways but this has always be an area I feel she is unequipped to tackle, as of course am I!! Can you help? Any book suggestions? Treatment centers that won’t cost an arm, 2 legs, and my on again, off again sanity? How about exercises? I would stand on my head for an hour if that would help.

    I am a member of, but they have been very unhelpful. and I don’t know of other DID support sites, so that would be another source I would greatly appreciate. HOLY COW, I just noticed as I scrolled up to look at the article again, that you have a forum going on here. I am goign to leave this for you, Dr Steve, and for anyone else her who is seriously dealing with these dual issues. I’ll also read everything here.

    Thinking this may be a lucky day for me, thank you,

  26. Hey Dr. Steve im Alexander im 17 1/2 years old and i have a friend who has multiple personality disorder who is also 17. His alters are all 17. I like him i do. And ivee met few of his alters one of them is a sex addict but i come to trust him…then he hears voices tellin him to go kill and harm somebody. thats a really big problem but RIGHT NOW AT THIS MOMENT thats not the problem. The problem is..we have a group that we go to called turning point for drugs and alcohol the otheer day we. Took a random drug testt her and and he became positive to sniffing pcp cristal meth crack cocaine literally every drug listed on there including weed. He says his pothead and alcoholic alter comes out alot but when he found out his results he was going off saying he was going to beat the crap out of the person who laced his weed when he finds out. But before group started he was braggin about how he sniffed before he came and his nose was apple Red likee really red. It makes me not want to deal with him yet i want to get him off of it because he is very smart and intelligent. What do i do?

  27. Hi Jane D, I know you asked dr Steve but if you don’t mind me commenting.. Wondering how long you have been with your boyfriend. I’m sure you would’ve picked up on minor changes in him. I am female and my personalities are one straight one gay and one bi-sexual with all the confusion of sharing thoughts and preferences for that matter we have merged sexualities meaning at some point everyone is unsure of what they are. From my side I can only say good luck and remember if he loves you enough you will pull through. Look at the way he tells you he has split personalities. If he is trying to cover up being gay you will surely notice when he is sober too..

  28. Dear Dr Steve,
    My new partner claims to have DID. 1 personality is straight, hard working, loyal but slightly emotionless. His 2nd personality however is bi sexual, very camp acting, is very selfish, very reckless and acts like naive or young but is very sexual. This 2nd personality only comes out when he’s drinking and his 1st personality says he is able to control the 2nd when he’s sober. My question is, is this common of DID sufferers or am I really dating a closet Gay? And how can I find out the difference?

  29. I am 50and have DID and never had an issue with alcohol since my 20’s. I am new to therapy with a qualified therapist. Things are getting hard and one alter started drinking. I am scared it will become an issue. I need help on how to work with the alter who wants to drink.

  30. I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety a few years back. And was on tablets now off. I always have weird spooky hilusinations. And the reason I got anxiety is when on substance ie alcohol it would get to a point of me in histarics. It wasn’t me. Now I’m doing drugs every couple of weeks. And I always do stuff I have no memory off. And not me. But as of Saturday I had a new experience. And I’m worried. I kept going in and out. I had no control. I was out of my body watching myself. When I would fight to come back I would state to my mates and bf that I was back. It’s okay I’m back. Apparently this happened alot. But while I was gone I was still talking. But they could tell it wasn’t me. It’s not stuff I would normally say. And I new when I was back. Could I have this??

  31. hi
    I have not been diagnosed with anything yet but something recently bad happened to me and I can not remember 12 hours or less ,give or take now I was drinking but not a lot and that’s why I find it strange that I lost so much hours and can not remember anything.when I drank b4 I remember but other nights where I do not ,now I don’t know if its because of the drinking and I rarely drink now since I became a mother of two but what I been reading all over the web about DID I may have some signs like mood swing and memory loss and I think I may have addiction with ssex ..since I can have tons of meaning less sex partners or do random sex acts ……..or maybe its nothing and I just like sex and im a women with mood swings but the memory loss im confused on.
    In desperate need of help or answers please!!??!!
    when I was a kid I was abused very bad for many years with dif

  32. My girlfriend of two years blacks out and becomes more aggressive and very negitive towards herself. The other personality seems to be a male, he gets very agitated when I touch her, or take care of her in this state. She was diagnosed bi polar around age 15. Recently she’s been more open and telling me about her grandfather molesting her at a young age and her family refused to believe her. I believe a lot of her mental state is stemming from her childhood. How can we learn more and how can I convince her to get help?

  33. I understand what you are going through. I am currently working with clients like yourself. I recently was retrained and now approach therapy differently. My friend Peter Toth has the answers that you need. You can find him at Anazao. It is a clinic in Australia. I do the same therapy and I live in Arizona. His website describes the therapy we offer. This is my new web page Good luck with your search.

  34. I was diagnosed as bipolar a few months ago. I have always known something was wrong with me. When my psychiatrist asked me the questions which made him make his diagnosis i finally felt like someone understood me! Yes I go on shopping sprees for weeks, even a month, then don’t spend a dime for a period of time. I have severe mood swings that seem logical at the time, then I’m embarrassed about later. One minute ready to do anything and within 1 second complete opposite. I have scared away all friends and relationships. I have become a creepy hermit who has no pleasure in doing anything. I am completely ashamed of who and what I have become. I distance myself from others hoping they won’t notice. I have developed a couple habits while trying to hide from the world in my room. I developed a coke and alcohol problem in the process. I am so desperate to get it out of my own body I will do anything that makes me feel good for a while so I don’t focus on what a piece if shit i really am! I have always been so against drugs because it has taken over my life once before and almost killed me. Unconsciously I created 2 accounts for a game that I play regularly and now I pretend to be 2 people and it comes naturally. It started out as me having 2 accounts and then I became 2 people while I was drink. One was mean and nasty and the other was the calm and friendly. It came naturally to be 2 people till I was sober and or came to realizing I was just me. I need some advice please help me!

  35. Lydia, Scott and S.A.,
    First Lydia – there is not any research that shows if a sibling goes through mental disorders at a particular time that you would as well. We all respond to trauma differently and how DID works for one person will/can look very different for another. Not having money for treatment makes it very difficult to get help. At this point in your life, learning coping skills and having someone in your life that you can talk to may be your best alternative. Remember, the different parts were created to help protect you. If switching happens a lot, you probably don’t feel very safe. (Sorry for taking so long to respond)
    Scott – there are evaluation tools that help determine if someone has DID. Usually a person close to you would help in that evaluation, because you might not remember many events going on or happening in your day to day life.
    S.A. – Not sure if you are making a comment or asking a question? I would tend to agree that what you are suggesting about acting out is accurate. That part surfaces when some sort of anxiety or fear is happening in your life.

  36. I have DID.. And I have an alter who has a perverse addiction. She does not have the addiction because she wants to feel normal… She has it because she acts out the indecent assault memories and it is a way for me to cope I believe, to avoid intercourse because I find the advances extremely awkward. I would describe myself as not interested in intimacy.

  37. Dear Mary,
    I feel your frustration and inability to get your husband’s alter to cooperate. Most likely he will act out when dealing with fear, stress or shame. If he deals with his addiction with other women, then your safety is something to also keep in mind (not even considering your emotional disappointment and anger). You don’t want to be exposed to diseases. So be careful, please.
    Unfortunately, if he doesn’t get professional help, he will most likely not change without God’s intervention. I will put you on my daily prayer list.

  38. Hi how do you know if you have multi personality disorder? I’m usually shy soba but some alcohol and I’m very confident but sometimes I do things I can’t remember the next day is this normal

  39. Dr Steve,you may notice I have previously posted,ofcourse I can’t remember what I said and don’t have time to read it for the 20th time. I did however say I’m doing fine. Do you know if there is an age influencing did? My brother lost it at 30,I’m turning 27 and becomming scared and nervous. I choose to believe I’m perfect and coping coz I have to! I cannot afford to seek profesional help and I’ve only got my partner supporting me my family is just naïve. What can I do??? I think my alter Angelique might take over an I don’t mind but Its not healthy and I don’t want to change my life again. I just don’t know how to breathe through this one.

  40. Rick,
    Most often the host may not be the one acting out. Quite often an alter with an addiction who surfaces to cause the person to act out as a distraction.
    Plus you never want to cause another alter to step up or be created to take over the host. The idea is to help the host rid the alters and their influencs.
    I would highly rec. a book written by Peter Toth. He has new breaking info and treatment for DID.

  41. Dealing with a person with multiple personalities is a very hard one. They tend to show something that they don’t know of what they have shown to us. That’s why sometimes we can’t understand or we don’t know how to deal with them. So, much better if we try to help them by referring to the right person who can deal with this kind of behavior, and those who are specialized professional when it comes to personality behavior, a psychotherapist.

  42. Dear Ioana,
    It is hard to determine if your dad is D.I.D. with the limited info you detailed.

    Usually, someone with DID will have an addictive part which will emerge from time to time.

    As far as forgetting details while drinking, he could be demonstrating his rages during a blackout, which is when a person doesn’t remember things after consuming enough alcohol that will put them in that state. He may be suppressing a huge amount of hurt or anger that only comes out when he can’t controll it.

    He could also be allowing demons to operate his body once he consumes too much alcohol.

    Or as you suspect, he may be D.I.D. Some of the common symptoms or signs of this disorder is a lot of confusion and forgetfulness (like misplacing or loosing car keys or forgetting where he parked, not remembering the past 20 minutes, and quite often denying he said or did things that you know beyond a doubt he did).
    Usually family members say they live in chaos and often think maybe they are losing their minds. Often rudeness will come out of no where. Some clients will use the phrase “we” instead of “I”.

    So, unless your father has several of these symptoms and or others when he is sober, he probably is not D.I.D.
    If you would like to correspond by:
    recoverywithdrsteve [dot] org or send email to drsteve [at] recoverywithdrsteve [dot] org

  43. Dr. Steve, my dad is an alcoholic, and I’ve read many articles about people developing another personality because of the addiction. He totally transforms from this nice and kind person to a brutal, controllinf violent person. I can see the hatred in his eyes when he is drunk, and it’s all gone when he is not. I feel like he is a totally different person, and think he is D.I.D. He completely forgets what he did the previous day, asking me, where he was, what he did or what he said to my mom. I really could use some guidance to know how to handle him. And i can give you some more details if we can chat or email privately.

    Thank you 🙂

  44. Hi Lydia,
    Thanks for your comments and I’m glad you are functioning well. If you can evaluate your life as “perfect as it is”, then you are ahead of most people on this planet.

    Have you ever considered the once a month crash as one of the alters causing this sensation?

    Client’s I work with consistently feel sick the day they come to see me. After being at session for 15 minutes or so, the sickness goes away. Many alters have told me they create those feelings because they don’t like me asking so many question and they are trying to distract the host and to get them to cancel the appointment.

    Your comment about the “aware” versus functioning above, is a great point. If you are functioning well and are happy, then awareness is fine.

    The reason people usually seek help is that their system is not functioning well. Things like memory loss, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, addictions, flashbacks,etc are usually why people seek help. They feel like they can’t survive on their own anymore (thus feel like they are going crazy).

    I will pray that your brother gets the help that he needs.

  45. Hi Dr Steve. You did suggest that I find out as much as I can, well I have been doing research for almost 5 years.. I am in South Africa and therefore I know exactly what you mean by being misdiagnosed. I also commented as “Jane doe” on the drug situation. I am 25 and I have taken my health into my own hands, I am on Ritalin during the week to stay in control or at least aware of the switching and then keep Alzam around for when It gets to much. What I have experienced with other drugs is that it makes switching for me effortless although I do not play around with that alot.. None of my alters are addicted but we all just like being able to be so in control. Luckilly I can do this without any meds or drugs. I do “crash” once a month usually or sometimes once a week, this only means that I am tired, or get sick for a few days.. I am not willing to integrate, my life is perfect as it is, my only concern is that my brother who also has a mental illness with no idea that he has multiple personalities is going on a downward spiral.. If this is not an age related thing but only being “aware” etc. then I should be fine coping on my own?

  46. Hi Lydia,
    I apologize about not responding to your post from November 21.

    People all over the world are living with MPD (D.I.D.).

    Unfortunately, most MPDs are misdiagnosed for an average of 7 years; usually diagnosed as Bi-polar or Anxiety disorder. The good thing is usually the medication for these disorders help everyday functioning.
    I would suggest you find out as much as you can about MPD. Quite often clients feel like they are going crazy or are damaged goods.

    Remember, this disorder happens as a way of survival from real or perceived danger or abuse; usually in childhood. One theory is that God provided children a way to cope and survive trauma and it is his desire for all to be healed and set free. As a person becomes an adult and has the mind of an adult he/she is more able to handle past events and ultimately bring about healing.
    Please feel free to correspond with further questions.

  47. Hi John,
    Jane’s comment above about medication is a solution for some MPDs.

    My experience tells me it depends.

    It is not uncommon to have a Identity who is a teenager that loves to party or drink and drug. Medication can numb the activity of the Identities coming and going, but quite often a resistance happens from the person from refusing to take medication.

    Remember, Alter identities are developed to escape fear or danger and to be able to cope with life situations. An identity that developed doing drugs or alcohol is very much part of that system of protection. Even with rehab treatment, some people have identities who emerge during sleep and the host has very little control over their choices.

    Ultimately, healing and integration is the best solution. You are correct, in that it is typically a slow process, but with the Lords help and guidance, she can be healed. Or brought to a place of being highly functional. I have seen it happen many times.

    As far as hints go:
    If you are one that is patient, continue to provide a safe environment and encourage her that you will be there for her always.

    You may also get an immediate switch from the drugging identity by softly and lovingly focus on her eyes and use her name (especially if she has a nickname) and tell her you need to talk to her. You will probably see her switch back to her host identity. The most common tell-tell sign is a stretching of the eyes, or a rubbing of her forehead.

    I agree with you that you must be extremely careful with counselors. Well intentioned counselors that aren’t trained in Biblical techniques for Inner Healing specifically for MPD may make a mess of things and quickly be in over their heads.

    Be Blessed and May the Lord give you wisdom and understanding.

  48. Hi John, Is she on medication for MPD? If not, I believe that’s why she is using drugs, it does help. But if she is getting help and still using then you should probably try rehab. Do keep in mind that I am just a reader with MPD myself and not in the position to give “hints”..

  49. Hi!
    How to convince the girl with MPD to stop doing drugs.
    Don’t tell me please, about some Christian Brothers Associations nor
    ”MPD Quack Therapy Specialists” as they cause more harm then do any good.
    It has to stay private as the trust is the main factor in order to achieve the positive outcome. I hope, that with the help from our Creator and your adequate hints I’ll be able to find the right way to get her quit such bad habit, however it maybe very long process as well as it’s not gonna be the easy one. God Bless.
    With regards
    John Doe

  50. WOW! First of all, i have google’d for litterally years to find an ACTIVE website.. I do have multiple personalities. not diagnosed.. I only have ONE question! Is it POSSIBLE to live with DID without any treatment?? Can it get easier?

  51. Hi Marliane. Thanks for your comment.

    MPD/DID is treated primarily with psychotherapy and the moderate benefits of psychopharmacology with antidepressant and antianxiety agents. You can learn more by doing a Google search using the following keyword terms: treatment multiple personality disorder

  52. what is the treatment for MPD/DID? I was treated as a manic depressant when I was 13. I have not been on any medication though since I was 16. I read the article and the thing that made sense to me was the absolute memory loss. People I knew in my late teens I can only remember their faces, not their names and not actually remember from where I know them.

  53. Yes, I am completely ready to do anything necessary to get us some help. Recently I have started having some health problems and while he is sober he is telling me to make sure I do not miss my appointment but, tonight he was drinking again and got mad because I didn’t want to go to bed at the same time he did and told me to get out and then started throwing things and slammed doors. When he started this I threatened to call 911 and he told me I needed to and then passed out. I can assure you he will not remember any of this tomorrow. I just want to get some help. I need someone to tell us both whats wrong that is not a friend or relative because he thinks they are all lying for me. Thanks for any help you may be able to give me.

  54. Hi Shannon. I have forwarded your question to Dr. Steve. I do agree that you need help. Are you ready to see a therapist yourself or to attend support groups for loved ones of alcoholics?

  55. Dr. Steve,

    My husband and I have been together for 16 years. He has always been an alcoholic. Up until recently he has never been mean to me or showed any anger towards me while drinking. Within the past year, he has threatened to throw me out and keep me away from my kids, he has threatened to kill me, and he has tried to hurt me. Luckily for me he is sooooo drunk while he is doing this that I can take care of myself pretty much. He has thrown things at me, thrown my clothes out. Screamed at me and told me I was a stupid b**** and completely worthless. He does known of these things when he is sober and usually after one of these episodes he will go a day or 2 without talking to me and then begin to act like nothing happened. If I bring it up, he tells me I am crazy and need help. I don’t know what to do. He refuses therapy. Please help…. I have been unemployed for the past 2 years and not for lack of trying … I have NO where to go so, I can not leave. I need some advice.\

    1. hi shannon i deal with the same with my partner. she drinks 2-3 times a week. smokes pot sometimes and have stole my pain meds from my surgery. she is innappropriate when she drinks, nasty and hurtful. there have been incidents of her getting physical. she denies everthing and thi ks i lying to her about what she says and does. when i ask her the next day she blows it off to nothing and im picki g on her and hurting her. was t sure if its the alter who drinks or just comes out when drinking. she has flirted with men in front of me and then denies it. help

  56. Hi Chris. Thanks for writing in and asking for help. I found these Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults written by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

    I’d suggest that you start by reading this, and then contact the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation directly to ask for references for finding a therapist for your father, if needed.

    Does this help? Can we provide you with more information?

  57. I am writing to you because I have been looking up multiple personality disorders, and I came across this website. I am writing because I am worried about my father, he is now 62 and is not doing well at all. He has not left his house in about 2 months nor has even taken a shower and he seems to be getting worse. He has no desire for anything anymore, all he does is lay on the couch with a blanket over his head with no heat on, and it is extremely cold in his house. The other day I went to try to get him to go and get him help and he refused. He can barely breathe half the time and I fear that he is slowly dieing. When I was talking to him, he was acting very strange. First when I walked in, he looked as though he was a 90 year old man, his face looked grey and his hair even looked more gray. I told him, lets go and go to the hospital, and he said in a very faint older voice….I cant, almost whispering. Then when I said lets go again, almost in a more firm voice, suddenly his face changed and became very angry, the color came back in his face and he yelled…NO. I then confronted him about some things I had witnessed when I was a child, such as his addiciton, which he denied, still in an angry tone staring at me as though he wanted to hurt me. I then started to cry, asking him why he would watch it in front of me all the time, even though he didnt know I was standing right in front of him. He then looked away, with his head down and spoke almost as if he were a young boy, shrugging his shoulders. I said…look at me when im talking!!! So then he did, with a face of disgust just staring me down. Anyway, this went on for hours watching him almost change into different people, with different voices, each time the persoanlity changed, I would notice that he would look down, and every time he would look up, he was almost a different person. A few times I felt like I was actually talking to my father, but most of the time it was as if he were a different person. I am writing because I do not know what to do. I do not know if this is even multiple personality disorder that he suffers from, but I need advice. I have been reading up on it and it seems as though he has most of if not all of the symptoms related to MPD. If you could please help me and get back to me on this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You

  58. Shabana,
    In this case it is a little hard to determine if your husband has split personalities. It is very common for multiples to have a drinking/drugging personality that takes over. If he acts like a teenager during his drinking episodes (like casting care to the wind, blowing you off, nothing is important, etc.) along with other symptoms of MPD, like memory loss discussed in the article, then maybe your husband could be MPD.

    It may be more likely, that your husband has bent up rage and only comes out while drinking. His initial relaxation is the reason for the drinking, but then his ability to control his emotion also disappears.

  59. Sher,
    what you described sounds more like possession.You are right the growling is most likely demon possession. The eyes turning black is a use by demons to create fear. I have faces change right before my eyes, or the pupal roll away and I only see the whites of their eyes. Sometimes foaming at the mouth takes place. When they recognize that you are not afraid, they will usually change back and will react the way you described.

    However, multiples have been known to pretend they are an animal or beast. I had a client who showed himself to the other parts as a dragon, trying to terrorize and control the other parts. However, this is reported by a part, not physically change in appearance.

    PTSD has caused a number of unusual actions/reactions when triggered. These clients usually will talk about what happened and maybe ask questions. Usually, they are reliving a traumatic event like a flashback. They usually feel embarrassed and apologetic.

    If your X has been diagnosed as PTSD, MPD, and Psychotic disorders, then the drinking is probably a way for him to escape or medicate some of the symptoms. I would say he needs prayer and extended counseling.

  60. Dr steve my husband is a chronic alcoholic and when he drinks, he seems violent like he wants to kill me, i can see hate in his eyes,,,he hasn’t touched me but i’m not in the same room with him when he is drunk..can alcohol contribute to split personality?

  61. Dr. Steve, My ex partner is diagnosed with PTSD, Multiple Personality, Psychotic Disorder & he’s an alcoholic. He is on full Soc. Sec. Disability. When he drinks his rum/cokes his personality would change, becoming very angry & violent. I call this the twist..In July he twisted and became violent/abusive. I fell to the floor & he got on top of me, his eyes turned Black, he was excessively strong ,strangling me & GROWLING from his throat. I was stabbing him with car keys & it didn’t affect him at all. All of a sudden he stopped, let go of me & looked around as tho he was disoriented & confused. We are no longer together!! In your opinion is this MPD or could it have been a form of possession?? The growling is what throws me..I’d never seen him like that before..I’m trying to understand.
    Thank You

  62. Thank you Dr. Steve. Unfortunately, I am not in the Phoenix area otherwise I would come see you…I will check into the Celebrate Recovery in our area. God Bless, Mary

  63. Mary,
    Thank you for your comments and I sense your struggled.
    I do have a suggestion.

    Celebrate recovery addresses addictions and codependency issues. It isn’t group counseling, but it is wonderful Christian support. Many struggling people who desire God’s help have found comfort, direction, and friendship in CR. Sometimes you will be able to pick up a referral from someone in group who has dealt with similar issues. (no cost-love offering).

    Also, for your husband; I would pray that God would open the doors for a trained Christian therapist in DID who is available for your husband. It may take months or even years for integration. I believe it is God’s intention for your husband to be healed.

    So allow God to lead you and provide an avenue for you and your husband. The road may be wild and crazy at times and I would also suggest you spend time with a counselor as well. It’s sometimes extremely hard to stay in a relationship with someone with DID. So, please take care of yourself, by finding support as well.

    If you live in the Phoenix area, I would love to help you in whatever way I can.

    God Bless you,
    Dr. Steve

  64. Hi Dr. Steve – in short, my husband was diagnosed with DID a few years back. One of the alters is a sexual addict. This alter would not surface during phone counseling. I tried with couple counseling to prove the existence of this alter and his behaviors, but my husband would call him the “asshole”. While his core has become stronger through prayer, bible study and a willingness to be whole, the S/A alter still exists. I’m not sure what to do. I’m tired…. Thanks for your input. I would like to be in a couple’s recovery program. I’m pretty sure he would go for it too.


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