Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) commonly referred to as multiple personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states. However, there is a subset of DID called Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD) that is not as well known.
OSDD has two subtypes, OSDD-1A and OSDD-1B. OSDD-1A is diagnosed when a person experiences recurrent gaps in their memory, identity confusion, subjective symptoms of depersonalization and derealization, but doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria for DID. In contrast, OSDD-1B is diagnosed when a person experiences recurrent gaps in their memory and identity confusion but doesn’t have a clear presence of distinct personality states or fully formed alters.
Compared to DID, OSDD-1A is often considered a milder form, as the person experiences the presence of only one core personality state. However, OSDD-1A can still be extremely debilitating and cause significant functional impairment for the affected person.
One of the hallmark features of OSDD-1A is the presence of identity confusion. People with this type of OSDD often describe feeling as if they are two or more different people living inside one body. These personality states can have different opinions, beliefs, and desires, leading to internal conflict.
Another common symptom of OSDD-1A is the presence of recurrent memory gaps. These gaps can be for minutes, hours, days or even longer periods, and can sometimes include episodes of confusion or disorientation. The person may not be able to recall events or conversations that took place during these gaps in memory.
The subjective experience of depersonalization and derealization is also common in OSDD-1A. People with this disorder often report feeling disconnected from their thoughts, feelings, and body, as if they are observing themselves from a distance. They may also feel like the world around them is unreal or unfamiliar.
Some people with OSDD-1A may experience other dissociative symptoms, such as somatoform or dissociative disorders. Somatoform disorders are mental disorders that cause physical symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, without any underlying medical cause. Dissociative disorders involve a disconnection between various aspects of consciousness, including identity, emotions, memory, and perception.
Other common symptoms of OSDD-1A include anxiety, depression, and self-injurious behavior. The risk of self-harm or suicide is higher in people with OSDD-1A than the general population. Therefore, it is essential that individuals with this condition are evaluated by a mental health professional and given appropriate treatment.
Treatment for OSDD-1A typically involves psychotherapy, which aims to address the underlying trauma or stress that triggered the condition. This can be achieved through various forms of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, or trauma-focused therapy. Medications may also be recommended to help with symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
It is essential to note that OSDD-1A is a controversial diagnosis, with some mental health professionals questioning whether it is a distinct disorder or simply a variant of DID. Some clinicians believe that OSDD-1A may be underdiagnosed, as people with this condition may present with symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from other psychiatric disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about OSDD-1A:
1. How is OSDD-1A diagnosed?
OSDD-1A is diagnosed through a clinical evaluation by a mental health professional. The clinician may use diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to make a diagnosis.
2. What causes OSDD-1A?
OSDD-1A is typically caused by trauma or stress that the person has experienced in their life. The dissociative symptoms are often the person’s way of coping with the distress caused by the trauma.
3. What is the difference between OSDD-1A and DID?
OSDD-1A is characterized by the presence of one core personality state, whereas DID is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states. Additionally, individuals with OSDD-1A may not meet all the diagnostic criteria for DID.
4. Can OSDD-1A be treated?
Yes, OSDD-1A can be treated through a variety of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological interventions. Treatment typically involves addressing underlying traumas and stressors that triggered the condition.
5. Can OSDD-1A be cured?
There is no cure for OSDD-1A, but with appropriate treatment, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. Continued therapy may be necessary to maintain symptom control.