OSDD 1B: Understanding Disassociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a complex psychiatric disorder that occurs when an individual’s sense of self is fragmented, resulting in the development of multiple distinct identities, also known as alters. Complex and diverse, DID is often linked to abuse and trauma from childhood. The newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), officially changed the diagnostic term from multiple personality disorder to dissociative identity disorder in 2013. The term “dissociative” refers to the mental process of “splitting off” or separating thoughts or experiences from one’s normal consciousness, resulting in significant memory loss and gaps in recollection. Since 2004, proponents of the theory of a less severe form of DID called “OSDD 1B” have been advocating for recognition and treatment of those suffering from this often overlooked form of dissociative disorder.
Differences Between DID and OSDD 1B
According to experts, the key difference between DID and OSDD 1B is that those suffering from OSDD 1B do not have as dramatic or distinct dissociative states, and their identities are not as thoroughly developed or individuated as DID’s. The subtypes of OSDD 1B are Atypical DID and DDNOS-1B. Atypical DID is characterized by the presence of dissociative alterations in identity, but where the number of identities is typically fewer than in DID or presentations are less distinct or less fully-developed, or they alternate between two distinct personality states, and DDNOS-1B is characterized by the presence of chronic and frequent dissociative experiences of mild, moderate or severe intensity that markedly interfere with a host’s ability to function in daily life but, unlike DID, do not include the presence of distinct personality states.
According to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), individuals with DID have two or more distinct, stable personality states or identities that alternate and control their behavior, while OSDD 1B patients have a sense of lacking a sense of self or identity, a more amorphous array of dissociative experiences or inexplicable emotional states that represent mild, transient identity states rather than fully developed and fixed identities. The alters of individuals with DID often experience greater emotional and physical separation than those in OSDD 1B, but both groups experience a basic sense of separation from the world around them.
Another difference between these two disorders is that adults suffering from OSDD 1B are more likely to describe their experiences as having “switching” or identity shifts, rather than significant memory gaps as those with DID do. Switching can be less disruptive to daily life, but can still result in significant distractibility, decreased awareness of surroundings, and loss of time.
Symptoms of OSDD 1B
OSDD 1B is a relatively new diagnosis and researchers are still working on standardizing a clear set of diagnostic criteria. However, there are some common symptoms that are experienced by people who are diagnosed with the disorder:
1. Shifts in identity or sense of self that last for moments, days, or weeks.
2. Experiences of dissociation, including feeling detached from one’s own body, or feeling like one is watching their own actions from outside the body.
3. Feeling like one has lost a sense of time or memory gaps.
4. Finding objects or notes indicating activities one does not recall performing (specifically ones the host personality did not perform).
5. Feeling like one is being controlled by others, or that others are trying to control others.
1. What are the underlying causes of OSDD 1B?
The exact causes of OSDD 1B are still unclear, but it is believed to be linked to early childhood trauma, such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Some researchers suggest that the disorder may be a coping mechanism that the brain develops in response to trauma.
2. What treatments are available?
OSDD 1B is primarily treated with therapy, such as individual and group therapy, as well as medication to treat anxiety, depression or other symptoms associated with the disorder.
3. Can OSDD 1B be cured?
There is currently no known cure for OSDD 1B, but treatments can help manage symptoms and improve patient outcomes.
4. Are there support groups for people with this disorder?
Yes, there are support groups and online communities that cater specifically to OSDD 1B patients and their families. Support groups can offer a sense of validation and an opportunity to connect with others with the disorder.
5. How can I support a loved one with OSDD 1B?
The most important thing you can do is provide support and empathy. Be patient and understanding when your loved one struggles with dissociation or identity changes. Encourage them to seek professional help and take an active role in their treatment.