What causes dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder does not happen in a vacuum: it does not result from a chemical imbalance in the brain, and is not caused by faulty genes. There may be biological, social and environmental factors which increase people’s vulnerability to developing a dissociative disorder. But more than anything, DID develops as a result of trauma and disorganised attachment.

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What is psychological trauma?

Trauma is an event or series of events that are so overwhelming and threatening to life or sanity that a person cannot cope. The mind may switch off (dissociate) during the event or, at the very least, it will not be able to hold together the different elements of the event afterwards and ‘integrate’ them or join them together.

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