Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) are an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory. People from all age groups and racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience a dissociative disorder.
Dissociative disorders usually develop as a way of dealing with trauma. Dissociative disorders most often form in children exposed to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Natural disasters and combat can also cause dissociative disorders.
Dissociation is a coping skill that disconnects traumatic memories from one’s consciousness, shielding them from the pain or fear associated with the trauma. The traumatic memories still exist but are deeply buried within the mind. The memories may resurface on their own or after being triggered by something in the person’s life, usually appearing as panic, anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares.