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Medications for Dissociative Identity Disorder

Other names: DID; MPD; Multiple Personality Disorder; Personality Disorder, Multilple; Personality Disorder, Split; Split Personality Disorder

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder is a complex psychological condition that produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. 

Dissociative identity disorder was previously known as multiple personality disorder.

What Causes Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Although experts are not sure what causes dissociative identity disorder, it is likely to be a psychological response to stressors that occurred, most commonly, early childhood years when emotional neglect or abuse may interfere with personality development.
Although it can be precipitated by several different experiences, the most common is severe trauma during early childhood that involved often extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
As many as 99% of individuals have a personal history of overpowering and often life-threatening disturbances usually before age 6.

What are the Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, which means people with the disorder experience a disconnection between their thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and their identity. This causes people to experience several personality states or to escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and make it difficult for them to go about their daily lives.

The dissociation is thought to be a coping mechanism; the person shuts out or disassociates themselves from the situation or experience that was violent, traumatic, or painful.

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder include:

  • Feeling detached from yourself and your emotions
  • The perception that people or things around you are distorted or unreal
  • Confusion about your identity
  • Difficulty coping with everyday life (such as school, work, relationships)
  • The presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states (also called “alters”) that the person with the disorder switches between. They may feel like two or more people are living or talking inside their head, and each identity may have a unique name, voice, mannerisms, race, age, sex, and other characteristics, such as the need for eyeglasses. Sometimes the identities are animals. Switching is the crossover of the different alters, and this can occur over several seconds or minutes or days.
  • Significant gaps in your memory or an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness or by a medical condition. Also, highly distinct memory variations that fluctuate according to personality are common. An episode of amnesia can occur suddenly and last for variable lengths of time (minutes/hours/days)
  • Flashbacks that can be traumatic, overwhelming or associated with unsafe behavior

Other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts are common in people with dissociative identity disorder.

What is the Treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Treatment revolves around psychotherapy and medication and may include:

  • Talk therapy
  • Counseling
  • Psychosocial therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antipsychotics.

 

Drugs Used to Treat Dissociative Identity Disorder

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
sertraline Off Label C N X 2 reviews
9.5

Generic name: sertraline systemic

Drug class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

venlafaxine Off Label C N X 3 reviews
8.5

Generic name: venlafaxine systemic

Drug class: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

fluoxetine Off Label C N X Add review
0.0

Generic name: fluoxetine systemic

Drug class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

citalopram Off Label C N X Add review
0.0

Generic name: citalopram systemic

Drug class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Learn more about Dissociative Identity Disorder

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.