S36E8 – Dark Psychology: Writing Realistic Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), while not understood well in the world of psychology, has been explored in fiction for a long time. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID is a mental health condition where someone has more than one distinct personality which control their behavior. One of the best classical examples, even if it was caused by a potion, is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Writing this disorder can be difficult, especially since not much is known about it overall in the world of psychology. It’s important to understand the basics of what we do know, if you want to write it accurately and respectively. Most importantly, you should know that it is often believed to come from trauma rather than an inherent personality trait. It should also not be confused with schizophrenia.

Having a character with DID, though, can be a fun way to write a story. It would work well in a psychological thriller, or combined with science fiction and fantasy elements. Listen to this episode for a breakdown of the disorder and common examples within well-known fiction.

First aired October 27, 2022.

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