Glossary

Here are some terms that you might come across here or on other blogs about MPD/DID:

  • MPD/DID — Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • alter — separate personality, with his/her own language, style of dress, self-image, age, gender, and internal physical attributes (for example, one may have high blood pressure or asthma where others don’t). Often alters do not know about each other at all.
  • front person — the personality who is “out front” (in other words, interacting with the outside world); this personality may or may not have the same name/age/gender/race/species as the host body. (I have not experienced the other-species alter thing, but I have heard of such a thing)
  • host body — the body everyone lives in
  • core person — the original person that existed before any alters were formed. This may or may not be the same as the person who is normally out front. Some think that this person is the one who the alters are protecting by staying dissociated.
  • co-conscious — when two alters (usually the front person and another one) are able to interact with each other. This can range from exchange of information to one alter actually watching another (the front person at the time) interact with the outside world. This last one sort of feels like you’re sitting in the back seat of a car; you can see and hear most of what’s going on but have no control of the wheel.
  • switching — changing from one alter to another.
  • system — the whole group inside a host body, including all the alters and the core person.
  • integration — the process where two or more alters merge to become one personality. Usually this happens when whatever caused the alter(s) to form in the first place is healed. It does not hurt, can’t be forced (although it can be faked, which causes a lot of issues later), and nobody dies. My experience has been that it’s a good thing.

That’s all I can think of right now. If you run across any other terms you don’t understand post them here and I’ll try to explain them.

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