A Phenomenological Inquiry into the Lived Experiences of Persons Diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder


Sylvia Hill

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2020


Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a complex and controversial diagnosis. The history of DID is presented with a discussion of the competing theories about the causes of the disorder. Methods of diagnosis and treatment are presented. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to learn how people diagnosed with DID are impacted in their daily functioning, education and/or employment, and in their social life. Participants were engaged in a semi-structured interview in which they share their experiences. The interviews were recorded via Adobe Connect due to the presence of the COVID-19 virus and IRB requirements. The recordings were transcribed verbatim. Data was analyzed according to Giorgi’s (2009) methodology. Significant statements from each interview were coded and the following themes were developed: 1) Unreality, Unpredictability, 2) Lost Time, 3) Daily routines and activities, 4) School confusion, 5) Employment Difficulties, 6) Social Connection, 7) Stigma. Keywords: Dissociation, Dissociative identity disorder


Linda Ball

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences