Switching Characteristics

How to tell when a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder is about to switch personalities.

Training Instructor Bethesda PsycHealth Institute 1990

  • headache
  • pressure inside the head
  • stiff neck - (usually not as intense as with memory retrieval)
  • pressure at the base of the head - (less intense than with memory retrieval)
  • pupil dilation
  • pressure behind the eyes
  • blurry vision - (clears, then becomes blurry)
  • eyes become - (watery or glassy, glazed in appearance), (eyes can also appear reddened without memory retrieval. Reddened eyes without memory symptoms means that a part is functioning that has repressed materials attached to it.)
  • eyes more sensitive to light
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • chills
  • ears ring
  • emotionally feeling more child-like
  • mood swing - a change in mood
  • thought pattern change - thoughts change about same subject and your response changes with it
  • feelings and emotions change - change about same situation
  • objects and people look different - dimensions are off, colors can look brighter or dimmer
  • body looks and feels detached
  • face looks and feels detached
  • face looks different in the mirror
  • laughter changes - different laughs, subtle different to flagrant
  • light in a room changes to suddenly brighter or dimmer
  • fainting feelings - physically like you might lose consciousness
  • inability to concentrate and think clearly
  • urgency to "do something"
  • thoughts become louder
  • orchestra of thoughts or "conversations," all with opposing views

next:   Discerning Alter Personalities From Demons

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 28). Switching Characteristics, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Last Updated: September 25, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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