DID/MPD Termonolgy

Terms to Know

I’ve seen this on a couple other DID blogs and along my journey, I’ve discovered there is confusion on terminology a lot with DID/MPD entries and posts.  I thought this might clear up some.  I am in no way trying to steal anyone’s idea. I copied no language and even used some terms that are specific to my experiences.

This includes some general DID/MPD terms as well as some things to be aware of that are specific to my system.  After all, it is my blog.

DID: Dissociative Identity Disorder .  Also known as MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder.  A disorder that involves a split in personality where more than one “being” inhabits a single body.  This not normal drunken or drug-high induced crap.  It is caused by years of abuse, starting at an early age when the person’s identity is still developing.

Split: When a person fractures personalities in a coping fashion to protect themselves.

Trigger: A situation/person/item/thing/sound (etc.) that causes an alter (or the main personality) to try to hide, disassociate, or behave in a phobic way.  A lot of the time the person isn’t even aware of where this trigger/phobia originated from. I still have some I have no idea what caused them.
On the other hand, some I know full well why they’re triggers.

Alter(s): The personalities in a system. I hate the term personality because a lot of mine are highly developed, sensitive, and feel like complete “people”.

There are several archetype/common alters. They are:

  • Protector: a protective, often angry alter who feels their duty is to prevent “bad things” from happening to the body. Mine is Rika. Another interesting fact about my protector (though not sure if it’s true for all) is that she is always sober when out in the body, no matter what another alter has done.  Helps her handle extreme situations.
  • Little:  a childlike, young, and usually timid alter.  My only “complete” one is Armes (the others are fragments).  She is very easily triggered.
  • Fragment/Shadow: this isn’t a “complete” alter, but more a snapshot of a person.  Highly concentrated, usually out of one abuse situation or memory.  I have very few as I went through a period where they were either absorbed by my full alters, or they went into hibernation.
  • Facilitator/Navigator: this is one I’m not sure every system has (and other systems may not use this term). For me specifically, it’s an alter that is aware of all others and feels their primary job is to make sure “everyone is getting along”. At least as best they can. In my system, this is Roms.
  • Scribe/Memory Keeper: another one that may be just my system, but this is the alter that is created to “keep the secrets/memories” and sort of “record” them. In my system, it’s Claire, a compulsive writer, and Midori, who composes songs and music. My memories and secrets are recorded in both story and music form.

Always Sober: I use this phrase to refer mostly to Rika and Serefina, who have a strange “power” to not be affected by other alters’ self-destructive behaviors of pills and alcohol.  This is not to say they are not affected by physical pain (they definitely are), just not the mental fog that pills and alcohol usually cause.

Hibernation: When an alter/personality/fragment goes into a coma-like sleep and isn’t conscious or accessible by other alters.  In my system, it’s always been caused by a very harsh trigger (i.e. not voluntary). I’ve had a variety of alters do this throughout the years and most of them have eventually returned.

3 thoughts on “DID/MPD Termonolgy

    1. Pen Post author

      Um. This comment came off as a bit offensive. Hopefully you didn’t intend it that way.
      I just wanted to try and be educational and inform you that DID/MPD is a true health diagnosis and not meant to be a joke.


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