A dissociative disorder characterized by the presence of two or more (sometimes many) separate personalities, each with its own memories and patterns of behaviour, at least two of which take turns in recurrently taking control of behaviour, the disorder also being characterized by amnesia for personal information that is too great to be attributable to ordinary forgetfulness. It is sometimes interpreted as a form or variant of post-traumatic stress disorder, and some researchers and practitioners believe that it is usually a consequence of childhood abuse or other traumatic experiences, but the disorder is the subject of considerable controversy and is not universally recognized. Also called multiple personality disorder (MPD) or split personality. Often confused with (but in fact unrelated to) schizophrenia. DID abbrev.