DSM-5 Changes: Dissociative Disorders

DSM-5 Changes: Dissociative DisordersThe new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) has a number of changes to dissociative disorders, including dissociative identity disorder. This article outlines some of the major changes to these conditions.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the publisher of the DSM-5, the major changes to this category of disorders includes:

  • Derealization is included in the name and symptom structure of what previously was called depersonalization disorder. The disorder is now called depersonalization/derealization disorder (that’s a mouthful!).
  • Dissociative fugue is now a specifier of dissociative amnesia — rather than as a separate diagnosis.
  • Diagnostic criteria for dissociative identity disorder have been updated:
    • Symptoms of disruption of identity may now be reported, as well as observed
    • Gaps in the recall of events may occur for everyday events — not just traumatic events
    • Experiences of pathological possession in some cultures are included in the description of identity disruption

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) — also known by some by its very old name, multiple personality disorder — undergoes some changes to its diagnostic criteria. According to the APA, Criterion A has been “expanded to include certain possession-form phenomena and functional neurological symptoms to account for more diverse presentations of the disorder.”

The first criterion also now specifically states that transitions in identity may be observable by others or self-reported.

Last, according to Criterion B, individuals with dissociative identity disorder may now have recurrent gaps in recall for everyday events, not just for traumatic experiences.

DSM-5 Changes: Dissociative Disorders

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2013). DSM-5 Changes: Dissociative Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 May 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 May 2013
Published on All rights reserved.