Commonly used terms as they apply to Dissociative Identity Disorder

Alter (altered state)This is an older term that encompasses all parts of a dissociated personality system. [4p.55-67].

Amnesic boundary: The term distinctly implies amnesia, but it is simply a dissociative boundary that is so intense there is amnesia between the parts of the personality between which it exists. [69]

Antagonism: Parts of the personality in all individuals can have opposing view, but in those with dissociative disorders the view between some parts are highly opposing each other. These views often revolve around how life should be handled.  [4 p.56-57] Consider an alter, let’s say an ANP, who has been raised to believe his mother is loving and kind, and another alter, this time an EP, has been tortured, burned, cut, beat and verbally abused by her mother. Those two alters will grow up with different points of views and those views will become more intense as the behavior they experience is continued inside and outside.

APA: (American Psychiatric Association) This is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. [2]

Attachment styles:

Insecure-Disorganized/Disoriented Attachment Style
Observation:  These infants want to be soothed, but their source is terrorizing.  An infant might approach their caregiver, but then their behavior is chaotic including turning around and going in circles or falling down and biting themselves. They are disoriented having no where safe to go for soothing. As the child ages life is chaotic. Etiology:  The source of comfort is terrifying to the infant. [12 p.85]

Insecure/Avoidant Attachment Style
Observation: The infant is upset when their caregiver leaves the room, but while gone and upon their return the child does not care. If the caregiver touches the child, the infant will push away. As the child ages they prefer isolation and independence and they keep any feelings to themselves. Etiology:  Instead of soothing, an infant with this attachment styles received either anger or nothing.   [4 p.97]

Observation: The infant is very distressed when the caregiver leaves, but requests comfort when their caregiver returns, but at the same time the infant appears to punish the caregiver for leaving them.  As the child ages the adult is confusing when in a relationship. Etiology: Inconsistent soothing.

Secure Attachment Style
Observation: The infant is upset when their caregiver leaves the room, but once the caregiver returns the child is easily soothed and the child is happy the adult has returned. As the child ages they have healthy relationships. Etiology: The child is soothed when needed and the child is confident this will usually happen.

Betrayal trauma theory: (BTT) “BTT proposes that the way in which events are processed and remembered will be related to the degree to which a negative event represents a betrayal by a trusted, needed other. Full awareness of such behavior may only increase the victim’s risk by motivating withdrawal or confrontation with the perpetrator, thus risking a relationship vital to the victim’s survival. In such situations, minimizing awareness of the betrayal trauma may be adaptive.” [70]

Brain: The brain is the control center of the central nervous system, and in contrast the mind is where thoughts takes place. [71] Both the brain and the mind play a part in at least the experience of dissociative identity disorder, and the etiology.

Co-conscious (Co-awareness, co-hosting, co-presence): A term used to describe the coexistence of two or more parts of the personality. The parts are sharing the same mental, affective and/or perceptual space at the same time. [4 p.187]

Coparticipation: When therapy consists of several parts of the personality participating together.
[4 p.187-201]

Consciousness: The quality or state of being aware, especially of something within oneself.

Consciousness – Changes in: The dissociative disorders are a group of mental disorders that affect consciousness. There is dissociation between the mind and body connection.

Core (original): A misnomer as it is generally used. The main part or host is not the core or the “part born into the body, or the first part to exist”. See etiology.

Dissociation: Dissociation only applies to those with trauma. “Dissociation entails a division of an individual’s personality, that is, of the dynamic, biopsychosocial system as a whole that determines his or her characteristic mental and behavioral actions.” In addition, each part has at “least rudimentary first-person perspective,” and “particular psychobiological boundaries that keep them divided but that they can in principle dissolve.” More

Dissociative boundary: Boundaries exist between parts of the personality when a young child is overwhelmed with the reality of their situation. The boundaries can be minor or so intense there is amnesia (see amnesic boundary) between the parts of the personality. The boundaries will remain until the overwhelming memories are processed. See memory processing

Dissociative Disorders (DD): Dissociative identity disorder, depersonalization/derealization disorder, other specified dissociative disorder and .Dissociative amnesia including fugue, [66] See DSM-5.

Dissociative identity disorder

A mental disorder caused by a very young child’s minds to protect itself from overwhelming events. What results is extreme dissociation that is more or less successful in keeping the individual from learning about their own disorder and from having to face the trauma of their earliest years of life.

Florid or Covert: Dissociative identity disorder, which presents with dramatic parts of the personality with obvious switching. [78] These florid presentations occur in only about 5-6% of  patients with dissociative identity disorder. [72]

Polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder: Most individuals with dissociative identity disorder have less than a dozen alters, however at the far end of the spectrum are those individuals who are polyfragmented. If an individual does present with numerous ‘alters’ purposeful mind control (see mind control) is often the cause. In general, the complexity of dissociative symptoms appears to be consistent with the severity of early tramatization. In a polyfragmented system the parts are usually in subsystems (see systems) or designs which were arranged by the programmers.

Covert dissociative identity disorder: DES scores are lower in those with covert dissociative identity disorder than with overt symptoms. These individuals are skilled at hiding overt symptoms, and the overwhelming majority of those with this mental disorder have this version.

Subtle dissociative identity disorder: There is less frequent and less severe dissociation than individuals with either overt or covert dissociative identity disorder.

DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders): This is a product of the American Psychiatric Association and it is the standard classification of mental disorders used by US mental health professionals, and it consists of the diagnostic classification, the diagnostic criteria sets, and the descriptive text. The current version, 5, was released May 18, 2013. [2]

EMDR: (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) A valid psychotherapeutic approach for treating trauma. [73]

Etiology: (cause) The study of the cause of a disorder or disease. [71] In the case of dissociative identity disorder, it is usually repeated, early childhood trauma and disorganized attachment (see attachment styles). Usually this is in the form of severe child abuse and neglect, but not always. [55] The full pdf file is online.

Etiology beyond child abuse:
“There are many things that are overwhelming yet more normative for young children for whom dissociation is their earliest and most primitive defense mechanism.  For example, multiple moves with inadequate support for the parents and caregivers, illness and medical crises for parents leaving caregivers without capacity to help children stay connected, early death of parents, or even illness in the child. If parents are overwhelmed without support before children are about two, dissociation may be their best defense.  However, because it makes them invisible, they do become perfect prey for predators.” Personal communication from: Power, E. M. Ed.

Executive control: In dissociative identity disorder there are many alters that are active at any given time. It’s doubtful that all parts are actually always active in the inner world, even though when in there it does appear that way, but that would be an overwhelming amount of energy for the mind/brain to consume. In any case, the alters that take over executive control leave the inner world as they assume their forward position in consciousness. In some systems this is a visible action. That part which is now forward is said to have executive control, but that term is deceiving. The part out is often just a puppet (sometimes purposeful, and other times not) of the parts inside to one degree or another.

Flashback: These are intrusive thoughts, feelings, or images associated with past trauma, but lacking a sense of coming from the past, [47 p.30-5] but let’s look beyond this vague definition. A flashback is a bit of trauma memory leaking forward to the part in executive control (see executive control). This differs from passive dissociation (see passive dissociation) in that a flashback is harmful. The parts inside, at least the EP, can’t tell the difference between a flashback and reality. The ANP (see structural dissociation) in executive control often shrugs the event off as a minor annoyance, but the EP inside will be distraught.

Front (fronting): The front alter is the one that is forward in the conscious part of the mind. Interesting this part is rarely aware of what is going on with all the other parts while in this position. (See out)

Grounded (present): This is a basic of therapy. When the part in executive control (see executive control) is overwhelmed by feelings that come from parts within then they can work to ground themselves. That simply means to shut out any feelings from the EP. In the case of flashbacks this is important work that should be enacted quickly. [6 p.4]

Hyperaroused: A pattern presenting with fight, flight or/and freeze reactions. [6 p.217]

Hypoaroused: An automatic coping measure used to avoid feelings. [6 p.221] The hypoaroused person appears detached, avoident, and/or unemotional. Symptoms include numbing, analgesia, derealization, depersonalization, catatonia and fainting, along with low heart rate, bradycardia. [4 p.113]

Hysteria: A historic term that is no longer used that use to be a catch-all category for disorders prior to use in the DSM III.

Inside world (closed system): A self care system where dissociative parts exist. [4 p.71] If the inner world is extravagant and consists of multitudes of alters then mind control is a probable cause of the individuals dissociative identity disorder.

Inner child (child within, divine child, wonder child, true self, child): This concept has nothing to do with dissociative identity disorder. The inner child is an idea – a concept used in popular and analytical psychology to describe child-like aspects of an adult’s psyche. It is those feelings and memories from childhood that are left unresolved.

Integration: A process of association between parts of the mind that occurs in early childhood. If this natural processes is halted, then the mind will keep attempting the process, using a great deal of energy in the attempt.

Intrusion (partial dissociation) : Dissociative symptoms felt when one part intrudes into the experience of another. [6 p.18] (see dissociation, partial)

Memory: The brain stores traumatic memory differently than normal memory and for good reason. Sometimes the memories are so overwhelming that the human mind cannot live aside them. Evolution has allowed us to do so, but there is a downside and that is the trauma and dissociation disorders.

Memory explicit (narrative/declarative memory): Consciously recalled facts or events that have verbal components. This is the form of memory used, for example, when a person recounts the events of his or her day.

Memory implicit (procedural/sensorimotor memory): In contrast to explicit memory, implicit memory lacks narrative. It is how memory is stored in infants and how memory of action is recalled without words to put to the action.

Memory trauma: Memory is either explicit or implicit (see memory). What is referred to as trauma memory is implicit memory that is stuck, and encapsulate within a dissociative boundary (see dissociative boundary) for safe keeping.

Mental health professional: Individuals who are licensed to provide services based on their training and area of expertise.

Licensed counselor – Professionals who may provide services that include diagnosis and counseling. They are qualified to work with patients in a clinical setting.

Psychiatrist: Professionals who are MD’s. They can prescribe medication and conduct research, but without psychology training they cannot work in a clinical setting.

Psychologist: They specialize in mental health, education, occupational psychology and they often conduct research. They are qualified to work with patients in a clinical setting

Psychotherapist: These professionals may be a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional who have specialist training in psychotherapy.  They are qualified to work with patients in a clinical setting.

Social worker– These professionals perform assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses and case management. They are qualified to work with patients in a clinical setting.

Mind: The mind of an individual with dissociative identity disorder is both fascinating and disheartening. Unlike the normal mind that allows information to flow freely between the parts of the self, the severely dissociative mind struggles to work around dissociative boundaries. (see dissociative boundaries) In most ways the mind is separate from the brain, but at the same time both the mind and brain work together. (see brain)

Aware or unaware (see consciousness): The mental experience of being aware. [52 p.A1-10] Awareness of other parts varies with each state. Some states are fully aware of all others and some are only aware of themselves.  [6 p.26]

Conscious mind (see aware): Being aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts,surroundings, etc. [71] The subjective experience of being aware. It has at least two dimensions: access to information, and the phenomenal or subjective personal quality of an experience. [47p.AI-18]

Multiple personality disorder (MPD)Before the DSM-IV, [2] Dissociative identity disorder was known as MPD. (see dissociative identity disorder)

Neuro-biophysiological organization (Psychophysiological): Parts may vary in neurobiophysiological ways such as how they talk, look, allergies they have, vision, voices they speak with, handwriting and electrical brain activity. [4 p.57]

Out (front): The part that is in executive control (see executive control) at the moment is considered to be the one that is “out.” (See front)

Original (core): A sense of self is created over time. We are not born with a unified personality. [4 p.59] (See core)

Original abuser: The actual abuser rather than an internal introject of the abuser.

Personality – parts of the personality

Personality: A diverse, fragmentary and generally illusory image of self. In childhood the personality is not yet developed and thus malleable. A personality always consists of many parts. [67]

Personality state: Many terms are used that have the same meaning including: parts, selves,  part of the self,  sub-selves, parts of the personality,  sub-personalities,  sides,  internal self states,  identities,  states,  ego states,  part of the mind, ANP/EP life system, and entity, but all basically refer to the same thing. The point is that the personality is an agglomeration of many states. The state that speaks as I at any time, may be different from the state or group of states that “speaks as the I on another occasion.” [67 p.1]

Personality states, dissociated: Take any term above and it’s often used when talking about dissociative identity disorder, but it’s used with the understanding that the part discussed is a dissociated state that belongs to a DID system.  Other terms used include: alter, alternate identity, dissociative part of the personality,  dissociated personality state,  dissociated part, dissociated part of self and disaggregate self-state. The unconscious consists of  “many autonomous sub-centers of consciousness that are not necessarily a product of a persons agency. They are more likely a result of a person having been overwhelmed.” [4 p.34]

Personality system: All the parts that make up the personality. (See personality)

Phobia of dissociative parts: When parts avoid each other and their painful memories and experiences. [6 p.31]

Polyfragmented: (See dissociative identity disorder)

Posttraumatic stress disorder: (PTSD) The dissociated states (see personality) in those with dissociative identity disorder often have PTSD. [4 p.113-114]

Present (See grounded)

Pseudoseizures: Common in those with dissociative identity disorder, this is a psychogenic event. Symptoms of pseudoseizures include side-to-side shaking of the head, bilateral asynchronous movements (eg, bicycling), weeping, stuttering, and arching of the back. [79]

Repression: A term used by the False Memory Foundation and their followers, that is meant to say memories are wilfully, although unconsciously, suppressed. Sound confusing? It is because if it were true, then the person who is repressing memories must somehow be able to know without knowing. This is not the same as dissociation. [4 p.34-35]

Sense of self
: In dissociative identity disorder> each part usually has their own sense of self. In the unified personality there is only one sense of self.

Used sometimes to refer to those that do not have distinct, dissociated parts.

Somatic: Bodily sensations related to past trauma that have often been dissociated and not a part of the individual’s conscious memory.  Sometimes referred to as body memories, but of course that does not mean the body has memory, it is simply a term. [77]

Splitting (split): This is an overused and confusing term. Alters are not split. No part is taken from one alter to make a new one.

Storytelling: Just as people have a story to tell about their lives, each distinct personality state has a story to tell about the events and memories they hold. Telling of this story helps them make sense of it. As a person remembers these events, a trusted other can bear witness and serve to reflect. In this way the story is told, the dissociated memory is assembled, and associated emotions are explored. Reflecting on current reactions to the past is essential to transform previously implicit-only dissociated traumatic memories into an implicit/explicit form.

Structural dissociation: A theory that builds upon the work of Janet and Myers, tying together recent developments in trauma and dissociation. Structural Dissociation is one of the three ISSTD accepted causes of dissociative identity disorder. [12]

Primary structural dissociation (PSD): Acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) fit into this category. The person will have one ANP and one EP. (See structural dissociation) [12 p.5-7]

Secondary structural dissociation (SSD):  Other specified dissociative disorder (OSDD), trauma-related borderline personality disorder (BPD), and complex-PTSD are in this category. The person will have one ANP and typically two or more EP. [12 p.5-7]

Tertiary structural dissociation (TSD): This is dissociative identity disorder (DID) according to the theory of structural dissociation. The person will have more than one ANP and more than one EP. [12 p.5-7]

Switching (full dissociation): A main characteristic of dissociative identity disorder. Parts can take full charge, resulting in amnesia for the part that was in control. [4 p.4-6] (See dissociation)

Switchy: A term used by some with dissociative identity disorder to describe a feeling that a switch is about to occur.

Subsystem:  A sub category of parts within a system which is common in polyfragmented systems and those with dissociative identity disorder created via mind control .

System: All the parts in a person with dissociative identity disorder comprise a system. It is possible to have multiple subsystems.

Time loss (amnesia): Time loss in dissociative identity disorder is when the usual hosting parts that share memory with each other are replaced with a part that does not share memory. This results in time loss for the usually hosting parts.

Trauma, psychological: The event(s) that cause dissociation. [4 p.75] The original trauma in those with dissociative identity disorder was failure of secure attachment by the primary attachment figure in childhood. [4p.83] The caregiver did harm by not protecting the child.

Trauma bonding: Where an abused child bonds with their abuser due to the misuse of fear and other feelings by the abuser.  [4 p.87]

Trigger: An overused term that refers to a sensation that sends a signal to a part that holds and reacts to it.

Terminology used in reference to altered states is listed below 

Alter (compartmentalized parts, alter ego, alternate part, alternate personality)Those with dissociative identity disorder have traumatized and dissociated parts of the personality which are commonly called alters or altered states. The only disorder with alters is dissociative identity disorder. No alter, including the parts in executive control are complete. It takes all parts to make a whole personality. [4 p.55-67]

Apparently normal part (ANP): These dissociated states engage in everyday life and are often thought of as the parts that are called the hosts or the ones in executive control. Those with dissociative identity disorder will have at least two ANP, which is one of the criteria that differentiates dissociative identity disorder from OSDD. ANP are not always the part in executive control, however. When an individual, expressly a child is in constant danger, the EP will often take over executive control. ANP do have emotions but not the overwhelming sort of emotion that the EP feels that are triggered by childhood events. [12 p.81]

Abuser alters
: These parts are often introjects of the original abuser(s), which often injure or attempt to kill alters including the parts in executive control which means killing the individual. In doing so, these parts often feel they are protecting the system by reducing behavior that, as a child, would have brought the wrath of the abuser(s). [4p.62]

Child alter: These are alters that are usually stuck at the time the child was subjected to trauma, and they are normally desperate for attachment. [56 p.7] They are not the concept referred to as an inner child.  [4 p.60-61]

Dead alter: Some alters endured “such horrific abuse that they believed they did die.” If there is no one that can help the child “assimilate the experience and to recognize that they lived through it,” [4 p.64] then the part is in essence dead. An alter cannot be killed however, and can always be found and helped back to “life.”

Emotional part: (EP) This is a dissociated part of the personality that holds traumatic memories and dedicates itself to the survival of threat, and to the survival of the individual, as opposed to the ANP which goes about living daily life. EP’s are often fixated at the time of traumatization.” [12] An EP is a dissociated part of self which owns a memory that is emotional because it has not been processed to the ultimate form all memories eventually reach. Those with PTSD have EP as well as those with dissociative identity disorder.

Emotional part & ANP mixture: This mixture is common in those that are polyfragmented. These children had to alternate rapidly and frequently among emerging defensive and daily life action systems, hence their EP’s and ANP’s, can become mixed in chaotic manifestations, but at the same time are still distinctly ANP or EP. In a low functioning dissociative identity disorder system the two can appear almost indistinguishable. This is only an appearance however. [12 p.78-79]

Differently gendered alter: An alter that is an opposite gender than the body. [4 p.63]

Fictive alter: A term sometimes used by people with dissociative identity disorder to describe alters that are an introject of a fictional character.

Fragment: A fragment may be limited or may be the most intelligent and sophisticated alter in a system depending on what they had to do so the individual could survive. A fragment is the same as an emotional part (EP) in structural dissociation. [74] [4 p.58]

Gatekeeper alter: These parts are often seen in victims of mind control and are one of the first parts created by the abuser. [4 p.58]

Handicapped alter: Those with dissociative identity disorder often have alters that are deaf, blind, missing limbs, blind, mute, deaf or have other handicaps or illness.

Host alter: (see ANP) The host is an alter that has the function of living daily life and has not, or not fully, realized the traumatization of the individual. In DID there are at least two, but usually more aiding in this function. Any alter, including the host is lacking in self awareness and functioning – they are not a complete personality.  Different hosts can be in charge during various times in life and new ones can be created if needed. [2 p.80]

ISH: (observing EP (OEP), helper, hidden observer, internal self helper, inner self helper, guidance, unconscious mind, observing ego, higher self, hidden observer, inner wisdom, managers) This is a part of the personality that observes trauma events, as well as other inner events in the individuals life. Those without dissociative identity disorder also have this part of the self, and it is commonly called the hidden observer or ISH. [4 p.64] Mind control victims will have Recorders with the same abilities as well as an OEP.

Little alter: A term often used by those with dissociative identity disorder to indicated alters that act much like a child who is 7 years old or younger. It can be thought of as “developmental states that are encapsulated and stored inside the brain.” [76 p.38]

Main: (See ISH)

Memory trace alter: Some with dissociative identity disorder use this term to describe an alter which has an almost complete range of memories.

Middle alter: A term often used by those with dissociative identity disorder to describe an alter that appears to be between the ages of 8 and 12. It can be thought of as “developmental states that are encapsulated and stored inside the brain.” [76 p.38]

Observing parts: (OEP) These observing parts can literally hear and see everything in their inner world at one time, that they are aware of. They can be everywhere inside at the same time if they so choose. Some OEP “seem to develop more secondary elaboration, and appear highly intellectualized, and sometimes are quite insightful parts. “A few OEP involve some level of care taking.” OEP “typically do not interact externally in the world, but can be quite active internally.” [12 p. 68 -69, 323-324] In mind control there are parts called Recorders that have these same abilities.

Otherkin alter: A term sometimes used by those with dissociative identity disorder to described alters that have taken any form other than human.

Protector alter: There are three types: persecutory, fight and caretaker alters which in their own way protect the system and can “dominate consciousness”, leaving the host unaware of what they have done. [12 p.83]

Persecutory alters: These alters defensively “protect” the system, but their idea of how to do this, once the body is no longer a child, can be damaging to the whole. In fact they can terrorize the person in the same way the original abuser did. They are often introjects of the original abuser(s) and tend to respond to both inner and external perceived threats, harming alters inside and out the same way the original abuser did, plus they often self harm, including cutting and purging. These parts do not have skills to regulate feelings such as anger, fear, pain, shame and needs. [12 p. 82-83]

Fight alters: These alters appear almost fearless in their protection. [12 p.82]

Caretaker alters: (soother alter) These alters are what one would think of as true protectors of the system. They act as caretakers both internally and externally but are limited to care for others and are depleted easily. They lack awareness needed for self care. They are often introjects of caring adults that were in the child’s life. [12 p.83]

Secret-keeper alter: A term used by some with dissociative identity disorder to refer to an alter that keeps information of abuse or other information away from others in the system.

Sleeping alter: A term used by some with dissociative identity disorder to refer to when a specific alter has no direct contact with the external world. Time passes without their knowing.

Slider alter: A term sometimes used by those with dissociative identity disorder to mean an alter who’s age is thought to vary. [76 p.38]

Sexual alters: A term sometimes used by those with dissociative identity disorder to refer to parts that are often sensual and perform the job of sex and perhaps romance.

Suicidal alters: Often there is a least one alter in a system that will harm other alters and perhaps even attempt to kill them and that does not exclude harm to the host. They threaten and hurt others to keep parts from telling about the system or about the abuse they suffered. (See protector alters)

Teen alter: Some with dissociative identity disorder use the term to describe a part who acts between the ages of 13 and 18. These parts can be thought of as developmental states that are encapsulated and stored inside the brain. [76 p.38]

Twin alters: Twins appear the same in many ways and may even have the same name. Often, one twin is good while the other is bad.

II. Alter attributes

Each alter is unique with it’s own way of being. Particular items such as age and gender, as well as behavior are indicative of what the person needs to integrate. [6] When talking about structural dissociation we refer to alters as either apparently normal parts (ANP), emotional parts (EP), and the observing emotional part (OEP). The ANP is often in the role of host, while the EP is the part that holds trauma memory. The observing EP is the part often though of as the ISH.

Types of Alters

The three types of protector alters
 Fight alters respond to both internal and external perceived threats. They are defensive and avoid attachment, dependence and emotional needs. [6] They will often inflict injury upon themselves and others in the system, including the host and they usually have an unrealistic view of their power to protect. [6]

• Persecutory alters often cannot tell an inner threat from an external one and can believe themselves to be the original abuser, acting out the drama by abusing others inside as they perceive their original abuser would have done. [6]

Both of these types of protectors are responsible for what is commonly seen as eating disorders, substance abuse, self harm and other destructive behaviors. In adulthood, the protectors perspective changes and they see the various states that act as host to be the threat, instead of the original abuser who is probably out of their life at this point. Their primary function is still to protect the system, but now they protect against the host. They have the ability to use many methods to stop anything they perceive as a threat to the system. [12]

• All other protectors tend to be caretakers, who for the most part, focus on the care of others, both inside and out and they tend to neglected their own needs. Caretakers are introjects, real or fictional, of who the child perceived as caring. These parts are usually named after who or what they represent. [12]

Alters in the role of an introject
An introject is a construct formed outside of consciousness, created some time ago, which consists of two parts: a child part and the “mask” of the introjected part. We can safely assume this nature for hostile introjects. Hostility is always an acquired trait. More than that, it always has an altruistic goal: system protection. [4]

Other typical alters
The identity of each part created in childhood was influenced by the relationship with the original abusers, yet the types of alters seen in people with dissociative identity disorder fit into certain descriptions such as: twin parts, who might be seen as good and evil, and those with deformities and handicaps, where the handicap. The handicap might represent a forbidden act such a listening, talking or seeing. [4] Also common are animal and inanimate objects as alters. [4]

Many alters are “stuck in trauma time. [6] Due to this they are exiled” by others in the system; others that do not want to hear or know of the trauma. [53] Some alters can be pushed so far from consciousness, that other alters think they are dead. Alters cannot be killed however, so these parts can be brought out to be worked with at a later date. [4]

Inner-self helpers (ISH) – Observing EP
These parts might just be the most interesting of all. They might appear savant like, but keep in mind that they can only answer the best they can. Consider a confident child who will correct others when they feel they are right, but this confidence does not make their answer any more correct. Some ISH’s appear robot-like, while others are angel-like and so on, but however they present, they usually know they are the ISH, and that their job is to observe the inner world. They do not normally come out until they are directly coerced to do so. [64]