Characteristics of switching personalities

Today I found a list my therapist had given me several years ago which explains the different characteristics of switching, especially the physical aspects. It’s a good refresher course for me. In the years since my therapy ended, I’ve forgotten a lot, and (until recently) been in a lot of denial. I think too that this would be good stuff to know for anyone who is trying to be supportive of someone with DID:




  • Headache
  • Pressure inside the head

  • Stiff neck
  • Pressure at the base of the head
  • Pupil dialation
  • 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.) Note: this sounds like a part I have; whenever she surfaces people around me have a tendency to accuse me of being stoned and, in some instances, even get a contact high from me (I don’t use pot)!
  • Eyes more sensitive to light
  • Lightheadedness, or dizziness
  • Chills
  • Ears ringing
  • Physically feeling shorter than usual
  • Emotionally feeling more child-like
  • Mood swing
  • Thought pattern change–thoughts change about same subject, and responses change with it
  • Feelings and emotions change about the same situation
  • Objects and people look different; dimensions are off, colors can look brighter or dimmer
  • Body looks and feels detached
  • Face looks different in the mirror
  • Voice changes in intonation or inflection
  • Laughter changes–different laughs, subtle difference to flagrant
  • Light in a room changes to suddenly dimmer or brighter
  • Fainting feelings, like you might lose consciousness
  • An inability to concentrate and think clearly
  • Urgency to “do something”
  • Thoughts become louder
  • Orchestra of thoughts or “conversations,” all with opposing views!

2 thoughts on “Characteristics of switching personalities

  1. Thank you for posting this. I have never seen a list of symptoms before. This is very good information. Really nice blog/journal. Thanks

  2. I’ll have to add this link to the Entries of Note page I plan to create for the journal.


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