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Heredity and Environment

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Twin studies (of twins separated at birth) have shown that dissociation may be a heritable trait. As well, dissociation and hypnotizability are highly correlated.

The possibility that there is a heritable or genetic factor involved in the ability to dissociate has been humored in the psychiatric community. Not all people who are traumatized at a young age become DID.

There are 3 recognized factors in developing DID:

  1. Having the dissociative trait.
  2. Developing C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) which requires repeated or chronic traumatic situations.
  3. Poor or inconsistent caregiving. The person lacks a supportive, consistent, reliable, and compassionate support system in a safe environment in which to heal.

So we have 3 factors generally recognized as "requirements" to develop DID: heredity, circumstance, and environment.

A fourth requirement is that the C-PTSD begins to develop early enough that the child's ego states have not yet begun fusing into one solid core identity. So there's also a matter of the timing of it all.


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