• Ryan Wells

Dissociative Identity Disorder Glossary

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Glossary: DID TERMS

Alter: A generic term that refers to a personality.

Co-consciousness: Aware of one another, able to observe and hear one another, opposite of dissociation.

Fronting: When an alter is in the driver seat and in control, that alter is fronting.

Co-fronting: Similar to co-piloting a plane, both in control.

Cooperation: A path of therapy that leans towards collaboration. all parts working together in unison. A team.

Dissociation: Unaware of surroundings, of other alters, stuck in a flashback, or unaware of oneself. Amnesia likely to occur. Feeling disconnected and separate from reality.

Fusion: A point in time when two or more alternate identities experience themselves as joining together with a complete loss of subjective separateness.

Final Fusion: Final fusion refers to when an individual with Dissociative Identity Disorder no longer perceives themself as having multiple identities.

Inner world: The world in our head in where each alter lives. They all have their own special safe place. We also have a “meeting well” where we have meetings. Gardens, cabins, forests, fields.

Integration: Integration refers to the entire process of recovery from the dissociation between parts.

Out: Who is fronting at the time.

Outworld: The physical world where the body resides.

Singlets: People who do not have DID.

The body: The physical body in which we all reside.

Trauma time: A word that means a time in our lives where we are currently going through trauma. For example: (alter) tries to keep me in trauma time by saying things my mother would have said = (alter) reminds me of things that happened to me while the trauma was present and ongoing by saying things my mother would have said.

Trigger: An event, taste, smell, sound, touch, or sight that links me to a memory and sends me down a spiral that leads to high distress resulting in flashbacks, dissociation, or panic attacks.

Switch: The act of one alter fronting and another alter going inside.

Switchy: A disorienting state of mind where I can feel and hear the thoughts and emotions of some of my alters in a way that is more blended. If you were to ask me who I was while feeling this way, I’d probably tell you that I do not know. Many switches can happen quite rapidly.

System: A generic name given to a person with DID. Example: I am a system, this person who has DID is a system but someone without DID is not a system.


Age slider: An alter who slides between more than one age. Sometimes they are 12 sometimes they are 30, for example.

Caretaker: An alter who takes care of another alter, a babysitter for example.

Fictive: An alter who takes on the personality of a fictional character.

Gatekeeper: An alter who controls switching or access to front.

Guide: An alter who instructs, gives advice, and insight into situations.

Host: The alter who fronts most of the time and makes most of the day-to-day decisions.

Co-host: An alter who shares the host role.

Introject: An alter who takes on the personality of someone else that exists, or a fictional character.

Little: A child alter.

Persecutor: An alter who harms the system and tries to keep the system in trauma time. Most of the time they do this in order to protect. They think that by keeping me in trauma time, that having the familiarity of trauma is a way to keep safe, because it is familiar - we already know how to deal with it.

Protector: A protector is an alter whose role it is to protect the system.

Trauma holder: An alter who switched to the front during a point of trauma and now has to hold onto that trauma.

#DIDGlossary #DissociativeIdentityDisorderGlossary #Glossary

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