Dissociative Disorders: category of disorders in which extreme and frequent disruptions of "awareness,"  "memory," and personal "identity" impair the ability to function. (Hockenbury, 530) When one part of a person’s identity becomes disassociated from another. (Cardwell, 79)

Characterized by a loss of personal awareness. Losing touch with one’s personal memories, one’s "personality," one’s identity. (Bamford, 10/25/10) Includes "dissociative identity disorder" - the presence of two or more distinct personalities. (Coon, 547)

Dissociative Amnesia: partial or total inability to "recall" important personal information. (Hockenbury, 531) When a person is unable to recall information about a particularly traumatic period in their lives. (Cardwell, 79) Loss of memory (partial or complete) for important information related to personal identity. (Coon, 547) After a “traumatic” event, an individual may be unable to recall information near the time of the traumatic event, but especially after the event. (Bamford, 10/25/10)

Dissociative Fugue: a disorder characterized by the abandonment of one’s personality and personal characteristics, and the development of a new personality. (Bamford, 10/25/10) Often involving sudden and unexpected travel away from home, extensive "amnesia," and identity confusion. (Hockenbury, 531) Where a person may forget their true identity and attempt to establish a new one. (Cardwell, 79)

Dissociative Identity Disorder: involves extensive memory disruptions along with the presence of two or more distinct identities, or personalities. (Hockenbury, 531) Where a person may display a number of different identities each with their own distinct memories. (Cardwell, 79) Many personalities may emerge, with some aware of the others and others unaware. (Bamford, 10/25/10) Involves a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states, or identities, control the individual's behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as ‘alters,’ may exhibit differences in speech, mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts, and gender orientation. The alters may even differ in physical properties such as allergies, right-or-left handedness, or the need for eyeglass prescriptions. (National Alliance on Mental Health)