History of childhood trauma, especially prolonged severe
sexual and/or physical abuse starting in early
Presence of symptoms indicative of
childhood abuse even when there is no conscious memory
(See E. Sue Blume’s ‘Incest Survivors After-effects
Amnesia for large periods of childhood and sometimes
Blackouts or time loss: suddenly finding oneself
someplace without knowing how one got there; the sense
that time has passed very quickly although there may not
be any awareness of having been ‘absent’.
Switching: alternate parts of the psyche taking
executive control of one’s body. This may or may not
involve loss of continuous memory.
Talking, crying or acting like a young child, baby or
otherwise ‘unlike’ oneself, but not in a conscious or
Distinctly different handwritings, art styles or
Finding writing or art work that one doesn’t remember
Hearing voices (or thoughts), usually coming within
one’s own head (may differ from one’s one age, accent,
speech patterns, which are lucid (no evidence of thought
disorder) and which can be conversed with.
Feeling that one is not alone, or not in control of
Objects in one’s possession are not remembered, or
things disappear without explanation.
Varying ability to perform familiar tasks.
Varying ability to access or remember certain
information, esp. details.
Frequent experience of jamais vu, i.e., the familiar
(places, people, experiences, etc.) feeling
unfamiliar. (opposite of déjà vu).
recognizing oneself in the mirror.
Frequent feelings of depersonalisation.
Presence of fears, depression, anger, laughter, or other
strong emotions for which one does not understand the
pains or other physical symptoms for which there is no
known physiological or emotional cause.
of pain when there is a physiological reason for it.
Thoughts, feelings or knowledge that seem to belong to
Radical changes in affect, opinion or attitude in same
or similar situations.
Speaking of oneself in the third person.
saying one has done or said things that one doesn’t
remember doing, especially things that are out of
Calling oneself by a different name.
Constantly losing one’s train of thought, or changing
the subject during conversations.
the same question over and over again, despite getting
an answer, without being aware of doing it.
Difficulty remembering sequence of events.
Inability to see, hear or read and remember something
that is there.
Forgetting or not hearing much of what happens during a
difficult or emotionally laden experience such as a
therapy session, family event or during sex.
of ‘fading in and out’ while listening to emotionally
difficult material, or sense of pressure in forehead –
as if many consciousnesses are listening at once.
Unusual creative ability, especially where things come
out in finished form without any conscious thought.
'Intuitively’ knowing the solutions to problems in
situations where intuition would not normally solve the
problem, e.g. a maths problem.
Unusual psychic or paranormal abilities.
(Adapted from: Laura Veron,
Joy Kallio, & Abby Wilcox, 1990)