The question is that simple, well, assuming that dissociation can even be explained simply, I’m not exactly the most knowledged on the topic, and perhaps the issue I’ll describe isn’t even a case of dissociation but something completely else.
So, for a good while now, I cannot fully estimate for how long exactly this has been going on, I can trace this back to my childhood, or I can trace his back to just two or three years ago, but I’ve always had this… very poor sense of identity. I mostly never truly felt like there was a me, yes, I had a personality, yes I had my interests, but outside of those interests, I could barely define myself as a person, and even then, just by using them it felt difficult.
What was easy for me to do, was being a different person, not exactly changing who I am or how I act, but adopting a different identity altogether, I was always the kid who loved to play pretend with his friends, or his siblings. The problem is, that when I was just seven or eight, it was all just child’s play, it was for fun. But today, it feels like I compulsively adopt different identities, mostly ones of the opposite gender (NOTE: these identities make me more comfortable, but I do not experience any gender dysphoria to my knowledge). This happens for a good majority of the day, mostly to myself, but also to some people over the Internet, I don’t want to use my pretend identities to people I know would think of me as some weird idiot for them. Please note that while these identities are made by me, are inspired by other characters, or are actually them, I often lack control of which identity I adopt and when.
As comfortable and pleasant as I find it to adopt a different identity, it’s incredibly uncomforting to suddenly have my brain adopt an identity while around IRL people, because I won’t be able to express it, and my mind often tumbles into the anxiety of being one personality in my head, but having to express who the real me is supposed to be.
I have done some searches and asked closer friends about it, and I was pointed to all sorts of things, Multiple Personality Disorder, dissociation, PTSD, anxiety. And I don’t know if I struggle with either of them, I have no diagnosis of any sort, and I cannot trust myself to go to therapy as my parents aren’t good with mental health at all, and would simply blame the weird identity issues on spending too much time online. Please note, it cannot be PTSD or trauma as I have no memory of any traumatic or triggering events.
I don’t want to self-diagnose, and I’m not trying to ask an Internet forum for a diagnosis, but can the issue I’ve described be considered dissociation? Is this som different problem or none at all?
Any answer helps, thank you.