Alter No-humano. Referencias

Identidades con formas no humanas

Uno de los aspectos que provocan escepticismo sobre el Trastorno de Identidad Disociativo es la existencia de identidades que no se identifican a sí mismos como humanos. Los críticos, escépticos y gente no informada en trauma usan este aspecto aparentemente fantástico — en el sentido de fantasía — como prueba de lo absurdo y toman dos posturas; no existe el TID en lo absoluto, o, si existe, es imposible que existan alters no humanos y jamás han sido documentados.

Un alter no humano puede resultar de maltrato relacionado con animales, tratar a un niño como animal, por hacerle cometer actos inhumanos, por miedo a los humanos, o por la identificación y necesidad de protección.

(Por si te lo preguntas, siempre debe tratárseles como humanos, como personas)

Aquí juntamos referencias bibliográficas de identidades no humanas y su explicación.

Una de las principales referencias está precisamente en el Manual Diagnóstico y Estadístico de los Trastornos Mentales V (imagen 1)

Imagen 1. Alters no humanos en el DSM-5



«Del mismo modo, en los lugares donde la «posesión» es común (p. ej., las zonas rurales del mundo en vías de desarrollo, entre ciertos grupos religiosos en Estados Unidos y Europa), las identidades fragmentadas pueden tomar la forma de espíritus posesivos, divinidades, demonios, animales o personajes mitológicos

American Psychiatric Association – APA. (2014). Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales DSM-5


Sometimes parts (originally, actual small-bodied children) are taught that they are not human at all. They may be robots or computers, not permitted to have any feelings. Or sex machines, or killing machines, that just perform their functions without any emotions. But they are actually parts of a human brain, and, as with the soldiers, other parts hold the feelings for them. Sometimes, robotic parts are only fragments, not full-fledged insiders; they understand very little.

Miller, Alison. Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse. 2014. Karnak.


Often the new personality would indicate its identity by name. In addition to describing and presenting various adult personalities, which carried out different tasks of adult life – e.g. one who went to work, one who was sociable, one who could be flirtatious, and a depressed one who was regarded as the main personality – she also described child parts and, more surprisingly, some non-human entities. These latter parts included an angel and a demon, both of which would on occasion appear to take executive control of Stephanie and would speak to me.

These ‘alter’ personalities can assume almost any identity since they seem to be constructed on the ‘logic’ of dream or trance, in which anything is possible. Thus, alters may be male or female, adult or children, human or non-human. Quasi-spiritual entities are not uncommon.

Sinason, V. (2011). Attachment, trauma and multiplicity: working with dissociative identity disorder. Dark Dimensions of multiple personality


Animal-like behaviors have been described in abused children (the Cinderella Syndrome) (Goodwin, Cauthorne, & Rada, 1989; Goodwin, 1989) as well as in adults with multiple personality disorder. «Wild children» described historically have been thought to behave like animals because of imitation of animal foster mothers, or because of developmental delays due to severe abuse and neglect (Freedman & Brown, 1968; Singh & Zingg, 1942; Itard, 1962).

Animal familiars of witches and shamans may be another cross-cultural constellation based on the clustering of childhood trauma, reliance on dissociative symptoms, and unusual and ambivalent attachment to animals because they were part of the original trauma (Carlson, 1986; Smith, 1989). Freud once mentioned a case involving transient assumption of an animal identity, describing a child who, when his kitten died, announced that he was now the kitten and crawled about on all fours (Freud, 1948, p. 67).

Smith, S. G. (1989). Multiple personality disorder with human and non-human subpersonality components. Dissociation 2:52-56.


There is also enforced sexual abuse with the family pet. Cult leaders mandate sexual abuse of children for many reasons. They intend to destroy children’s self-esteem so that they will start to think of themselves as non-human objects designed to do others’ bidding. Incest inserts a rift in family relationships and creates intense jealousy between the incestuous abuser’s spouse and the child victim and between siblings.

Hoffman, W., & Miller, A. (2017). From the Trenches: A Victim and Therapist Talk about Mind Control and Ritual Abuse. Routledge.


Some people with DID have animal parts. While in animal identity states, they may exhibit animal-like behaviors, such as growling, scratching, or running on all fours (Goodwin & Attias, 1999; Putnam, 1989). They may also hear animal calls inside the head (Goodwin & Attias, 1999) or have visual flashbacks involving animal identities.

Sometimes, parts named after the cat family (leopard, cougar, tiger) may serve as protector states that are allowed to express the emotion the host cannot. One of my patients would begin growling and switch into Tiger when she became upset.

On the right-hand side of the map is Sage, a somewhat less-known part, who will at times impart valuable wisdom to Dennis. His responsibility is to tell the truth when any of the parts ask. Then there is Klixcilitep, who is a nonhuman part and is more like a machine that sits deep under the roots of the pylon on which the Onyx House sits. According to Dennis:

Klixcilitep’s purpose is to keep the Onyx House stable and organized. It acts as a medium for memory and experience and has access to every memory and every thought of everyone in the Onyx House, except for Sheila. It has no personality of its own and doesn’t talk or listen, but its presence is felt everywhere in the house, almost as if the entire thing is of Klixcilitep’s own design.

Howell, E. F. (2011). Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Relational Approach: 49 (1.). Routledge.


For all these reasons, it is critical to get to know everyone who exists in one’s System, and, unless parts are causing harm to the body or System, to figure out the ways and means of acceptance, tolerance, cooperation, and getting along. Just as in the outside world, you don’t necessarily have to adopt someone’s beliefs or lifestyle in order to respect them as a fellow human being and get along with them.
* Occasionally, there may even be non-human (‘animal’) parts.

A.T.W.. Got Parts? An Insider’s Guide to Managing Life Successfully with Dissociative Identity Disorder (New Horizons in Therapy Book 1) . Modern History Press. (2005)


Organized abusers often want alters to believe they are anything other than parts of an abused child. One simple way of creating non-human alters is to split off an alter by inflicting pain while the child is exposed to circumstances that lead her to believe she is not human. For example, the child is given a hallucinogenic drug while suggestions are made about demons, and the other people are wearing demon costumes… Or the child is put in a cage with a fierce dog, and only fed dog food when she begs for it like a dog. Or the child is given a paralyzing drug so that she cannot move, shown movies about aliens, and told she is an alien who can observe this world but cannot act in it.

Miller, A. (2019). Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control by Alison Miller. Taylor & Francis.


Switch-like rapid behavioral shifts, such as changes in demeanor or marked behavioral regression, were common to both groups, but did not take the form of an identifiable personality state in the DDNOS children. The alter personalities of the MPD children included a range of protectors, helpers, and companions. Although not tabulated, nonhuman alter personalities (e.g., animals, robots, superheroes) were common.

“Marcie, the boy dog” differed from “Magic Cat” in several important respects. Although both children activated their animal alter egos in response to stress, this happened much less frequently with “Magic Cat.”.

Putnam, F. W. (1997). Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective (1.a ed.). Guilford Publications.


While the victim of a single acute trauma may say she is “not herself’ since the event, the victim of chronic trauma may lose the sense that she has a self. Survivors may describe themselves as reduced to a nonhuman life form (Lovelace and McGrady, 1980; Timerman, 1981). Niederland (1968), in his clinical observations of concentration camp survivors, noted that alterations of personal identity were a constant feature of the survivor syndrome. While the majority of his patients complained, “I am now a different person,” the most severely harmed stated simply, “I am not a person.”

Herman, J. L. (1992). Complex PTSD: A syndrome in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5(3), 377–391. doi:10.1002/jts.2490050305


Working with animal alters is helpful in addressing the extreme guilt resulting from participation in acts felt to be inhuman. Because of the victim’s induction as a co-participant in animal torture, the issue ofresponsibility has become even more muddled than in other incest situations. The animal is often chosen for victimization because it is the child’s pet. From the patient’s point of view, their pet was victimized because they loved it. Therefore, the child’s love itself is contaminated and potentially lethal. This, together with the victim’s extreme guilt about the seriousness ofthe infraction, leads to self-esteem deficits at the level of not experiencing oneself as a member of the human race.

Hendrikson, K. M., T. McCarty, and J. Goodwin 1990 Animal Alters: Case Reports. Dissociation 3:218–221.


En la bibliografía especializada sobre el TDI, se han descrito diversos tipos de partes disociativas de la personalidad (que no necesariamente se excluyen mutuamente) (e.g., Boon & Van der Hart, 1995; Kluft, 1984, 1996a; Putnam, 1989; Ross, 1997). Estas incluyen (1) partes anfitrionas; (2) partes infantiles; (3) partes protectoras y auxiliaries; (4) autoprotectores internos; (5) partes persecutorias, basadas en introyecciones de los agresores; (6) partes suicidas; (7) partes del sexo opuesto; (8) partes promiscuas; (9) administradores y partes obsesivo-compulsivas; (10) partes que abusan de substancias; (11) partes autistas y discapacitadas; (12) partes con talentos o habilidades especiales; (13) partes anestésicas o analgésicas; (14) imitadores e impostores; (15) demonios y espíritus; (16) animales y objetos tales como árboles; y (17) partes pertenecientes a una raza diferente.

Van der Hart, O., Nijenhuis, E. R. S., Steele, K., van der Hart, O., & Ruiz, F. C. (2011). El yo atormentado: La disociación estructural y el tratamiento de la traumatización crónica. Desclée De Brouwer.


Not all alters are human. Some alters can take the form of animals, inanimate objects, or even fantasy beings. For some with DID, humans come to represent threats and become associated with great fear. Because of this, some people with DID will have alters that take the form of an animal or some other object because these are viewed as safer.

Alderman, T., & Marshall, K. (1998). Amongst Ourselves: A Self-help Guide to Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. New Harbinger Publications.


That’s because I just said it was me and Amber. I didn’t say we were little girls. We’re not there. We’re ghosts.”
“Oh. I see. This is you and your sister dressed up like ghosts. Is it at Halloween time?”
“No. We’re not dressed up. We are ghosts.”

“But like I said, we aren’t little girls. We’re ghosts. Ghosts don’t get lonely. It’s nice being alone, when you’re a ghost. We just float around, go way up high, and look down on people doing things. But they can’t see us, ’cause we’re invisible, so they don’t know we’re doing it.”

Hayden, Torey. Ghost Girl (1991)


“Corvus Corax.” She spoke the Latin species name for the common raven.
“You know Latin?”
“No. That is the official name of the raven.”
“You like ravens.”
I am a raven.”
“You look like a girl.”
“Funny. You know what I mean.”

Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2017). The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook — What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing. Hachette UK.


Instead, often in a sea of narcissism, the caretakers were more concerned with their own needs than those of the child. In malignant families, the child was seen more as a resource to the parent or caretaker than vice versa. The child learned to see him- or herself through the caretaker’s eyes, as unimportant, not human, and an object to be used and/or blamed.

Lanius, U. F., PhD, Paulsen, S. L., PhD, & Corrigan, F. M., MD. (2014). Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Towards an Embodied Self. Springer Publishing.


While the experience of having different “sides,” parts, or aspects of oneself is common across the lifespan and not pathological (e.g., having a “work side” and a “home side”), in complex DDs, internal self-states are typically experienced as more distinct and more foreign, and as exerting more control over the client’s behavior counter to their stated wishes than would occur in someone without a DD. These self-states may be experienced as parts of the self, as alternate personalities, or, in some cultures where this is culturally normative, as experiences of supernatural possession. Clients may report a variety of types of self-states, including child states, internalized abuser/persecutor states, protector states, states with differing gender and/or sexual orientation, and nonhuman states.

Brand, B. L., Schielke, H. J., Schiavone, F., & Lanius, R. A. (2022). Finding Solid Ground: Overcoming Obstacles in Trauma Treatment. Oxford University Press.


As articulated by Erica, many highly traumatized dissociative persons believe that they are very different from other people, specifically, that their mind–brain–body might work in ways fundamentally unlike that of others. Such a feeling may be intensely isolating; perhaps especially when experiencing TRASC, the complexly traumatized person may feel alone, foreign, and in extreme cases, even nonhuman. These individuals may perceive an unbridgeable divide as separating them from the everyday experiences of the common human being.

Frewen, P., & Lanius, R. (2015). Healing the Traumatized Self: Consciousness, Neuroscience, Treatment (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). W. W. Norton & Company.



Parts populate our inner world. They are not metaphors or fantasies, nor are they simply emotions, thoughts, or impulses. Rather, they are inner beings with full personalities. They have their own emotions, thoughts, impulses, and ways of communicating. As well they have ages, bodies, sensations, and temperaments. They may initially appear to be nonhuman in the mind’s eye—something like an animal, object, cloud, fire, or geometric shape. But when we talk to them, they have ways of responding that we can understand clearly.

Schwartz, R. C., & Sweezy, M. (2019). Internal Family Systems Therapy, Second edition. Guilford Publications.


It is very important for therapists to be patient and be ready to accept what the MPD person tells them. We already doubt ourselves so much that only unshakable belief on their part will gradually allow us to trust the truth inside.
Many of the images or memories which float to the surface are fantastical, Alters may be the opposite sex from the body; they have various ages; some are a different race and skin color; some are nonhuman. But they represent us, all inside this one body and inside this one mind.

M. Cohen, Barry. Giller, Esther. W. Lynn et al. Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out. (1993) (p. 108)


The presence of ‘demonic’ parts of the mind seems most pronounced in those patients who appear to have been subject to severe abuse with occult overtones. This could simply reflect an internalisation and personification of experiences of extreme malevolence from which all ‘humanity’ has been excluded.

Mollon, P. (1996). Multiple selves, multiple voices: Working with Trauma, Violation and Dissociation. John Wiley & Sons.


Clinically, in simple PTSD, a person having a flashback does not identify himself by a different name or age, does not claim to have different hair color, a different gender, to be nonhuman, or to experience the features of a full EP such as one encounters in DID. Presumably we can agree, then, an EP in a case of simple PTSD is more rudimentary than a fully formed EP in DID.

Ross, C. A. (2014). Unresolved problems in the theory of structural dissociation. Psichiatria e Psicoterapia, 33(3), 285–292


It is not uncommon for people with DID to exhibit nonhuman alter parts such as dolls, notes multiple Faith Allen on her blog dedicated to helping others with DID and those who have suffered abuse as children. These personalities may reflect objects or animals that were important to the person as a child. There is also a long tradition in the Native American population of berserker s, born shaman who became possessed by an animal as Cherokee multiple Erin Lale explains in her autobiography Greater Than the Sum of My Parts. Unaware of any such history or tradition, Darrell suggested Bob name his buzzing personality Bee.

Smith, T., & Williams, J. (2012). Which one am I?: Multiple Personalities and Deep Southern Secrets. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


Margaret also had an alter who was a transcendent nonhuman mystical being named Cosmos. Cosmos was disdainful of the therapy, since it occurred on the lowly cosmic plane of planet Earth, but was nevertheless very helpful. She was highly skilled at sending out internal vibrations, and energy which soothed, calmed, and healed the frightened children. Cosmos was particularly helpful in assisting Tonie-Adu to stop screaming, so that she could come out and talk, and in calming the needle-phobic alter.

Ross, C. A. (1994). The Osiris complex: Case-studies in Multiple Personality Disorder. University of Toronto Press.


Myth. The alters always are other human personalities. NON-human ‘alters’ cannot exist

Since the cause of DID is rooted in childhood trauma and the abuse is inflicted by other humans, the children are usually afraid of the adults, and these ‘alters’ develop to dissociate them from their memories. The inhuman ‘alters’ are fairly common as well. A harmless animal, a feared robot, or an entity may feel safer than the terrifying world around them. The appearance or development of alters is not a person’s conscious decision or is never decided by the person. Instead, they develop based on their understanding of the situation and world around them by dissociating from it.

Tohid, H., & Rutkofsky, I. H. (2024). Dissociative Identity Disorder: Treatment and Management. Springer Nature International Publishing.


One of the potential problems with the spotlight technique is that the ego-state with the light or the microphone may refuse to speak for a host of possible reasons. Besides a simple refusal to speak, it might be an ego state that is too young to speak, electively mute, speaking a different language, or, though much less likely, it could be a non-human alter.

Fraser, G. A. (1991). The Dissociative Table Technique: A strategy for working with ego states in dissociative disorders and ego-state therapyDissociation: Progress in the Dissociative Disorders, 4(4), 205–213.


Most alternate personalities appear to be formed in response to contingent stressful situations, and they appear to be similarly contingent products of a creative process of adaptation or defense. For example, I know a multiple who developed several animal personalities to deal with the incomprehensibility of parental abuse. The abuse occurred during early childhood, and at that time the only way she could grasp the acts into which she was coerced was by relating them to things she had seen dogs and horses do.

Braude, S. E. (1993). First person plural: multiple personality and the philosophy of mindThe Philosophical Quarterly43(171), 272.


Visual Functioning

Smith (1989) reported on a Native American patient who had culturally-congruent non-human alters. Differences in visual acuity between the alters were reliable, with the best vision in the “hawk” alter and the worst vision in the “old man.” Other studies have also examined visual functioning in patients with multiple personalities.

Barlow, M. R. (2005). Memory and Fragmentation in Dissociative Identity Disorder.


Recent psychological studies scientifically investigated these anomalous self experiences with mirrors. Under a low-level face illumination, the mirrorgazing task (MGT) reliably produces strange-face illusions (SFIs). In the first study of SFIs (Caputo, 2010b), after 10 min of mirror-gazing, 50 healthy individuals from the general population perceived: (a) face deformations that still represented one’s own face (66% of the 50 participants); (b) a parent’s face with altered traits (18%); (c) an unknown person with an independent identity (28%); (d) an old man or woman, a child or an adolescent (28%); (e) an animal face (18%); and (f) non-human beings (48%).

Giovanni B. Caputo (2023) Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusions: specific effects on derealization, depersonalization, and dissociative identity, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 24:5, 575-608, DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2023.2195394

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