Dissociative Identity Disorder is a controversial diagnosis in the mental health community. There is still a divide between those who believe it is a true illness and those who feel it is a form of defense mechanism that is used to gain attention by the client. Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, has an average age of onset between the ages of 5 and 6 years old. It can go unnoticed due to the assumption that a child is playing a game in which they are pretending to be someone else. It can also go unnoticed when the disorder is due to abusive parents inflicting trauma with no concern for the wellbeing of the child. A child might have endured abuse so severe that they could not handle it emotionally and had to escape mentally to retreat from the fear and pain. Those at risk of developing Dissociative Identity Disorder are those who were exposed to long term, intense, trauma that could include neglect, violence, rape, molestation, or verbal and physical abuse. A child that lives in an environment that is unsafe will likely retreat inward when physical escape is not an option. This use of dissociation becomes a pattern and is a form of self protection. Dissociation can be compared to daydreaming or getting so caught up in thought that your immediate environment is not noticed to a degree that sometimes allows for total memory lapse of that time period.