Endogenic Systems, Tulpas, and their place in DID Communities

Endogenic Systems is a non-clinical term which seems to have originated on Tumblr.  It refers to people without trauma-based dissociation who claim to have alternate personalities that were consciously created.  These individuals acknowledge their personalities were willfully created, and describe them as having their own likes, dislikes, personality, and lives.  The key difference is there there is no amnesia between parts, since there is no clinical dissociation happening.

Tulpas are also included when discussing Endogenic Systems, but they are somewhat different.  The creation of a Tulpa is a spiritual experience, and the relationship the person has with his/her Tulpa can be quite impactful.

As you can imagine, this concept ruffles the feathers of many with trauma-based dissociation.  Many of us have faced a lifetime of invalidation of our abuse, and similarly our diagnosis.  The mental health community is woefully undereducated on trauma disorders, and sometimes our initial experiences with therapists does even more harm.  Our diagnosis is further vilified in media and fiction movies like Identity (2003) and Split (2016). This makes it difficult for us to fully trust in our interpersonal relationships, because other people’s only awareness of the diagnosis are from these extreme fiction examples.

And then, there’s those of us with DID and Ritual Abuse.  It’s not uncommon for us to have parts that aren’t fully formed identities.  We may have a part “in control” of creating fake or temporary parts for a programming purpose.  These temporary parts are sometimes referred to as spirits, demons, shadows, etc.

Our system refers to them as shadows.  Shadows exist to fulfill an order, and when that is completed, they collapse back into the elements they were created from.  The part who controls their development and demise, then collects these elements and stores them away the next time they are needed to create.

I often witness discussions in online DID communities, and I see the vitriol and hatred towards Endogenics and Tulpas.  I understand where this is coming from, but at the same time, my heart hurts because I know I surely would be attacked for siding with the less-than-popular opinion that parts can consciously be created, destroyed, etc. at will in some systems.   Attacks by the survivors we would be able to relate to.

This can trigger other programming as well.  Programming designed to make us believe that we will never be believed if we try to tell about the ritual abuse.  And when we witness such hurtful responses from the DID community, it only reinforces our abusers’ messages.

It can get destabilized and confusing in our head very quickly with multiple programs being fired off like this.  I only wish the DID community could be more open-minded and accepting, instead of impulsively reacting and unknowingly hurting others.




  1. I don’t understand why pple would be so defensive. It doesn’t have to be either/or – I am sure many RA survivors have self-created alters/parts/whatever you want to call them. For example, there are parts of me that use a computer and computers weren’t invented when I was being programmed. I created those parts with a lot of hard work! And they are truly distinct ego states or head sets; they come out when needed and fade back into the background when I’m doing something else. And no amnesia, either.

    Yes, on reflection, I do understand. It’s a fear reaction, for all the reasons you describe.

  2. I don’t follow online DID communities, so this is the first I have heard of these terms.

    As an RA survivor with DID, I can’t imagine anyone ever CHOOSING to consciously split. The feelings associated with being mentally, psychically, spiritually, and emotionally split as a result of torture are just too overwhelming. To me, deliberately splitting someone is the deepest form of personal violence and betrayal. Way worse than the physical wounds.

    Why would anyone consciously choose to split their own personality? I just can’t get my head around it.

    In the end, all that really matters is that I understand my system and how it works and what I need to heal. That’s where my energy and focus needs to be.

  3. Thank you for this post.

    I have a friend who says when she was young, she “decided to split herself” into different personalities, so that her essence would not be destroyed by the abuse that going on. The host explictly stated the others were created consciously to survive what she was enduring, meaning she deliberately chose to split herself. They all do not identify as a “OSDD/DDNOS system” but with tulpamancy.

    1. Hi! That’s not uncommon at all. When I wrote this post, I was not aware that OSDD systems actually can lack amnesia between parts despite clinically dissociating.

      What I’ve always—always—known is that each DID/OSDD system is different, and we should celebrate how we survived.

      1. Thank yous! If any of my friend’s system mates wants to learn more, I’ll be happy to link them to r/did, yours and other blogs! ❤ (they have declined in the past but that may change, no pressure on them if course 🙂 )

      2. I’m always looking to meet more survivors. So totally point your friend my way of it comes up. Like you said no pressure. I totally agree.

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