More than two million cases can be found altogether in psychological and psychiatric records of multiple personality disorder, which is also known as dissociative identity disorder. Sometimes people have thought that multiple personality disorder is a trick, committed by manipulative, attention-seeking individuals. But through a series of studies is has been proven otherwise. Multiple personality disorder is a “disorder of hiding” wherein 80-90% of multiple personality disorder patients do not have the slightest idea that they have this disorder. Most of them know that there is something wrong with them; many fear that they are crazy, or becoming crazy, but only a few know that they have a very serious disorder.
What is Multiple Personality Disorder?
Multiple personalities is a dissociate reaction to stress in which the patient develops two or more personalities. Each personality has a distinct, well-developed emotional and thought process and represents a unique and relatively stable personality. The individual may change from one personality to another at periods varying from a few minutes to several years. The personalities are usually very different and have different attitudes; one may be happy, carefree and fun loving, and another quiet, studious, and serious. Dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. Dissociative identity disorder is thought to stem from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism — the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience that’s too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his conscious self. (Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder): Signs, Symptoms, Treatment. (n.d.).
WebMD – Better information. Better health.. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder) There have been up to 37 personalities that have been reported. (Multiple Personality Disorder | Serendip Studio. (n.d.). Serendip Studio. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/n) All personalities usually will have their own name and their own role. For example one personality can be the keeper of pain, his role is to take and feel all the pain that the other personalities come in contact with. The personality also can have their own appearance, but this does not mean the person changes its outer image it is just the way he/she sees inside his/her head. The personalities will also have different ages, talents, and likes and dislikes. For example: The story of Shirley Mason is one of a woman who prevailed over incredible odds. Abused by her mother throughout her young life, Shirley’s mind protected the innocent child by splitting into various dissociative states or “personalities” to absorb the experience and shield her from the disturbing memories.
In all, sixteen personalities were identified over the course of Shirley’s eleven year sojourn through psychotherapy with Dr. Wilbur. Through the efforts of Dr. Wilbur, coupled with the self determination of this emotionally damaged young woman, all the selves integrated into one, allowing Shirley almost total recall of her life and feelings. And although individual courage and an irresolute determination to get better were the foundation of her recovery, Shirley discovered along the way that creative expression provided an important healing dimension in her struggle to get well. (Home Page. (n.d.). Hidden Paintings. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://www.hiddenpaintings.com/) Various types of relationships may exist between the different personalities. Usually the individual alternates from one personality to the other, and cannot remember in one, what happened in the other.
Occasionally however while one personality is dominant and functions consciously, the other continues to function sub-consciously and is referred to the co conscious personality. Sybil is a clear example of such a situation. Relationships may become highly complicated when there are more than two personalities. In many cases of multiple personalities the personalities will talk of a spotlight. The spotlight is how they come into the conscious world. All the personalities live around the spotlight whoever stands on it finds himself or herself in the conscious world leaving the other personalities unaware of the personality’s actions. This leaves the next personality that comes into consciousness in total amnesia. Causes of Multiple Personality Disorder
Multiple personality disorder often forms with a person who has been deprived of love and friendship and with a person who has been abused. These people make up friends for themselves, but not just and imaginary friends these friends form their own personalities. These people may also make up other people who are not scared or people, who can not feel pain to turn deal with abuse, which also turn into separate personalities. These people usually deny what is happening and may live their lives without anyone finding out about their disorder. (Multiple Personality Disorder – Causes Of Multiple Personality Disorder – Brain, Child, Memory, and Mpd – JRank Articles . (n.d.). Science Encyclopedia- JRank Articles. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://science.jrank.org/pages/4496/Multiple-Personality-Disorder-Causes-multiple-personality-disorder.html) The degree of vulnerability of the child has a great impact on the amount of personalities the person will have. The typical female multiple has about 19 personalities; male multiples tend to have less that half of that.
For example a male multiple from ages 7 to 10 who was sexually abused a half-dozen times by a distant relative is going to have far fewer personalities than a female multiple who was severely physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by both parents from infancy to age 16. The female could easily develop 30 to 50 (+) personalities, even in the hundreds. Although its important to remember that every person is different so there may be some people with many personalities and not that much abuse. Or allot of abuse and not that many personalities. (Company, A. W. (n.d.). Causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder – HealthyPlace. HealthyPlace.com – Trusted Mental Health Information and Support – HealthyPlace. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/dissociative-identity-disorder/causes-of-dissociative-identity-disorder/) Some signs that a person has multiple personality disorder are: 1. History of depression or suicidal behavior.
2. Childhood history of physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse… reports one parent was very cold and critical reports of “wonderful” parents by a person who is clearly emotionally troubled. 3. Abusive relationships in adulthood
4. Strong attacks of shame; sees self as bad or undeserving sacrifices self for others feels does not deserve help; is a burden, reluctant to ask for help is sure you do not want to be troubled with seeing him or her 5. Reports being able to turn off pain or “put it out of my mind.” 6. Self-mutilation or self-injuring behavior.
7. Hears voices.
8. Flashbacks (visual, auditory, somatic, affective, or behavioral) 9. History of unsuccessful therapy.
10. Multiple past diagnoses (e.g.: major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and substance abuse). 11. History of shifting symptom picture.
12. Reports of odd changes or variations in physical skills or interests. 13. Described by significant other as having 2 personalities or being a “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” 14. Family history of dissociation. 15. Phobia or panic attacks.
16. Substance abuse.
17. Daytime enuresis or encopresis.
18. History of psychophysiological symptoms.
19. Seizure-like episodes.
20. History of nightmare and sleep disorders.
21. History of sleepwalking.
22. School problems.
23. Reports psychic experiences.
24. Anorexia or Bulimia.
25. Sexual difficulties.
(Dissociative disorders: Symptoms – MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dissociative-disorders/DS00574/DSECTION=symptoms) (Symptoms Of Multiple Personality Disorder – Signs & Symptoms Of Multiple Personality Disorder. (n.d.). Lifestyle Lounge – Online Lifestyle Magazine – Lifestyle Management Tips. Retrieved January 4, 2013, from http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/symptoms-of-multiple-personality-4673.html) Cures of Multiple Personality Disorder