A Preliminary Examination
& Dealing with the Disorder as an Adult
Dr. Beth Veale
Human Development II: PSYC 2123A
28 February 2005
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, is defined as: "The result of a marvelously creative defense mechanism that a young child uses to cope with extremely overwhelming trauma" (Hawkins, 2003, p. 3). Ross describes DID in this way: "In its childhood onset forms, the disorder is an effective strategy for coping with a traumatic environment: It becomes dysfunctional because environmental circumstances have changed by adulthood" (1997, p, 62). What types of traumatic environments are we talking about here? Often children who form DID are involved in some sort of abuse. These types of abuses can be physical, sexual and even ritual. Such abuses are not meant for children to have to endure, however, the mind is able to deal in effective ways to allow the child to bear such intolerable environments. As one examines this subject, one finds that there are varied opinions on DID, however, it is important to understand the nature of DID, types of DID as well as DID symptoms and healing in adults.
DID, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, often seems to come with a stigma of someone who is mentally ill or psychotic. As we look into society at popular media sources and examine the characters who display the symptoms in movies, we can see that characters with DID are often portrayed as murderers or psychotic people. In 2003 Columbia Pictures Industries, inc. released a movie called Identity. The basis of the film is that all the murders and evil happenings were happening in one man's mind. The man, who was on death row for murdering young women in real life, was in the midst of treatment to overcome DID, however, he remains a real life murderer even until the end. In one of the most popular movies of this... [continues]
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