Multiple Personality Disorder

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Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was first recognized in the 1700's but was not understood so therefore it was forgotten. Many cases show up in medical records through the years, but in 1905, Dr. Morton Prince wrote a book about MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER that is a foundation for the disorder. A few years after it was published Sigmund Freud dismissed the disorder and this dropped it from being discussed at any credible mental health meetings. Since then the disorder has been overlooked and misdiagnosed as either schizophrenia or psychosis. Many in the medical profession Dissociative Identity Disorder not believe that a person could unknowingly have more than one personality or person inside one body, even after the 1950's Three Faces of Eve was published by two psychiatrist. In 1995, records showed that three to five thousand patients were being treated for MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER compared to the hundred cases reported ten years earlier. There is still as increase in the number of cases being reported as the scientific community learns more and more about the disease and the public is becoming more and moreaware of this mental disorder.

There are still many questions left unanswered about the disease, like "Is it genetic?" or "Is a certain type of personality more vulnerable to the disorder?" but many aspects of how people come by the disorder are already answered (Clark, 1993, p.17-19) MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER is commonly found in adults who were recurrently abused mentally, physically, emotionally, and/or sexually as young children, between birth to 8 years of age. The child uses a process called dissociation to remove him/herself from the abusive situation. Dissociation is when a child makes up an imaginary personality to take control of the mind and body while the child is being abused. The child can imagine many personalities but usually there is a personality for every feeling and or emotion that was involved during the abuse (BoyyM, 1998, p.1). As an adult, the abused child finds it hard to keep track of time and may have episodes of amnesia. Other symptoms that will appear in adults with MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER are depression, auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing voices) and suicidal thoughts. Another major symptom is when the adult has no recollection of their childhood. The adult with MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER has no idea they were abused as children and also unaware of the other personalities living inside of their head (Multiple Personality Disorder-fact sheet, 1996-99, p.1). Multiple Personality Disorder is when there is "the presence of two or more distinct identities or personalities, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self"(BoyyM, 1998, p.1). There can be anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities.

Usually each personality will fall into one of the following categories: core, host, protectors, internal self-helper, fragments, child members, preteen, teenager, adults, artistic/music, cross-gender, cross-colored, animal members, inanimate members (BoyyM, 1998, p. 2-3). The host personality is the person who is the multiple, this is the original personality, or the one that created the other personalities, but is unaware of them. The most common apparent identities are the child, persecutor, rescuer, and helper. The child is the identity that is under the age of twelve. They behave as children often sucking thumbs, twisting hair, like to eat cookies, throw tantrums, and use child-like vocabulary. The Persecutor identity is the self-destructive identity that is violent and angry. Persecutor identities usually have a drug/alcohol problem and generally put the host at risk. The rescuer personality is usually devoid of emotion but logical, able, proficient, and responsible. The helper personality knows the most about the history of the...
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