Imagine the horror of being so abused as a child that in order to survive, you have to create another person within yourself. That the reality you know is so painful, your mind fights for your survival through an altered ego. That ego is like a secret super hero who shows up to protect you from the bad. But this super hero may take on a sinister role. Dark secrets lurking inside and waiting to act at a moment’s notice. Multiple personality disorder, now known as dissociative identity disorder is this and so much more.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a condition where a single person has more than one distinct personality. Dissociative describes a state where the functioning of a person’s identity, including consciousness, memory and awareness is disturbed or eliminated completely. A person with this illness is completely aware and understanding of their own self, but entirely unaware of, or dissociated from the alternate personality present inside their mind. The alternate personality is referred to as an “alter”. Because the patients are oblivious to their actions as they are in their alter, amnesia or long gaps in memory occur, gaps that could lasts for days, even weeks. Despite the illness, patients do know who they are, the one primary identity known as the host. Normally it takes just seconds for one personality to replace another. On some occasions however, the transformation is slower, but either way the appearance of one personality and the departure of another is often triggered by a stressful event.
The main cause or theory is that young children, faced with a routine of torture, abuse or neglect, dissociate themselves from their trauma by creating separate identities to deal with the torture. This other identity, may suffer while the main identity, the host, “escapes”. Dissociation is surprisingly easy for young children to achieve and becomes a useful defense against the abuse. Over time, the child may create many more alters to deal...
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