A Case of Multiple Personality

Topics: Dissociative identity disorder, Personality psychology, Sigmund Freud Pages: 5 (1299 words) Published: August 12, 2010

Multiple Personality disorder, commonly known today as Dissacoiative identity disorder. Often consisting of two or more personalities within one person. It is not related in any way to Schizophrenia, where a person might experience hallucinations.

The purpose of this review is to analyse the journal article, ‘ A Case of Multiple Personality’ written by Thigpen and Cleckley (1954). Also known for writing the book ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ in which later became a very successful film, both earned them, vast amounts of money.

The article leads to a varied and interesting case study of ‘Eve White’ real name (Christine Sizemore ) who was diagnosed and treated by the author and psychologist ‘Thigpen,’ and who later identified her three personalities.
Eve experienced emotional problems from quite an early age. She was physically punished when she misbehaved and witnessed childhood trauma’s. These included horrendous accidents that occurred before the age of three. One incident involved her mother badly cutting her arm. This was thought to be the trigger point of her illness, and the development of her personalities. Later in life she suffered personal frustrations and marital conflicts. She sort medical advice because she was experiencing headaches and at times suffered from amnesia.

When diagnosed by Thigpen, Eve’s personalities would change under hypnosis from Eve White, a shy, withdrawn character, in contrast to Eve Black a relaxed and confident person with no inhibitions, and more erotic tendencies .later came the discovery of Jane who seem to hover around the two personalities. Jane seemed to appear when under hypnosis with Eve black, when apparently faced with a difficult question about Eve White.

The Psychometric and projective testing, was a mixture of interviews, patient and family observation, hypnosis, EEG tests, memory tests, ink blot tests and intelligence tests. The procedure, showed some support for Thigpen’s case study, such as the EEG tracing, showed signs of one of her character’s ‘Eve black’ as between border line normal and slightly fast. This sometimes can indicate a psychopathic personality (Manter 1953) However her other two personalities tracings, appeared to be completely normal. The use of family members for circumstantial evidence and interviews, also helped supply reliable data to support the case study.

However, some psychologists and psychiatrists have showed concerns that MPD might be diagnosed too often, and could be influenced by suggestion and expectation, to achieve a diagnosis. It was suggested that Thigpen might have had expectations of a third personality, and under suggestion ‘Jane’ was created. The question of the reliability of the hypnosis used on Eve could indeed be problematic if this was the case. Ross Norton and Wezney ( 1989 ) indicated that, some people readily make things up during hypnosis and have difficulties distinguishing between hypnotic confabulations and real names. Or taking another view, it could be a case of sheer manipulation, for example, Eve could of developed the personalities to seek attention from the therapist or held a fascination for him.

However lets not assume that Thigpen,s diagnosis is wrong, Eve could have unconsciously, created these personalities to hide herself from the pain. The incidence of past childhood trauma in its extremity could itself cause a child to dissociate oneself from pain, she found to extreme to cope with . The creation of these different identities was surely some sort of escapism, that seems to be a self protecting natural occurrence. Thigpen was the person to correctly diagnose Eve, with Multiple personality disorder. However he did not cure her, and hardly asked nothing of Eve, for example, ‘if she thought she was cured.’To Eve her distress was still apparent and she was still experiencing episodes of MPD....
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