The multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the existence of two or more personality states or identities that frequently control the behavior of the person and the interaction between them can be affected by episodes of amnesia. In this disorder the individual experiences different personality changes, which can appear without warning in a sudden way.
Furthermore, he is not aware of the actions that his other personality has done since he does not remember anything of what he did while he was under the control of his other or other personalities. Do you find it interesting? In this article of PsicoBlog we talk about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of multiple personality disorder and, also, we will explain in detail everything you need to know about this condition.
The symptoms of multiple personality disorder
The personalities that usually appear due to the multiple personality disorder may not coincide with the sex, age, psychological traits and sexual orientation of the individual. That is to say, a 36-year-old woman can adopt the personality of a child of 3, so her behavior, her language, opinions, preferences and her mentality, in general, will be oriented to that age, sex and personality, in particular, that has that “Another” individual. Although it is said that the prevalence of this mental illness is very low since it is a rare condition, the data indicate that it seems not to be as rare as it is thought.
We are going to analyze the symptoms of multiple personality disorder. Among the most common are the following:
- They present a reversible amnesia, which means that they usually forget personal events that occurred during certain periods of time during childhood or adolescence. They also tend to easily forget everyday situations, such as temporarily forgetting how to drive, use a mobile phone, etc. they even get the feeling that their mind has gone blank for a period of time. All this generates a lot of conflicts because, suddenly, they are discovering objects that are incapable of recognizing or being in places where they do not explain how they arrived. Another important issue is that they are unable to remember what they have done.
- They often have anxiety and depression.
- They tend to hurt themselves, to have episodes of self-mutilation, as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- They often abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol.
- Sexual dysfunctions
- They can come to perceive voices, coming from the “other” personalities. These voices are caused by internal conversations between different personalities or from one to another only. All this generates great confusion in the person.
- They are more vulnerable to suffer some traumatic event again because they consciously or unconsciously seek to be in situations of risk.
Causes of multiple personality disorder
Multiple personality disorder usually arises in childhood, although cases have also been found where it has appeared in adulthood. It is said that this condition acts as a defense mechanism that creates the body itself so that the person can withstand all the fear and terrible pain caused by situations that have lived through constant abuse over a long period of time. These abuses can range from physical and psychological violence from parents to children to trauma caused by rape by parents or close relatives.
In response to this type of repeated experiences, the person begins to dissociate, that is, separates from himself creating one or more other personalities, which will be able to cope with all their traumas as she alone feels incapable. It is necessary to take into account that not everyone has the ability to dissociate. Therefore it can be said that in order to generate a multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity, the following characteristics must exist :
- Have a predisposition to dissociate (divide or separate from oneself psychologically) as a defense mechanism
- That a traumatic event occurs that triggers the dissociation
- That various traumatic event happens over time so that the person begins to dissociate more and more and start to create other characters so they can face what they are living.
How to treat multiple personality disorder
The treatment that has proven to be most effective for multiple personality disorder is psychotherapy and regularly requires years for its full recovery. It is basically focused on the person integrating all their identities so that they can stabilize and increase their well-being.
First, his safety is guaranteed, trying to eliminate those risk factors in his life, then he works with the traumatic events that he has suffered and finally, all the identities that he has created are integrated. Occasionally, therapeutic treatment is accompanied by the administration of antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs, however, they are only used to treat the symptoms.
The early diagnosis of this disorder is essential for its cure because the more time passes it is more difficult for the person to overcome it. This disorder is often confused with schizophrenia and many people are treated with drugs for schizophrenia, which for this type of condition are not effective. Therefore it is necessary and at the same time difficult to find the right therapist to treat people with this disorder.
The importance of early detection
A way has not yet been found so that this mental disorder can be avoided, however, the professionals emphasize that it is necessary to provide early attention to children who are suffering or have suffered some trauma, as well as to prevent the abuses and mistreatment towards them. They also recommend advising the families of people with this disorder so that they know what they can do before him and that he does not become more accentuated.
It should avoid the affected person being left alone and keep in constant contact with her, as well as understand her and if possible make her attend support groups where she will share her experience with other people who suffer the same. All this will motivate them to continue with the therapeutic treatment.
This article is merely informative, in PsicoBlog we do not have the faculty to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your case in particular.
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