Multiple Personality Disorder is a psychological disorder where a person processes more than one developed personality.
These personalities have their own way of thinking, feeling, and acting that may be completely different from what another personality is like. These result in an abrupt change in the way a person acts. Basically, they become another person in either a minor or extreme way. It is often thought that multiple personality disorder is a trick, a bizarre form of “play-acting” that is committed by manipulative, attention-seeking individuals it is not. Multiple personality disorder is a “disorder of hiding” wherein 80-90% of MPD patients do not have a clue that they have a disorder. Most know that there is something wrong with them; many fear that they are crazy, but few know that they have a disorder. MPD was first recognized in the late nineteenth century by Pierre Janet, a French physician.
Pierre states, “It is the result of trauma which is far greater than normal stress and surpasses the individual’s ability to cope. In these cases the individual is so traumatized that the young developing mind fragments, or splits off, into different selves.” MPD begins in childhood, between the ages of two and eight. Physical or sexual abuse is commonly found in the history of someone with MPD. “it has been found that 97-98% of MPD’s have experienced child abuse in some form- Psychological mistreatment and neglect,” (Janet). An article called Multiple Personality Disorder written by Elea Carey states that,”Not all children who are severely and repeatedly abused develop multiple personality disorder.
However, if the abuse is repeatedly extreme and the child does not have enough time to recover emotionally, the disassociated thoughts and feeling may begin to take lives of their own. Each cluster of thought tends to have a common emotional theme such as anger, sadness, and fear. Eventually these clusters develop into full-blown personalities, each with it’s own memory and characteristics.
” This disorder was later brought more to public awareness by the Three Faces of Eve (1957), a movie based on a true story of a pristine housewife who was diagnosed with MPD when she couldn’t explain why she would suddenly become a very sexual person and not remember it. The eighties and the nineties brought on what was seen as an over diagnosis of MPD. In an article called Science Delves Into Mystery of Multiple Personalities written by Jeanne Reall talks about three people that contain details of myriad personalities. These people are diagnosed with MPD. They don’t know what is going on and will tend to act like Schizophrenia people.
Real cites from another author and states,Multiple personality disorder is caused by child abuse; schizophrenia is inherited. Schizophrenia can happen in the best of families, even if you had all the loving care in the world,” Torem said. “Schizophrenia is a genetically inherited disease of the brain. It runs in families, like diabetes. Voices Inside, Not Outside. Another distinction, Torem said, is that schizophrenics often believe they hear voices coming from outside their heads, while victims of multiple personality disorder usually hear voices within their minds. (Author) Multiple Personality disorder is nothing seen before, it is real. People can call it “acting”, I call it a person who has mental issues and can not cope in the right way.
Those with the disorder created and imaginary world to escape from the realistic world. Creating another personality is a way that these people deal with certain situations that they can not handle themselves.However, what is important is the acceptance of the fact that people who have received diagnoses of DID are suffering from a disorder that has interrupted their abilities to function normally. These individuals seek relief from their psychological burdens, looking to therapists and clinicians to help them understand and comprehend their dysfunction.
Is it therefore “ethically sound” to question these individuals’ responsive behaviors? In my personal opinion it is not ethically sound. Contradicting the ways in which people have learned to cope with psychological or physical trauma is highly unethical.Despite the criticism, DID remains to be an infinitely fascinating disorder to analyze and comprehend. While there is a vast amount of literature on diagnostic and treatment modality, the full understanding of DID remains to be in constant flux.
There may never be a standardized method for understanding why people respond to psychological trauma by dissociating from their dominant personality.