Clinical Question Essay

690 words - 3 pages


I would like to further my knowledge on the controversial mental illness identified as Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID. More commonly known as multiple personality disorder, it has been a mental illness which gained attention from being the main focus in a variety of Hollywood’s films, aside from what has been portrayed in films I have little insight to what this disorder is.
“What is Dissociative Identity Disorder, its causes and how is it clinically diagnosed?”
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a target of controversy among health care professionals as a result of it displaying characteristics of false memory syndrome, as well as its common ties to childhood abuse and trauma. (Stickley & Nickeas, 2006) The clinical picture of a person suffering from DID will have the presence of two or more identities, these identities may display different personality traits, temperaments and impulse control. The alternate personalities are often unknown consciously to the person affected. It has been shown that two or more of these personalities will become dominant over the affected persons behaviour outcomes. (Pais, 2009) Dissociation behaviour is the interruption of the typical processes regarding identity, memory, consciousness and perception. This is the division of conscious awareness in control of thoughts, emotions, and memories in response to a traumatic event that the person may be unable to cope and withstand mentally. (Stickley & Nickeas, 2006)
Causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder
This disorder has a high degree of complexity, at this time the clear direct cause for the development of DID is unknown. Theoretical frameworks supported by a number of clinicians is
that DID is the result of severe child abuse of a sexual, verbal or physical nature. It is understood that as a child is enduring a severe traumatic event they dissociate themselves in a form of escaping what they are experiencing. (Stickley & Nickeas, 2006) A sub personality is labelled as the affected persons “alter”, as the events are taking place an “alter” emerges in order to carry the burden of the pain, and hurt at which the abuse has inflicted....

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