Dissociative Identity Disorder Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a disorder in which two or more distinct identities alternate in controlling a person’s consciousness and behavior (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). If not diagnosed and treated in the early stages of development the alter personalities may begin to fight for control of the body (Pica, 1999). This may occur because the alternate personalities have become an equal part of the person and every alter cannot always be in control. Although DID is more frequently diagnosed in the late teens and early adult years, most diagnoses occur 5-10 years after the onset of symptoms (Slogar, 2011). Moreover, DID appears to be more prevalent in females, those who have a close relative who have DID, and generally occurs during the developmentally sensitive stages of childhood.
Firstly, someone who has developed DID may be more likely to pass it down to their children. This is done through genetics, as well as similar actions, such as alcoholism, abuse (physical or emotional), etc. For example, if someone was abused as a child, they are statistically more likely to become an abuser as well, the same pattern is in place for DID. If someone was abused as a child and developed DID, they are more likely to abuse their child who in turn is more susceptible to developing the disorder as well. This occurs because children learn how to behave by watching others. They learn from certain individuals more than others, such as their parents and thus repeat the actions of the parents. It was concluded that “...there is evidence that people with trauma disorders have higher rates of alcoholism, chronic medical illnesses, and abusiveness in succeeding generations.” (Sidran Foundation, 2000). DID seems to run in families, this suggests that there could be an inherited tendency to dissociate (Cleveland Clinic, 2012). This could be proof of the genetic aspect of not just DID, but other dissociate disorders as well. Moreover, people with DID are also very likely to have other disorders such as Post traumatic stress disorder and many others (Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, 2010). Another study found that shared environmental factors had little effect, this study was done through testing adopted siblings as well as twin pairs (Becker-Blease, Deater-Deckard, Eley, Freyd, Stevenson, Plomin, 2004). However dissociative behaviour was more common in identical twins over fraternal twins which could possibly suggest the presence of a genetic effect (Slogar, 2011).
DID appears to be more prevalent in females, it is possible that this is be due to the higher rates of sexual abuse of the female gender (Cleveland Clinic, 2012). Furthermore, females are 9 times more likely to be diagnosed with DID (Lewis-Hall, 2002, Slogar, 2011). The importance in many statistics of women’s increased rates of diagnoses is just that, women are more likely to be diagnosed with DID, this does not mean they are also more...

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