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Multiple Personality Disorder Essay

1995 words - 8 pages

One particular disorder in the medical field called Multiple Personality Disorder, has caused controversy between those who believe it is real and those who think it is purely part of an individual’s imagination. Multiple Personality Disorder is characterized by the existence of two or more distinct alters or personality states that persistently have control over a person. For those who believe strongly in its existence, it poses very real consequences and hardships. Dissociative Identity Disorder has many causes, symptoms, and treatments; unfortunately, those who do not take it seriously use it as a scape for others undiagnosed problems.
Many people may wonder what defines Dissociative ...view middle of the document...

An annual report states, “97% of MPD victims report a history of childhood trauma, most commonly a combination of emotional, physical and sexual abuse” . The victim then, after learning to disassociate themselves from the event will quickly learn this as a defense mechanism for other problems big or small. The well-defined personalities aid diverse roles in helping the individual cope with life’s dilemmas. Additionally, “if the multiple personality disorder is caused by childhood trauma it is likely remembered only as a series of perceptual information- fleeting images, olfactory, auditory, or olfactory sensations”.
Other main causes of multiple personality disorder include sleep loss, sensory deprivation, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and encephalitis. Psychotherapists and researchers hypothesize that part of what’s happening is the sequestering of damaging information. Instead of distributing space with the rest of the memories, the disturbing incidences are crammed into their own little area, and the only way they can be accessed is through fragmented and incoherent neural pathways” . As the years have progressed so have other theories on the causes of MPD.
Doctors have found several symptoms that may be present in a patient. MPD is characterized by the existence of two of more distinct alters or personality states that persistently have control over a person’s performance. A key symptom of DID is there is an inability to recollect key personal information that is so severe that it cannot be classified as mere forgetfulness. The individuals have their own age, race, sex, likes and dislikes,” including his or her own postures, gestures, and distinct way of talking” . More than 75% of victims report personalities that are under 12 years of age, or personalities that have conflicting values. Individuals are known to have different ways of reacting, such as pulse, blood pressure, and heart rate. Patients suffering with more than two personalities may reveal each alter at a separate time.
Switching is the term given to define the change between personalities, switching can occur in a matter of seconds, minutes or years. Major symptoms include lost time, amnesia, or black out spells, when another personality has taken precedence over the individual, this may lead to the individual forgetting his or her behavior . Sufferers may often be accused of lying because they do not recall events, or their actions. They may also encounter people that they are unfamiliar with unless a specific personality is present, or be called names that are unlike their own. Some people have a tendency to find themselves doing things they would not normally do, such as speed, or steal. Symptoms may also include mood swings, eating changes, and drugs or alcohol abuse . Colleagues of the Medical Editorial Board, writers of med.net, describe those who have these symptoms as being a passenger in their body rather than the driver.
The effects can cause long lasting hardships and...

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