Trying To Understand Dissassociative Identity Dissorder

2429 words - 10 pages

Trying to Understand Dissassociative Identity Dissorder

Dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is one of the most intriguing and least understood of mental disorders. The publication of Sybil in 1973 created a wave of public fascination and, more importantly, professional recognition of childhood physical and sexual abuse as precipitants of the disorder.
Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of "...at least two separate ego states, or alters, different modes of being and feeling and acting that exist independently of each other, coming forth and being in control at different times" (Davison and Neale 180). "Each personality is fully integrated and a complex unit with unique memories, behavior patterns, and social relationships that determine the nature of the individual's acts when that personality is dominant" (Breiner 149). While psychologists now recognize childhood abuse as a precipitant of DID, the general public is, for the most part, unaware of the strong, almost universal connection. "The vast majority (as many as 98 to 99%) of DID individuals have documented histories of repetitive, overwhelming, and often life-threatening trauma at a sensitive developmental stage of childhood" (DID (MPD) 2). The two main types of abuse that occur are sexual, involving incest, rape, molestation, and sodomy, and physical, involving beating, burning, cutting, and hanging. Neglect and verbal abuse are also contributing factors. DID is more common among women, probably because females are more frequently subjected to sexual abuse than males.
This disorder is often referred to by professionals as and "emergency defense system" (Alexander, et al. 94), comparable to the defense a helpless animal uses when being preyed upon. By going into a trance-like state, the animal believes its attacker will think it is dead and leave. By the same token, an abused child uses this defense to distance its mental self from its physical being. The child dissociates, or breaks the connection between his/her thoughts, feelings, and his/her very identity. The child becomes like a "hidden observer" (Alexander, et al. 94) who does not have to deal with the pain or fear of the attack. All thoughts and memories of the abuse are psychologically separated from the child. After repeated abuse, this dissociation becomes reinforced. If the child is good at it, he/she will use it as a defense mechanism in any situation that he/she perceives as threatening, and different personalities begin to develop. "Trance-like behavior in children has been found to be the single best predictor of childhood dissociative identity disorder" (Carlson, et al. 118).
It has been documented that disassociative identity disorder can only develop during childhood, usually between the ages of 3 and 9. There is no "adult onset" disassociative identity disorder, due to the fact that "...only children have...

Find Another Essay On Trying to Understand Dissassociative Identity Dissorder

Identity and Gender Essay

2025 words - 8 pages The word identity has become the most discussed idea in our society. It is described mostly, to be a word that stands for who we are. Therefore, because of who we are, identity has come to be a word that we use to claim and understand people’s actions in our society. So in this paper I will be analysing how social practices surrounding identity relates to gender in social, personal levels, through the work of three authors; by Ian Hacking on

Identity in the Melting Pot Essay

944 words - 4 pages behaviors we owe it to our selves to understand the concept of identity.Our identity is very important because it encourages individuals to see themselves in relation to their friends and family, as well as in relation to the larger community that surrounds them. The different aspects of one's society shape the individuals in terms of the way we perceive things, respond to situations and makes decisions. It affects the values that we hold. Our

Gay Identity versus Jewish Identity

1475 words - 6 pages his Orthodox Jewish Identity, we have to understand a few basic stories of the Torah, some commandments in it and the degree of compulsatory practice in being reminded of such commandments. We start with the book of Genesis. We are introduced to a God that forms the Earth and its first human being, Adam, a man (Bavier,1972). God saw that it was not good for man to be alone since none of the animals that God created were fitting as companions for

Ability to Create Identity with Nature

1936 words - 8 pages your house… the drifted snow is higher than your windows, blocking out the light of both the moon and sun” (Stout 381). Individuals understand terms like snow, sun and moon, but do not have a true bond with nature. Individuals can connect with nature by understand that nature produces those objects. The individual has to be able to dissociate form the comforts of his/her life in order to create an identity with nature. In “The Mind’s Eye,” Sacks

Transracial Adoptions

2017 words - 8 pages biological example to follow, unless they keep a relationship with their biological family, and this can hinder the identity issue for adolescents. This is where the attachment to their adoptive parents is so important, so the child does not have any trust issues and they bond with their adoptive parents more quickly. With all of the issues surrounding transracial adoption, adoptive parents have to understand, is that no everyone is suited for

Mistaken Identity

1551 words - 6 pages fate, and show that through mistaken identity characters lives change quickly. Through these three features, I will show that mistaken identity helps make a story interesting to the reader. First, let us define mistaken identity. To do that, one must define identity of a character, before one can understand what mistaken identity truly is. Character identity in a play is much like identity of any individual today. Identity has many

The Post-War Era

2161 words - 9 pages -war era, individuals, including frank, were trying to accommodate their identity into the best matching area. However, to accommodate was not easy because the post-war period was “a bad time, … the atmosphere [was] full of emotion,” and no one knew what would happen in the future (Okada 227). Their previous identity, or purpose, within society was useless in this time period. Frank simply could not be an intellectual in an apartment in New York

Untitled

940 words - 4 pages . In order to understand one’s history it is important to have family values, which teaches the importance of relationships, love, and generation wisdom.Having relationships is a great outlet for helping find one’s identity. A relationship between parent and child teaches respect. “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the

Macbeth Identites

670 words - 3 pages smiles upon me, and points at them for his" (4.1.121-123). When Macbeth orders Macduff's family to be murdered, Macduff joins the English army and kills Macbeth ending Macbeth's life and his identity.The second identity in Macbeth is the dual identity between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are one with each other in the beginning of the play. Lady Macbeth is the brains and the will while Macbeth is greedy and arrogant. They draw from each

A Letter to Amy Tan - "Joy Luck Club"

544 words - 2 pages June (her American name). She was everything I am, a confused and out of place little girl in search of her multicultural identity. Being raised in a Chinese household and living in a modern American society, we both spent our childhoods trying to escape our Chinese identities. We believed that her Chinese identity is only that surfaces our physical features. As I read on, I realized that this feigned all-American identity is incomplete and became

Shaping Identity

824 words - 3 pages Shaping Identity Identity. What is identity? One will say that it is the distinct personality of an individual. Others will say that identity is the behavior of a person in response to their surrounding environment. At certain points of time, some people search for their identity in order to understand their existence in life. In regards, identity is shaped into an individual through the social trials of life that involve family and peers

Similar Essays

Identity Essay

986 words - 4 pages social identity constructed by Tajfel and psychosocial theory of identity created by Erik Erikson are two of theories which give answer to this question. Tajfel and Erikson(ref) defined identity as two dimensional, containing personal and social part. Both believed that to evolve identity people need to understand how they differ from others and how they are similar. Tajfel foccused on social part and Erikson on personal part. Tajfel’s (ref

Ethnic Identity And African Americans Essay

870 words - 3 pages adolescents belonging to ethnic and minority groups. Ethnic identity of the majority group of individuals is constantly validated and reinforced in a positive manner where as the minority group is constantly ridiculed and punished in a negative manner. What does this say for those adolescents who are the minority and not the majority? It is important to study or research ethnic identity because it provides better knowledge to help one understand

The Concept Of Identity In "About A Boy" By Nick Hornby

913 words - 4 pages depicted as trying to impress his classmates through altering his identity. As the story unfolds, he begins to find his own way of doing things, thus representing a personal VS social identity notion. However, in About A Boy, the central theme concerning individuality is that of conflicting identity- the notion that neither Marcus nor Will are acting their age. As the story unfolds in About A Boy, a concept of identity similar to that of Unreliable

Societal Influence And Identity Formation Essay

1088 words - 4 pages identity formation is attached to the society, such as media, family and peers, the so-called every-day environment of people. But people should understand that the identity formation is within the person and nobody can distract people from this goal. This essay will focus on the relations between identity formation and societal influence on this current and long process. Types of societal influence on people’s identity are numerous. First, the