There’s a lot of sensationalism around mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Sociopathy, Depression, and Split or Multiple Personality Disorder. There’s also a lot of bad assumptions and just bad information. The fact that the media and Hollywood latch onto any tragedy related to someone having a mental illness doesn’t do much to shape public opinion in a positive way either. So on today’s list, we are going to specifically explore the mental illness known as Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder in order to help dispel some of the fog of fear surrounding this particular illness. So get ready, because these are 25 Important Things To Know About Multiple Personality Disorder.
The correct medical term for Split Personality Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder is Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is a chronic condition and can last for years or be lifelong.
Some terms related to DID include The Core (the original personality one is born with) and Alters (personalities beyond the core); Alter States, Selves or Parts are also used for additional personalities. Switching or To Switch is to go from one personality to another,
The first studied case of DID was studied by Frenchman Pierre Janet, and the patient was a 45-year-old French woman in 1883 with three separate and distinct personalities. Her first personality was not aware of the others, but her second and third personalities were both aware of the first; they didn’t care for her
DID can happen in any race, nationality, or age, but it’s most common in American children.
Nearly everyone experiences what’s called mild dissociation, such a daydreaming, getting lost in a moment, or your mind wandering. DID is a significantly more severe form of dissociation that the person can not “snap out of.”
When it comes to the saxes, there’s actually significant differences between men and women. Women frequently present with more acute DID symptoms and are more likely to experience amnesia or other non-violent symptoms, yet men are more likely to have more violent behavior and deny symptoms or a history of abuse.
Often caused by trauma or abuse occurring at less than nine years of age, 97% of DID patients have reported abuse, including extreme neglect and emotional abuse, as well as physical and saxual abuse. Which is a nice way of saying that often multiple personalities are a result of innocent children living with monsters in human skin.
The age at which abuse starts in a person’s life can predict how severe their DID may become. Generally, the earlier abuse starts in someone’s life, the greater the degree of disassociation.
Patients with Disassociative Identity Disorder have often reported chronic suicidal feelings and attempts, with different personalities sometimes reporting different numbers of attempts. (If you, or someone you know, or someone else who is a roommate in your head ever feels suicidal, please call the national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255, and if picking up a phone seems too much, you can visit situationchat.org to chat with someone online.)
Suicide is no joke. Many people suffer with thoughts about killing themselves. For more info on the topic, check out our list of 25 Sad Reasons We Should All Be More Informed About Suicide.