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Who? Me? Them? - Secrets of Multiple Personality Disorder

Aug 17, 2007
Multiple personality disorder is a syndrome wherein a person appears to have two or more identities. The personality of one person will split into several different personalities that take on their own identity and way of living. While MPD can range in functioning and severity, it is always important to know what lies behind the condition.

Multiple personalities will often take control over someone's behavior when they are in situations that seem to be traumatic. At a less intense level, this is also known as disassociation. This causes a person's emotions, thoughts, feelings memories, actions and identity to cease to function normally. At this point personal history and memories may be affected or lost. As a result of this disassociation, a different personality may become apparent.

Often, each discrete personality will be associated with different situations. There are several reasons why multiple personalities may occur. It is commonly a result of repressed emotion, as well as being a defense mechanism employed by a person. For example, if someone has been through an early childhood trauma, they may create a separate identity that is able to deal with the situation. They then are able to remove themselves mentally, if not physically, from the painful situation.

A major type of trauma associated with multiple personality disorder is child sexual abuse. A newly created persona takes care of the situation, enabling the child to remove him or herself from the situation, protecting the core persona from the actions that are taking place. There are also several reported cases of traumatic group events taking place triggering the disassociation and personality disorder.

MPD will start to be noticeable later on in life if a situation arises or emotions are stirred that cause the person to swing back into the defence mechanism that was created earlier in life. When these old memories become associated with current situations a separate identity will appear and take care of the situation, just as happened in childhood.

One of the factors that is part of a multiple personality disorder is in respect of the memories that triggers these different personalities. While these differing personalities come into play as a result of the memory, they often still go unrecognized by the person who has the disorder. Because the personalities were brought in to deal with the traumatic situations at an early age, the abuse that was experienced is often blocked in the afflicted person's memory. This makes it much more difficult to recognize and to heal. The sufferer may be unable to remember or tell of any traumatic events that may have happened to them.

Multiple personality disorder is not easy to treat. It is difficult to uncover the symptoms of someone who has a multiple personality disorder. The personalities will not necessarily come out in a therapy session because the right situation is not right. They alternate persona may also manifest itself as being more akin to a mood swing than a discrete personality.

If you think that you, or somebody you know, has repressed memories and as a result has multiple personality disorder, then it is important to seek help. There are many psychotherapists who can help in recognizing and overcoming traumatic experiences. There are also medications that can be prescribed. There are support groups that are available to those struggling with multiple personalities. In order to begin the healing from multiple personality disorder, one needs to move back to the traumatic event that led to the disassociation, and then learn to cope whilst moving forward.

MPD is a way in which one disassociates from traumatic childhood experiences in order to protect oneself mentally. As a result, disassociation towards the event and the feelings that were associated with it occurs. This is a coping strategy, enabling the person to deal with the problem at the time. The degree of the disorder is dependent upon the strength and severity of the causative events.
About the Author
Andrew Wilson runs a website about mental health that offers a huge amount of information about mental health issues. If you are interested in Multiple Personality Disorder then check http://mentalillness.blogfeeder.org/health out
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