Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociativ

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Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative
Identity Disorder (DID) was first acknowledged in the 1700's
but was not understood so therefore it was forgotten. Many
cases show up in medical records through the years, but in
1905, Dr. Morton Prince wrote a book about MPD that is a
foundation for the disease. A few years after it was
published Sigmund Freud dismissed the affliction and this
dropped it from being discussed at any credible mental
health meetings. Since then the disorder has been overlooked
and misdiagnosed as either schizophrenia or psychosis. Many
in the medical profession did not believe that a person
could unknowingly have more than one personality or person
inside one body, even after the in the 1950's Three Faces of
Eve was published by two psychiatrist. In 1993, records
showed that three to five thousand patients were being
treated for MPD compared to the hundred cases reported ten
years earlier. There is still as increase in the number of
cases being reported as the scientific community learns more
and more about the disease and the public is becoming more
and more aware of this mental disorder. There are still many
questions left unanswered about the disease, like "Is it
genetic?" or "Is a certain type of personality more
vulnerable to the disorder?" but many aspects of how people
come by the disorder are already answered (Clark, 1993,
p.17-19) MPD is commonly found in adults who were
recurrently abused mentally, physically, emotionally, and/or
sexually as young children, between birth to 8 years of age.
The child uses a process called dissociation to remove
him/herself from the abusive situation. Dissociation is when
a child makes up an imaginary personality to take control of
the mind and body while the child is being abused. The child
can imagine many personalities but usually there is a
personality for every feeling and or emotion that was
involved during the abuse (BoyyM, 1998, p.1). As an adult,
the abused child finds it hard to keep track of time and may
have episodes of amnesia. Other symptoms that will appear in
adults with MPD are depression, auditory and visual
hallucinations (hearing voices) and suicidal thoughts.
Another major symptom is when the adult has no recollection
of their childhood. The adult with MPD has no idea they were
abused as children and also unaware of the other
personalities living inside of their head.
Multiple Personality Disorder is when there is "the
presence of two or more distinct identities or
personalities, each with its own relatively enduring pattern
of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the
environment and self"(BoyyM, 1998, p.1). There can be
anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities.
Usually each personality will fall into one of the following
categories: core, host, protectors, internal self-helper,
fragments, child members, preteen, teenager, adults,
artistic/music, cross-gender, cross-colored, animal members,
inanimate members (BoyyM, 1998, p. 2-3). The host
personality is the person who is the multiple, this is the
original personality, or the one that created the other
personalities, but is unaware of them. The most common
apparent identities are the child, persecutor, rescuer, and
helper. The child is the identity that is under the age of
twelve. They behave as children often sucking thumbs,
twisting hair, like to eat cookies, throw tantrums, and use
child-like vocabulary. The Persecutor identity is the
self-destructive identity that is violent and angry.
Persecutor identities usually have a drug/alcohol problem
and generally put the host at risk. The rescuer personality
is usually devoid of emotion but logical, able, proficient,
and responsible. The helper personality knows the most about
the history of the multiple; they generally want to help
everyone for the general good. The helper personality is the
personality that is most helpful in therapy because they
usually know about all the other identities (Clark, 1993,
p.80-83). Subpersonalities are not only part of a person
with MPD but they are also evident in emotionally normal
persons as well. Although, in a normal person, he/she
remembers when their subpersonality takes over, but in a MPD
patient, the personality disconnects from the host that the
host can not remember what happens. When a traumatic
experience happens, whether positive or negative, a
subpersonality will develop. In a normal person, the
splitting is broken into an "ok self" and a "not ok self".
In a multiple, the personalities are more defined; they are
broken into smaller fragments that disassociate from the
human host (Rowan, 1990, p. 7, 20).
In the book by Terri A. Clark, M.D., it shows the
distinct the personalities are in several cases. It also
displays how each identity can be different from the other
identities and the host. In one of Clark's cases, Veronica,
one of the personalities of her patient Regina, showed up
for the weekly appointment instead of Regina (note that it
really was Regina, but she was a different identity). Clark
noticed a change in the appearance of Regina on her arrival
and noted the difference in her voice. Veronica (Regina)
continued to speak to Clark as if it was the first time they
had met. Although, Veronica knew about Clark, Regina's
personal life, and therapy, this was the first time Clark
had met this personality. Clark discovered while talking to
Veronica that she had a separate business which she ran on
the weekends, and when Veronica was in control of the body.
Regina had no idea about the business; Veronica used the
fake name and an Art Gallery's telephone number in which to
run her business. Veronica even had a different handwriting
than Regina. According to Clark, each personality has its
own distinct features, such as handwriting, fashion taste,
hobbies, and culinary taste. In most cases, there will
always be personality that writes with their left hand,
while the host and other identities write with their right.
In Regina's case, Veronica wore different clothes than
Regina and she had an interest in fine art. Each personality
of a host, when asked, will tell you they have a certain
type of hair color and cut, height, weight, and even gender
(Clark, 1993, p. 73-78). The problem with having all these
personalities is that they do not mesh well. Consequences
can arise from having so many different traits inside one
body like eating and sleep disorders, depression, anxiety,
and substance abuse (Smith, 1993, p.1). Each alter also has
their own name, these names can come from anything but there
are three common factors that influence the alters name.
Some alters are just born with the name, this is when the
alter is modeled after a real or fictional character. Some
alters are named after emotional responses, such as Sad One
or Angry Janie. Many alters are named for the specific job
they are supposed to do, like Director, Helper or Avenger.
The names chosen have been created by a child so they are
most likely modeled after a fictional or real character.
Although the host will have no idea of the other
personalities and will not respond to the names at first,
the alters respond to the birth personalities name (Clark,
1993, 90-91). The circumstances that the identities get the
host into can also become a problem. The different alters
while in possession of the body can go somewhere where the
host does not know and then leave and the host is left with
no idea how he/she got there and how to get back. In Sybil,
one of the first times she realized she had a problem was
when she had to leave her Columbia University Chemistry Lab
when something broke. The last thing she remembered was
standing at the elevator but when she regained consciousness
she was in the warehouse district of Philadelphia. Miles
from where she had been before in New York and it was five
days later (Schreiber, 1973, p. 23-36). The persecutor
identity has a tendency to leave the host in dangerous
Carla, one of Clark's patients, had a persecutor alter
named Godiva. Godiva was always putting Carla in sticky
situations like Godiva would pick up men at bars and bring
them home or go home with them. Carla would come to
consciousness with an unknown man in her bed and she would
pass out, another alter would have to come out and rescue
Carla. CJ (Carla's big burly male alter) would come out
punch the guy and leave. Christine (Carla's logical alter)
would come out and handle the situation using her
negotiation skills. At other times Timmy (the young boy who
was an escape artist) would come out talk his way out of the
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