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Multiple Personality Disorder

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Multiple Personality Disorder

        More than two million cases can be found altogether in psychological and psychiatric records of multiple personality disorder also called dissociative identity disorder.   It is often thought that multiple personality disorder is a trick, a bizarre form of "play-acting" that is committed by manipulative, attention-seeking individuals. It is not. Multiple personality disorder is a "disorder of hiding" wherein 80-90% of multiple personality disorder patients do not have a clue that they have the disorder.  Most know that there is something wrong with them; many fear that they are crazy, but few know that they have a disorder.

What is Multiple Personality Disorder?

        Multiple personalities is a dissociate reaction to stress in which the patient develops two or more personalities.  Each personality has a distinct, well-developed emotional and thought process and represents a unique and relatively stable personality.  The individual may change from one personality to another at periods varying from a few minutes to several years.  The personalities are usually very different and have different attitudes; one may be happy, carefree and fun loving, and another quiet, studious, and serious.

        People can have up to fifty personalities or more.  All personalities usually will have their own name and their own role.

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Causes of Multiple Personality Disorder

        Multiple personality disorder often forms with a person who has been deprived of love and friendship and with a person who has been abused.  These people make up friends for themselves, but not just and imaginary friends these friends form there own personalities.  These people may also make up other people who are not scared or people, who can not feel pain to turn deal with abuse, which also turn into separate personalities.  These people usually deny what is happening and may live their lives without anyone finding out about their disorder.

        The degree of vulnerability of the child has a great impact on the amount of personalities the person will have. The typical female multiple has about 19 personalities; male multiples tend to have less that half of that. For example a male multiple from ages 7 to 10 who was sexually abused a half-dozen times by a   distant relative is going to have far fewer personalities than a female multiple who was severely physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by both parents from infancy to age 16. The female could easily develop 30 to 50 (+) personalities, even in the hundreds.

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For many observers, multiple personality disorders are a fascinating, exotic, and weird phenomenon. For the patient, it is confusing, unpleasant, sometimes terrifying, and always a source of the unexpected. The treatment of multiple personality disorder is excruciatingly uncomfortable for the patient. Their childhood traumas and memories must be faced, experienced, digested, and integrated into the patient's view of him/herself. Similarly, the nature of one's parents, one's life, and the day-to-day world must be re-thought.  As each issue or trauma is dealt with the alter personality that deals with it can disappear. The personality is no longer needed to contain undigested trauma.

In a sense we are all multiple personalities in that we have many conflicting tendencies and frequently do things that surprise both others and ourselves.  This is illustrated by common sayings such as, "I don't know why I did it" or "I didn't think he had it in him."  But most of us do not develop distinct separate personalities.


"Specific Neurotic Patterns",

pg. 245 - 247

        "The Minds of Billy Miligan",

        Keyes, Daniel

        "Mental Disorders",

Martin, Ruth, Crowell Co. 1992, pg. 23 - 25

"The Voices Within"




"FIRST PERSON PLURAL": My Life as a Multiple

Cameron West, Ph.D

"Silencing the Voices"

Jean Darby Cline, Berkley June 1997


"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden"


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