|Dissociative Identity Disorder: one person but several personalities|
An individual’s personality is a blend of different traits. A person can’t be simply distinguished as good or bad but it depends on his/her reaction to the circumstances that forms the individuality of that person. We all have many attributes inside us. Sometimes they tend to contravene each other and then our personality is dominated with a stronger one. For example however good you may be, there are times when the devilish part of you supersedes the angelic you.
Split Personality : One Body Multiple Consciousness
|Alters coexist even though |
they fight or dislike each other
Sometimes the ordeals that people face in life are so traumatic that the mind reacts to it by DISSOCIATION. It is a mechanism, in which the mind blocks the consciousness and captivates it in an imaginary personality, so that the real (host) personality is cut off from that trauma. It is like hypnotizing yourself to prevent the harsh situations. If the same practice is adopted repeatedly for a prolonged period, these imaginary personalities start taking hold on the consciousness. This results in Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. D.I.D is the extreme case scenario of dissociation while the mild ones are getting lost in the moment or daydreaming.
In simple words DID is an illness when a person can be identified with two or more distinct personalities which react differently to the situations. The causes are vague but the victims mostly have suffered severe agonies during childhood (mostly below the age of nine) from being physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually tortured. There are some biological and environmental factors too, DID can run along families and it is found higher in women than men.
|Schizophrenia is different|
from DID, while the former
includes delusions the latter is
characterized by multiple personalities
The different personalities that are recognized in case of DID are called “alters”. They can range from two to hundreds, can be of different age, sex, or race, can have varying body language and can even dislike each other. The “switching” between personalities can take seconds to days and are often spontaneous and involuntary. Switching can be prompted by stress or if the trauma is revived.
DID came across the world through media, there have been movies showing the torments of DID sufferers. “The three faces of eve” and “Sybil” being the famous ones. While the former told the real life story of Chris Sizemore, who had three split personalities the later was the story of Shirley Mason. They made DID popular undoubtedly, but hardly could they paint the real life picture. In real life Sizemore had twenty two alters and not just three and it took forty five years to treat her so that she could lead a normal life.
|Kin Noble, an artist, with 100 personalities|
Kim Noble, an artist is living with her hundred different personalities and her teenage daughter. The astonishing story of hers leaves you baffled, how does she manage to live like that? Although her name is Kim but she doesn’t like to be called Kim, it is Patricia who is her dominant personality the other alters are Judy, Hayley, Ria etc. As it has always sounded odd, many people have been leery of DID. But the recent researches by the Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia have concluded that the alters are not fake but true. They compared professional actors’ conditions while playing on screen characters with the victim when they switched into different alters. Their conditions were different and the doubt over DID being fake was eliminated.
|Lacking unity of consciousness:|
a DID sufferer's brain
The causes are vaguely known, the diagnosis cannot be made in early stages, no cure has yet been discovered, no treatment can guarantee elimination not only this but a life with troublesome symptoms like hallucinations, memory loss, almost no social circle etc are some of the infinite tribulations faced by people suffering with DID.
Our consciousness is unified; it is a collection of all our experiences together like while saying anything we can hear at the same time, can smell and feel. But incase of DID the different personalities exist as individuals and not as a collection.
schizophrenia, Split personality, bipolar, bipolar disorder, depression test, psychatric problems