The split personality as a psychological term has been the core of many studies for a long time. Its symptoms manifest in the appearance of a second or more personalities in a sick person. People can be aware or unaware of the presence of two or more different individuals in themselves. Split personality or multiple personality disorder is defined as dissociative identity disorder. The treatment of such patients is particularly complex, and in order to achieve the desired outcome, clinicians prescribe necessary medications. The current paper seeks to examine multiple personalities, describe the disorder, identify its signs, causes, symptoms, and treatment.
The Description of the Disorder
Split personality is a mental phenomenon, expressed in the presence of the two individuals in one person. However, in some cases, their number may exceed.
Doctors diagnose patients who have these symptoms with dissociative personality disorder. Dissociative disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by changes or abnormalities in specific mental functions of humans. These include consciousness, personal identity, memory, and awareness of the continuity of self-identity. All these functions are the integrated components of the psyche, but in the case of the dissociation, their separation from the stream of consciousness occurs, and they gain independence. In this case, an individual may lose the personal identity, and it may lead to the emergence of a new one. In addition, some of the memories may cease to be available for the consciousness. This condition is common to amnesia.
Signs of Multiple Personalities
The most common signs of multiple personalities are imbalance, loss of communication perspiration, lack of logic, and mood swings. Such disease as split personality can occur at any age. The serious psychological shock is a widespread cause of this disorder. There are many cases, when people do not even remember the cause of stress. However, as the mind has been exposed to particular influence, the disease can manifest itself in a few years. By creating additional personality, an individual tries to forget, or at least block negative emotions and memories. There is also the self-suggestion that everything is fine, and there is no problem. In this case, the new identity created by a human will dominate in the life. A person who suffers from this disease does not feel the reality, and, therefore, may lose himself/herself in space. It is commonplace for individuals with multiple personalities to be happy at a certain point, and, in a few minutes, they may cry and seek death. Patients are constantly experiencing conflicting feelings for other people and situations. The most important thing is that they do recognize the existence of the disease.
The mild and complex forms of the dissociation in patients emerge for such reasons as the congenital predisposition towards dissociation, repeat sexual or psychological violence episodes in childhood, lack of adequate support for the competent professionals, and impact of other family members with symptoms of dissociative disorders. Split personality, or its dissociation, is a mechanism by which the mind acquires the possibility of separating certain parts of specific memories or thoughts, which are relevant to ordinary consciousness. Bifurcated subconscious thoughts are not exposed to abrasion. They can be used again, or appear in one’s mind spontaneously. Their revival occurs due to the triggers that may serve as the dramatic events in people’s lives. It is often argued that a multiple personality disorder is triggered by a set of several factors like the stress of intolerable scale, the dissociative states including the separation from own memories, identity, or perception of consciousness, as well as the manifestation of the protection mechanisms in the developmental process.
Defense mechanisms are developed and manifested in the childhood. It is associated with a lack of involvement and care for the child at the time when he/she experiences the traumatic event and gets no protection needed to prevent subsequent undesirable effects. The feeling of a unified identity in children is not innate; it develops as a result of the impact of different events. The process of splitting (dissociation) is quite long and serious in nature. However, if the patient has the dissociative disorder, it does not mean that he/she is mentally sick. In a moderate degree, the dissociation often occurs during stress and lack of sleep. It may also occur during the surgery or minor accidents. The dissociative experience also determines one’s behavior and attitude towards the surrounding world. Most people develop multiple personalities while practicing religion, where they find themselves in the state of trance. Group or individual practices such as the meditation may also take place. The traumatic experience at any age, abuses, and homicide may also boost the development of multiple personalities. The emergence of dissociative forms is relevant for the victims of armed attacks, tortures, car accidents, and natural disasters. The patients may suffer from severe symptoms due to the post-traumatic disorder, post-stress disorder, and the somatization as a result of painful sensations, disease, and actual psychic conflicts.
It is important to note that based on the results of recent research, it has become known that about 98% of adult patients, who have dissociative identity disorder today, were faced with the violent and aggressive situations in childhood; 85% of these cases have been reported and documented. Based on this evidence, it can be argued that the violence experienced in childhood, is considered as the main reason contributing to the emergence of dissociative disorders in various forms. Some of the patients might not have dealt with cases of violence; however, they may experience early loss or death of a loved one, parent, serious illness or stressful event.
Multiple Personalities: The Alleviation of Symptoms and Treatment
Depending on the symptoms, the doctor prescribes the most effective treatment for a patient. In general, this process is quite complicated. The individual will recover only owing to the comprehensive treatment during which clinicians prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, and tranquilizers. Moreover, in order to completely get rid of this disease, a sick person needs to spend significant time or even entire life. To date, doctors apply clinical hypnosis, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychotherapy. Multiple personalities should be treated effectively and timely as the untreated disease contributes to the accumulation of internal psychological tension. As a result, the person renounces his “I” and lives in the constant emotional stress. The split personality can also lead to such diseases as ulcers, asthma, and allergies. Drug and alcohol addictions are other serious issues that can boost the disease. In addition, an individual faces serious problems in the life, work relationship, family, and marriage.
Although the term “multiple personalities” developed many years ago, the symptoms of this disorder have been identified and explored in recent years. In today’s world, this phenomenon is becoming more common due to the frantic pace of life and emotional stress. Split personality is the disease characterized by the appearance of the second person in an individual. One person may differently manifest himself/herself in the same situation. One’s behavior depends precisely on what part dominates at the definite time. There are many cases, when the disease is so compounded that person ceases to remember that he/she did some time ago. It feels like a person lives in different or parallel worlds that never intersect.