26 November 2013
Are there separate personalities, or is it different aspects of one personality for a person with a multiple personality disorder? Dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder, is one of a group of conditions called dissociative disorders. Dissociative disorders are mental illnesses that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity and perception. When one or more of these functions is disrupted, symptoms can occur. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s everyday life, including social activities, work, and relationships. People with DID have issues with their identities and remembering personal parts of their life. This information leads me to the question, are there separate personalities, or is it different aspects of one personality for a person with a multiple personality disorder?
When reading the first publication I learned that dissociation is a major part of dissociative disorders. Dissociation is a coping mechanism that a person uses to disconnect from a stressful or traumatic situation or to separate traumatic memories from everyday life. It is a way for a person to separate themselves from the rest of the world and be given a break. Dissociation can be a defense mechanism against the struggle of a traumatic or stressful experience. By getting rid of painful memories from everyday thought processes, a person can use dissociation to maintain a healthy level of functioning, as though the experience had not occurred. As I was learning about the true meaning of this disorder I was coming to realize the seriousness of it. The information on this site made me think about the reasons why a person is diagnosed and kept me very interested. I began to think about how I would cope with something like this, and then with my new knowledge I began to answer the research question I had chosen.
“Dissociation can be described as a temporary mental escape from the fear and pain of the trauma. Even after the trauma is long past, however, the leftover pattern of dissociation to escape stressful situations continues” (Dissociative Identity Disorder ). This quote helped me grasp the fact that a multiple personality disorder is an escape for most people. A person has two or more different personalities sometimes referred to as "alters" and each take control over the person’s behavior at some time. Each alter might have distinct traits and ways of thinking. An alter could even be of a different gender, have his or her own name, and have distinct preferences. When I read about all of this I started to form a conclusion for my question. I did a lot of research but this site gave me the most information in terms that I could really understand. I was interested in reading more.
One of the most interesting things I came across was the fact that a person with DID may or may not be aware of the other personality states and might not have memories of the times when another