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The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states, is something youd expect to hear as the title to an X-files episode. In reality, this line is found in the DSM-IV as a physiological disorder. This rare disorder is called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or formally known as multiple personality disorder. Dissociation is a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a persons thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. In DID at least two of the identities or personality states recurrently take control of the persons behavior. In some cases the personalities are so separate that they dont know they inhabit a body with other people.
In some cases the personalities are so separate that they dont know they inhabit a body with other people.
The origins of dissociative identity disorder are still not understood. Although its not understood, one theory suggests that it developed in response to childhood abuse. The abuse then can lead to many symptoms in adulthood. Questions have been raised as to why DID occurs and the symptoms that follow it. Because of this uncertainty, misdiagnosis occurs and makes it very difficult to find the correct kind of treatment. Research shows that DID may affect 1% of the general population.
Because of this uncertainty, misdiagnosis occurs and makes it very difficult to find the correct kind of treatment. Research shows that DID may affect 1% of the general population.
Physical and sexual abuse are just examples of two traumatic situations from which a child may resort to going away in his or her own head. This ability is typically used as an extremely effective defense against physical and emotional pain. By this dissociative process, thoughts, feelings, memories, and perceptions of the traumatic experiences can be separated off psychologically, allowing the child to function as if trauma had not occurred.
DID is said to be a highly creative survival technique, because it allows people in hopeless situations to preserve some area of healthy functioning. Overtime, a child who has repeatedly been physically and sexually assaulted going away may start to be conditioned and reinforced. Reinforcement may cause children to use it automatically whenever they feel threatened. Repeated dissociation may result in a series of separate alternate personalities, which may take on identities of their own.
Depression, mood swings, suicidal tendencies, sleep disorders, panic attacks, phobias and eating disorders are just a few symptoms of DID. Yet, some people with DID can hold highly responsible jobs, contributing to society in a variety of professions such as the arts and public service. To co- workers, neighbors and others with whom they interact with daily, they apparently function normally.
Out of all dissociative disorders, DID may be the condition that carries the best result, if proper treatment is undertaken and completed. The course of treatment is long-term, intensive, and invariably painful, as it generally involves remembering the dissociated traumatic experiences. Nevertheless, therapists of all professional backgrounds and settings have successfully treated individuals with DID.
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