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Psychology

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Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was
first recognized in the 1700's but was not understood so therefore it was
forgotten. Many cases show up in medical records through the years, but in 1905,
Dr. Morton Prince wrote a book about MPD that is a foundation for the disorder.
A few years after it was published Sigmund Freud dismissed the disorder and this
dropped it from being discussed at any credible mental health meetings. Since
then the disorder has been overlooked and misdiagnosed as either schizophrenia
or psychosis. Many in the medical profession did not believe that a person could
unknowingly have more than one personality or person inside one body, even after
the in the 1950's Three Faces of Eve was published by two psychiatrist. In 1993,
records showed that three to five thousand patients were being treated for MPD
compared to the hundred cases reported ten years earlier. There is still as
increase in the number of cases being reported as the scientific community
learns more and more about the disease and the public is becoming more and more
aware of this mental disorder. There are still many questions left unanswered
about the disease, like "Is it genetic?" or "Is a certain type of
personality more vulnerable to the disorder?" but many aspects of how
people come by the disorder are already answered (Clark, 1993, p.17-19) MPD is
commonly found in adults who were recurrently abused mentally, physically,
emotionally, and/or sexually as young children, between birth to 8 years of age.
The child uses a process called dissociation to remove him/herself from the
abusive situation. Dissociation is when a child makes up an imaginary
personality to take control of the mind and body while the child is being
abused. The child can imagine many personalities but usually there is a
personality for every feeling and or emotion that was involved during the abuse
(BoyyM, 1998, p.1). As an adult, the abused child finds it hard to keep track of
time and may have episodes of amnesia. Other symptoms that will appear in adults
with MPD are depression, auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing voices) and
suicidal thoughts. Another major symptom is when the adult has no recollection
of their childhood. The adult with MPD has no idea they were abused as children
and also unaware of the other personalities living inside of their head
(Multiple Personality Disorder-fact sheet, 1996-99, p.1). Multiple Personality
Disorder is when there is "the presence of two or more distinct identities
or personalities, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving,
relating to, and thinking about the environment and self"(BoyyM, 1998,
p.1). There can be anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities.
Usually each personality will fall into one of the following categories: core,
host, protectors, internal self-helper, fragments, child members, preteen,
teenager, adults, artistic/music, cross-gender, cross-colored, animal members,
inanimate members (BoyyM, 1998, p. 2-3). The host personality is the person who
is the multiple, this is the original personality, or the one that created the
other personalities, but is unaware of them. The most common apparent identities
are the child, persecutor, rescuer, and helper. The child is the identity that
is under the age of twelve. They behave as children often sucking thumbs,
twisting hair, like to eat cookies, throw tantrums, and use child-like
vocabulary. The Persecutor identity is the self-destructive identity that is
violent and angry. Persecutor identities usually have a drug/alcohol problem and
generally put the host at risk. The rescuer personality is usually devoid of
emotion but logical, able, proficient, and responsible. The helper personality
knows the most about the history of the multiple; they generally want to help
everyone for the general good. The helper personality is the personality that is
most helpful in therapy because they usually know about all the other identities
(Clark, 1993, p.80-83). Subpersonalities are not only part of a person with MPD
but they are also evident in emotionally normal persons as well. Although, in a
normal person, he/she remembers when their subpersonality takes over, but in a
MPD patient, the personality disconnects from the host that the host can not
remember what happens. When a traumatic experience happens, whether positive or
negative, a subpersonality will develop. In a normal person, the splitting is
broken into an "ok self" and a "not ok self". In a multiple,
the personalities are more defined; they are broken into smaller fragments that
disassociate from the human host (Rowan, 1990, p. 7, 20). In the book by Terri
A. Clark, M.D., it shows the distinct the personalities are in several cases. It
also displays how each identity can be different from the other identities and
the host. In one of Clark's cases, Veronica, one of the personalities of her
patient Regina, showed up for the weekly appointment instead of Regina (note
that it really was Regina, but she was a different identity). Clark noticed a
change in the appearance of Regina on her arrival and noted the difference in
her voice. Veronica (Regina) continued to speak to Clark as if it was the first
time they had met. Although, Veronica knew about Clark, Regina's personal life,
and therapy, this was the first time Clark had met this personality. Clark
discovered while talking to Veronica that she had a separate business which she
ran on the weekends, and when Veronica was in control of the body. Regina had no
idea about the business; Veronica used the fake name and an Art Gallery's
telephone number in which to run her business. Veronica even had a different
handwriting than Regina. According to Clark, each personality has its own
distinct features, such as handwriting, fashion taste, hobbies, and culinary
taste. In most cases, there will always be personality that writes with their
left hand, while the host and other identities write with their right. In
Regina's case, Veronica wore different clothes than Regina and she had an
interest in fine art. Each personality of a host, when asked, will tell you they
have a certain type of hair color and cut, height, weight, and even gender
(Clark, 1993, p. 73-78). The problem with having all these personalities is that
they do not mesh well. Consequences can arise from having so many different
traits inside one body like eating and sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and
substance abuse (Smith, 1993, p.1). Each alter also has their own name, these
names can come from anything but there are three common factors that influence
the alters name. Some alters are just born with the name, this is when the alter
is modeled after a real or fictional character. Some alters are named after
emotional responses, such as Sad One or Angry Janie. Many alters are named for
the specific job they are supposed to do, like Director, Helper or Avenger. The
names chosen have been created by a child so they are most likely modeled after
a fictional or real character. Although the host will have no idea of the other
personalities and will not respond to the names at first, the alters respond to
the birth personalities name (Clark, 1993, 90-91). The circumstances that the
identities get the host into can also become a problem. The different alters
while in possession of the body can go somewhere where the host does not know
and then leave and the host is left with no idea how he/she got there and how to
get back. In Sybil, one of the first times she realized she had a problem was
when she had to leave her Columbia University Chemistry Lab when something
broke. The last thing she remembered was standing at the elevator but when she
regained consciousness she was in the warehouse district of Philadelphia. Miles
from where she had been before in New York and it was five days later
(Schreiber, 1973, p. 23-36). The persecutor identity has a tendency to leave the
host in dangerous situations. Carla, one of Clark's patients, had a persecutor
alter named Godiva. Godiva was always putting Carla in sticky situations like
Godiva would pick up men at bars and bring them home or go home with them. Carla
would come to consciousness with an unknown man in her bed and she would pass
out, another alter would have to come out and rescue Carla. CJ (Carla's big
burly male alter) would come out punch the guy and leave. Christine (Carla's
logical alter) would come out and handle the situation using her negotiation
skills. At other times Timmy (the young boy who was an escape artist) would come
out talk his way out of the situation, leaving the man so bewildered because he
was with a woman who thought she was a young boy. When this occurred it would
leave the other alters upset at Godiva (Clark, 1993, p.99). There are three
different types of relationships that alters can have between each other. The
first one is, "one-way amnesia", this is when alter number one knows
about alter number two but alter number two does not know about number one. The
second relationship is "'two-way amnesia' exist when neither alter know
about each other"(Clark, 1993, p. 87). Cocognizance, the third
relationship, is when all the alters know about each other but the host
personality knows about none of them. The host will hear conversations in
his/her head, these conversations are between the alters. This is when the
alters know the host personality but is unable to affect it as long as the host
is in control (Clark, 1993, p. 87-88). The cause of MPD is severe trauma, most
of the trauma happens at a young age and the violator is usually someone who the
child knows. In satanic cults, children mistreated and abused, to intentionally
cause MPD, do not know everyone who is involved in the abuse. Examples given by
Clark are children put in a coffin with rats, snakes, and bugs then buried
alive. Later the satanic cult leader or priest will rescue the child therefore
making the child feel obligated to that person. In satanic cults, children are
also raped. During the rape, men and women would violate the child they would
also violate the child with objects such as a knife, an upside down crucifix,
and other objects (Clark, 1993, 181-198). The child gets to the point where they
think they are going to die, and they disassociate themselves from the
situation, this is when the personalities are born. Other types of abuse are
emotional and psychological abuse by a parent. One of Clark's patients
remembered under hypnosis a time when she was two. Her mother took her outside
put her in a tree and told her to jump, the child after a slight hesitation did
so, and the mother stepped back, watched the child fall to the ground, and
laughed. These traumatic events and others are the cause of MPD (Clark, 1993,
105-106). No matter how bad the abuse was and how many different personalities
are present; a MPD patient can be cured. The process to recovery for a MPD
patient is long and hard. The personalities are not being made to disappear but
to become one. There has to be a fusion of all the alters into the host, the
host has to learn to express all the emotions, that for so long, another alter
would take care of for them. Although some MPD patients are harder than others
to fuse, but all patients can be cured. Patients that were subject to Satanic
Ritual Abuse are more difficult to fuse due to the threats that the cult made or
are making on their lives. A patient that was in a cult must have lost all
contact with the cult before successful fusion can take place. When fusion is
successfully accomplished, the host person can handle their emotions as where
before fusion they were unaware of many common emotions (Clark, 1993, 208-213).
Research is continuing to be done on this disorder. Many people still doubt the
realism of the disorder, especially as more people fake the disorder to get out
of judicial problems. About 1% of America's population has MPD, but many are
scared to see Psychiatrist, and many fake the disorder (Smith, 1993, p. 1). As
awareness for the disease is becoming more prevalent, more patients are
discovering after years of misdiagnosis, they finally can start the right kind
of therapy. Multiple Personality Disorder is not a disease or mental illness, it
is a disorder caused by traumatic events in early childhood. MPD is treatable
and a MPD patient can hope to one day live a normal life with every part of
his/her personality fused into one. A MPD patient is not something to be afraid
of as where they usually just inflict pain upon themselves and not on others.
MPD patients can be your next door neighbor, parent, and even spouse. They do
not seem that different from normal people, and many do not even know they have
the disorder. Awareness is the key, not only awareness of MPD but of child
abuse, if child abuse is stopped MPD will not be a problem. Biblical Response
Multiple Personality Disorder is often brushed aside by Christians who think
that MPD is demon possession, but MPD and demon possession differentiate in many
ways. MPD although it can be caused by satanic ritual abuse is not evil, it is a
process of the mind. Possession on the other hand, is when a body is taken over
by an evil spirit. It is the physical body that the demon has control over not
the mind. In MPD the only part affected is the mind, the body is not changed and
does not convulse as it does in possession. In Ephesians 6:12(NIV) it is
written, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against
the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Demon possession is
the fight against the flesh MPD is the fight against the mind. In Matthew
8:28-31 we see demon possession, "When he arrived at the other side in the
region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him.
They were so violent that no one could pass that way. "What do you want
with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us
before the appointed time?" Some distance from them a large herd of pigs
was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into
the herd of pigs." He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and
went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake
and died in the water." This shows that demons are first only in possession
of body and second afraid of Jesus Christ. If a Bible is brought into a room
with one that is possessed they will immediately ask for the person to leave. I
do not believe that MPD is demon possession, I do believe that they are more
susceptible to it if they have been involved in a satanic cult. MPD patients are
gifted, smart individuals who suffered greatly as children and they used their
only defense their imaginations to alleviate the pain. In Mark 10:13-16 says,
"People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but
the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to
them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the
kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will
not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' He took
the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them."BibliographyBOY M. (1998). MPD/DID in Simple Terms [on-line]. Clark, Terri A., M.D.
(1993). More Than One (1st edition). Nashville, TN: Oliver-Nelson Books, 17-19,
73-78, 80-83, 87-88, 90-91, 99, 105-106, 181-198, 208-213. Multiple Personality
Disorder; helpline fact sheet (1996) [on-line]. Rockville, MD: National
Institute of Mental Health. New Student Bible, New International Version (1991).
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Rowan, John (1990).
Subpersonalities: The People Inside Us (1st edition). New York: Routledge, 7,
20. Smith, William H., PhD. (1993). Overview of Multiple Personality Disorder
[on-line]. Schreiber, Flora Rheta (1973). Sybil (1st edition). New York: Warner
Books, 23-26.
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