We chose dissociative identity disorder (DID) otherwise known as multiple personality because of a movie called Split. The movie is about a man with multiple personality disorder and the other personalities are trying to take over. The other personalities think they are their own people and react differently to certain things. For example, one personality is allergic to bees while the others aren’t. We found this interesting and wanted to do more research on it. Literature Review In 1986 DID was referred to as hysterical neurosis dissociative type.
One of the first detailed accounts of DID was in 1791 about a German woman who was suddenly French. She spoke fluent French and even had the accent. The German women knew nothing of her French self, but the French woman knew who her German self was. Interestingly, a lot of the first recorded cases of multiple personality were actually when one of the personalities was a murderer or part of a cult and had to be put on trial. These people claim they don’t remember doing the crime and were later diagnosed with DID In the 1970s more and more people were being diagnosed with multiple personality after a book named “Sybil” was released in 1973.
Scientific Explanation Most cases of dissociative identity disorder are a result of abuse or severe trauma such as, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or verbal abuse. One rare case was when a girl saw a dead body getting pulled out of a sewer when she was young. It wasn’t abuse but it still was enough to traumatize her and cause her personality to split/dissociate. This type of long term trauma has negative effects on areas of the brain such as the limbic system, that contains amygdala and hippocampus. The limbic system is part of the brain that deals with emotions, memory and arousal. The mental split in the brain is a way of defense against the trauma.
Another example from the movie Split is one of the personalities being a perfectionist. This is due to the trauma he received from his mother always yelling at him and wanting the house to be perfect. This is also a form of escaping reality when you let another personality takes over. Besides trauma, hypnosis is also a way of causing more personalities.
When a therapist uses hypnosis on a patient it can allow more personalities appear. When someone gets DID from hypnosis they are more likely to have certain symptoms and personalities. Cures/Treatments There is said to be no cure for multiple personality disorder but there is a treatment that can help. This treatment is called talk therapy. This does not completely cure the people with multiple personalities it just makes them feel more comfortable in their own body. If a patient is willing enough to go to talk therapy, they can learn to get along and function better with their other personalities. However, if the person with DID doesn’t like the way they’re being treated by the therapist, their condition can become worse.
When this happens, the therapist can use treatments to help the patient recover. It depends on the therapist and their actions on how they handle the person.