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Can a person with multiple personality disorder have one of their personality based on a real person?

Can a person with multiple personality disorder have one of their personality based on a real person?



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Can a person with multiple personality disorder have one of their personality based on a real person encountered during their lifetime? For example, in a family with multiple children, can one of the children with multiple presonality disorder have one of their personas be a "clone" of sibling? If so, how close are the two, and more interestingly, what happens when the two meet?

This question is related to this one about isolated internal representation of people, and potentially to the phenomenon of imprinting


The article you link to is fairly comprehensive, and probably already answers your questions.

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder is no longer referred to as multiple personality disorder. This is a highly misunderstood disorder, and involves many possible symptoms besides the appearance of "alters". "The diagnosis itself remains controversial among mental health professionals."
  • "It is now acknowledged that these dissociated states are not fully mature personalities, but rather they represent a disjointed sense of identity." This answers your question about how close a "clone" personality would be to the real thing - ie, only in a limited sense.
  • Similarly, note that in most cases this disorder manifests in childhood "(usually before age 9)". While I don't doubt that "alters" are modelled on people (fictional and real) that the patient has observed in their past, any actor will tell you that creating a "clone" personality takes a lot of work, and is likely far too much to expect of a child, let alone one suffering from the extreme level of abuse or neglect that typically initiates this disorder.
  • "Sometimes the alters are imaginary people; sometimes they are animals." So while I can't say for sure if it's possible for an "alter" to be an imitation of a real person, it's certainly not common.
  • Moreover, it is believed that "The distinct personalities may serve diverse roles in helping the individual cope with life's dilemmas." In other words, "alters" are formed to avoid stress, not increase it, so it wouldn't be in the patient's interest to imitate a real person.
  • Finally, "Environmental triggers or life events cause a sudden shift from one alter or personality to another," so this is the likely outcome should a "clone" alter meet its inspiration.

What are the Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, which means people with the disorder experience a disconnection between their thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and their identity. This causes people to experience several personality states or to escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and make it difficult for them to go about their daily lives.

The dissociation is thought to be a coping mechanism the person shuts out or disassociates themselves from the situation or experience that was violent, traumatic, or painful.

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder include:

  • Feeling detached from yourself and your emotions
  • The perception that people or things around you are distorted or unreal
  • Confusion about your identity
  • Difficulty coping with everyday life (such as school, work, relationships)
  • The presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states (also called &ldquoalters&rdquo) that the person with the disorder switches between. They may feel like two or more people are living or talking inside their head, and each identity may have a unique name, voice, mannerisms, race, age, sex, and other characteristics, such as the need for eyeglasses. Sometimes the identities are animals. Switching is the crossover of the different alters, and this can occur over several seconds or minutes or days.
  • Significant gaps in your memory or an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness or by a medical condition. Also, highly distinct memory variations that fluctuate according to personality are common. An episode of amnesia can occur suddenly and last for variable lengths of time (minutes/hours/days)
  • Flashbacks that can be traumatic, overwhelming or associated with unsafe behavior

Other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts are common in people with dissociative identity disorder.


Multiple personality disorder may be rooted in traumatic experiences

A new King's College London study supports the notion that multiple personality disorder is rooted in traumatic experiences such as neglect or abuse in childhood, rather than being related to suggestibility or proneness to fantasy.

Multiple personality disorder, more recently known as dissociative identity disorder (DID), is thought to affect approximately one percent of the general population, similar to levels reported for schizophrenia.

People who are eventually diagnosed with DID have often had several earlier misdiagnoses, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. DID is characterised by the presence of two or more distinct 'identities' or 'personality states' -- each with their own perception of the environment and themselves.

Despite being recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) controversy remains around the diagnosis. Some experts argue that DID is linked to trauma such as chronic emotional neglect and/or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from early childhood. Others hold a non-trauma related view of DID, whereby the condition is believed to be related to fantasy proneness, suggestibility, simulation or enactment.

This new study, published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, provides support for the trauma model of DID and challenges the core hypothesis of the fantasy model, according to the study authors.

The researchers compared 65 women on a variety of questionnaires which measured traumatic experiences, suggestibility, fantasy proneness and malingering of psychiatric symptoms. The sample comprised women with a genuine diagnosis of DID, female actors who were asked to simulate DID, women with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healthy controls.

They found that patients with DID were not more fantasy prone or suggestible and did not generate more false memories compared to patients with PTSD, DID simulating controls and controls.

The researchers found a continuum of trauma-related symptom severity across the groups, with highest scores in patients with DID, followed by patients with PTSD, and the lowest scores for healthy controls. This supports the theory that there is an association between severity of trauma-related psychopathology and the age at onset, severity and intensity of traumatisation.

Dr Simone Reinders from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London, said: 'Our findings correspond with research in other areas of psychology and psychiatry, which increasingly implicate trauma with mental health disorders such as psychosis, depression and now, dissociative identity disorder.

'We hope these insights into the causes and nature of DID will inform, among others, clinicians and forensic experts regarding differences between simulated and genuine DID.

'Ultimately this would lead to faster diagnosis and treatment for patients and greater recognition of DID as a mental health disorder.'

Dr Reinders added: 'We now want to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of DID and whether psychological or pharmacological therapies are more effective in treating the disorder.'


Multiple Personality Disorder and Demonic and Spirit Possession

Many find the subject of possession one of the most intriguing aspects of the paranormal. Can a person actually be possessed, demonically or otherwise? Could this be a psychiatric disorder?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there is a disorder involving a spiritual or religious problem, which could lend credence that possession is a type of a psychiatric disorder. Could an alter in multiple personality disorder (MPD) be a demon or discarnate? The Wicklands, Bull, Pearce-Higgins, Peck and Allison believe this is possible. Fiore admits she is not sure.

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Carl Wickland published his book, “Thirty Years Among the Dead” in 1924. He began to believe that spirits played a role in some psychiatric illnesses. He theorized that the discarnate did not know he was dead and was confused.

To facilitate the process of convincing the entity that he was dead, the discarnate was allowed to posses Anna. He invented a machine that provided a low voltage electric shock, a forerunner of the machines used to provide ECT therapy that caused discomfort to the spirit. The spirit, then, departed.

Wickland did not concern himself with trying to prove the identity of the spirits because he believed the information about itself would not be accurate due to the state of confusion. Some spoke in languages unknown to Carl and Anna.

Titus Bull, while a practicing psychiatry, neurology and general medicine became aware of the work of James Hyslop, a psychical researcher, dealing with obsession. He began to believe possessing spirits were not evil, but were confused. The spirit did not cause psychiatric disorders, but was a complicating factor in these.

Anglican John D. Pearce-Higgins, former canon residentiary and vice-provost of London’s Southwark Cathedral was one of the founders of the Church’s Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual studies and chaired its Psychic Phenomena Committee. He believed that the possessing spirit was not a devil, demon or evil spirit, but was an earthbound who was possibility confused and was attached to a person or a place.

His non-demonic approach to earthbounds clashed with the interpretations of the Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal and other traditional churches. Pearce-Higgins believed in the doctrine of Fallen Angels. Demons were Fallen Angels and fallen humans. He believed they remained children of God and were capable of redemption.

Pearce-Higgins approach to depossession and releasement was kind, yet firm. He soothed the discarnate, treating like a frightened, confused child. He emphasized that before performing a depossession and forms of mental and physical illnesses have to be explored, then ruled out. He was knowledgeable in psychology and was extremely careful in ruling out psychiatric disorders as a factor.

Ralph Allison, the pioneer in works about MPD, believed that possession could be a factor in this disorder or a disorder in itself. He, from his experience, theorized there were five levels in spirit possession.

Grade I could also be labeled as OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder. One of his patients had depression and an obsession to wash her hands. She developed a phobia to using public restrooms.

Many years before, water from a public toilet had splashed into her eye and caused conjunctivitis. She fixated on the idea that if water from a public toilet splashed in her eye, she would become blind. Because of this, she had to stop working and had no social life.

The treatment was one on one therapy and group therapy. In group therapy, the “exorcism” is initiated by the patient and supported by the group which leads to healing.

Grade II is MPD. The possession is caused by the developing of a negative alter. One of Allison’s patients created an imaginary fried when he was nine and hiding under his bed to escape one of his mother’s frequent and violent fits. This alter hated all females.

The patient raped and killed six women while the primary personality had a responsible job, lived with his girlfriend and was a good father. His core personality had no memory of the rapings and murders.

When he was placed in a deep hypnotic trance, the psychological roots of the alter’s creation was clearly shown. There was nothing paranormal about this. It was clearly and only psychological.

Grade III possession is when it is another living person seems to be controlling the victim. Witchcraft may be involved. One of Allison’s patients was depressed and weak.

The symptoms began when her nephew was killed in a car accident the night before his wedding. The patient did not believe in witchcraft. Her sister, the nephew’s mother, and the patient’s own mother were seen visiting a black witch. Other family members saw the two women perform black magic rites done to harm the patient.

Allison hypnotized the patient and a strange voice, identifying itself as the sister, spoke. She said she hated her sister and had caused the suffering and pain the patient had been feeling. Allison told the sister to return to her body. When the patient came out of the trance, she had no memory of what had happened, but no longer had the depression and weakness.

The patient’s sister and mother believed in witchcraft and the power of its spells while, the patient, on a conscious level, did not. Jung theorized about the collective unconsciousness and the influence this can have on a person. Many believe that it is possible that, on this level the patient believed in witchcraft, therefore the spells worked.

Grade IV possession is that of control of a spirit on a person’s mind. One of Allison’s patients had MPD. The women felt compelled to walk to the harbor, but she did not know why. She had no recall of what had transpired when she regained consciousness and control of her body.

While in a trance, a voice said she was the spirit of a women who had drowned while searching the boats in the harbor for her husband and children who had deserted her. Once the spirit of the woman left, the patient no longer desired to walk about the harbor.

The spirit had not completed what she felt she had to do, finding her family, when she died and denied the death of her physical body. This was not the first time the patient had been possessed by entities who claimed to be spirits, both good and evil.

Grade V possession is possession by an entity who either never had its own life history or who was evil in life as another person. It identifies itself as evil. Please refer to my articles, An Exorcism in Earling, Iowa, Part I and Earling Iowa Exorcism, Part II, for a case history of this type of possession. My article, Demonic Possession and Exorcism explains the stages of possession and exorcism.

Edith Fiore believes that earthbounds are confused. They do not realize the physical bodies are dead. Others are ashamed and have remorse about what they have done in life and do not want to see their loved ones’ spirits.

Some believe they will go to hell for misdeeds committed in life and refuse to go on. Some are so attached that they feel they must remain earthbound to help loved ones. Sometimes, it is the loved ones who hang one and will not allow the spirits to go on.

There are those spirits who hang about for malicious reasons. Some do this to continue to control their victims others do this for revenge. This is extremely rare however, there have been documented cases.

Fiore also theorizes, based on her experience with patients that the spirits of those who were addicted in life, such as alcoholics, drug, sex, nicotine and food addicts want to possess another’s body so they can re-experience the physical pleasures of their addictions. Possessing spirits are confused, frustrated and unhappy. Their influence on their hosts’ lives, without exception, is negative.

Some of the effects are physical, mental and emotional disorders, addiction and problems with weight, sex and relationships.

Many researchers believe it is possible to release earthbounds and to perform depossession. The process is similar in both. Treat the spirit as a frightened and confused child. Soothe it. Act with compassion and understanding and not with judgment.

If there are fears, dispel them. Ask for the help of the angels and spirits of loved ones to help in the transition. We have researched NDEs, near death experiences, and, many times when people have these, they see the spirits of departed loved ones, angels and other religious spirits. Then, gently urge the earthbound to go to the Light.

Bottom line, is possession a reality of its own? Is it a psychiatric disorder? Could it be the delusions of the human mind? Could it be telepathy that is operating? When more than one person is involved, is this a form of folie a deux, trois, quatre, etc, a delusion shared by two or more?

Logically, we think about argumentum absurdum and argumentum ignoratum. The former is an argument that something could be trued is absurd and silly, so ridicule the idea. Get others to laugh at the idea and, ridicule alternatives these people may choose and give them the only option that you have not derided.

The latter is when you believe something is false and that it can not be proven true or that it is true and cannot be proven false.

This is the case when the paranormal is explored. It can not be scientifically proven as fact. The scientific method cannot replicate the same results without variation. Scientifically, each time you combine two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen, the result is water. This does not exist in the realms of the paranormal, psychology or religion.

Then, there is argumentum ad nauseum which is when an idea is believed to be accepted the more frequently it is heard.


#MentalHealth Myth Buster: Schizophrenics Have Multiple Personality Disorder?

Schizophrenia is one of the oldest mental illnesses known to mental health disorders. It&rsquos also a disorder that takes on the look of several other traits of disorders at the same time. So much so that many people think it&rsquos part of another mood disorder or oftentimes, a personality disorder.

I can&rsquot tell you how many times I&rsquove heard people loosely use &ldquoschizophrenia&rdquo as a lay term for multiple personality disorder and assume they are one in the same. And because of the misunderstanding of these persistent mental illnesses I thought it would be helpful to share some of the myths between the two and set the record straight that schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are two distinct disorders.

1. People with schizophrenia suffer from multiple personality disorder. Absolutely not true! The two major components of schizophrenia are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are fixed ideas or beliefs one has that are not based in reality.

Hallucinations are sensations that appear real but are created in one&rsquos mind. Multiple personality disorder, also presently known as dissociative personality disoder, is the enduring experience of a person&rsquos life that also impairs behavior and memory. There is a split off of two or more co-existing personalities that have significant changes in presentation at any given time. Those splits can appear as individual changes in thoughts, behaviors, interests, names and even changes in facial and vocal expressions.

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2. People with schizophrenia will have changes in their mood that appear to look like different personalities and mood disorders. The fact is people who live with schizophrenia are living with delusions and hallucinations on an ongoing basis. Even with medication, which if taken consistently, can decrease the symptoms of schizophrenia, a person living with schizophrenia is almost always dealing with their own delusions and/or hallucinations.

The symptoms are also just as frightening to the one experiencing it as it is to the one witnessing the signs of the disease. The personality may appear different when the symptoms are enhanced or become more overwhelming to the sufferer but it&rsquos not a separate break off in personality. Someone with a delusion or hallucination can also have either a delusion or a hallucination about any number of things. They&rsquore not fixed on a set of standards. And they don&rsquot suffer from blackouts and memory disturbances like someone with multiple personality disorder or DID (dissociative personality disorder).

3. People suffering with schizophrenia are more dangerous than people suffering with multiple personality disorder. Not true! Having schizophrenia does not make someone more dangerous than having multiple personality disorder or any other disease. Though the media would like people to believe this, research has proven that people with schizophrenia commit less than 2% of crimes within the general public.

4. People with schizophrenia have some of the longest lifespans of any other sufferer with mental illness. False! Unfortunately, most people who live with schizophrenia tend to have some of the shortest lifespans of all the other survivors of mental illness. Because so many schizophrenic patients have multiple medical and mental health conditions, poorer compliance with medication regimens, increased suicide rates and lack of insight into what may be more obvious healthier lifestyles to someone without the disease, they usually suffer more fatalities than the average person. They also live in more isolation because of their inability to relate well with others. And their lifespans are generally 10-25 years shorter than the average adult.

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The issue for the general public is not that either of these disorders present much of a threat to the survival of the species. Rather, the isssue is that we need to become better educated about these more misunderstood disorders and that we treat people who suffer from them with respect and dignity. Living with mental illness is not an easy life to live. The task for our medical and mental health systems should be to bridge the public&rsquos awareness of the realities of mental illness.

Asha Tarry, LMSW is a Licensed Mental Health Specialist and Owner of Behavioral Health Consulting Services LMSW, PLLC (BHCS) www.BHConsultingServices.net. BHCS provides consultations, evaluations and referrals for adults 18 yrs & over with mental health and social services needs. They also offer 1:1 mental health coaching & support groups. Follow her at www.Twitter.com/@ashatarry and www.Facebook.com/Asha


Self-Care

The emotional pain associated with a personality disorder may cause you to turn to unhealthy coping skills for instant relief. Abusing drugs or alcohol, smoking, overeating, or self-harm are just a few of the strategies you might be tempted to turn to when you’re having a hard time.

Individuals with Cluster B personality disorders are at a greater risk for suicide attempts. Feeling abandoned, being rejected, or experiencing a career-related crisis are some of the factors that may increase an individual’s suicide risk. A healthy self-care plan may reduce that risk.

Some people with personality disorders struggle with basic self-care. They struggle to maintain their household and their health. They may require assistance to stay organized, manage their finances, and attend appointments.

Some individuals with personality disorders do well for a time but then become dysregulated. Then, their symptoms and behaviors become increasingly disruptive. A healthy self-care plan can reduce some of the ups and downs.


Caring for someone with DID

If someone you love has been diagnosed with DID, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. There are many myths and misconceptions about DID. Movie and TV portrayals of people with DID who have evil alters or violent personalities are incorrect and contribute to the stigma surrounding the disorder.

It can help to educate yourself as much as possible about DID. Talk to a mental health professional to get accurate information and to voice your concerns.

Treatment for DID can involve revisiting past traumatic experiences, which may be upsetting for friends and family. Make sure you look after yourself, and seek help to look after your own mental health.


Ego States

Understanding the development of alter egos of Multiple Personality Disorder is one of the most intriguing aspects of MPD. While ego states exist within all of us, someone with Multiple Personality Disorder develops extreme, dissociative alter ego states. An Ego state can be simply understood as the “hats” we wear for each area of our lives. For example, a person will behave differently when playing with his or her children versus when he or she is at work. We develop these ego states through processes known as differentiation and integration. When we integrate, we put things together into understandable units or labels. For example we learn that rabbits and dogs are all animals. We differentiate specific animals from each other such as learning that some dogs are nice and some are mean. Accordingly, our behaviors change based on these understandings. For example, we act one way around a nice dog and another around a mean one. As children, we behave differently on the play ground than in the classroom, or at grandmas than we do at our own home. We adapt our behaviors to our environments and circumstances based on internalized views of self and others. These ego states are adaptive and normal. The boundaries are flexible and “everyone knows what everyone is doing” because it is one individual changing roles as he or she enters into different situations.

When these boundaries are rigid and impermeable and typically a reaction to trauma, you may develop Multiple Personality Disorder. Everyone does not know what everyone else is doing. The person has split off aspects of themselves into alternate ego or personality states that are not aware of each other. These alter egos are distinctly different from one another including having different mannerisms, eye sight, and tone of voice, gender and memories of the person’s life.


History of the Monarch Programming

This trauma based mind control is nothing new. It’s an outgrowth of the practices of the old Mystery Religions – practiced in deep secrecy. Satanism has been practiced for thousands and thousands of years and has remained in secret behind its religious front, due to the ability of the generational Satanists to create MPD. Many of the European kings were/are Satanists who have/had MPD. The royal families of Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and England are all involved in Black Magic and Satanism. The Romanov’s who had branches in Prussia and Russia were also involved in the occult. An examination of their jewelry showed a big amount of occult symbols, even though the family had a Christian front.

If the high level Satanists didn’t have MPD they would go totally insane due to the horrifying practices on the highest Illuminati grades. Only the persons who have MPD can survive. One must separate two things here, though. The high level Satanists do not have the highly structured MPD such as the Monarch slaves do. The latter are the controlled robot slaves to their Masters, who are the REAL Illuminati (like the Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s etc). The slaves are programmed to be more or less like zombies, except they have front alters that can look and act like everybody else.

Under the Nazi regime, the satanic use of MPD was refined. Josef Mengele, himself an Illuminatus with a long satanic family line, was the master-mind behind the refining of creating MPD, especially in twins. After the war he was smuggled out of Germany to serve the Illuminati via the CIA and took the code name “Dr. Green”, the name he is known under by mind control survivors who were unfortunate enough to come in his way. When WW II was over, the CIA actually smuggled lots of German and Italian scientists and specialists into the United States and South America, people who had developed new, very sophisticated methods of creating this particular disorder (2) . This program, with the purpose of smuggling Nazi scientists out of Germany after World War II, was called “Operation Paperclip”.


You Just Don't Feel Like Yourself

People with personality disorders often complain about feeling empty, or like they don't know who they are or what they want out of life. As clinical psychologist Dana Harron, PsyD tells Bustle, this is often referred to as an instability of self. "You don't feel like the same person from day to day," she says. "[Sufferers] might feel as though it is difficult for them to have a clear sense of who they are."

Take borderline personality disorder, for instance. One of the top symptoms for this is a chronic feeling of boredom or emptiness, as well as a distorted self image. "If you don't feel like the same person from day to day because your mood swings so wildly, this can be an indication of personality issues (among other things)," Harron says.


History of the Monarch Programming

This trauma based mind control is nothing new. It’s an outgrowth of the practices of the old Mystery Religions – practiced in deep secrecy. Satanism has been practiced for thousands and thousands of years and has remained in secret behind its religious front, due to the ability of the generational Satanists to create MPD. Many of the European kings were/are Satanists who have/had MPD. The royal families of Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and England are all involved in Black Magic and Satanism. The Romanov’s who had branches in Prussia and Russia were also involved in the occult. An examination of their jewelry showed a big amount of occult symbols, even though the family had a Christian front.

If the high level Satanists didn’t have MPD they would go totally insane due to the horrifying practices on the highest Illuminati grades. Only the persons who have MPD can survive. One must separate two things here, though. The high level Satanists do not have the highly structured MPD such as the Monarch slaves do. The latter are the controlled robot slaves to their Masters, who are the REAL Illuminati (like the Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s etc). The slaves are programmed to be more or less like zombies, except they have front alters that can look and act like everybody else.

Under the Nazi regime, the satanic use of MPD was refined. Josef Mengele, himself an Illuminatus with a long satanic family line, was the master-mind behind the refining of creating MPD, especially in twins. After the war he was smuggled out of Germany to serve the Illuminati via the CIA and took the code name “Dr. Green”, the name he is known under by mind control survivors who were unfortunate enough to come in his way. When WW II was over, the CIA actually smuggled lots of German and Italian scientists and specialists into the United States and South America, people who had developed new, very sophisticated methods of creating this particular disorder (2) . This program, with the purpose of smuggling Nazi scientists out of Germany after World War II, was called “Operation Paperclip”.


You Just Don't Feel Like Yourself

People with personality disorders often complain about feeling empty, or like they don't know who they are or what they want out of life. As clinical psychologist Dana Harron, PsyD tells Bustle, this is often referred to as an instability of self. "You don't feel like the same person from day to day," she says. "[Sufferers] might feel as though it is difficult for them to have a clear sense of who they are."

Take borderline personality disorder, for instance. One of the top symptoms for this is a chronic feeling of boredom or emptiness, as well as a distorted self image. "If you don't feel like the same person from day to day because your mood swings so wildly, this can be an indication of personality issues (among other things)," Harron says.


Caring for someone with DID

If someone you love has been diagnosed with DID, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. There are many myths and misconceptions about DID. Movie and TV portrayals of people with DID who have evil alters or violent personalities are incorrect and contribute to the stigma surrounding the disorder.

It can help to educate yourself as much as possible about DID. Talk to a mental health professional to get accurate information and to voice your concerns.

Treatment for DID can involve revisiting past traumatic experiences, which may be upsetting for friends and family. Make sure you look after yourself, and seek help to look after your own mental health.


Self-Care

The emotional pain associated with a personality disorder may cause you to turn to unhealthy coping skills for instant relief. Abusing drugs or alcohol, smoking, overeating, or self-harm are just a few of the strategies you might be tempted to turn to when you’re having a hard time.

Individuals with Cluster B personality disorders are at a greater risk for suicide attempts. Feeling abandoned, being rejected, or experiencing a career-related crisis are some of the factors that may increase an individual’s suicide risk. A healthy self-care plan may reduce that risk.

Some people with personality disorders struggle with basic self-care. They struggle to maintain their household and their health. They may require assistance to stay organized, manage their finances, and attend appointments.

Some individuals with personality disorders do well for a time but then become dysregulated. Then, their symptoms and behaviors become increasingly disruptive. A healthy self-care plan can reduce some of the ups and downs.


#MentalHealth Myth Buster: Schizophrenics Have Multiple Personality Disorder?

Schizophrenia is one of the oldest mental illnesses known to mental health disorders. It&rsquos also a disorder that takes on the look of several other traits of disorders at the same time. So much so that many people think it&rsquos part of another mood disorder or oftentimes, a personality disorder.

I can&rsquot tell you how many times I&rsquove heard people loosely use &ldquoschizophrenia&rdquo as a lay term for multiple personality disorder and assume they are one in the same. And because of the misunderstanding of these persistent mental illnesses I thought it would be helpful to share some of the myths between the two and set the record straight that schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are two distinct disorders.

1. People with schizophrenia suffer from multiple personality disorder. Absolutely not true! The two major components of schizophrenia are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are fixed ideas or beliefs one has that are not based in reality.

Hallucinations are sensations that appear real but are created in one&rsquos mind. Multiple personality disorder, also presently known as dissociative personality disoder, is the enduring experience of a person&rsquos life that also impairs behavior and memory. There is a split off of two or more co-existing personalities that have significant changes in presentation at any given time. Those splits can appear as individual changes in thoughts, behaviors, interests, names and even changes in facial and vocal expressions.

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2. People with schizophrenia will have changes in their mood that appear to look like different personalities and mood disorders. The fact is people who live with schizophrenia are living with delusions and hallucinations on an ongoing basis. Even with medication, which if taken consistently, can decrease the symptoms of schizophrenia, a person living with schizophrenia is almost always dealing with their own delusions and/or hallucinations.

The symptoms are also just as frightening to the one experiencing it as it is to the one witnessing the signs of the disease. The personality may appear different when the symptoms are enhanced or become more overwhelming to the sufferer but it&rsquos not a separate break off in personality. Someone with a delusion or hallucination can also have either a delusion or a hallucination about any number of things. They&rsquore not fixed on a set of standards. And they don&rsquot suffer from blackouts and memory disturbances like someone with multiple personality disorder or DID (dissociative personality disorder).

3. People suffering with schizophrenia are more dangerous than people suffering with multiple personality disorder. Not true! Having schizophrenia does not make someone more dangerous than having multiple personality disorder or any other disease. Though the media would like people to believe this, research has proven that people with schizophrenia commit less than 2% of crimes within the general public.

4. People with schizophrenia have some of the longest lifespans of any other sufferer with mental illness. False! Unfortunately, most people who live with schizophrenia tend to have some of the shortest lifespans of all the other survivors of mental illness. Because so many schizophrenic patients have multiple medical and mental health conditions, poorer compliance with medication regimens, increased suicide rates and lack of insight into what may be more obvious healthier lifestyles to someone without the disease, they usually suffer more fatalities than the average person. They also live in more isolation because of their inability to relate well with others. And their lifespans are generally 10-25 years shorter than the average adult.

You May Also Like

The issue for the general public is not that either of these disorders present much of a threat to the survival of the species. Rather, the isssue is that we need to become better educated about these more misunderstood disorders and that we treat people who suffer from them with respect and dignity. Living with mental illness is not an easy life to live. The task for our medical and mental health systems should be to bridge the public&rsquos awareness of the realities of mental illness.

Asha Tarry, LMSW is a Licensed Mental Health Specialist and Owner of Behavioral Health Consulting Services LMSW, PLLC (BHCS) www.BHConsultingServices.net. BHCS provides consultations, evaluations and referrals for adults 18 yrs & over with mental health and social services needs. They also offer 1:1 mental health coaching & support groups. Follow her at www.Twitter.com/@ashatarry and www.Facebook.com/Asha


Multiple personality disorder may be rooted in traumatic experiences

A new King's College London study supports the notion that multiple personality disorder is rooted in traumatic experiences such as neglect or abuse in childhood, rather than being related to suggestibility or proneness to fantasy.

Multiple personality disorder, more recently known as dissociative identity disorder (DID), is thought to affect approximately one percent of the general population, similar to levels reported for schizophrenia.

People who are eventually diagnosed with DID have often had several earlier misdiagnoses, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. DID is characterised by the presence of two or more distinct 'identities' or 'personality states' -- each with their own perception of the environment and themselves.

Despite being recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) controversy remains around the diagnosis. Some experts argue that DID is linked to trauma such as chronic emotional neglect and/or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from early childhood. Others hold a non-trauma related view of DID, whereby the condition is believed to be related to fantasy proneness, suggestibility, simulation or enactment.

This new study, published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, provides support for the trauma model of DID and challenges the core hypothesis of the fantasy model, according to the study authors.

The researchers compared 65 women on a variety of questionnaires which measured traumatic experiences, suggestibility, fantasy proneness and malingering of psychiatric symptoms. The sample comprised women with a genuine diagnosis of DID, female actors who were asked to simulate DID, women with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healthy controls.

They found that patients with DID were not more fantasy prone or suggestible and did not generate more false memories compared to patients with PTSD, DID simulating controls and controls.

The researchers found a continuum of trauma-related symptom severity across the groups, with highest scores in patients with DID, followed by patients with PTSD, and the lowest scores for healthy controls. This supports the theory that there is an association between severity of trauma-related psychopathology and the age at onset, severity and intensity of traumatisation.

Dr Simone Reinders from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London, said: 'Our findings correspond with research in other areas of psychology and psychiatry, which increasingly implicate trauma with mental health disorders such as psychosis, depression and now, dissociative identity disorder.

'We hope these insights into the causes and nature of DID will inform, among others, clinicians and forensic experts regarding differences between simulated and genuine DID.

'Ultimately this would lead to faster diagnosis and treatment for patients and greater recognition of DID as a mental health disorder.'

Dr Reinders added: 'We now want to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of DID and whether psychological or pharmacological therapies are more effective in treating the disorder.'


Multiple Personality Disorder and Demonic and Spirit Possession

Many find the subject of possession one of the most intriguing aspects of the paranormal. Can a person actually be possessed, demonically or otherwise? Could this be a psychiatric disorder?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there is a disorder involving a spiritual or religious problem, which could lend credence that possession is a type of a psychiatric disorder. Could an alter in multiple personality disorder (MPD) be a demon or discarnate? The Wicklands, Bull, Pearce-Higgins, Peck and Allison believe this is possible. Fiore admits she is not sure.

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Carl Wickland published his book, “Thirty Years Among the Dead” in 1924. He began to believe that spirits played a role in some psychiatric illnesses. He theorized that the discarnate did not know he was dead and was confused.

To facilitate the process of convincing the entity that he was dead, the discarnate was allowed to posses Anna. He invented a machine that provided a low voltage electric shock, a forerunner of the machines used to provide ECT therapy that caused discomfort to the spirit. The spirit, then, departed.

Wickland did not concern himself with trying to prove the identity of the spirits because he believed the information about itself would not be accurate due to the state of confusion. Some spoke in languages unknown to Carl and Anna.

Titus Bull, while a practicing psychiatry, neurology and general medicine became aware of the work of James Hyslop, a psychical researcher, dealing with obsession. He began to believe possessing spirits were not evil, but were confused. The spirit did not cause psychiatric disorders, but was a complicating factor in these.

Anglican John D. Pearce-Higgins, former canon residentiary and vice-provost of London’s Southwark Cathedral was one of the founders of the Church’s Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual studies and chaired its Psychic Phenomena Committee. He believed that the possessing spirit was not a devil, demon or evil spirit, but was an earthbound who was possibility confused and was attached to a person or a place.

His non-demonic approach to earthbounds clashed with the interpretations of the Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal and other traditional churches. Pearce-Higgins believed in the doctrine of Fallen Angels. Demons were Fallen Angels and fallen humans. He believed they remained children of God and were capable of redemption.

Pearce-Higgins approach to depossession and releasement was kind, yet firm. He soothed the discarnate, treating like a frightened, confused child. He emphasized that before performing a depossession and forms of mental and physical illnesses have to be explored, then ruled out. He was knowledgeable in psychology and was extremely careful in ruling out psychiatric disorders as a factor.

Ralph Allison, the pioneer in works about MPD, believed that possession could be a factor in this disorder or a disorder in itself. He, from his experience, theorized there were five levels in spirit possession.

Grade I could also be labeled as OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder. One of his patients had depression and an obsession to wash her hands. She developed a phobia to using public restrooms.

Many years before, water from a public toilet had splashed into her eye and caused conjunctivitis. She fixated on the idea that if water from a public toilet splashed in her eye, she would become blind. Because of this, she had to stop working and had no social life.

The treatment was one on one therapy and group therapy. In group therapy, the “exorcism” is initiated by the patient and supported by the group which leads to healing.

Grade II is MPD. The possession is caused by the developing of a negative alter. One of Allison’s patients created an imaginary fried when he was nine and hiding under his bed to escape one of his mother’s frequent and violent fits. This alter hated all females.

The patient raped and killed six women while the primary personality had a responsible job, lived with his girlfriend and was a good father. His core personality had no memory of the rapings and murders.

When he was placed in a deep hypnotic trance, the psychological roots of the alter’s creation was clearly shown. There was nothing paranormal about this. It was clearly and only psychological.

Grade III possession is when it is another living person seems to be controlling the victim. Witchcraft may be involved. One of Allison’s patients was depressed and weak.

The symptoms began when her nephew was killed in a car accident the night before his wedding. The patient did not believe in witchcraft. Her sister, the nephew’s mother, and the patient’s own mother were seen visiting a black witch. Other family members saw the two women perform black magic rites done to harm the patient.

Allison hypnotized the patient and a strange voice, identifying itself as the sister, spoke. She said she hated her sister and had caused the suffering and pain the patient had been feeling. Allison told the sister to return to her body. When the patient came out of the trance, she had no memory of what had happened, but no longer had the depression and weakness.

The patient’s sister and mother believed in witchcraft and the power of its spells while, the patient, on a conscious level, did not. Jung theorized about the collective unconsciousness and the influence this can have on a person. Many believe that it is possible that, on this level the patient believed in witchcraft, therefore the spells worked.

Grade IV possession is that of control of a spirit on a person’s mind. One of Allison’s patients had MPD. The women felt compelled to walk to the harbor, but she did not know why. She had no recall of what had transpired when she regained consciousness and control of her body.

While in a trance, a voice said she was the spirit of a women who had drowned while searching the boats in the harbor for her husband and children who had deserted her. Once the spirit of the woman left, the patient no longer desired to walk about the harbor.

The spirit had not completed what she felt she had to do, finding her family, when she died and denied the death of her physical body. This was not the first time the patient had been possessed by entities who claimed to be spirits, both good and evil.

Grade V possession is possession by an entity who either never had its own life history or who was evil in life as another person. It identifies itself as evil. Please refer to my articles, An Exorcism in Earling, Iowa, Part I and Earling Iowa Exorcism, Part II, for a case history of this type of possession. My article, Demonic Possession and Exorcism explains the stages of possession and exorcism.

Edith Fiore believes that earthbounds are confused. They do not realize the physical bodies are dead. Others are ashamed and have remorse about what they have done in life and do not want to see their loved ones’ spirits.

Some believe they will go to hell for misdeeds committed in life and refuse to go on. Some are so attached that they feel they must remain earthbound to help loved ones. Sometimes, it is the loved ones who hang one and will not allow the spirits to go on.

There are those spirits who hang about for malicious reasons. Some do this to continue to control their victims others do this for revenge. This is extremely rare however, there have been documented cases.

Fiore also theorizes, based on her experience with patients that the spirits of those who were addicted in life, such as alcoholics, drug, sex, nicotine and food addicts want to possess another’s body so they can re-experience the physical pleasures of their addictions. Possessing spirits are confused, frustrated and unhappy. Their influence on their hosts’ lives, without exception, is negative.

Some of the effects are physical, mental and emotional disorders, addiction and problems with weight, sex and relationships.

Many researchers believe it is possible to release earthbounds and to perform depossession. The process is similar in both. Treat the spirit as a frightened and confused child. Soothe it. Act with compassion and understanding and not with judgment.

If there are fears, dispel them. Ask for the help of the angels and spirits of loved ones to help in the transition. We have researched NDEs, near death experiences, and, many times when people have these, they see the spirits of departed loved ones, angels and other religious spirits. Then, gently urge the earthbound to go to the Light.

Bottom line, is possession a reality of its own? Is it a psychiatric disorder? Could it be the delusions of the human mind? Could it be telepathy that is operating? When more than one person is involved, is this a form of folie a deux, trois, quatre, etc, a delusion shared by two or more?

Logically, we think about argumentum absurdum and argumentum ignoratum. The former is an argument that something could be trued is absurd and silly, so ridicule the idea. Get others to laugh at the idea and, ridicule alternatives these people may choose and give them the only option that you have not derided.

The latter is when you believe something is false and that it can not be proven true or that it is true and cannot be proven false.

This is the case when the paranormal is explored. It can not be scientifically proven as fact. The scientific method cannot replicate the same results without variation. Scientifically, each time you combine two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen, the result is water. This does not exist in the realms of the paranormal, psychology or religion.

Then, there is argumentum ad nauseum which is when an idea is believed to be accepted the more frequently it is heard.


What are the Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, which means people with the disorder experience a disconnection between their thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and their identity. This causes people to experience several personality states or to escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and make it difficult for them to go about their daily lives.

The dissociation is thought to be a coping mechanism the person shuts out or disassociates themselves from the situation or experience that was violent, traumatic, or painful.

Symptoms of dissociative identity disorder include:

  • Feeling detached from yourself and your emotions
  • The perception that people or things around you are distorted or unreal
  • Confusion about your identity
  • Difficulty coping with everyday life (such as school, work, relationships)
  • The presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states (also called &ldquoalters&rdquo) that the person with the disorder switches between. They may feel like two or more people are living or talking inside their head, and each identity may have a unique name, voice, mannerisms, race, age, sex, and other characteristics, such as the need for eyeglasses. Sometimes the identities are animals. Switching is the crossover of the different alters, and this can occur over several seconds or minutes or days.
  • Significant gaps in your memory or an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness or by a medical condition. Also, highly distinct memory variations that fluctuate according to personality are common. An episode of amnesia can occur suddenly and last for variable lengths of time (minutes/hours/days)
  • Flashbacks that can be traumatic, overwhelming or associated with unsafe behavior

Other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts are common in people with dissociative identity disorder.


Ego States

Understanding the development of alter egos of Multiple Personality Disorder is one of the most intriguing aspects of MPD. While ego states exist within all of us, someone with Multiple Personality Disorder develops extreme, dissociative alter ego states. An Ego state can be simply understood as the “hats” we wear for each area of our lives. For example, a person will behave differently when playing with his or her children versus when he or she is at work. We develop these ego states through processes known as differentiation and integration. When we integrate, we put things together into understandable units or labels. For example we learn that rabbits and dogs are all animals. We differentiate specific animals from each other such as learning that some dogs are nice and some are mean. Accordingly, our behaviors change based on these understandings. For example, we act one way around a nice dog and another around a mean one. As children, we behave differently on the play ground than in the classroom, or at grandmas than we do at our own home. We adapt our behaviors to our environments and circumstances based on internalized views of self and others. These ego states are adaptive and normal. The boundaries are flexible and “everyone knows what everyone is doing” because it is one individual changing roles as he or she enters into different situations.

When these boundaries are rigid and impermeable and typically a reaction to trauma, you may develop Multiple Personality Disorder. Everyone does not know what everyone else is doing. The person has split off aspects of themselves into alternate ego or personality states that are not aware of each other. These alter egos are distinctly different from one another including having different mannerisms, eye sight, and tone of voice, gender and memories of the person’s life.