Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as MPD, has been one of the most discussed and publicized disorders in the realm of Psychology for the last several years. This has brought this disorder to the forefront for much debate and criticism. The same train of thought has been common place for the last 20 years. This paper reviews what MPD is, how it is presently treated, and thoughts pertaining to the cause and prevention of this disorder.
Multiple Personality Disorder: A Reflection on Research
As a child did you have an imaginary friend? Did you ever pretend to be someone else or act like you were someone other than yourself? Did you ever know of anyone who could carry on a conversation with you and it feel like you were talking to several different people? As children, acting in the ways of these examples would have been explained by a great imagination or the person is great at playing. Your parents, family and friends would have not had a second thought about your actions. Now, imagine that you are speaking to an adult. The person that you are speaking to is a 30 year old, attractive female that you have just met. In conversation, everything is going well until a brand new Ford Mustang pulls up beside you. Her demeanor changes, she stands straight up, places her hands on her hips and in a very masculine voice starts to admire and speak about the car. As you reply to one of her questions she immediately humps over and in a voice of an older female proclaims that the car is a death trap. Then, just as the meeting had started, she becomes the 30 year old female once again. Would this be considered playing or a great imagination or would society call her crazy? It may be that she has an issue that is fighting inside of her, called Multiple Personality Disorder.
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is the disorder known for when a person develops two or more distinct personalities. Each one of these personalities, or subpersonalities, has their own unique set of memories, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. At any given time one, of these subpersonalities takes center stage and dominates the persons functioning. (Comer, 2011, p. 182)
By looking at the DSM-IV, there are several symptoms listed that a person should look for when diagnosing this disorder. These are:
1. The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self).
2. At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior.
3. The inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
It should be noted that the disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or due to a general medical condition. Someone who has this disorder will have their own identity which is called the host or primary personality. This is the characteristics of the person on a daily and usual basis. The transition to another personality is called switching. This is done immediately and may be very dramatic. There may be many subpersonalities that a person with this disorder may switch to.