Multiple Personality Disorder: Dissociative Disorder Essay

1967 words - 8 pages

Multiple Personality Disorder is a mental illness which most commonly has been referred to as Dissociative disorder or DID in recent years[1]. The illness commonly disassociated with schizophrenia finds a person experiencing two or more clearly differing personalities which will in habit assume control at some stage. Changing from one personality to another in a matter of seconds, the person will actually believe that they have more than one personality. DID can co-occur with other illnesses which include a range of anxiety disorders. The causes of DID are still not proven but it is thought to have occurred in response to a traumatic childhood experience[1]. The diagnosis is not constructed ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, it is not a straight forward process if someone is to be diagnosed with DID. There are no set tests available to see whether or not the patient actually has the disorder so instead, a mental status exam must be undertaken in order to rule out other possibilities. Probable symptoms such as brain injury, sleep deprivation and intoxication can be eliminated in a mental status exam when testing for DID. Psychologists and psychiatrists may follow their own criteria when diagnosing someone with DID, seeing as there is no standardised testing method[7]. When mental health professionals are observing possible signs of illness in a patient, they have to be very careful with their questioning. Asking the wrong questions or inquiring too quickly may mean a patient will unearth painful memories that can make their condition even worse. For this reason, diagnosis can be challenging.
The symptoms of DID vary in severity and not all symptoms will be apparent in one individual. This being said, some of the symptoms themselves can be difficult to treat as their harshness can change over time[2]. Common symptoms associated with DID include, having multiple mannerisms, belief in turning into something that is not human, having a distorted sense of time and not knowing that a quantity of time has passed, blackouts occurring, and traumatic flashbacks surfacing. The symptoms not as well known to people without the disorder can range between each individual but are none the less rigorous. Hallucinations, hearing voices, having phobias that cannot be properly explained and inability to recognise yourself in the mirror are all examples of less common symptoms. Some co-occurring mental illnesses that can be apparent with DID include depression and a large collection of anxiety disorders.
Luckily, DID can in most cases be treated through a large range of techniques which include psychotherapy, hypnosis, medications, ECT( Electroconvulsive therapy) and many alternative, safe treatments. Psychotherapy or ‘talk therapy’ is a common way for patients to receive treatment for their illness. The talk therapy involves a discussion with a therapist in which the goal is to restore the relationships of the individual. During private sessions, a mental health professional will help the patient become comfortable in uncovering painful memories that they have attributed. The psychotherapy process is very repetitive and can take several years before successful results are apparent. Depending on whether or not a person can be hypnotised, it can be a good second method for treating a person with DID. The aim of the hypnotic process is to improve an individual’s control over their differing personality changes. If a professional hypnotises a patient in the correct way, they can persuade a patient into thinking that they are only one person. Medications can be used to treat people with DID, but this is not always preferred for a couple of valid reasons. For one, there...

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