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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Multiple Personality Disorder

Multiple Personality Disorder! Who believes there's such a thing? Anyone know somebody who plays different parts? One minute he's the person you know him to be, the next minute you wonder what's got into him?

I think I know someone who might have MPD...he scares me sometimes. One minute he's nice and generous, the next minute he's strange.

I used to think he just has a screw loose in his head but then I read this book 'The minds of Billy Milligan' by Daniel Keyes and became more conscious of such an ailment. I have heard of it, even watched movies that told stories of people who had it but I didn't grasp it until reading this book...then I realise my friend might just have it.

In Nigeria, we call mental illness, madness or spiritual attacks, 'cos that's the only explanation that sounds plausible to us...but the white man has a name for it, but how right are they?

In Nigeria, sometimes our medical experts find it difficult to diagnose an ailment...when the hospitals don't know what's wrong, our people go the traditional way.

But does Multiple Personality Disorder really exist? Or do extremely sad people looking for escape just give different names to their different personalities?


We all get moody sometimes. We fight, cry, get angry, get violent, get nice, friendly, bitchy, polite, rude etc, does it mean we have different personalities living inside us? Maybe! But we are still whole, and are conscious of what we do and say but there are those who can't handle reality.
Or are they just simply crazy?

Case study: Billy Milligan
Billy Milligan had 24 personalities in him. The first appeared when he was only 3yrs old and 22 others were created between that time till he turned 22, when he was arrested for armed robbery and the rape of three women.

One of his lesbian personalities supposedly raped the three girls and the core him, Billy, didn't even remember the crimes and he went on to be the first person to be found not guilty of a crime on the grounds of insanity due to multiple personality disorder in the State of Ohio, in the late 70's.

Billy's personalities
The initial list of ten, with their ages, paraphrased here from Daniel Keyes's book:
William Stanley Milligan "Billy", age 26, the core personality.
Arthur, 22. The Englishman
Ragen Vadascovinich, 23. The keeper of hate.
Allen, 18. The con man.
Tommy, 16. The escape artist.
Danny, 14. The frightened one.
David, 8. The keeper of pain.
Christene, 3. The corner child
Christopher, 13. Obedient but troubled
Adalana, 19. The lesbian
There were also personalities classed as "Undesirables" by the personality in charge. These personalities were deemed to have unworthy qualities and would not hold Billy's consciousness.
Philip, 20. The thug.
Kevin, 20. The planner.
Walter, 22. The Australian.
April, 19. The bitch.
Samuel, 18. The wandering Jew.
Mark, 16. The workhorse.
Steve, 21. The perpetual imposter.
Lee, 20. The comedian.
Jason, 13. The pressure valve.
Robert, 17. The daydreamer.
Shawn, 4. The deaf one.
Martin, 19. The snob.
Timothy, 15.
There is also the personality known as The Teacher, from whom the other personalities all learned their specialities, and who is the integration of all other personalities and the one true Billy

Can anyone shed more light on this topic. How do you help someone you think might have it? What triggers it? Is this ailment real or just a figment of some people's imagination?

25 comments:

Your moi moi loving friend in London said...

Linda love, you know what? I'm not disputing the fact that there is something like multiple personality disorder or whatever.

However, as my husband always says, if these crazy personalities cause someone to commit heinous crimes like rape, murder or armed robbery, then the person should be killed.

You know, in a country like Nigeria where people don't think twice about applying jungle justice, if someone with "mutiple personality disorder" kills or rapes someone and is caught by an angry mob as a result, by the time they put tire around the neck of Mr Mutiple Personality, pour petrol on him and set him on fire, at least after he dies along with his wicked multiple personalities, the world would have been rid of one (or many?) evil person (or people).

I'm not being mean here- just realistic. I work with kids as you know and have seen the damage caused by abuse from people that have so called multiple personality disorders.

The annoying thing also is that even after so called treatment, many of these individuals regress and reoffend.

So tell me, if it's madness that's making someone kill, rape and commit armed robbery, isn't it better to rid the world of such mad people as opposed to "treating" them and leaving other innocent people prone to more attacks from them?

Just my two cents.

Adaomega said...

'Sup Linda,
You know health issues is of optimum interest to me so I could not help but to throw in my one cent contrib..

HERE IT GOES..

Mental Disorder is a complicated illness. Most of them do have similar symptoms like bipolar disorder, schizoprenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder aka Multiple personality Disorder or Split Personality.
DID does exist and can be very disabling for the person encountering the disease. It is an indepth and very abstract disease that takes several psychiatric test to arrive 2 the diaganosis.
DID is sometimes associated with early abuse(physical or sexual), anxiety, Depression etc. What your friend is expressing might not be MPD but may be more of Anxiety and depression which reflects itself in switches of mood. All these will depend on the time lapse and any incident that may have occurred with that time lapse.
I also included an excerpt ....

"In dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder, two or more identities or personalities alternate.

Dissociative identity disorder appears to be a rather common mental disorder. It can be found in 3 to 4% of people hospitalized for other mental health disorders and in a sizable minority of people in drug abuse treatment facilities. However, some authorities believe that many cases of this disorder reflect the influence of therapists on suggestible people.

Dissociative identity disorder appears to be caused by the interaction of several factors. These include overwhelming stress; an ability to separate one's memories, perceptions, or identity from conscious awareness; abnormal psychologic development, and insufficient protection and nurture during childhood.

Human development requires that children be able to integrate complicated and different types of information and experiences. As children learn to achieve a cohesive, complex identity, they go through phases in which different perceptions and emotions of themselves and others are kept segregated. These different perceptions and emotions become involved in the generation of different selves, but not every child who suffers abuse or a major loss or trauma has the capacity to develop multiple personalities. Those who do have the capacity also have normal ways of coping, and most of these vulnerable children are sufficiently protected and soothed by adults, so dissociative identity disorder does not develop.

Symptoms

People with dissociative identity disorder often describe an array of symptoms that can resemble those of other mental health disorders as well as many physical disorders. Some symptoms are an indication that another disorder is indeed present, but some symptoms may reflect the intrusions of past experiences into the present. For example, sadness may indicate coexisting depression, or it may be that one of the personalities is reliving emotions associated with past misfortunes.

Dissociative identity disorder is chronic and potentially disabling or fatal, although many with the disorder function very well and lead creative and productive lives. People with this disorder are prone to injuring themselves. They may engage in self-mutilation. Many attempt suicide.

In dissociative identity disorder, some of a person's personalities are aware of important personal information, whereas other personalities are unaware. Some personalities appear to know and interact with one another in an elaborate inner world. For example, personality A may be aware of personality B and know what B does, as if observing B's behavior; personality B may or may not be aware of personality A. Other personalities may or may not be aware of personality B, and personality B may or may not be aware of them.

The switching of personalities and the lack of awareness of one's behavior in the other personalities often make life chaotic for people with dissociative identity disorder. Because the personalities often interact with each other, people with dissociative personality disorder report hearing inner conversations and the voices of other personalities commenting on their behavior or addressing them. They experience distortion of time, with time lapses and amnesia. They have feelings of detachment from one's self (depersonalization) and feelings that one's surroundings are unreal (derealization). They often have concern with issues of control, both self-control and the control of others. In addition, people with dissociative identity disorder tend to develop severe headaches or other bodily pain and may experience sexual dysfunction. Different clusters of symptoms occur at different times.

People with dissociative identity disorder may not be able to recall things they have done or account for changes in their behavior. Often they refer to themselves as "we," "he," or "she." While most people cannot recall much about the first 3 to 5 years of life, people with dissociative identity disorder may have considerable amnesia for the period between the ages of 6 and 11 as well.

Diagnosis

To make the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, a doctor conducts a thorough psychologic interview. A medical examination may be needed to determine if a physical disorder is present that would explain certain symptoms. Special questionnaires have been developed to help doctors identify dissociative identity disorder.

Interviews may need to be prolonged and involve careful use of hypnosis or drug facilitation (see Amnesia and Related Disorders: Treatment and Prognosis). Hypnosis or drug-facilitated interviews may make the person more likely to allow the doctor to encounter other personalities or to reveal information about a period for which there is amnesia. However, some doctors feel that hypnosis and drug-facilitated interviews should not be performed because they believe the techniques can themselves generate symptoms of dissociative identity disorder.

Treatment and Prognosis

Some symptoms may come and go (fluctuate) spontaneously, but dissociative identity disorder does not clear up on its own. The goal of treatment is usually to integrate the personalities into a single personality. However, integration is not always possible. In these situations, the goal is to achieve a harmonious interaction among the personalities that allows more normal functioning.

Drug therapy can relieve some specific coexisting symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, but does not affect the disorder itself.

Psychotherapy is often arduous and emotionally painful. The person may experience many emotional crises from the actions of the personalities and from the despair that may occur when traumatic memories are recalled during therapy. Several periods of psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary to help the person through difficult times and to come to grips with particularly painful memories. Generally, two or more psychotherapy sessions a week for at least 3 to 6 years are necessary. Hypnosis may be helpful.

The prognosis of people with dissociative identity disorder depends on the symptoms and features they experience. For example, people who have additional serious mental health disorders, such as personality disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders, have a poorer prognosis."
Take Care and God Bless

Anonymous said...

well i believe that there is evil in the world, but all i want to know is that why is it that this multiple personality thing is always for evil? why dont they have: the good doer, the helping the poor, the giving out all your money...if there is one like that then i will believe it.

truth said...

really intereting post but this is soooo far from my forte.I be checking out what other readers have to say. I think he's definitely one creepy bag of attitudes.

webround said...

first read about this in one of Sidney Sheldon's book, i think it was "tell me your dreams" or so....
at the end of the book, there were some articles/pages of supporting scientific text to show that this is a real illness. psychiatrists are studying it.

how to help someone who might have it? if you're talking about Nigeria, i believe one option is to take the person to a psychiatric hospital and take it from there. unfortunately we have a stigma associated with pyschiatric hospitals in Nigeria so even getting the person there may be a big problem

Anonymous said...

there has been continous debate on the issue of MPD as to whether it's real or people use it as an excuse to commit crimes. I am not a doctor or scientist but one thing remains that those who suffer from this have faced some kind of abuse when they were young. Because they can't handle the pain that result from the abuse, someone else is created to help them cope with and forget the trauma. There is always one dominant personality (you might want to read Sidney Sheldon's Tell Me Your Dreams.)

ladi said...

I read a novel by Sidney Sheldon (one Fav. writer) called

Tell Me Your Dreams.

Its about the multiple personality disorder one/three women. You should check it out and read it.

It's a great suspense read plus you get educated on the issue of MPD in a dramatic way.

ababoypart2 said...

Cant say much about MPD, however I found the responses above interesting.

cynthia said...

Very interesting post.

Justme said...

was going to tell u about the sidney sheldon book but some people beat me to it. I believe it exists.In the western world, it is called MPD but in naija the person affected might called "crazy" or even be accused of being possessed by demons or worse accused of witchcraft. I watched a movie or something where a terminally ill woman had multiple personalities. When she was her normal self and medical tests were carried out, her results showed that she was ill but when she became another "person" and those same tests were carried out, her results showed she was fine, no illness.
Weird isnt it?

Indigenous Productions said...

I am just wondering Linda if you are confusing what your friend may have with MPD. I think if your friend has any disorder it may be closer to Bipolar than MPD

According to wikipedia.
"Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder, but a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, clinically referred to as mania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes which present with features of both mania and depression. These episodes are normally separated by periods of normal mood, but in some patients, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymia based on the type and severity of mood episodes experienced."

Anonymous said...

My STEP-MUM has MPD!!! Trust me I know...one min she is nice, the next min she is Cruella De Vil


MPD exists!!

your moi moi loving friend in london said...

I agree 100% with anon 5.41pm

Daddy's Girl said...

MPD does exist. But as other have said, the question of how to treat it and handle it when it leads to crime is very tricky. Interesting issue. Linda, there is a CARNIVAL going on at my blog (daddysgirlandlovingit.blogspot.com) next week, where people will get to share their 'odes' to certain parts of their bodies. It will be fun and also very thought-provoking. We will all get to vote for our favourite ode, and the winner will get a prize! Check out my blog for more... and participate! Either by writing and submitting an ode (daddysgirlali@gmail.com) or commenting and voting when the Carnival kicks off... and please help to spread the word!!!

Paris said...

ill just sit and wait 4 others 2 talk abt this

Anonymous said...

Sexual abuse in young children most likely triggers it, according to experts.

Anonymous said...

I read Sidney Sheldon as well... it is a good book. One of the readers wrote asked that why dont the other personalities do something good?? Therefore my conclusion which is typically Nigerian/African is that the guy is possessed! Serious..there are several demons living in him that can be proven physically. I think it can be seen if the brain activity is studied. Being possessed doesnt mean it wouldnt show physically so Linda the guy is possessed so are the other people that it has happened to. they are possessed by the spirit that they have been abused by, for example, if the person was raped, they rape others or in this case, one was a lesbian. So there you have it! A logical explaination from my point of view.

miss hotbody said...

It is easy to claim you have mpd when you are in cuffs and the next stop after the courts is deathrow!

Benin Libran..Uncut said...

i think i have a mild case of MPD....i think i may be bipolar

temi said...

i've read a no of fiction novels that bordered on mpd...
i beleive its real..but i also wonder (at the risk of sounding superstitious.....)......
could it be demon possession...you know like when a no of evil spirits take control of somebody and cause him to do uncharacteristic stuff?

just wondering.....

meanwhile, anyone wanna check out my blog?
is @ www.temifalasinnu.blogspot.com

cee u dia!

Safarichic said...

this is a spiritual thing o!!!! Heard of the story in the bible with the woman who had 7 demons and jesus cast them out? This guys needs delivarance. He is possessed pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

I AM A 23 YR OLD MOTHER OF 2 ...
I WAS DIAGNOSED DID WHEN I WAS 14 YRS OLD AFTER GETTING A LETTER FROM A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER APOLIGIZING FOR THINGS HE HAD DONE TO ME I DONT RECALL ANY OF THE EVENTS EVEN AFTER READING THE LETTER IN GRAFIC DETAIL , EVENTUALLY THE DECTIVES TOOK THE LETTER AND I NEVER GOT TO READ IT AGAIN . I STILL DONT REALLY REMEMBER ALL OF IT ONLY SOME . I WENT CRAZY AND I COULD NOT TAKE THE THOUGHTS AND CONFUSION , I WAS A VERY POPULAR KID AND THEN POOF ALL MY DREAMS WERE CLOUDED I FORGOT WHO I WAS AND STARTED THINKING THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WAS AGAINST ME I WAS HYPNOTISED AFTER THEY SAID THERE WAS 5 PERSONALITIES IN ME . MY OLDER BROTHER ALSO HAS MENTAL ILLNESS HE IS A PARANOID SCITSO BECAUSE THINGS THAT WERE BAD WHEN WE WERE KIDS (HE WAS 6, I WAS 4) HE REMEMBERS EVERYTHING AND IS VERY SICK I AM COPING VERY WELL SINCE I GOT PREGNANT WITH MY FIRST CHILD I HAVE TO BE OK . MY MARRIAGE TO THEIR FATHER ENDED AFTER 2 YEARS BECAUSE I HAVE A REAL PROBLEM BEING FAITHFUL AND I EVENTAULLY THOUGHT HE DID NOT LOVE ME SO I FOUND A NEW GUY I AM STILL WITH HIM BUT I AM FEELING THE SAME WAY AGAIN I THINK THAT THE TRUST ISSUES I HAD AS A SMALL CHILD AND TEEN WIL NEVER GO AWAY AND I FEAR THAT THE SWINGS WILL ALSO NEVER GO AWAY
I FEEL FOR NE1 WITH MY SICKNESS
BUT I DO NOT THINK THEY SHOULD GO FREE IF THEY HURT SOMEBODY
IF I EVR HURT SOMEONE I WOULD NEED TO BE PUNISHED BUT INSTEAD OF HURTING OTHERD I HURT MYSELF IT IS A WAY TO GET BY
IT IS LIKE YOU GET USED TO PAIN AND BEING ALONE OR LIKE YOU FEEL WEIRD AROUND PEOPLE THAT YOU LOVE AND KNOW .
SOMETIMES I THINK MY FAMILY DOESNT LOVE ME AND IS ONLY THERE FOR MY KIDS
I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT ME
SOMETIMES I EVEN HAVE AN ACCENT AND I TRY TO TURN IT OFF BUT IT COMES BACK AND I DONT REALIZE IT
SORRY FOR GOING ON BUT I HAVE HAD A CRAZY FEW DAYS AND I DONT HAVE A THERAPIST THANX I HOPE YOU ARE ALL NOT SO QUIK TO THINK THAT OUR DISEASE IS FAKE IT IS REAL AND VERY PAINFUL
SOMETIMES YOU FEEL BAD FOR YOUR KIDS AND CRY I AM A GREAT MOM BUT I AM VERY CONCERNED ABOUT MY BABIES FUTURE HEALTH I AM WONDERING IF THIS IS HEREDITARY NE1 KNOW?

Anonymous said...

MPD does exist. I have some medical background and also met someone with MPD. Because it has no instant cure, because the process of healing can be so painful, most individuals do not opt for treatment. Some have had MPD for so long, that they have adapted to a lifestyle which is somewhat acceptable to them. An educated, highly intelligent individual will find ways to conceal it. The stigma attached to this disorder is a problem. Imagine yourself going to the doctor and saying: I think I might have MPD. Then explaining your issues, including the sexual implications, the emotions-or lack of them. Our society-as civilised as we may think it is- is not ready to understand and accept such individuals.Some of them are extremely accomplished professionally, they have great capacity of memorising things, they are highly educated and have exceptional artistic inclinations (drawing, painting, writing, etc). Those are harder to recognise, because they are informed and know how to cope-to an extent. The main problem an MPD sufferer has, in my opinion, is relationships-as soon as someone gets closer to them and attempts to understand them, they will be pushed away. Also, it is difficult to establish to what extent an MPD sufferer has feelings like empathy, affection, etc. They learn to fake those, in order to be accepted by society, to have a sex life, etc. Sooner or later an MPD drops out of a reltionship and the partner gets hurt-there is much anger on the partner's side, but no remorse on the other-perhaps guilt to some degree, or the realisation that what he feels, or does not feel, is not the norm. What any partner of an MPD sufferer must understand, is that the individual one has dated/married dis not fully aware of the hurt he/she has caused. If there was more awareness of MPD, people would learn to recognise it and maybe the sufferers would be more willing to share their depression/anxiety/fears/ issues with others. Before you go to your MPD ex and ask "why didn't you tell me? ", think about it. Would you not have run a mile away, if you knew? They are trying their best in this unfamiliar world of love and relationships. They do strange things not to hurt you, but to protect themselves. If you have to walk away, or have been dumped by one MPD, all you can do is try and get some help yourself-the trauma of unrequitted affection, or withdrawn affection, can cause a sensitive individual to dissociate (in order to cope), and thus you may become one.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I really appreciate the woman's comment admitting she had MPD. I am starting to wonder if I have a mild case. I also really appreciate the empathetic response of annonymous at the end. I have been cycling rapidly back and forth between being very appreciative of my boyfriend and wanting to move in with him to not wanting anything to do with him because I don't think we have that much in common. We have a daughter together, which is part of the reason he has held out for 3 years, always waiting for me to come back around- and I always do, eventually. I just don't get how I can be totally sure I don't want to be with him one day and totally sure I do the next or interested in sex one minute and totally closed up the next. I do not believe I was sexually abused as a child. I was able to recognize in 4th and 5th grade that I couldn't remember much before 3rd grade, but I believe it has to do with my parents divorce and the pain it caused me. I have a history of cycling between going back and forth back and forth with the same boyfriends, recycling them, so to speak. And I am starting to believe that I have recreated the life experience of being adored by and finally abandoned by a male figure in my life due to the fact that my dad adored me and then emotionally abandoned me around 15 or maybe due to some of the stuff I went through as a child torn between custody battles. It seems I cannot be happy in a situation for very long. I never seem to want what I have. So, if I get something, I don't want it. But, as soon as I lose it, it becomes attractive, again. This is not a fun way to live. When something in me "switches", I suddenly want nothing to do with my relationship with my boyfriend, find him completely unattractive, fear getting trapped in the relationship and try to get out of it. I cannot be happy until I am out of it. Since he loves me and we have a daughter, he will keep trying and eventually I soften and let him back in. He's a great guy and we have the potential to be a really happy family if I could just be happy. Any suggestions? (Besides, getting counseling- I am already working at that) Thanks;-)

Anonymous said...

IT HAS BEEN A WHILE SINCE I HAVE BEEN HERE , BUT GUESS WHAT .. I AM NOW 4 MONTHS PREGNANT AND I AM DOING WELL, MY DAUGHTER IS IN KINDERGARDEN NOW AND THAT IS GREAT , I AM STILL WONDERING IF DID IS HEREDITARY ... OHH AND BTW I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK OUT MY ISSUES WITH THE NEW { OR SOON TO BE NEW } BABIES DADDY . WE ARE MOVING TOO. TO THE LAST WOMAN WHO POSTED ... IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU MAY HAVE SOME SORT OF PERSONALITY DISORDER , BUT THE ONLY WAY TO FIND OUT TO WHAT EXTENT IS BY GING TO A SHRINK AND BEING DIAGNOSED . THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING FEMALE IS BEING ABLE TO HAVE EMOTIONAL MOODSWINGS AND THEN GOING BACK TO NORMAL , AND I THINK THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR ANY MOM OR WORKING WOMEN TO SEE A PSYCOLIGIST OR GET ADVISE FROM A PROFESSIONAL AT TIMES . WE HAVE ALOT ON OUR PLATES .