You might have heard or seen people struggling with more than one personality. Some people suffer from a mental health condition that makes them have two or more separate personalities.
This might seem fictional or scary due to their misleading portrayal in mass media. But, it’s a real and significant mental health disorder.
The person seems to have more than a Personality that begins to control their behavior, thoughts, and actions. This is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder. It creates memory gaps and gives rise to other mental health problems.
What exactly is a Multiple Identity disorder?
A Multiple Identity Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder is a mental health condition in which a person behaves to have 2 or more personalities. These personalities direct their behavior at different times. Every Identity has its separate behavior, history, traits, and preferences.
It can also lead to hallucinations. This mental health disorder affects a person’s ability to connect with reality. The DID is a part of the Dissociative disorder and other such disorders are:-
- Depersonalized disorder- A feeling of detachment from your activities.
- Dissociative amnesia- Problem in remembering information about yourself.
Is Dissociative Identity Disorder common?
Dissociative Identity Disorder is very rare. It is found among 0.1% to 1% of the total population. It affects people of all age groups and women are more likely to have it.
What are the symptoms and causes of Dissociative Identity Disorder?
The cause behind DID can be a result of sexual or physical abuse experienced in childhood. It is also developed as a result of a traumatic experience like dealing with a natural disaster or other similar traumatic events. This is a way to cope or deal with the traumatic experience.
When the person has 2 or more personalities in the case of DID and one of them is the person’s real identity. Some people have nearly 100 personalities.
This transition can be separate from one another. It might have different gender, ethnicities, and preferences while interacting in the environment.
Other symptoms are:-
- Drug abuse
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts
How is DID diagnosed?
There is no particular diagnosis technique for Dissociative Identity Disorder. A Healthcare professional will analyze your symptoms and personal health history. They do various tests for a physical examination to look for the underlying cause for symptoms like any injuries.
The symptoms also show up in childhood from the age of 5 to 10. But, it is common to ignore the symptoms. This is mostly confused with other behavior or learning problems in children. For this reason, it is not diagnosed till adulthood.
What is the prescribed treatment for DID?
Some medicines are prescribed to treat the symptoms of DID like depression and anxiety. The other effective treatment is psychotherapy.
A Healthcare professional or medical professional with the training of treating the mental health disorder prescribes the right treatment. There are other therapies like an individual, group of family therapy to treat DID.
The therapy is used to:-
- Identify and treat past trauma and abuse.
- Manage sudden behavior modifications.
- Combining different identities into one.
Some mental health professionals also suggest hypnotherapy along with psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a controlled form of meditation that helps people to deal with repressed traumatic memories.
It is important to consult certified mental health or healthcare professionals for the right treatment based on your subjective case.