Multiple personality disorder is more commonly known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is a mental health disorder characterized by the development of several unique identities or personalities that take control within the same person and is usually caused by trauma such as physical or sexual abuse in childhood. In virtually all cases, multiple personality disorder is caused by long term abuse and in order to deal with the devastating affects of the trauma, multi personality disorder symptoms are manifested as the patient dissociating themselves so that separate personalities come into being as a coping mechanism.
Multi personality disorder symptoms can vary in severity and there are no limits to the numbers of alternate personalities seen in cases of dissociative identity disorder, particularly when the abuse occurs over a long period of time.
What are the multi personality disorder symptoms?
One clue that a person is suffering from dissociative personality disorder is that they experience memory problems. It is not unusual for patients to lose large chunks of time and be unable to explain how or why this has happened. In many cases, the patient is actually unaware that time has passed. Patients can also forget personal information and lose memories from childhood, especially if the condition is related to childhood abuse.
Patients with multiple personality disorder develop “alters” as a way of coping with the abuse or trauma. These alternate personalities are completely separate personalities that co-exist with the main central personality. In less severe cases, there might only be two or three alternate personalities, but in the worst cases of multiple personality disorder, it is not unusual to have hundreds of alternate personalities showing themselves at different times.
Alternate personalities can be completely different from the main central personality. They can be male or female, all ages, races, and not necessarily human. Each separate personality will assume its own identify and to all intents and purposes be an entirely separate person. The change from one personality to the next can occur very quickly and the patient will suddenly begin to exhibit completely different characteristics from the person they were a few seconds previously.
Sometimes the alternate personalities will only take over under conditions of great emotional stress, but when the multiple personality disorder is severe, the alternate personalities will continuously cycle between one another and take control from the main central personality.
What are the other multi personality symptoms?
It is not uncommon for patients who are suffering from multiple personality disorder to show a number of other symptoms. These can include frequent headaches, confusion, phobias, anxiety problems, and severe panic attacks. Many patients struggle to function normally, especially if the central personality is continuously superseded by a series of alternate personalities.
There is a high incidence of other mental health problems in patients with multiple personality disorder including self-harming, substance abuse, and serious depression and suicidal tendencies. Patients can also experience frightening flashbacks to the periods of abuse or trauma, especially if the episodes have been buried deep in the psyche and “forgotten”.