Multiple personality disorder is a mental disturbance in which two different personality identities control a patient’s consciousness. Multiple personality disorders are known to be caused by past childhood abuse and unspecified long-term societal changes. Women suffering from MPD experience different sides of their nature, like being happy or sad, reasonable or demanding, and even confident or confuse. In most cases one of the natures is the most dominant in her at a given situation. In normal cases the different moods in a woman’s mind are in contact with each other but when nether moods become isolated then multiple personality disorder arises.
When women experience MPD, their mind is permanently impaired and split into different isolated moods. This is a complicated situation because each isolated mood has its own emotions, memories and behaviors, and as a result, each of the mood acts like a different person. (Acocella, Joan 1999). This creates conflict in the affected person because of the constantly switching personalities.
At time the different personalities may be aware of the others while some personalities believe they are the only existing personalities in the person’s mind. Usually, only a few of the personalities come out to interact with the environment. For example a woman with multiple personality disorder may chose to use one personality at home and a different one at work or when visiting friends, despite the fact that she has other hidden personalities in her mind. The different personalities may be aware of each other at the same time and can all be activated at the same time. This way they are able to watch the behaviors of the active personality and can influence the woman’s behavior by expressing their feelings in a silent manner which the active personality cannot hear or in available voices that the personality in change of the woman can hear. (http://www.citrushealth.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=605&cn=8)
Multiple personality disorder usually develops when an affected woman is of incapable of escaping from an abusive suffering especially when the suffering and threat of abuse is being repeated constantly. MPD develops during childhood after a certain experience that was traumatic to the affected child. This could be as a result of constant sexual, emotional or physical abuse. Young girls who experience sexual abuse at a young age have a 90% chance of suffering from multiple personality disorder. Children who are constantly raped by their fathers or relatives experience hatred, fear in their minds and as a result create different personalities in their minds as a route to escape from that fear and tension. A sexually abused young woman tends to split her mind during the actual sexual abuse or when there is a reminder of the experience. This kind of dissociation needs to be treated immediately; otherwise it will cause a lot of damage to the mind of the affected person.
Complications of multiple personality disorders
Women with MPD experience very unstable life situations in the sense that some experiences start and end very abruptly. In such situations, the victim is unable to control her life and cannot learn from past experiences when most women are unable to control or change their lives, they tend to develop depression and create very negative methods of dealing with the problem. Professionals have established different criteria of identifying MPD in a patient. Women are said to have MPD when they switch to a different personality with a different set of emotions and changes in cognitive within a short span of time. The woman might abruptly change from being a serious adult to an anxious child. She might not even remember serious landmarks in her life such as her mental status, her profession or her children. These kind of changes are in explainable, unless in cases of MPD. (Elliott, Carl 2000).
Women with multiple personality disorders will also experience episodic memory gaps. She might not remember that she graduated with a college degree three days ago or she got married a week ago. The affected women usually lack consistency in their actions. Usually women with MPD may make plans to perform an action but they change their course of strategy within a short period of time. Defecting MPD is much easier when someone comes into contact with the individual personalities in a person. When affected persons experience lost memory gaps, this period is called lost time but in essence it’s a period that can be accounted for by a personality that was not in charge at the time. During this lost time period, individuals may say or act in ways that are in contrast with their lifestyle. The active personality usually does not understand why they act in that manner because the actions are influenced by other personalities women with MPD might find their own photographs but fail to relate them to their events.
A number of behaviors have been associated with multiple personality disorder in women. There include symptoms of chronic depression and panic attacks. Women who have hair above the upper lip have been proven clinically to suffer from MPD. Patients with MPD act in seductive behaviors and experience emotional swings. They constantly et involved in blind love affairs mostly interracial affairs and develop a blind trust for such people. They tend to forget the names of their significant others or partners. Women with MPD usually have very short, attention seeking hairstyles. They usually have gaps in memory and show signs of forgetting things instantly. (Mclean, Peter D., and Sheila R. Woody 2003.)
Treatment of MPD is complicated because the condition is rarely recognized by professionals. Medical schools have given very little attention to this condition because it is believed to be a rare condition. Mental health professionals could have experienced sexual abuse during their childhood and as a result they are unable of recognizing the changes in the patients mind and body. Such therapists are said to experience lack of emotional intelligence. These professionals block their minds to the possibility that a person could experience multiple personalities. Treatment complications in this field have also been affected by the fact that most women do not consider the possibility of having a mental disorder. Multiple personality disorder is also known as dissociative identity disorder (DID). Dissociation in this case means that a person’s mental state is disturbed including her memory and consciousness. This disruption causes changes in a person’s identity signifying a form of disorder. (http://www2.vhi.ie/topic/topic100587168)
Treatment of multiple personality disorders in women is a long process that could take a period of seven years. For this treatment to be effective, it must take different forms and methods. Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that involves switching the patient’s personality into different forms. Psychotherapy treatment requires a specialized therapist who has undergone special training in dissociation. During this treatment many women will switch their personalities into very hostile or suicidal forms. Due to this, legal contracts for treatment are put in place and should be signed before going through the treatment. These rules ensure that the patient is responsible for their own safety during the treatment phase. Most women are afraid to continue with the treatment because of the dangers associated with it. Psychotherapy involves going through the traumatic experiences o childhood especially sexual abuse. (Tansella, Michele, and Graham Thornicroft, eds 1999.)
Reencountering the experiences is a very uncomfortable process which brings back the memories and pain associated with it. The woman will experience fresh fear and tension by reencountering the experience. Due to this some women will develop very hostile personalities which may include thoughts of suicide. This form of treatment can cause very negative effects to some people rather than curing them. In effect, many women will choose to stop the treatments that reencounter the traumatic experiences they went through. Some believe that blocking the experience is much better than the process of treatment which leaves them with more pain and more emotional scars. (Farrington, David P., and Jeremy W. Coid, eds 2003).
Psychotherapy treatment does not successful heal patients and so therapist must put patients through further treatments to help them attain social skills and understand changes that occur during personality dissociation.
Medications for multiple personality disorders in women tend to be addictive. Tranquilizers and antidepressants prescribed for anxiety and mood disorder in the different personalities are addictive and patients tend to psychologically depend on them. Most women suffering from MPD usually have an alter personality that is drug addicted and abuses alcohol and drugs and may start abusing the prescribed medication.
Hypnosis is an effective method of treatment in MPD in women because it assists in combing the different personalities into one form of personality. It also recovers the blocked memories of the traumatic experiences. Most women fear this form of treatment because it makes them vulnerable to the memories of sexual abuse which brings more pain to them. (http://lucidpages.com/MPD.html). Studies have shown that a large percentage of women with MPD do not undergo treatment processes for fear of recovering the blocked memories and ideas.
Multiple personality disorder causes loss of emotional intelligence and impaired judgment in the affected women. Treatment of MPD creates security and self-confidence in these women. However, on termination of treatment the affected women will experience feelings of insecurity, fear of repetition, anxiety and depression. Group therapy is recommended in this case to help patients get over their fears but this faces limitations because most women in the group may be frightened by alter personalities of other patients in the group. Group therapy also tends to create relationships dependency which is not effective in curing MPD. (Rosowsky, Erlene, Robert C. Abrams, and Richard A. Zweig, eds 1999.)
MPD affects the sanity of women by losing their emotional intelligence and experiencing memory gaps. Women who have gaps in their memories are unable to control their lives and so will be involved in behaviors that contrast with them. These behaviors are influences by alter personalities in them. These women are mental unstable because different modules control their minds in alternate times and as a result they suffer from depression which is a sign of mental instability. Women with MPD are isolated from the society because they lack social skills that are learnt during adolescence and adulthood.
Acocella, Joan. Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999. Questia. 14 Nov. 2007 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=108812138>.
Elliott, Carl. “A New Way to Be Mad.” The Atlantic Monthly Dec. 2000: 73. Questia. 14 Nov. 2007 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002378266>.
Farrington, David P., and Jeremy W. Coid, eds. Early Prevention of Adult Antisocial Behaviour. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Questia. 14 Nov. 2007 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=110533622>.
Mclean, Peter D., and Sheila R. Woody. Anxiety Disorders in Adults: An Evidence-Based Approach to Psychological Treatment. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Questia. 14 Nov. 2007 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=103573559>.
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Tansella, Michele, and Graham Thornicroft, eds. Common Mental Disorders in Primary Care: Essays in Honour of Professor Sir David Goldberg. London: Routledge, 1999. Questia. 14 Nov. 2007 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=103337543>.
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http://www2.vhi.ie/topic/topic100587168 as retrieved on 28 Sep 2007
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