Personality DisordersMultiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) wasfirst recognized in the 1700’s but was not understood so therefore it wasforgotten.
Many cases show up in medical records through the years, but in 1905,Dr. Morton Prince wrote a book about MPD that is a foundation for the disorder. A few years after it was published Sigmund Freud dismissed the disorder and thisdropped it from being discussed at any credible mental health meetings. Sincethen the disorder has been overlooked and misdiagnosed as either schizophreniaor psychosis.
Many in the medical profession did not believe that a person couldunknowingly have more than one personality or person inside one body, even afterthe in the 1950’s Three Faces of Eve was published by two psychiatrist. In 1993,records showed that three to five thousand patients were being treated for MPDcompared to the hundred cases reported ten years earlier. There is still asincrease in the number of cases being reported as the scientific communitylearns more and more about the disease and the public is becoming more and moreaware of this mental disorder. There are still many questions left unansweredabout the disease, like “Is it genetic?” or “Is a certain type ofpersonality more vulnerable to the disorder?” but many aspects of howpeople come by the disorder are already answered (Clark, 1993, p.Order now
17-19) MPD iscommonly found in adults who were recurrently abused mentally, physically,emotionally, and/or sexually as young children, between birth to 8 years of age. The child uses a process called dissociation to remove him/herself from theabusive situation. Dissociation is when a child makes up an imaginarypersonality to take control of the mind and body while the child is beingabused. The child can imagine many personalities but usually there is apersonality for every feeling and or emotion that was involved during the abuse(BoyyM, 1998, p.
1). As an adult, the abused child finds it hard to keep track oftime and may have episodes of amnesia. Other symptoms that will appear in adultswith MPD are depression, auditory and visual hallucinations (hearing voices) andsuicidal thoughts. Another major symptom is when the adult has no recollectionof their childhood. The adult with MPD has no idea they were abused as childrenand also unaware of the other personalities living inside of their head(Multiple Personality Disorder-fact sheet, 1996-99, p. 1).
Multiple PersonalityDisorder is when there is “the presence of two or more distinct identitiesor personalities, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving,relating to, and thinking about the environment and self”(BoyyM, 1998,p. 1). There can be anywhere from two to over a hundred different personalities. Usually each personality will fall into one of the following categories: core,host, protectors, internal self-helper, fragments, child members, preteen,teenager, adults, artistic/music, cross-gender, cross-colored, animal members,inanimate members (BoyyM, 1998, p. 2-3). The host personality is the person whois the multiple, this is the original personality, or the one that created theother personalities, but is unaware of them.
The most common apparent identitiesare the child, persecutor, rescuer, and helper. The child is the identity thatis under the age of twelve. They behave as children often sucking thumbs,twisting hair, like to eat cookies, throw tantrums, and use child-likevocabulary. The Persecutor identity is the self-destructive identity that isviolent and angry. Persecutor identities usually have a drug/alcohol problem andgenerally put the host at risk.
The rescuer personality is usually devoid ofemotion but logical, able, proficient, and responsible. The helper personalityknows the most about the history of the multiple; they generally want to helpeveryone for the general good. The helper personality is the personality that ismost helpful in therapy because they usually know about all the other identities(Clark, 1993, p. 80-83). Subpersonalities are not only part of a person with MPDbut they are also evident in emotionally normal persons as well. Although, in anormal person, he/she remembers when their subpersonality takes over, but in aMPD patient, the personality disconnects from the host that the host can notremember what happens.
When a traumatic experience happens, whether positive ornegative, a subpersonality will develop. In a normal person, the splitting isbroken into an “ok self” and a “not ok self”. In a multiple,the personalities are more defined; they are broken into smaller fragments thatdisassociate from the human host (Rowan, 1990, p. 7, 20). In the book by TerriA.
Clark, M. D. , it shows the distinct the personalities are in several cases. Italso displays how each identity can be different from the other identities andthe host. In one of Clark’s cases, Veronica, one of the personalities of herpatient Regina, showed up for the weekly appointment instead of Regina (notethat it really was Regina, but she was a different identity).
Clark noticed achange in the appearance of Regina on her arrival and noted the difference inher voice. Veronica (Regina) continued to speak to Clark as if it was the firsttime they had met. Although, Veronica knew about Clark, Regina’s personal life,and therapy, this was the first time Clark had met this personality. Clarkdiscovered while talking to Veronica that she had a separate business which sheran on the weekends, and when Veronica was in control of the body. Regina had noidea about the business; Veronica used the fake name and an Art Gallery’stelephone number in which to run her business. Veronica even had a differenthandwriting than Regina.
According to Clark, each personality has its owndistinct features, such as handwriting, fashion taste, hobbies, and culinarytaste. In most cases, there will always be personality that writes with theirleft hand, while the host and other identities write with their right. InRegina’s case, Veronica wore different clothes than Regina and she had aninterest in fine art. Each personality of a host, when asked, will tell you theyhave a certain type of hair color and cut, height, weight, and even gender(Clark, 1993, p. 73-78).
The problem with having all these personalities is thatthey do not mesh well. Consequences can arise from having so many differenttraits inside one body like eating and sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, andsubstance abuse (Smith, 1993, p. 1). Each alter also has their own name, thesenames can come from anything but there are three common factors that influencethe alters name.
Some alters are just born with the name, this is when the alteris modeled after a real or fictional character. Some alters are named afteremotional responses, such as Sad One or Angry Janie. Many alters are named forthe specific job they are supposed to do, like Director, Helper or Avenger. Thenames chosen have been created by a child so they are most likely modeled aftera fictional or real character.
Although the host will have no idea of the otherpersonalities and will not respond to the names at first, the alters respond tothe birth personalities name (Clark, 1993, 90-91). The circumstances that theidentities get the host into can also become a problem. The different alterswhile in possession of the body can go somewhere where the host does not knowand then leave and the host is left with no idea how he/she got there and how toget back. In Sybil, one of the first times she realized she had a problem waswhen she had to leave her Columbia University Chemistry Lab when somethingbroke. The last thing she remembered was standing at the elevator but when sheregained consciousness she was in the warehouse district of Philadelphia. Milesfrom where she had been before in New York and it was five days later(Schreiber, 1973, p.
23-36). The persecutor identity has a tendency to leave thehost in dangerous situations. Carla, one of Clark’s patients, had a persecutoralter named Godiva. Godiva was always putting Carla in sticky situations likeGodiva would pick up men at bars and bring them home or go home with them. Carlawould come to consciousness with an unknown man in her bed and she would passout, another alter would have to come out and rescue Carla. CJ (Carla’s bigburly male alter) would come out punch the guy and leave.
Christine (Carla’slogical alter) would come out and handle the situation using her negotiationskills. At other times Timmy (the young boy who was an escape artist) would comeout talk his way out of the situation, leaving the man so bewildered because hewas with a woman who thought she was a young boy. When this occurred it wouldleave the other alters upset at Godiva (Clark, 1993, p. 99).
There are threedifferent types of relationships that alters can have between each other. Thefirst one is, “one-way amnesia”, this is when alter number one knowsabout alter number two but alter number two does not know about number one. Thesecond relationship is “‘two-way amnesia’ exist when neither alter knowabout each other”(Clark, 1993, p. 87).
Cocognizance, the thirdrelationship, is when all the alters know about each other but the hostpersonality knows about none of them. The host will hear conversations inhis/her head, these conversations are between the alters. This is when thealters know the host personality but is unable to affect it as long as the hostis in control (Clark, 1993, p. 87-88). The cause of MPD is severe trauma, mostof the trauma happens at a young age and the violator is usually someone who thechild knows. In satanic cults, children mistreated and abused, to intentionallycause MPD, do not know everyone who is involved in the abuse.
Examples given byClark are children put in a coffin with rats, snakes, and bugs then buriedalive. Later the satanic cult leader or priest will rescue the child thereforemaking the child feel obligated to that person. In satanic cults, children arealso raped. During the rape, men and women would violate the child they wouldalso violate the child with objects such as a knife, an upside down crucifix,and other objects (Clark, 1993, 181-198). The child gets to the point where theythink they are going to die, and they disassociate themselves from thesituation, this is when the personalities are born.
Other types of abuse areemotional and psychological abuse by a parent. One of Clark’s patientsremembered under hypnosis a time when she was two. Her mother took her outsideput her in a tree and told her to jump, the child after a slight hesitation didso, and the mother stepped back, watched the child fall to the ground, andlaughed. These traumatic events and others are the cause of MPD (Clark, 1993,105-106). No matter how bad the abuse was and how many different personalitiesare present; a MPD patient can be cured.
The process to recovery for a MPDpatient is long and hard. The personalities are not being made to disappear butto become one. There has to be a fusion of all the alters into the host, thehost has to learn to express all the emotions, that for so long, another alterwould take care of for them. Although some MPD patients are harder than othersto fuse, but all patients can be cured. Patients that were subject to SatanicRitual Abuse are more difficult to fuse due to the threats that the cult made orare making on their lives.
A patient that was in a cult must have lost allcontact with the cult before successful fusion can take place. When fusion issuccessfully accomplished, the host person can handle their emotions as wherebefore fusion they were unaware of many common emotions (Clark, 1993, 208-213). Research is continuing to be done on this disorder. Many people still doubt therealism of the disorder, especially as more people fake the disorder to get outof judicial problems.
About 1% of America’s population has MPD, but many arescared to see Psychiatrist, and many fake the disorder (Smith, 1993, p. 1). Asawareness for the disease is becoming more prevalent, more patients arediscovering after years of misdiagnosis, they finally can start the right kindof therapy. Multiple Personality Disorder is not a disease or mental illness, itis a disorder caused by traumatic events in early childhood. MPD is treatableand a MPD patient can hope to one day live a normal life with every part ofhis/her personality fused into one. A MPD patient is not something to be afraidof as where they usually just inflict pain upon themselves and not on others.
MPD patients can be your next door neighbor, parent, and even spouse. They donot seem that different from normal people, and many do not even know they havethe disorder. Awareness is the key, not only awareness of MPD but of childabuse, if child abuse is stopped MPD will not be a problem. Biblical ResponseMultiple Personality Disorder is often brushed aside by Christians who thinkthat MPD is demon possession, but MPD and demon possession differentiate in manyways. MPD although it can be caused by satanic ritual abuse is not evil, it is aprocess of the mind.
Possession on the other hand, is when a body is taken overby an evil spirit. It is the physical body that the demon has control over notthe mind. In MPD the only part affected is the mind, the body is not changed anddoes not convulse as it does in possession. In Ephesians 6:12(NIV) it iswritten, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but againstrulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and againstthe spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ” Demon possession isthe fight against the flesh MPD is the fight against the mind. In Matthew8:28-31 we see demon possession, “When he arrived at the other side in theregion of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him.
They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you wantwith us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture usbefore the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigswas feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us intothe herd of pigs. ” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out andwent into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lakeand died in the water. ” This shows that demons are first only in possessionof body and second afraid of Jesus Christ.
If a Bible is brought into a roomwith one that is possessed they will immediately ask for the person to leave. Ido not believe that MPD is demon possession, I do believe that they are moresusceptible to it if they have been involved in a satanic cult. MPD patients aregifted, smart individuals who suffered greatly as children and they used theironly defense their imaginations to alleviate the pain. In Mark 10:13-16 says,”People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, butthe disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said tothem, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for thekingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who willnot receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. ‘ He tookthe children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
“BibliographyBOY M. (1998). MPD/DID in Simple Terms . Clark, Terri A. , M.
D. (1993). More Than One (1st edition). Nashville, TN: Oliver-Nelson Books, 17-19,73-78, 80-83, 87-88, 90-91, 99, 105-106, 181-198, 208-213.
Multiple PersonalityDisorder; helpline fact sheet (1996) . Rockville, MD: NationalInstitute of Mental Health. New Student Bible, New International Version (1991). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Rowan, John (1990).
Subpersonalities: The People Inside Us (1st edition). New York: Routledge, 7,20. Smith, William H. , PhD. (1993).
Overview of Multiple Personality Disorder. Schreiber, Flora Rheta (1973). Sybil (1st edition). New York: WarnerBooks, 23-26.