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Inigo Montoya
12-05-2006, 11:06 AM
Those darn alter-egos (http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/12/05/arson.suspect.ap/index.html).

As a practicing loon, I understand detachment from reality to the point of helplessly watching yourself do something...crazy. But that's not the same thing as having a separate personality.

So what's up with (real) multiples? Where does one person go when another takes over? Do they all live at the same address--if so, how does one account for the new lodgings when a different personality moves? How does one account for money in the bank when it's not the one that goes to work? Is there a "ring-leader" personality who keeps the others informed? And if you are able to recognize that you have multiple personalities, is it really a case of being a multiple or would it then become more of a mood/personality disorder more related to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than a condition in which several minds inhabit the same brain? Help me to understand the mechanics of this disorder.

TimeWinder
12-05-2006, 11:10 AM
Someone better qualified than I will be along shortly, but I understand there's a great deal of controversy over whether or not such multiple personalities even exist: some of the well-known examples are now believed to be fabrications.

Squink
12-05-2006, 11:11 AM
Eva/Evita? :D

Q.E.D.
12-05-2006, 02:13 PM
...I understand there's a great deal of controversy over whether or not such multiple personalities even exist...
This is my understanding, as well. It's further my understanding that it is commonly believed by MPD detractors that most, if not all, of these occurrences of MPD were, in fact, caused (probably unwittingly) by the mental health professionals who "discovered" them. I once read this (http://www.csicop.org/si/9805/witch.html) very compelling article in a CSICOP publication, which addresses this very issue.

Inigo Montoya
12-05-2006, 03:06 PM
"...(B)ecause MPD patients cannot integrate various emotions and memories, such patients actually have less than one personality, not more than one." Well, I guess that makes me less than a complete man. ;) Otherwise a very informative and persuasive link. Thanks. Sounds like the typical case is really more like an impulse control issue where someone is given license to say, effectively, "The devil made me do it."

Quite interesting. In the spirit of banace and good form, does anyone know of a similarly "to the point" argument for MPD?

Inigo Montoya
12-05-2006, 03:09 PM
banace and good form
No, I don't write with a cleft-palate, I meant "balance"

Operation Ripper
12-05-2006, 03:48 PM
Someone better qualified than I will be along shortly, but I understand there's a great deal of controversy over whether or not such multiple personalities even exist: some of the well-known examples are now believed to be fabrications.

*agree* Of course this is anecdotal, but over the past several years I've had only one client who was diagnosed with MPD, that from some oddball out-of-state doc a few years back, but all her recent docs had her down for just a "plain" personality disorder, along with depression and anxiety-related disorders if I remember correctly. Nevertheless she and her family were certain she had MPD because of this earlier doc, and insisted it was her primary impairment and she had several different people in her. For the years I had contact with her though, fwiw, I only ever communicated with one personality, hers, and never any of the alleged others.

myskepticsight
12-05-2006, 03:58 PM
I learned a bit about Dissociative Identity Disorder in my survey in Abnormal Psychology class. Apparently that's what it is called now.

We did talk a bit about how some people fake it and stuff - but it is a disorder in the DSM and it appears to be real.

Here's what I had in my notes. I assume that her figures are correct but do not know her sources. Probably from our text.

Diagnostic criteria:

presence of 2+ distinct identities/personality states
identities recurrently take control of person's behavior
inability to recall important personal info (not explained by forgetfulness)
includes features of Dissociative Amnesia and fugue (finding self in strange places and no memory of how they got there)
identity fragmentation

Prevalence:

.5% population (3-6% inpatients)
15 alters on average
9:1 female:male
childhood onset
lifelong

Etiology:

caused be horrible, severe childhood abuse (usually sexual) by family --> no way to protect self, no support --> dissociative/fantasy world
higher levels of suggestability

Some stuff from the text (summarized)

Often there is a 'host personality' and the other alters may be like a child alter, a 'protector' alter, a promiscuous alter, etc. that are very different from the actual person's outward personality. Some alters may abstain from sex, some could act as prostitues. Some can differ from the affected's sex. There may be physical changes as a new alter appears - facial changes, voice, etc. 95% of sufferers were victims of physical or sexual abuse as a child - often horrible or bizarre.

groman
12-05-2006, 06:33 PM
The way I understand it, while DID/MPD is a very controversial topic, dissociative fugues are much less so. If hollywood version of DID is actually real, then it might be to dissociative fugues what bipolar type I or cyclothymic disorders are to chronic depression (not implying causes, or anything else is in any way similar). Does anybody actually doubt the existence of dissociative fugue states?

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