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Multiple Personality Disorder Essay

2012 words - 9 pages

Multiple Personality Disorder

Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a mental disease that exists in about one percent of the population. Much research supports the existence of this disease and its origins, causes and effects on the people in who suffer with it. This essay will clearly define Multiple Personality Disorder along with a detailed synopsis of the disease itself. The diagnosis, alter personalities, different treatments and views will indicate the disease is real. The American Psychiatric Association named Multiple Personality Disorder in 1994 Dissociative Disorder.
Multiple Personality Disorder is diagnosed when a person has two or more personalities. These ...view middle of the document...

There is also a lack of diagnosis among children, only nine reported cases were in 1990.
During adolescence, a teenager will often turn to other things to deal with the stress of abnormal and excessive forgetfulness or blackouts. An adolescent with MPD can oftentimes exhibit signs of bi-polar disorder, insomnia, suicide threats and attempts, drug use, violent mood swings and panic attacks. When a teenager exhibits these characteristics, MPD is not the first diagnosis to be explored, rather, it is blamed on hormones or drug use. These things can only fuel MPD rather than calm it.
Adulthood, or in the age range of 20 years to 30 years old is when a person with MPD is usually diagnosed. This is a time in a person's life when the symptoms of MPD directly interfere with their lives. Not knowing where you are or how you got there is a big issue if you are trying to raise children or maintain a marriage. Also, as an adult, there is the freedom to seek help.
Diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder is a complicated process. It involves many psychological tests on the patient as well as preliminary therapy to accurately determine if the patient has MPD. The International Society for the Study of Dissociation revised guidelines in 1996 concerning treatment options for persons with MPD. According to their website, www.issd.org, "A mental status examination augmented with questions concerning disassociative symptoms is an essential part of the diagnostic process." This means there are specific questions and evaluations that have to be presented before a diagnosis is made. The patient is asked questions about hearing voices, forgetfulness beyond normal, amnesia, problems with identity, regressed memories and hypnotic episodes. Also according to the website, "Structured interviews for the detection of dissociative disorders are now available and can be used to confirm a clinician's diagnosis". Such interviews are the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, which helps the therapist "evaluate and document the severity of specific…symptoms"(www.religioustolerance.org), and the Dissociative Disorder Interview Schedule that is a detailed interview to diagnose MPD.
The problem with the diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder is that it takes such a long time to actually diagnose, the average is six years to eight years but it can take up to twenty. The reason for this is the disease is often hidden behind other disorders that have stemmed from MPD such as depression and/or anxiety. Those persons who use MPD for attention or to justify abnormal behaviors are looked at closely. In truth, genuine MPD persons "conceal their awareness of the problem"(www.menninger.edu).
The "personalities" in Multiple Personality Disorder are different within the person. Each personality can have separate memories, behaviors, physical attributes, and even a different gender than the patient. For example, when remembering child abuse, a patient may have a...

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