Multiplicity simply put by the majority of
multiples is about hiding, pain and survival no more no less. It is a desperate completely creative and wonderful survival
mechanism for the child who endures repeated abuse mentally,
emotionally and physically it may be their only escape.
Dissociation is a common defense mechanism against
childhood abuse, there is no adult onset of multiple
children have the flexibility to fracture off from the “core”
personality and escape the traumatic and painful memory.
The common belief among most professionals is the
personality splintered or fractured before the age of five.
Those with MPD have a dominant personality that
determines the individual’s behavior.
Each personality has a separate and consistent pattern
of perceiving their environment, themselves and others.
Each multiple has a specific way they see the inside of
their mind, where the alters
they are not in control of the body.
Examples include stages, tunnels, houses and levels.
These are their internal houses where they go when they
are not out or when they are hiding. The
mind of a multiple personality is like a roaming house in
which two or more individuals co-exist.
When one personality is in charge, the others remain
hidden in the inner recesses of the brain.
Each acts independently of the others and is totally
different from them. (www.google.com/multiplepersonalities)
Virtually, every victim of multiple personality in
time develops an ISH-
an Inner Self Helper- described by Dr. Ralph Allison, a
separate personality whose sole function seems to be to
prevent the other personalities from tearing the physical body
apart and therefore ending their own existences. (Hawksworth
& Schwarz, The Five of Me. Page 14)
The person with DID may have as few as two alters,
or as many as 100. The
average number is about 10.
Often alters are stable over time, continuing to play
specific roles in the person’s life for years.
Some alters may harbor aggressive tendencies, directed
toward individuals in the person’s environment or towards
other alters within the person. (www.nami.com)
alter’s job is to protect the host personality from the
memory of the trauma therefore, it is not necessary for all
alters to look and act differently than the host.
Typical types of alters:
depressed, exhausted host.
strong, angry protector.
scared, hurt child.
internal persecutor who blames one or more of the alters
for the abuse they have endured.
(Sometimes named after the actual abuser)(www.google.com/multiplepersonality)
Common Terminology of MPD
An entity with a firm, persistent, and well-founded
sense of self and of a characteristic and consistent pattern
of behavior and feelings in response to stimuli.
Person also known as the Original
Personality This is the person that was present from
birth, the one born into the body.
For the majority of people, this is the person that
began life before the multiplicity was created, though not for
Personality_ The general belief is that
this is the birth personality.
The thought held by some in the psychological community
is this person is often asleep
or at least very distant from the system.
Believed to be fragile, and one of the last
personalities to be found.
Although, this is not always the case.
For most multiples, this is the personality which most often
is present and is in control of the body.
This is the person who deals with daily functioning,
and the system within, as a whole.
Some multiples may have more several personalities that
serve as their hosts.
A generic term for any personality useful because, in clinical
situations, it often us unclear which personalities are
original, host, and so forth, or whether an entity is
sufficiently distinct and elaborate for a more precise label.
Self Helper (ISH) _ Described first by Allison
(1974), ISH’s are serene, rational and objective
commentators and advisors.
The degree of knowledge and awareness that alters have with
one another. They
can communicate and work together as a group and have very
little if any time loss.
This is the process of merging or joining alters so
that the multiple becomes one person. (www.google.com/multiplepersonality,
Dissociative disorders are not common psychiatric
illnesses but are not rare.
Few good epidemiological studies have
been performed some estimate 1 per 10,000 in the population
but higher proportions are reported among psychiatric
0.5% and 2%.
A sharp rise in reported cases may be attributed to
greater awareness of the diagnosis and misdiagnosis of DID as
schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder.
Some experts attribute possible under diagnosis to
family disavowal of sexual and physical abuse.
However, there has been controversy about possible over
diagnosis of the syndrome as well.
Individuals who most commonly have the disorder are
highly hypnotizable and therefore especially sensitive to
suggestion or cultural influences.
Some studies show that women make up
the majority of these cases 90% or more.
Both in the United States and in non Western Countries
the most common dissociative disorder diagnosis falls into the
“not otherwise specified” category.
Dissociative disorders are the world, although the
structure of the symptoms varies across cultures. (www.medconsult.com)
after extensive studies were begun on the phenomenon of the
multiple personality in about the year 1919, most
psychiatrists insisted that men did not suffer from it, only
women. Today we
know that approximately 20% of the recorded cases are male.
But the disorder itself is still shrouded in mystery
the subject of a good deal of controversy. Perhaps 50% of all psychiatrists deny that it even exists.
Research has shown that the average age for the initial
development of alters is 5.9 years. (Hawskworth & Schwarz. The Five of Me. Page 11)
one third of patients complain of auditory or visual
hallucinations, it is common for these patients to
complain that they hear voices in their heads but are
merely the personalities within, communicating with one
times, the MOD is misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic due to
“hearing voices”, but the multiple personality hears
the voices inside their head in contrast to the
schizophrenic which hears from the outside of themselves.
Often a multiple before diagnosis will speak of
noise or clatter inside making it difficult for them to
is possible for the multiple to hear many distinct and
separate voices, of all ages talking at the same time.
Differences_ Each alter within a
multiple has their own history, personalities that are
unique to them, body movements, facial expressions, the
way they express verbal communication, voice tone and
might encounter a small child who hides her face and
speaks in a childlike voice.
Another child within the same system of
personalities might be gregarious and charming. The description above would hold true for any age alter
and are just tow examples of the variance your might find
within the same age group of any of the alters.
Differences_ In diagnosing MPD another
indicator is the difference in handwriting styles.
loss is quite common in the non-conscious multiple.
For the non-conscious multiple the time losses can
be devastating. Time
loss can occur when something triggers an alter that the
host is unaware of. These
individuals might find themselves in a place or talking to
someone they don’t even know.
The length and duration of the time loss depends on
how the multiple’s system works and if a more dominant
personality can remain in control.
and self-mutilation is a common in this group, body
memories and nightmares.
Children with DID have a great variety
of symptoms including some of the ones mentioned above,
depressive tendencies, anxiety, conduct problems, episodes of
amnesia, difficulty paying attention in school and
these children are misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia. By the time the child reaches adolescence, it is less
difficult for a mental health professional to recognize the
symptoms and make a diagnosis of DID. (www.google.com/multiplepersonality)
Some two hundred cases have been
reliably recorded in medical literature and several recent
ones have proved similar in a variety of respects. For
example: Chris Sizemore (10), Sybil Dorsett (16), Billy
Milligan (10). (Ian
Wilson. All in the Mind. Pages 128-135)
Treatment for DID consists primarily of
psychotherapy with hypnosis.
The therapist seeks to make contact with as many alters
as possible and to understand their roles and functions in the
patient’s life. In
particular, the therapist seeks to form an effective
relationship with any personalities that are responsible for
violent or self-destructive behavior, and to curb this
therapist seeks to establish communication among the
personality states and to find ones that have memories of
traumatic events in the patients past.
The gold of the therapist is to enable the patient to
achieve breakdown of the patients separate identities and
their unification into a single identity. (www.nami.com)
Pharmacological approaches involve
balancing therapeutic benefit and risk.
Antianxiety medications are most commonly used and may
be helpful in reducing the amplification of depersonalization
and derealization are also side effects of antianxiety drugs,
so their therapeutic response, may also increase symptoms,
leading to a spiral of increasing symptoms and drug dosage but
without therapeutic benefit. (www.mdconsult.com/dissociativedissorder)
We have seen, then, that multiple
personality is a psychiatric condition under diagnosed.
The personalities do not have an extraterrestrial
origin, but can be traced back to the characteristics of
real-life persons who have formed a strong impression upon the
sufferer, who has then personalized them and unconsciously
developed them into a character of his own.
In short, each personality is nothing more than a
satellite, a superficial fragment split off from the parent
individual as a result of extreme stress-yet from our point of
view the equally important aspect is that each is
extraordinary convincing. (Wilson, Ian. All in the Mind.
MPD has always fascinated me, from the
phenomenon of being different personalities to the amazing
survival that these people have, because that’s how they
learn how to survive by slipping into a state of mind to the
point that they think that all this abuse is not happening to
them but to someone else.
But it is sad though that many doctors do not detect
the problem until after is too late in some cases and
misdiagnose to be something else. I did notice that as it was said by Ian Wilson in his book,
every personality has his own job as we can say the reason why
they are there. The
child who was innocent when all this abuse started happening
for example, we have the aggressive protector, we have the
I have always admired these people
their defense mechanism against all this abuse is
extraordinary and for those of us who do not understand about
this illness it would be great to read about it and even watch
videos about it. For
me it has made me understand more about it and comprehend the
pain they go thru especially since children are the ones who
are able to split into these states.
Hawksworth & Schwarz. The five of
me. 1977 Published by Henry Regnery Company.
Nobitt & Randall. Cult and Ritual
Abuse. 2000 revised edition. Published by Praeger Publishers.
Wilson, Ian. All in the Mind. 1981,
1982. Originally published in the Great Britain by Victor