February 20, 2010

Multiple Personality Disorder

“She tries not to shatter kaleidoscope style, personality changes behind her red smile, every new problem brings a stranger inside, heplessly forcing one more new disguise” are the lyrics of the song ‘Christine’ by Siouxsie and the Banshees, a British punk-rock band. It describes Christine, a woman with multiple personality disorder that has 22 personalities. Two of her personalities are the Strawberry Girl and the Banana Split Lady that mentioned in the lyrics of the song. It also tells us that multiple personality disorder is exist in the world. According to Dr. Alan Sanderson, multiple personality is a psychotic disorder in which a person suffering from mental disturbance undergo different experiences and his or her personality becomes dissociated into more than one personality. Do you know what the causes of multiple personality are? And, how to overcome it? According to Nilesh Parekh, multiple personality disorder which is caused by three things can be overcome with medical or non medical treatments.

First, most of people with multiple personality had experienced a childhood abuse mentally or physically. Have you ever known the true story of Sybil? It is the most well-known case of multiple personality disorder. Shirley Ardell Mason known as Sybil Isabel Dorsett is a patient of multiple personality. She experienced sadistic sexual abuse at the hands of her mother. Her mother probed the Shirley's vagina with a knife and a buttonhook. She hung her upside down and, using an enema bag, filled her bladder with ice-cold water, then tied her to the family piano and forbade her to urinate while she, the mother, played Chopin. Consequently, she has 16 personalities. But, how can it be happen? How is the process? If the abuse is repeatedly extreme and the child does not have enough time to recover emotionally, his or her thoughts and feelings may begin to take on lives of their own. Then, each thoughts will have a common emotional feeling such as anger, sadness, or fear. Eventually, the child tries to separate and develop another personalities that are with its own memory and characteristics.

Second, people live in social environment that they do not like or it forces them to do something they do not like can alter their personality. Someone who lives in slump area wants to be a rich person but she or he does not like their environment. She or he will think and try to get much money. Then, he or she try to alter their personality to another personality that can lead his or her self to get money even it is a bad action. However, the social environment can force someone to do something which can alter his or her thoughts about this world. For example, Do you know Beyonce? Beyonce who is a famous singer in the world confess that she has multiple personality. Her alter ego’s name is Sasha Fierce. She told that she must take a job as singer because she has to get out of a bad situation to support her family.

Third, someone can have another personality or undergo multiple personality because of problems in brain. The unity of self can be disrupted when the corpus callosum that is a part of the brain and joins the two hemispheres of the cerebral cortex is severe. It would seem that the neural memory traces that hold the specifics of the trauma such as imagery, sensory input, sound, smell are isolated from one another. They are in essence compartmentalized. In turn, the communication between neurons necessary for this type of integration of information can not occur unless the neural traces are physically connected. The mere nature of trauma seems to lend itself to the physical isolation of neural networks within the brain. As such, it can be seen how the isolation of neural traces could in and of itself lead to the propensity of split brain or Multiple Personality Disorder phenomena.

In fact, multiple personality can be overcome with medical treatments. The example of medical treatment are psychotherapy and hypnosis. Psychotherapy helps in treating the disorder with the help of patient’s condition. A therapist uses various talking techniques to draw out traumatic memories. During these sessions, the therapist must develop a trusting relationship with the main personality and each of the alters. Then, the main and alters are encouraged to communicate with each other in order to come together. Hypnosis is used to understand the root cause of the disorder that the patient is suffering from. The therapist helps the patient to acknowledge and accept the mental or physical abuse he or she endured as a child and to learn new coping skills.

Besides that, some non medical treatments are also available to be the solution of multiple personality disorder. It is such as hydrotherapy, art therapy and yoga. Hydrotherapy is the use of water that is hot, cold, steam, or ice to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being. Art therapy is often recommended as way that patients can integrate their past into their present life. Art therapy, sometimes called creative arts therapy or expressive arts therapy, encourages people to express and understand emotions through artistic expression and through the creative process. The last is yoga. Yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also called self-transcendence or enlightenment. These treatments may be tried to people with multiple personality.

In brief, a childhood abuse, social environment and problems in brain are the causes of multiple personality disorder, but we can still overcome them by medical and non medical treatment. I have suggestion that if we are a parent having children, we should always love and take care of them. Do not doing such an abuse toward children because it can cause conflicting feelings or thoughts until multiple personality and the most important is because children are the most precious thing in the world.


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