How can you tell if someone has multiple personalities?

Multiple personality disorder - Sriramakrishnahospital

Dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) is a condition in which a person experiences having numerous distinct personalities. Past medical literature has also used the term “split personality disease” to describe this condition.

The three basic types of personality disorders:

  • Suspicious
  • Anxious
  • Impulsive

A person with a dissociative disorder may experience a splitting of their consciousness, which manifests as a lack of continuity in their perception of time, space, and identity. They dissociate from reality without even realizing it. Stress can worsen the signs of split personality disorder and only triggers past trauma. Dissociative amnesia and depersonalization disorder are two examples of dissociative disorders.

Individuals suffering from dissociative amnesia have difficulty recalling personal information and often suppress memories of a distressing event. The onset and course of this illness are both rapid. Sometimes it lasts for a long time, perhaps years.

A person with depersonalization-derealization disorder has an altered sense of self-awareness. It’s as if they’re watching themselves on a screen while having this out-of-body experience. Anxiety-inducing time distortions are likely as well. This can occur sometimes or continuously.

The prevalence of dissociative identity disorder (DID):

Dissociative identity disorder is an uncommon disorder. Between one-tenth of one percent of the population has this condition. It has no age restrictions. DID is more common in females than in males.

9 common signs that help you identify dissociative identity disorder at the right time:

  • Loss of memory in day-to-day life
  • Finding it challenging to recall previous the past
  • If the person has ended up in a place or situation, they may not explain how they have come there.
  • Mood swings
  • Getting flashbacks of the past trauma
  • Feeling detachment from the body
  • Dissociation with the thoughts
  • Thoughts of self-injury or suicidal thoughts
  • Eating disorders

Other signs less commonly found are as follows:

  • Having several identities along with different personalities
  • Confusions in identity
  • Insomnia (lack of sleep)
  • Disconnection with the reality
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Unable to cope with the previous trauma
  • Headaches 
  • Being in a trance-like state
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression

As you notice these signs in your loved ones or even in someone you know, stay as calm as possible during the episodes and immediately reach out to a dissociative identity disorder specialist to save the disorder from further advancing.

What might be the possible causes of multiple personality disorder?

  • Traumatic circumstances, such as natural disasters or combat, can sometimes trigger its onset. 
  • It’s a defense mechanism that helps sufferers avoid or ignore their feelings about traumatic experiences.
  • Dissociative identity disorder is diagnosed more frequently in females than males and is regarded as highly unusual.
  • Sexual or physical abuse in childhood is a leading personality disorder cause.
  • The actual prevalence of DID among men may be higher than estimated, as they tend to exhibit hostile conduct rather than the memory lapses typical of the disorder.
  • Symptoms may first appear in children as early as age 5; however, research suggests a diagnosis is commonly made around age 30. 
  • About the age of 6, several identities, or “alters,” may begin to emerge. 
  • People often claim to have 16 distinct identities by the time they’re adults. 

The diagnostic procedures involved in identifying dissociative identity disorder:

Although there is no medical test for DID diagnosis, a doctor or nurse will examine your symptoms and medical background. They may run tests to rule out more tangible reasons for your symptoms, such as a concussion or a tumour in the brain.

Dissociative identity disorder symptoms often emerge between the age of five and ten. However, the indications could be missed by parents, teachers, or doctors. Children with DID may have symptoms similar to other disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities (ADHD). This is why dissociative identity disorder diagnosis is rarely diagnosed before adulthood.

Dissociative identity disorder – The treatment involved in overcoming the condition:

Some drugs may help with some of these symptoms of dissociative identity disorder, including depression or anxiety. However, the most effective cure is psychotherapy. A healthcare specialist specializing in psychological disorders, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, can lead you towardS the correct treatment options for dissociative identity disorder. You may benefit from personal, group, or family treatment.

The goal of the therapy:

  • Choosing to face and overcome past experiences of abuse or trauma.
  • Adjusting to unexpected shifts in behaviour.
  • Combining multiple identities into one.

Is there a way to prevent dissociative identity disorder?

There is no direct way to avoid DID. But spotting the indications as early and obtaining therapies for dissociative identity disorder might help you cope with symptoms. Parents, carers, and instructors should check for indications in young children. Treatment shortly after periods of abuse or trauma helps prevent DID from worsening.

The treatment process can also aid in determining the causes of any shifts in identity or personality. Stress and substance addiction are common precipitating factors. Reducing the frequency with which different alters affect your behaviour may be aided by stress management and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Outlook of the condition:

One of the characteristics of DID is the presence of numerous separate identities within the same person. When a person adopts a new identity, that new identity takes over the person’s conduct for a short period. Memory problems, false beliefs, and despair have all been linked to this disorder. 

Past trauma is frequently the root of DID. Behavior modification therapy can aid patients in reducing the frequency with which they “swap” identities. Those who suffer from DID would do well to surround themselves with kind people. Search for a psychiatrist in Coimbatore on the internet to find numerous options from which you can choose the best.

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