A split personality disorder is also known as dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. Split personality disorders are mainly caused by some psychological factors like intensive humiliation, traumatic experiences, and child abuse. A split personality disorder differs from one person to another and it does not only develop in childhood. Adults likewise may suffer from split personality disorders because of their day-to-day stress. Split personality disorders are usually identified by their symptoms.
- Disorders in eating
- Mood swings
- Rituals and compulsions
- Tendency to attempt suicide
- Abuse of alcohol and drugs
- Sleep disorders
- Panic attacks
- Memory loss
- Occasionally experiencing momentary blackouts
- Hearing voices inside their heads
- Not able to recognize themselves
- Feeling like he/she is more than one person
Some other symptoms for split personality disorders are headaches, loss of sense of time, and amnesia. People suffering from split personality disorders tend to be more violent than normal people and will do things which they won’t do when they are in a normal state. For example, they might drive recklessly, steal money, and sometimes tend to attempt suicide too.
The exact causes of a split personality disorder have not yet been proven. It might be due to some reaction to childhood trauma. When people try to dissociate themselves from their traumatic memories, split personality becomes worse.
How it is diagnosed?
There are no particular tests such as blood tests or lab tests for split personality disorders. Instead, the doctor will have an interview with the affected person and will look for the signs and symptoms of this condition.
The diagnostic criteria are as follows.
- Presence of two or more identities in one person
- The person continuously switches between the identities
- Inability to remember or recall some important events that happened in their life
The doctor will proceed with interviewing the person in order to confirm the symptoms and to confirm whether they are affected by a split personality disorder or not.
After diagnosing a split personality disorder in a person, it is absolutely necessary to treat them as early as possible. Psychotherapy is still the best treatment recommended by mental health professionals. In this type of therapy, the doctor will help in improving the patient’s relationship with the people around him, as these have undoubtedly been adversely affected by his condition. The doctor will also assist the patient in unlocking past experiences which may be the cause of the split personality disorder. This is very carefully done in order to keep the patient from becoming overanxious.
This treatment will also involve a lot of steps to help the patient remember details which may have been buried in his subconscious mind. It is also possible to combine psychosocial therapy with medication therapy – a so-called holistic approach – which also includes social skills training. Incorporating family therapy is also a good idea as family members need to develop coping skills with both the negative and the positive symptoms of the disorder. Without question, moral and emotional support from family members and close relatives could be very crucial in a person’s recovery from a split personality disorder.