Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Dissociative the alters might be a boy,

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a very rare condition in which a person’s mind creates different personalities in order to deal with extremely traumatic past experiences as a child and adult. A person can have 5 to 25 different personalities, but it is possible to have up to 100. Females are most commonly diagnosed with the disorder compared to males. Each personality is distinct in their own way in terms of how they behave and the role they have. The alters have different attitudes, name, age, personality, talent, likes, and dislikes. People don’t physically change, but the person may change the appearance such as clothing, depending on who the alter at that time may be. Switches between personalities may take minutes, hours, or days. For example, one of the alters might be a boy, so when he comes out, the person most likely will change into masculine clothing and vise versa. The disorder itself is harmless according to the person who has it. Some may have trouble with daily life tasks and do not deal with the disorder so well. This is a serious lifelong battle for those suffering from this disorder. Those living with DID may experience hallucinations, mood swing, anxiety attacks, severe phobias, and depression, yet still try to fit in with everyone else. This is why there are some psychologists that argue that DID should be tried to be treated using a variety of methods such as administering medication and making the person remember old painful memories. Though, instead of trying to treat people with DID, therapists should help them cope with it in a healthy matter so that old traumatic memories aren’t brought back and cause further damage to the individual. Lit Review: Background on DIDTo get a complete understanding on this disorder, one must understand the history of this disorder. DID was portrayed as demonic possessions centuries ago. Exorcisms were performed on people showing DID symptoms, but they were not helpful. Such form of ‘treatment’ was not the healthiest way for the person and caused more damage than good. This disorder was later proven not to be demonic possessions, but it was a way of coping with different situations by creating multiple personalities due to early childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. At first, this condition was extremely rare, but when hypnosis began gaining popularity, more and more people started getting diagnosed with the disorder. The reason hypnosis started the sudden burst of people getting diagnosed with DID was because hypnotizing was a form of getting the individual personalities to talk. The first person to have been evaluated and accounted was a 20-year-old German woman who started speaking French and behave like a French and spoke German with a French accent. She knew everything about the French woman, but not the German one. This French woman was a made up personality that was created by her mind. This personality was created to deal with stressful situations.In 1952, this disorder was placed in the category of psychoneurotic disorders on the  DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). From 1880 to 1990, more than 20,000 cases of DID were reported because “interpersonality amnesia” was removed from the DSM-III (“A history of Multiple Personality Disorder”). Interpersonality amnesia means that one alter cannot recollect the activities and experiences of the others. Due to a new book called Sybil released in the 1970s, more people began to get reported with DID. In 1968, DID was called hysterical neurosis, the dissociative type, according to the DSM-III. Then in 1994, its name was changed once again, according to the DSM-IV, to Multiple Personality Disorder, which has now been changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder.   . In 1998, there were dozens of clinics open in North America. Instead of progressing and creating more clinics that specialize in DID, most of them shut down because more cases of schizophrenia were being reported while case reports for DID decreased drastically. The first DID case ever reported was in 1584. In the late 1880s, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot thought he discovered a new disease named Hystero-Epilepsy due to the symptoms consisting of mental illness, hysteria, and epilepsy; this later became known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Since then, DID has received many updates, but it is still sometimes confused with other disorders. Many people with DID were physically or emotionally abused and would get threatened by the person who abused them if they told anyone. Twenty-five years ago, kids would go to school and if teachers saw any welts on them, they would think that it was a disciplinary problem at home, but some of these kids were being constantly abused by their parents which triggered their personality to split to deal with different situations and emotions.Interestingly enough, many people believe that DID is not real due to the fact that there is no proof that this disorder is a cause of childhood trauma and that instead is a response to stress. This disorder has always been a controversial and interesting topic because some therapists do not completely understand the disorder itself and are very skeptical about it. In a research done where 301 board-certified U.S psychiatrists were surveyed about their feelings towards DID in the DSM-IV, only 21% of those believed that there is strong scientific backing to prove that DID is in fact an actual disorder (qtd. in Current Psychiatry). Some questions that arise is that if people with DID are faking it, what do they gain for doing so? Another controversy is that these personalities can create false memories, meaning the person thinks a situation took place when it didn’t happen. In fact, this is said to be a positive impact because that way the ‘host’ does not recall painful childhood memories. This why the mind creates a sole personality to deal with those types of emotions. Apart from this, Hollywood’s version if DID is far from the truth. DID is made to be seen as evil and a disorder people should fear. Thousands of people have this disorder and Hollywood film producers believe it’s funny to make fun of a serious mental disorder and make movies about it and make profit while there are real people actually suffering from it.Argument: Why Therapists Should Help Patients Cope with DID Dissociative Identity Disorder may make it difficult for the person to keep jobs. Since the alters have their own personality, some might not like to work and others might. “Every individual is different, but if you have DID, your condition will certainly affect your ability to work. What kind of job is right for you? It depends on how cooperative and collaborative your alters are” (“Handling a Job with Dissociative Identity disorder”). By helping the individual choose the right type of job, he/she will feel physically and emotionally stable. Therapists should recommend a type of job according to the person’s alters. Jobs with significant stress can cause further damage to the person. Because an alter can be a child, a job with a great number of responsibilities, meetings, and/or emergencies can make the situation extremely difficult due to the level of stress. Customers might feel shocked or a person might surprise them with different ideas or behaviors. Also, the disorder may not be dangerous to the individual, but may be a danger to others because switches can happen at any time and never know which personality will come out. For example, if the person was abused as a child and they are working at their job and see abuse going on, the individual may react in a dangerous matter not being aware of their surroundings. He/she can act upon their emotions not realizing the danger present. Therapists can help that person find the right job for them. A person with DID should not work at a job that has too much tension or stress. “… it’s very important to avoid significant stress. Try not to take on a job that will have you constantly tense and worried” (“Handling a Job with Dissociative Identity disorder”). Advising patients with the pros and cons of different jobs might help the individual choose the job they will enjoy. If the person does not choose the right job, it will be difficult for them to keep it. Jobs with too much pressure can be mentally harmful to the person. In the United States, three quarters of people with mental illness are unemployed, which include people with DID (“Unemployment Among People with Mental Illness”). Treatments for this disorder are very long and painful and usually don’t work. Coping with the disorder does not bring painful memories back, instead the person lives with the different alters and adapts to them in everyday life. By guiding the individual through the right paths, they will have a healthy life and relationship with others at work and outside of work. Engaging in alcohol and drug abuse is one of the risks of DID. Unfortunately, this is very common among people with this disorder, which makes their symptoms worse. The person strives to feel normal and will become addicted to these substances in order to depress their feelings and life struggles. One of the ways of coping with the disorder is by being healthy at first. Drinking and doing drugs is not a healthy way of dealing with stress. Therapists should be aware if the addiction is present and if it is, patients should be helped with provided treatment.  ” This is usually accomplished by treating the most severe problem – drug addiction – by helping the sufferer to detox and attend an inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, or other program (“Drug Addiction and Multiple Personality Disorder”). This can be reversed with the guidance of a therapist and the patient suffering DID by treating the personality with the drug addiction. In order to treat the alter with the addiction, the therapist must engage in a conversation when the person is under hypnosis in which the alters are very responsive to the therapist’s requests, that way they can get to know the alter and figure out why they have that addiction. Therapists need to gain the alters trust, so the alter can say what is bothering them making addiction treatment go smoother and faster. Anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder are some of the side trauma-based conditions the patient might experience. These mental illnesses may lead to suicide and self harm thoughts. More than 70% of patients with DID have attempted suicide and the numbers keep growing (“Suicide Risk in DID”). “As part of the assessment, mental health professionals also usually ask about other mental conditions and ensure that the person has recently received a comprehensive physical examination and any appropriate medical tests so that any physical conditions that may mimic symptoms of DID are identified and addressed.” In the process of the therapist helping the patient cope with the disorder, he/she must make sure that other mental issues are being treated as well. This makes the patient’s lifestyle better in terms of dealing with different situations. Because the therapist helped their patient with any underlying psychological disorders, when the patient confronts a situation that may bring hurtful memories back, they will know how to react and cope with the emotion in a healthy way. If this is not done, the person with DID might not deal with the situation in a healthy matter, which could lead to either harming themselves or others. Counter-Arguments: Faking the System Admittedly, some people feel that those diagnosed with DID might be faking the disorder in order to benefit emotionally or legally, and do not need any assistance or guidance from therapists to attain a job.”Everyone who fakes a mental disorder has a motive. Usually it is for personal gain, for sympathy from others, to apply for disability, to become well known, and/or to stand out” (“Faking Mental Illness”). Nothing is impossible and this might be indeed true; however, those with the disorder will show specific signs that therapists know if they are faking it or not. A person who is faking the disorder will usually feel proud to have it and talk about it all the time.There are those people that will do it for the disability money and other’s sympathy, but if the person shows signs of lying or not knowing much about the disorder, there is a chance the person might be faking it. According to Mayo Clinic in “Dissociative Disorders,” there are certain tests done by a psychiatrist or psychologists such as an interview with all the different altars using personality assessment tools. These are performed on the individual in order to make sure lying or faking do not happen and that people who really need help are being helped. Other ways therapists spot a person faking the disorder is if they are constantly bragging about it, as well as trying to prove it. Unfortunately, therapists do misdiagnose patients sometimes but this does not mean they’re faking it. A person will try their hardest to cope with the disorder, work things out, and try to live a healthier life and this can be achieved by finding the right job that fits all the different alters.                                                                                          Other people might say that in order for people with DID to get over substance or drug addiction, the alter(s) need to fuse with the host so that all the personalities are addiction-free. “Having one of many personalities that is an addict creates enormous problems in overcoming addictions because until that addicted personality is integrated (becomes whole) to the host he/she will always have the alternative to escape real or perceived danger with drugs and/or alcohol” (“Do Some Addicts Have Multiple Personality Disorder?”). In a way, this is true because if more than one personality has an addiction then it may be more difficult to treat it, but with the right therapist and therapies, the problem could be reversed. By providing their patients with the right resources and guidance, the alter(s) with the addiction will turn the addiction around and will be able to fight the urge to drink or do drugs in a healthy way. This benefits all the other alters plus the person physically because they will feel better as a whole. According to DrugRehab.com in “Dual Diagnosis: Dissociative Disorders And Addiction,” “Good programs should offer medical detoxes and aftercare support, the latter of which is very important for individuals with a dual diagnosis.” Dual diagnosis is when the person is diagnosed with DID and addiction. This means that therapists can treat the alter with the addiction while also helping the person cope with struggles and make the person have more control over their bodies than they did before. The union of the personalities to the host is not necessary in order for the person to recover from addiction. Conclusion: Solving the problem Therapists should help their patients cope with Dissociative Identity Disorder instead of trying to treat it. Even though this disorder is rare, it is still a very serious matter that therapists should take in their hands. While some people that live a full healthy life with DID, it has caused great damage to others. There is always a way to help those individuals cope with the disorder and fears. The need for guidance and ways to cope with the disorder is necessary in order to live a healthy life. It is true that some people might fake this disorder and addiction recovery may be difficult, but if the right measures are taken to to help those who truly have the disorder and each day is taken one at a time, the patient will get the help needed with daily life tasks. If more people with DID get the assistance and advice from therapists they need and those therapists help the person accomplish goals in life they never would’ve thought of because of the disorder, then more and more people will have a stable life and be physically and emotionally healthy.


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