Split Personality Disorder

February 16th, 2011

Split personality disorder is a serious mental condition which if not identified and correctly treated can lead to a multitude of behavoiurs and subsequent actions.  Also known as ‘Dissociative identity disorder‘ whatever the name is referred to the condition it is something to treat with extreme severity. In this editorial we look closely at the signs and symptoms of a split personality and how it can effect the sufferer and those around him or her.

I wasn’t aware of how common split personality disorder was, also called dissociative disorder, until I saw it firsthand for myself in the workplace. No one around him really caught on until the psychiatrist diagnosed it. It made me realize how difficult split personality disorder symptoms are to recognize, not only in the people around the victim of it, but also to the victim themselves. Often a person with split personality disorder doesn’t even know they have it. The personalities are kept separated in the brain, not able to communicate back and forth.

Let’s dispel a few myths. We’ve all seen the the horror films where someone develops an alternate personality that’s a raging serial killer, but in reality, that’s not the way it works. It is true that dissociative disorder usually develops as a way for a person to deal with trauma. Children in unstable or dangerous homes are especially susceptible to split personality disorder, because their personalities aren’t even fully developed yet. Because of this, it’s possible for a child to develop dissociative disorder and retain the condition throughout their adult life. During high stress times the condition might come to the surface in order to help the person cope. Let’s take a look at some specific split personality disorder symptoms.

Alternate personality symptoms:

1. Amnesia. Amnesia is one of the biggest split personality disorder symptoms. As we discussed in the first paragraph, the multiple personalities can’t talk to one another. Therefore, when one personality takes over to cope with stress or danger, the other personality in essence goes to sleep. If a person complains of memory loss, especially during times of high stress, they may have dissociative disorder.

2. Anxiety, Depression, Detachment. These are more general symptoms, but they are important to watch out for, especially detachment. Persons with split personality disorder might get an inner inkling or sense that something in their mind isn’t functioning quite right, almost as if another person has partial control over their actions, which in some ways is very close to the real truth. This sense can cause a person to feel detached from their life.

3. Distorted Perception. This accompanies that detached feeling. A person with split personality disorder may begin to question what’s real and what isn’t. The more a person feels detached from their life and surroundings, the more they may begin to feel that certain things aren’t actually real.

Dissociative Fugue

Dissociative fugue is something similar to split personality disorder, but different. Dissociative fugue actually causes a person to flee their own identity. They’ll leave whatever they’re doing, work, their home, in the middle of cooking dinner, and just leave. They’ll temporarily forget who they are and in some cases will actually take on a new identity in a different place. Obviously this condition is a bit trickier and less predictable, but that is good in the fact that it makes it more recognizable.

In some ways, dissociative fugue is almost like the physical manifestation of the inner turmoil happening with split personality disorder. In a lot of ways it’s is quite different however, because no one can predict how long an episode of fugue will last. Sometimes it can last as short as a few hours. Other times it can go for as long as a few months, though this is rare. After the dissociative fugue is over the victim generally feels an intense disorientation, having no idea where they are or how they arrived in their new surroundings. Dissociative fugue might not show any prior symptoms, but if it does, the symptoms will most likely match with those above.

A Split Personality Disorder is a serious mental condition and should be identified, treated and monitored quickly. If not correctly treated and in extreme cases, patients can become a danger to themselves and those around them to the extent that physical harm caan manifest itself. If in any doubt please consult a trained medical practioner for further guidance about the condition.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about some split personality disorder symptoms. For more information on conditions and symptoms, read my article on Vitamin D deficiency symptoms in adults.

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