Split Personality disorder Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Split personality disorder or also known as dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a psychological condition in which a person exhibits two or more distinct personalities. Each of these personalities is called alter egos or alters and each has its own way of interacting and relating with the world.

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Causes of Split Personality Disorder

A continuous study about split personality disorder has been going on and up to now no specific cause has yet been proven but many believe that the development of such disorder is due to traumatic childhood experiences. The existence of such disorder is questioned by some professionals for there are psychiatric patients who are said to have split personality disorder but do not have any history of abuse or traumatic experiences.

Signs and Symptoms of Split Personality Disorder

Since it’s a psychological disorder, symptoms may vary for each person. The most common symptoms are:

Amnesia

A person with split personality disorder cannot really tell if he/she really has this condition. Such personalities cannot communicate with each other. So when a personality takes over, the other personality goes to sleep and when this happens, the person experiences memory loss.

Distorted Perception

A person with split personality disorder has a distorted perception of what’s real and what’s not. They begin to detach themselves from their surroundings which make them feel more confused about things that are not actually real.

Other symptoms of split personality disorder

• Multiple mannerisms, beliefs and attitudes which are not similar with each other.

• Unexplainable headaches

• Depersonalization

• Loss of time

• Derealization

• Depression

• Detachment

• Trauma flashbacks

• Sudden anger with no justified cause

• Unexplainable phobias

• Anxiety attacks

• Paranoia

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High Risk of Developing Split Personality Disorder

Researchers believe that split personality disorder is caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. Almost all patients diagnosed with this condition had a personal history of life threatening and sensitive childhood experiences before the age of 9. People who experienced being neglected, abused (either emotional or physical abuse), and those who lived in a frightening/ violent environment, especially at home with terrifying parents, are those who are at high risk of developing such disorder.

Diagnosis of Split Personality Disorder

There is no specific medical test for split personality disorder, but diagnosis is based on sets of interviews, screenings, personality assessment and the presence of symptoms stated above.

The medical history of the patient’s family, abusive experiences from the past and evaluation of the symptoms manifested are assessed by the medical professional to confirm or exclude the possibility that the symptoms might be the result of another mental disorder.

Treatment for Split Personality Disorder

Initial treatments are usually more focused on controlling the symptoms. Therapies are also conducted such as psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and behavioral treatments. Sometimes hypnosis is also used to gather more information about the different symptoms present.

Because patients with split personality disorder tend to experience anxiety and depression, they are also prescribed with certain medications to address these. However, these drugs should be taken with particular caution for inappropriate medicines with bad side effects can result to a more traumatized patient.

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