Arguments for and Against Multiple Personality Disorders Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Multiple Personality Disorders


Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a mysterious condition and remains controversial. Biological psychiatrists who use medication for treatment claim that MPD in most cases, is non-existent. However, it is iatrogenic, in cases where it does exist. In other words, they mean that the condition is created by therapists who train their patients to view their symptoms as though they carry a separate set of personalities. Nevertheless, specialized clinicians take the condition with notable seriousness. They even arrange for separate meetings with the various facets of the patient's personality. The believers in the existence of the condition, based on data, highlight that the various personalities come with various electroencephalogram history. The cynics, on the other hand, will claim that actors can trigger various EEG tracings when they decide to switch between characters (Bhandari 2020). Like other psychiatrists, I have my considered view regarding dissociative disorders. The argument in this paper is based on the view that, indeed, Multiple Personality Disorder exists. The paper seeks to support this position through cogent arguments and counter-opinions before arriving at such a conclusion.

Arguments for the Existence MPD

Defining MPD, and who is likely to suffer

MPD manifests as a complex psychological condition caused by a wide range of factors, including trauma in childhood. Such trauma is usually one that is repetitive, severe, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Multiple personality disorder is an extreme dissociation form. It is a cognitive process that causes disconnection in one's thoughts, memories, actions, feelings, or identity (Bhandari 2020). Dissociative complications are thought to be caused by a set of factors that could include someone with the disorder being traumatized. Dissociation is believed to be a way to cope with the experiences. Such a person shuts off from the experience that is too searing and violent to bear, trauma, or pain, to assimilate with his conscience.

The Difference between MPD and Other Related Disorders

Multiple personality disorder manifests with two or more split identities or characteristics that control behavior. MPD victims commonly forget crucial personal information in a way that is too glaring that it cannot be brushed off as sheer forgetfulness. Memory variations are a common symptom with MPD victims, and they often fluctuate.

While not all victims experience the same symptoms of MPD, for some, the various alters have their varying ages, race, and sex (Brand et al. 2016). Each of them exhibits their gestures, distinct gait, postures, and even how they talk. Sometimes, the"alter" are imaginary persons or even animals. As a particular personality emerges, reveals, and takes control of the individual, it is referred to as switching. The switching phenomenon varies from minutes to hours to days, weeks, and even months. Some of the cases call for hypnosis in the situations where the"alter" is responsive to the requests of the therapist.

More signs of MPD include amnesia, headaches, trances, time loss and"out of body experience". Some individuals with this condition tend to lean towards self persecution, sabotaging oneself, outwards, or self-inflicted violence. For instance, a person with MPD could easily engage in an activity they would not ordinarily even begin to do if they were in their normal state. Some of the actions commonly noted include over speeding, stealing personal effects from close people, among others. However, they are compelled to engage in such activity by their condition (Ringrose 2018). Some victims describe the feeling as another person taking charge of their body. They feel helpless and cannot drive their body and choices anymore.

Dissociative disorders change a person's psychological processes in several profound ways.

· Depersonalization: This involves detachment from one's own body. It is commonly referred to as an out-of-body encounter

· Derealization: the world appears to be unreal, foggy, and farfetched.

· Amnesia: A person in this mental state is unable to recall important personal information to such an extensive level that it cannot be ordinary forgetfulness. Microamnesias also exist, in which the current discussion is forgotten fast within the same session.

· Identity alteration and identity confusion: they both entail a sense…

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…the focus Chinese population, although there is no MPD in the Chinese Psychiatric manual (Brand et al. 2016; Yu, et al. 2010). The study of the Chinese population and two others conducted among a Turkish population in which there was little or no knowledge of MPD comes into conflict with the iatrogenesis claims. In one of the studies in Turkey, the researchers identified four MPD cases. All the cases reported incidences of abuse and or neglect during childhood.

Some critics of MPD postulate that the treatment used for the condition is harmful. Such claims fly against empirical evidence that shows improvement in the signs that patients of MPD display at the onset. Thus, it is not harmful. There was also a study on consecutive admissions to an in-patient trauma program in Norway. The study found that dissociation does not improve if amnesia and self-states that are dissociated aren't addressed directly (Jepsen et al. 2014). None of the patients exhibiting MPD symptoms had undergone treatment for any dissociative disorder. Indeed, the treatment program did not focus on the dissociative disorder in the first place (Jepsen et al. 2014). The study's approaches reduced to the minimum or even eliminated any possibility of the claimed therapist suggestion in MPD diagnosis.


There is a conspicuous and persistent interest in expanding the body of knowledge regarding MPD. MPD is a genuine psychiatric condition notable across the globe. It can be diagnosed reliably by trained experts and clinicians across communities. According to research available, MPD is a condition that is triggered by traumas one experienced in the past, particularly in childhood. The condition responds to treatment therapies based on the guidelines provided by researchers in the field. MPD is characterized by two or more split or distinct identities or personality states which take control over the behavior of a person. Clear and established approaches to diagnosing MPD have been developed in the recent past. Research has also established an MPD existence. Unfortunately, the cost of ignorance regarding MPD is high for both individual victims and the support system…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bhandari, S. (reviewer). Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). WebMed (2020). Accessed 20 June 2020

Brand, Bethany L., Vedat Sar, Pam Stavropoulos, Christa Krüger, Marilyn Korzekwa, Alfonso Martínez-Taboas, and Warwick Middleton. "Separating fact from fiction: An empirical examination of six myths about dissociative identity disorder." Harvard review of psychiatry (2016).

Dorahy, Martin J., Bethany L. Brand, Vedat ?ar, Christa Krüger, Pam Stavropoulos, Alfonso Martínez-Taboas, Roberto Lewis-Fernández, and Warwick Middleton. "Dissociative identity disorder: An empirical overview." Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48, no. 5 (2014): 402-417.

Frances, A.J. Multiple Personality: Mental Disorder, Myth, or Metaphor? Psychology Today, (2014). Accessed 20 June 2020

Jepsen, Ellen KK, Willie Langeland, Hal Sexton, and Trond Heir. "In-patient treatment for early sexually abused adults: A naturalistic 12-month follow-up study." Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy 6, no. 2 (2014): 142.

Lazarus, C.N. Why DID, or MPD is a Bogus Diagnosis. Psychology Today, (2011). Accessed 20 June 2020

Nathan, Debbie. Sybil exposed: The extraordinary story behind the famous multiple personality case. Simon and Schuster, 2011.

Ringrose, Jo L. Understanding and treating dissociative identity disorder (or multiple personality disorder). Routledge, 2018.

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