Dissociative Identity Disorder also known as Multiple Personality Disorder(MPD), is a condition where there are several completely different personalities in one body. It is usually a reaction to trauma which enables a person avoid bad memories. It occurs when a person experiences repetitive physical, sexual or emotional abuse during childhood. 
The victim tries to eliminate the trauma by creating another identity or personality. A person can sometimes have two or more different personalities or alters which he or she might not be aware of. 

This usually happens because the host (the owner of the body) is unable to endure the pain of the trauma. It is a way to escape and forget the entire trauma they are experiencing. When this occurs from childhood, the person is unable to remember what caused the trauma because of the new personalities created.

Any time a fresh shock occurs, a new alter can be born. Sometimes these other personalities or alters are aware of one another and in some cases they are not. Alters can be totally different from one another. Each alter can have  unique characteristics and personal history which includes differences in voice, taste, mannerism, physical appearance and even gender. They may even have different names and speak different languages from the host. The ages of the alters may differ from the host depending on the time they were born or created. Some alters may be of the same age as the host and sometimes younger than the host.

The host can raise a family, have a job and live an ordinary life, but an alter can take over at any time. An alter can be in control for an hour, a day or even weeks and then the host suffers a fugue, a loss of time and memory (Amnesia) of certain people, events and personal information for the period that the alter is in charge. So the host will have no recollections of anything that the alter does.

Alters can sometimes commit crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, arson, drugs among others which the host is usually held responsible when in actual fact, he or she had no clue of what had happened.
Apart from amnesia, people with this condition experience depression, flashbacks , anxiety and suicidal thoughts. They are also prone to insomnia, nightmares and sleepwalking. They tend to face significant stress in their relationships, work and other important areas of their lives.

People suffering from this condition and many others are advised to seek help. Children especially, should be protected from abusive people and environment since they are prone to such disorders which can later affect their adulthood. Children who have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused should be given more attention by parents and medical practitioners to prevent them from developing risky disorders.
People suffering from these kinds of disorders need more love and care because the more they are shunned, the more they tend to harm themselves.

A mother suffering from MPD  decided to share her story on an American talk show called the “Today Show”. Kindly watch the video below.

Written by : Nasreen Zankawah

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