Multiple personality disorders have touched the lives of those dear to my heart and I simply want to bring more awareness to this illness. This is very misunderstood and most people think of Sally Fields in the movie Sybil. While the truth is, many of us have experienced some form of very mild Dissociative Identity Disorder (the newer and more politically correct name) when getting lost in the moment or even daydreaming.
Another huge misconception associated with dissociative identity disorder is calling it Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is NOT a multiple personality disorder.
It is the most severe of these cases that may develop into full-blown multiple personalities. Diagnosis is difficult, even for professional experts in the field. Severe dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities. The personalities each have their own age, sex, race and they may be other species that are all fairly resonsive to hypnosis.
Some common symptoms associated with dissociative disorders include:
Sleep disorders (insomnia, night terrors, and sleep walking)
Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias (flashbacks, reactions to stimuli or “triggers”)
Alcohol and drug abuse
Compulsions and rituals
Psychotic-like symptoms (including auditory and visual hallucinations)
I don’t know who or why March 5 is designated as Multiple Personality Day, but this is a great opportunity to help increase awareness. As always, if you have questions about these or other mental illnesses, please seek professional medical advice.