Dissociative Identity Disorder ( Dissociative Disorder )

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a mental illness that is greatly misunderstood, much like many other mental illnesses. Nicholas Spanos, Professor of Psychology, hypothesized Multiple Personality Disorder as a defense against childhood trauma that creates “dissociation” or a split mental state. The trauma sustained during childhood is so substantial, that the individual creates different identities to cope with it (Spanos, 1994). The disorder first showed up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1978 in the DSM-III, but the name was changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV (Dunn, 1992). Our textbook for this course, Experience Psychology, defines Dissociative Identity Disorder as “a dissociative disorder in which the individual has two or more distinct personalities or selves, each with its own memories, behaviors, and relationships.” The text goes on to say that one identity presents itself at a time and is dominate for the time it is present, and then another identity presents itself and so on and so forth (King, 2013).
Early Research and Beliefs Early psychologists and psychiatrists believed that Multiple Personality Disorder was a result of demon possession. The idea of multiple personalities was first conjugated in 1646, but the actual first account of MPD was said to be described in 1791 by Eberhardt Gmelin (“A History of Dissociative Identity

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