Dissociative Identity Disorder Essay

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Dissociative identity disorder is a rare mental disorder that is characterized by an individual possessing two or more states of personality. This form of identity disorder is commonly caused by childhood traumas that fall under extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse (American Psychiatric Association). A famous case of dissociative identity disorder followed the case of Shirley “Sybil” Mason, who was believed to suffer from female hysteria — an outdated medical diagnosis that was thought to have explained the trauma that women face, such as nervousness, a heavy abdomen, and irritability. It did not help that it was later discovered that “women are more likely than men to develop dissociative identity disorder” (Cleveland…show more content…
Once physical conditions are ruled out, mental health specialists are usually called in to make a final evaluation. Due to her abusive past with her parents, she was massively affected to the point of developing dissociative identity disorder. She was brought to a psychiatrist since many of the doctors she’s visited in the past believed she was suffering from mere pseudo-symptoms. Yet when consulted properly, she was thought of as a landmark of women who experience similar emotions. Her diagnosis would have gone through a different process in modern psychology, especially with the use of the MMPI test. And despite the strides in the machinations of diagnosing disorders, the rarity of dissociative identity disorder can make a diagnosis extremely difficult to complete. In an American study, there was “29% of 149 outpatients...had a dissociative disorder, including 6% who had DID” and research showed that “previously undiagnosed DID can be detected through structured diagnostic interviews in the general population” (Ross, 2006).
The most common treatment for dissociative identity disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, whose approach incorporates effective communication with each of the personalities and helping the patient find more adaptive coping strategies than switching when distressed. This can be reinforced
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