Dissociative Identity Disorder Essay

1928 words - 8 pages


Dissociative Identity Disorder: its causes and treatments:
What are the roots causes and treatments of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Research shows that Dissociative Identity Disorder, the most extreme form of dissociative disorders, is usually developed in childhood as a means to cope with emotionally difficult situations, whether it is sexual abuse or other childhood trauma. In the past, it has been assumed that Dissociative Identity Disorder has no treatment because of the complexity of the condition. However, recent studies have shown that structured clinical psychiatry sessions can alleviate the ...view middle of the document...

One psychiatrist in the film even argued that Sybil was merely faking her additional alter personalities as a means to gain attention (Sargent, 2007). However, now that Dissociative Identity Disorder has been established as a legitimate condition after years of research and studies, psychiatrists are analyzing its causes and the best forms of treatment. Research studies have shown that Dissociative Identity Disorder is developed mainly because of traumatic experiences and that structured clinical therapy sessions can integrate these many personalities into one whole human being.
The most common form of trauma that leads to Dissociative Identity Disorder is abuse as a study shows that 60% to 75% of patients have been physically abused and 68% to 83% sexually abused at some point in their lifetime (Merskey, Piper, 2003). There is no doubt that sexual and physical abuse scars individuals for life. Because sexual and physical abuses are often regarded as some of the worst experiences an individual can go through, there is a strong correlation between abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Additionally these forms of abuse happen habitually, only furthering the pain inflicted upon the individual (Hansen, Malinosky-Rummell, 1993). Granted, it takes years and years for victims to overcome that abuse, but those who bottle their feelings and emotions rarely move past their painful experiences. Instead, they sometimes unconsciously create alter personalities to shoulder the emotional burden.
Although sexual and physical abuses are known to strongly correlate with Dissociative Identity Disorder, the deaths of loved ones often influence people in the same manner. The emotion felt when losing someone dear to you is indescribable and the pain unbearable. The death often leaves people with an empty feeling and loneliness – Unable to accept the loss, patients sometimes try to fill the hole left in their hearts with alter personalities. These personalities not only fill that hole, but also “protect” the victim from experiencing further pain. It is no surprise that death is the number two cause of Dissociative Identity Disorder (Merskey, Piper, 2003). Similar to abuse, death has a strong correlation to the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
The development of Dissociative Identity Disorder can occur at any age, but it is most common for this condition to emerge in children. While the percentage of Dissociative Identity Disorder patients who have suffered from abuse is relatively high in adults, the number only increases for children to 89% to 97% (Merksey, Piper, 2003). Adults are more adept at dealing with stressful predicaments and, therefore, can find ways to alleviate their painful emotions. Adults can visit psychiatrists or find outside help because they are socially independent. Children, on the other hand, cannot because they depend on their caretakers. And if the caretakers themselves abuse the children, there is no one for the...

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