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Since this is such an important topic, I urge to take your time studying the information. This page is very long, so please have patience and understand all of the information below is necessary to give your children a better life.
In researching for the topic of Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder, I was overwhelmed by the causes and symptoms of the disorder. I thought I knew something about Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID/MPD, but the information I found really opened my eyes. Every parent, grandparent, guardian and teacher needs to read and understand the information listed below. Many of the cases of DID/MPD are misdiagnosed as something else. Many children and adults go around thinking they are merely depressed, have ADD or some other abnormality.
For instance, I did not know the disorder usually begins in childhood. It usually occurs in the early formative years when the child is developing their personality. An event will occur which the child's mind cannot handle since it has notdeveloped the coping skills we have as adults.
This event can be from the abuse of a parent, sibling, other relative or from a child predator who kidnappedthem. The abuse can be physical only, it can be sexual, verbal, from neglect or the death of a parent or sibling.
This page sums up the entire message of this website. A-Better-Child.org is here to keep children safe. If we all do our part to keep children safe, then the rate of Dissociative Identity Disorders will decrease and the numbers of well adjusted and intelligent children will increase.
Again I beg you to take your time as you study the information, websites and books listed below.
Here is a brief overview of the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
SymptomsPatients often exhibit a wide array of symptoms that can resemble other neurologic and psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenic, mood psychosis and seizure disorders. Symptoms of this particular disorder can include:
* anxiety (sweating, rapid pulse, palpitations)
* panic attacks
* physical symptoms (severe headaches or other bodily pain)
* fluctuating levels of function, from highly effective to disabled
* time distortions, time lapse, and Dissociative Amnesia
* sexual dysfunction
* eating disorders
* post traumatic stress
* suicidal preoccupations and attempts
* episodes of self-mutilation
* psychoactive substance use/abuse
Other symptoms may include: Depersonalization, which refers to feeling unreal, removed from one's self, and detached from one's physical and mental processes. The patient feels like an observer of his life and may actually see himself as if he were watching a movie. Derealization refers to experiencing familiar persons and surroundings as if they were unfamiliar and strange or unreal.
Again, doctors must be careful not to assume that a client has MPD or DID simply because they exhibit some or all of these symptoms. For example, someone may have severe PTSD and self mutilate with suicidal ideas, which are two of the symptoms listed above, but in order for DID to be diagnosed, there must be two or more distinctly present personalities.
Persons with dissociative identity disorder are often told of things they have done but do not remember and of notable changes in their behavior. They may discover objects, productions, or handwriting that they cannot account for or recognize; they may refer to themselves in the first person plural (we) or in the third person (he, she, they); and they may have amnesia for events that occurred between their mid-childhood and early adolescence. Amnesia for earlier events is normal and widespread.
The information above was borrowed from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder
Here is a brief overview of treatment, prevention and alternative medicine.
Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for dissociative disorders. This form of therapy, also known as talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy, involves talking about your disorder and related issues with a mental health professional. Your therapist will work to help you understand the cause of your condition and to form new ways of coping with stressful circumstances.
Psychotherapy for dissociative disorders often involves techniques that help you remember and work through the trauma that triggered your dissociative symptoms. The course of your psychotherapy may be long and painful, but this treatment approach often is very effective in treating dissociative disorders.
Other treatments for dissociative disorders may include:
* Creative art therapy. This type of therapy uses the creative process to help people who might have difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings. Creative arts can help you increase self-awareness, cope with symptoms and traumatic experiences, and foster positive changes. Creative art therapy includes art, dance and movement, drama, music and poetry.
* Cognitive therapy. This type of talk therapy helps you identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It's based on the idea that your own thoughts not other people or situations determine how you behave. Even if an unwanted situation has not changed, you can change the way you think and behave in a positive way.
* Medication. Although there are no medications that specifically treat dissociative disorders, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or tranquilizers to help control the mental health symptoms associated with dissociative disorders.
Children who are physically, emotionally or sexually abused are at increased risk of developing mental health disorders, including dissociative disorders. If stress or other personal issues are affecting the way you treat your child, seek help. Talk to a trusted person such as a friend, your doctor or a leader in your faith community. Ask for his or her help locating resources such as parenting support groups and family therapists. Many churches and community education programs offer parenting classes that also may help you learn a healthier parenting style.
If your child has been abused or has experienced another traumatic event, see a doctor immediately. Your doctor can refer you to mental health professionals who can help your child recover and adopt healthy coping skills.
Complementary and alternative medicine
Your therapist may recommend using hypnosis, which is sometimes referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, as part of your treatment for a dissociative disorder.
Hypnosis creates a state of deep relaxation and quiets the mind. When you're hypnotized, you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions. Because you're more open than usual to suggestions while under hypnosis, there is some controversy that therapists may unintentionally "implant" false memories by suggestion. However, when conducted under the care of a trained therapist, hypnosis is generally safe as a complementary treatment method.
The information above was borrowed from: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/DS/00574.html
Dissociative Identity DisorderIn dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder, two or more identities or personalities alternate.
Dissociative identity disorder appears to be a rather common mental disorder. It can be found in 3 to 4% of people hospitalized for other mental health disorders and in a sizable minority of people in drug abuse treatment facilities. However, some authorities believe that many cases of this disorder reflect the influence of therapists on suggestible people.
Dissociative identity disorder appears to be caused by the interaction of several factors. These include overwhelming stress; an ability to separate one's memories, perceptions, or identity from conscious awareness; abnormal psychologic development, and insufficient protection and nurture during childhood.
Human development requires that children be able to integrate complicated and different types of information and experiences. As children learn to achieve a cohesive, complex identity, they go through phases in which different perceptions and emotions of themselves and others are kept segregated. These different perceptions and emotions become involved in the generation of different selves, but not every child who suffers abuse or a major loss or trauma has the capacity to develop multiple personalities. Those who do have the capacity also have normal ways of coping, and most of these vulnerable children are sufficiently protected and soothed by adults, so dissociative identity disorder does not develop.
People with dissociative identity disorder often describe an array of symptoms that can resemble those of other mental health disorders as well as many physical disorders. Some symptoms are an indication that another disorder is indeed present, but some symptoms may reflect the intrusions of past experiences into the present. For example, sadness may indicate coexisting depression, or it may be that one of the personalities is reliving emotions associated with past misfortunes.
Dissociative identity disorder is chronic and potentially disabling or fatal, although many with the disorder function very well and lead creative and productive lives. People with this disorder are prone to injuring themselves. They may engage in self-mutilation. Many attempt suicide.
In dissociative identity disorder, some of a person's personalities are aware of important personal information, whereas other personalities are unaware. Some personalities appear to know and interact with one another in an elaborate inner world. For example, personality A may be aware of personality B and know what B does, as if observing B's behavior; personality B may or may not be aware of personality A. Other personalities may or may not be aware of personality B, and personality B may or may not be aware of them.
The switching of personalities and the lack of awareness of one's behavior in the other personalities often make life chaotic for people with dissociative identity disorder. Because the personalities often interact with each other, people with dissociative personality disorder report hearing inner conversations and the voices of other personalities commenting on their behavior or addressing them. They experience distortion of time, with time lapses and amnesia. They have feelings of detachment from one's self(depersonalization) and feelings that one's surroundings are unreal (derealization). They often have concern with issues of control, both self-control and the control of others. In addition, people with dissociative identity disorder tend to develop severe headaches or other bodily pain and may experience sexual dysfunction. Different clusters of symptoms occur at different times.
People with dissociative identity disorder may not be able to recall things they have done or account for changes in their behavior. Often they refer to themselves as "we," "he," or "she." While most people cannot recall much about the first 3 to 5 years of life, people with dissociative identity disorder may have considerable amnesia for the period between the ages of 6 and 11 as well.
To make the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, a doctor conducts a thorough psychologic interview. A medical examination may be needed to determine if a physical disorder is present that would explain certain symptoms. Special questionnaires have been developed to help doctors identify dissociative identity disorder.
Interviews may need to be prolonged and involve careful use of hypnosis or drug facilitation. Hypnosis or drug-facilitated interviews may make the person more likely to allow the doctor to encounter other personalities or to reveal information about a period for which there is amnesia. However, some doctors feel that hypnosis and drug-facilitated interviews should not be performed because they believe the techniques can themselves generate symptoms of dissociative identity disorder.
Treatment and Prognosis
Some symptoms may come and go (fluctuate) spontaneously, but dissociative identity disorder does not clear up on its own. The goal of treatment is usually to integrate the personalities into a single personality. However, integration is not always possible. In these situations, the goal is to achieve a harmonious interaction among the personalities that allows more normal functioning.
Drug therapy can relieve some specific coexisting symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, but does not affect the disorder itself.
Psychotherapy is often arduous and emotionally painful. The person may experience many emotional crises from the actions of the personalities and from the despair that may occur when traumatic memories are recalled during therapy. Several periods of psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary to help the person through difficult times and to come to grips with particularly painful memories. Generally, two or more psychotherapy sessions a week for at least 3 to 6 years are necessary. Hypnosis may be helpful.
The prognosis of people with dissociative identity disorder depends on the symptoms and features they experience. For example, people who have additional serious mental health disorders, such as personality disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders, have a poorer prognosis.
Dissociative Identity Disorder and Childhood Abuse
About 97 to 98% of adults with dissociative identity disorder report having been abused during childhood. Abuse can be documented for 85% of the adults and 95% of the children and adolescents with dissociative identity disorder.
Although childhood abuse is a major cause of dissociative identity disorder, that does not mean all the specific abuses alleged by people with this disorder really happened. Some aspects of some reported experiences clearly are not accurate. In addition, some people were not abused at all, but rather, suffered an important early loss, such as the death of a parent, a serious physical illness, or some other very stressful experience.
The above article was borrowed from: http://www.merck.com
Dissociative Identity Disorder Fact Sheet
Source: Cameron West, PhD* Formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder
* Given a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1980.
* Characterized by the existence of two or more distinct personality states that have the capacity to take control of the body and the inability to recall personal information too great to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. The condition cannot be due to the effect of substances or a medical condition.
* There may be accompanying symptoms such as depression, anxiety, obsessive/compulsive behavior, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.
* Arises from continued and repeated sexual and/or physical abuse beginning in early childhood.
* DID is a defensive mechanism that protects the child from the physical and emotional pain associated with abuse by separating a part of the childs mind or consciousness to deal with the trauma of the abuse. Over time and repeated abuse, these separate parts establish identities of their own.
* People with DID have been shown to be highly susceptible to dissociation (an alteration in consciousness wherein the individual and some aspect of his or her self or environment become disconnected or disengaged from one another), of above average intelligence, and highly creative. DID is generally diagnosed in adulthood, triggered by some factor that compels or allows the alters to emerge.
* Systems of alter personalities differ from individual to individual, but there are generally host personalities who appear most often, opposite gender personalities, self-helper personalities, persecutory personalities who may harm themselves or others, and child personalities.
* Switching is the process of shifting from one alter to another.
* Co-consciousness refers to the level of shared awareness of existence and behavior between the host personality and the alters. Levels of co-consciousness vary from person to person from total lack of knowledge of others in the system to complete co-consciousness where every alter knows to some degree what each alter and the host personality are doing or thinking.
* The object of therapy is to stabilize the person, lessen the degree of dissociation, increase cooperation and co-consciousness within the system, and often ultimately merge the alters into one personality, a process called integration.
* Although no controlled study has been conducted in the United States, an estimate of the prevalence of DID in the U.S. population is from 1 in 500 to 1 in 5,000, or between 250,000 and 2,500,000 people.
* Four times as many women are diagnosed as men.
* The average person diagnosed with DID spends 7 years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed, due to misdiagnosis and lack of training on the part of therapists to spot the disorder.
* Two non-profit groups based in the United States that disseminate information on The Dissociative Disorders are:
The Sidran Foundation
The International Society for the Study of Dissociation
The information above was borrowed from: http://www.m-a-h.net/library/did-general/article-didfacts.htm
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