Dissociative Identity Disorder Formerly Known as Multiple Personality Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1348 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Psychology

Multiple Personality Disorder the first published example of multiple personality was... "A Double Consciousness, or a Duality of Person in the Same Individual." Mary Reynolds was born in England in 1793, and was brought to Pennsylvania by her family when she was four years old. The girl was intelligent. She grew up in a strongly religious atmosphere and became melancholy, shy, and given to solitary religious devotions and meditations. She was considered normal until she was about eighteen. Then she began to have occasional "fits," which were evidently hysterical. One of these attacks, when she was about nineteen years old, left her blind and deaf for five or six weeks. Some three months later, she slept eighteen or twenty hours, and awoke seeming to know scarcely anything that she had learned. She soon became acquainted with her surroundings, however, and within a few weeks learned reading, calculating, and writing, though her penmanship was crude compared to what it had been Now she was buoyant, witty, fond of company and a lover of nature. After five weeks of this new life she slept long again, and awoke as her "normal" self, with no memory for what she had experienced since her recent lapse. Thereafter the "new" or "second state" and the "old" or "first state," as she came to call them, alternated irregularly. The second state gained over the first, however, and became more rich and stable, until the woman was about thirty-six years old. At that time the second state became permanent and continued until her death in 1854 (Taylor & Martin, 1944).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Term Paper on Dissociative Identity Disorder Formerly Known as Multiple Personality Disorder Assignment

This is part of an article on multiple personality disorder written in 1944. At the time there was some controversy about whether or not such cases were "faking" or genuine. The authors argued that they were real and define multiple personality as "two or more personalities each of which is so well developed and integrated as to have a relatively coordinated, rich, unified, and stable life of its own" (p. 282). The article catalogs 76 cases that the authors found in literature available to American psychologists. They estimate about the same number probably could be found in the literature of other countries unavailable to them. The purpose of the article was to place different cases into categories of meaning, such as alternating personality, coconscious personality, intraconscious personality, mutually amnesic, one-way amnesic, propriety (good behavior), quality of personality (temperament, sociability, values, etc.), responses (automatic acts, paralyses, etc.), sensibility (paresthesias, anesthesias, etc.), sex (One personality masculine, another feminine, or one heterosexual, another homosexual, etc.), and youthfulness (one personality seeming younger or more childlike than another). These are described in detail and a table constructed categorizing each of the 76 cases found.

Even at that time, some psychologists believed the condition could be brought about by suggestion -- either from the patient, from some outside person, or "from the physician (especially if he hypnotizes the patient)..." (Taylor & Martin, 1944). The authors cite Harrman who "produced characteristic phenomena of multiple personality experimentally, hence suspects 'that some investigators have unintentionally produced behavior which they describe as multiple personality'" (p. 293). The authors agree that Harrman and others may be "partially right," and speculate, "A psychotherapist who thinks nothing of multiple personality, and who undertakes to steady and strengthen his patients directly, must discover few if any multiple personalities; whereas, a psychotherapist who is aware of multiple personality as a pattern, and who seeks out his patients' conflicting systems, especially if he does so through hypnosis or through automatic writing, must meet relatively many multiple personalities" (p. 294). The authors then go on to describe various things that could cause amnesia in a person, which would require the person to construct a new personality. They describe the condition as a climax of failures to integrate, "a deep and magnifying vivisection..." And they go on to say that hypnotism can achieve a similar vivisection but an ethical therapist would never vivisect as "ruthlessly as nature does with multiple personality (p. 297).

When this article was written, multiple… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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