Psychology and Psychiatry

Split personality

Split personality - this is a relatively rare mental disorder, which is correlated to the class of dissociative pathologies. Due to this pathology, the personality of the individual is divided, which forms the feeling that two personalities coexist in one human subject. According to a different terminology, two individuals jointly existing in an individual are called two ego states.

What is the split personality? The described ailment is also called organic dissociative or dissociative personality identity disorder, personality splitting, multiple personality syndrome.

Disease split personality is characterized by "switching", due to which in the individual one person becomes a substitute for another. Ego-states may have different gender identity, differ in nationality, type of temperament, intellectual abilities, beliefs, be in different age periods. The response to the same everyday situations of the two coexisting personalities is also different. Each ego with this pathology has individual patterns of perception and an established interaction with society and the environment. The currently active person after the so-called “switch” does not remember what is happening when another ego state was active, which leads to the destruction of the life of an individual suffering from personality splitting, the occurrence of serious mental disorders. Often, individuals with this pathology are prone to suicide and committing various actions of a criminal nature.

Reasons for split personality

The personality cleavage syndrome is a whole device by which the brain of an individual is able to dismember certain memories or thoughts that are important for ordinary consciousness. Subconscious images dissected in this way are not subject to erasure, as a result of which their repeated reproduction and spontaneous appearance in the consciousness becomes possible. Their activity is due to the action of the corresponding starting devices - triggers. Such triggers can be various events and objects surrounding the individual in the event of an incident that is traumatic for him. It is believed that the splitting of identity is triggered by a combination of the following circumstances: the strongest stress, the ability to dissociate the state, as well as the manifestation of protective mechanisms during the individual formation of the organism with an established set of factors inherent in this process. In addition, the manifestation of protective mechanisms can be observed in childhood. This is due to a lack of participation and lack of care for the crumbs at the time they feel a traumatic experience or lack of protection necessary to avoid subsequent experience undesirable for him. In children, a sense of unified identity is not innate. It develops as a result of the impact of many different experiences and factors.

The syndrome of split personality is in itself quite a long and serious process. However, if a subject has a dissociative disorder, it will not necessarily mean the presence of a mental illness. Dissociation in moderate degree often occurs due to stress, as well as in people deprived of a long sleep time (sleep deprivation). In addition, dissociation may occur when receiving a dose of nitric oxide, for example, during dental surgery.

It can also be noted among the most common variations of the dissociative state and such a state in which the subject is completely immersed in the plot of the film or absorbed by the book, that the reality around him seems to fall out of the temporal spatial continuum, as a result of which time flies by and unnoticed. In addition, there is a form of dissociation, which originates due to the hypnotic effect. In this case, there is a temporary transformation of the state, familiar to consciousness. Individuals often experience a dissociative state in the practice of certain religions, which use the introduction of subjects into trance states.

In moderate forms of manifestation of dissociative disorder, as well as complex, as the factors provoking the splitting of consciousness, isolated traumatic experiences experienced by people in childhood, caused by the cruel treatment of them. In addition, the emergence of such forms can often be found among the participants of robberies, military actions, torture of various kinds and scale, a car accident or a natural disaster. The formation of dissociative clinical symptoms is important for subjects with pronounced reactions in post-traumatic post-stress disorder or in case of a disorder caused by somatization.

According to research conducted earlier by North American scientists, more than 98% of patients (adults) who have had a breakdown of personal identity have experienced violent situations in childhood, of which 85% have documented facts of this statement. As a result, it became possible to argue that mental abuse, intimate compulsion experienced in childhood, is the main cause provoking a split personality. The next factor that can cause a dissociative disorder is the loss of a close relative at an early age, the transmission of a serious illness or other stressful event, which carried large-scale experiences.

In addition to these reasons, the factors provoking the splitting of consciousness, include genetic disposition, lack of assistance for the ill-treatment of unauthorized persons.

Also in the modern world, another reason has emerged that causes a split identity - an addiction to computer games, in which individuals often become similar to their chosen character. Many experts believe that in recent years, gambling addiction, along with dependence on the Internet, are the main reasons for increasing the incidence of disease. In addition, individuals with a weak character, weak-willed people who seek protection at the subconscious level for their own person, constitute a risk group for the occurrence of dissociative disorder.

Symptoms and signs of split personality

Almost everybody has heard about the term describing such a psychological state as a personality split, but few understand what the disease really means, what manifestations it has and what the methods of treatment of this condition are. Most ordinary people often mistakenly call schizophrenia split personality. Therefore, the question: "what is called a split personality" is often answered by schizophrenia. In fact, schizophrenia has nothing in common with the splitting syndrome of personal identity.

Schizophrenia is characterized by the presence of hallucinations, loss of reality. Patients can hear voices, often cannot distinguish the imaginary from the real world. All symptoms are perceived by schizophrenics as a consequence of external influence, and not inherent in their own personality. In schizophrenia, some mental functions are detached from the personality. When dissociating, however, individuals have at least two alternative personalities who coexist in the same body and are characterized by a different set of characteristics, may have a different age and gender. People with dissociation often in different situations react differently. This is due to the presence of each ego state of individual patterns of perception and response.

In the first turn, manifestations of dissociation are expressed in a strong imbalance, patients often lose touch with reality, as a result of which they cannot realize what is happening. In addition, a typical violation of memory (failures). In patients with a split personality identity, insomnia is noted, they complain of pain in the head area, and profuse sweating may also be present. In addition, it has been established that the manifestations of the dissociative syndrome are expressed in the absence of logical thinking, quite rarely the subject understands that he is seriously ill. A person suffering from a splitting of consciousness can violently express his own joy, and after a couple of minutes he falls into a sad state for no apparent reason. Joyful mood replaces joy. The feelings of the subjects, tormented by a split identity, are rather contradictory to themselves, to the surrounding and current events in the world. Symptoms of a split identity does not depend on age.

Signs of a split personality.

It is sometimes difficult for an individual suffering from dissociation to realize the presence of a disease. However, a close environment can determine the presence of mental illness by the changed behavior of the individual, which consists in unpredictable actions that are completely inherent in his character and behavior. It should be understood that such behavioral transformations are completely unrelated to the use of alcohol-containing liquids, narcotic drugs, or psychotropic drugs. Often, the behavior of individuals with dissociation can be assessed as absolutely inadequate. Also a sign of the splitting of personal identity are significant memory lapses.

The characteristic signs of a split identity can have varying degrees of severity, since they depend on the subjective qualities of the sick organism. The degree of progression of the disease is due to the duration of the pathological process, the patient's temperament, but approximately ninety percent of clinical cases require immediate hospitalization and isolation. Although at the beginning the patient may not pose a danger to his own person and the environment, but due to the inadequacy of his behavior such a threat to society and himself may appear.

In the first turn, the danger is associated with failures in the memory, as they leave part of the events in the life of patients beyond the boundaries of consciousness. Being under the influence of an alter ego, the individual is able to perceive information, however later, when another person gains the upper hand, he loses it. This happens every time you change personalities. In a person suffering from this ailment, two completely unfamiliar personalities can get along.

Secondly, flight is an absolutely normal and familiar condition for patients with a split consciousness. In other words, such patients may suddenly leave home, work or study. Such care attempts are quite dangerous for health, since, being in the alter of personality, an individual does not recognize the place and is not able to understand where he is, as a result of which he panics. Therefore, it is very important to control the movement of the patient, otherwise strangers may suffer.

Thirdly, the main personality of the patient becomes depressed, because in his life a new alter dominates. In an individual with a split identity, depression, depression and depressive attitudes begin to prevail. It is also impossible to exclude the possibility of seizures characterized by increased excitability, aggressiveness and activity.

Signs of a split personality progresses with each passing year, as a result of which the personality of the individual practically disappears.

In some cases, an alter personality helps an individual to forget or block a negative experience, painful memories. There is a sort of self-suggestion that there has never been a problem or a traumatic experience. In such a case, the personality created by the individual will dominate his life.

The immediate symptoms of a split personality are considered quite revealing, but at the same time they are quite difficult to identify, as they are often hidden. Among the well-known manifestations can be identified: the loss of time, loss of skills, facts of the actions of the individual, which he himself does not remember, provided by other people.

Key symptoms of a split personality: auditory hallucinations, the phenomena of depersonalization and derealization, trans-like states, changes in self-awareness, awareness of other personalities, confusion in self-determination, memories of traumatic experiences experienced in the past.

Auditory hallucinations are a fairly common symptom of dissociative disorders. Often, an alter personality at the moment of feeling hallucinations really speaks, it is her voice that hears the self, which is in relationship with the external environment. Voices can also be a manifestation of such a disease as schizophrenia, a split personality is characterized by qualitatively other hallucinations.

Depersonalization is manifested in the feeling of detachment from one's own body, but at the same time the perception of the surrounding world is not disturbed.

Trans-like states are expressed in the temporary lack of response to external stimuli, the patient's gaze is directed "to nowhere."

A change in self-perception is a sudden state of an inexplicable change (transformation) in personal self-perception. An individual may feel that his body or thoughts belong to another person, bodily insensitivity arises, a violation of cognitive processes, abilities to perform daily skills. The change in self-perception is considered one of the essential dissociation criteria found on a diagnostic examination.

The awareness of other personalities can be manifested by his complete lack of such awareness, partial or full awareness of all the personalities that exist. The manifestation of this symptom is expressed as the possibility of activating another person or speaking on behalf of an alter person, to hear another person.

Confusion in self-determination or loss of orientation in self-determination is defined as a sense of ambiguity, embarrassment, or a contradiction in the orientation of one’s identity.

Psychotic symptoms can often be incorrectly recognized as schizophrenia. Although a split personality cannot be diagnosed by psychotic symptoms, it is not necessary to reduce their significance for diagnosis.

People with a split personality have a basic personality, responding to the name and surname given to individuals at birth, and an alter personality that alternately captures their consciousness. The ailments described are also subject to small personalities.

The splitting of the personality of children is facilitated by the circumstances related to the use of physical acts, violent nature, cruel treatment, abuse by adults, serious road traffic accidents, natural disasters, prolonged treatment and recovery periods or painful medical procedures. At the same time, they lack support and protection during such difficult periods.

The split of personal identity in children is characterized by:

- pereborchivosti tastes;

- a different style of conversation;

- mood swings;

- aggressive behavior with a "glass" look;

- self-talk (“we”);

- the inability to interpret their own actions;

- amnesia;

- voices in my head.

However, it should be borne in mind that enthusiasm for the gameplay or the presence of a fictional friend will not always be a symptom of a split identity. Such manifestations may be a variant of the norm. Moreover, in almost seventy percent of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dissociative disorders are also observed, due to susceptibility to stressful situations.

Treatment of split personality

Disease split personality need a complex effect with the use of drugs. Often the treatment of a split personality takes quite a long time. Often, people with a split personality are under medical supervision for almost a lifetime.

Of the medications often prescribed:

- drugs used for the treatment of schizophrenia - neuroleptics, for example, Haloperidol, in some cases, may appoint atypical antipsychotics, namely, Azaleptin;

- antidepressants, for example, Prozac;

- tranquilizers, for example, clonazepam.

Drug treatment should be prescribed with extreme caution, since patients with dissociative disorder have a much higher risk of addiction than patients with other diseases.

In this case, the drugs are selected individually. Before the appointment of any type of therapy, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive examination.

Diagnosis is carried out according to the following criteria:

- индивид обладает двумя различными личностями, каждая из которых характеризуется собственным отношением к любой ситуации и среде в целом;

- индивид не в состоянии вспомнить персональную важную информацию;

- the state of bifurcation is not provoked by the intake of alcoholic beverages, narcotic substances or other toxic substances.

In addition, it is important to exclude:

- tumor processes of the brain;

- post-traumatic stress disorder;

- herpes infection;

- schizophrenia;

- somatoform disorders;

- mental retardation;

- dementia;

- posttraumatic amnesia;

- epilepsy;

- delirium;

- amnestic syndrome;

- borderline personality disorder;

- bipolar disorder with frequent change of episodes;

- simulation.

The split personality syndrome requires timely treatment, since the sick subject will invariably accumulate psychological tension within himself, as a result of which he will give up his own "I", while he consistently experiences emotional stress. Nervous disorders, in turn, eventually become the cause of such illnesses as gastric ulcer, asthma, and many others. Another danger of the disorder described is the use of narcotic substances or excessive infatuation with alcoholic beverages.

Split personality identity provokes life crises, resulting in substantial obstacles to career advancement and can completely destroy future plans.

In addition to medication also used:

- electroconvulsive therapy;

- hypnosis and modern psychotherapy.

The fundamental role in the treatment of split personality syndrome belongs to the environment of the patient. Therefore, it is not recommended to talk or joke with him as with a sick person, as he is confident in his own mental health.
Psychotherapy should be dealt with by a doctor who specializes in this particular pathology and who has experience in the treatment of dissociative disorders, since today the disease split identity has not yet been sufficiently studied. In addition, experience in curing this pathology is especially necessary when the manifestations of the disease are expressed by problems in determining personal identity.

Psychotherapeutic treatment consists in removing from the consciousness of the individual the traumatic event that caused the disease.

Since clinical hypnosis is characterized by a connection with a dissociative state, as a result, it has established itself to be a rather effective method used as the so-called “blocking” of alternatives. In other words, with the help of hypnosis one can, as it were, close the created personalities.

Cognitive psychotherapy, psychodynamic and family psychotherapy can also be successfully applied.

Unfortunately, today there is no psychotherapeutic method of treatment that could cope with this pathology completely. Basically, all therapeutic methods can only weaken the clinical manifestations of this disease.

The main methods for the prevention of multiple identity include:

- in a timely appeal to specialists when the primary signs of the disease appear, even the most insignificant;

- systematic visits to the psychotherapist upon completion of the course of therapy;

- avoidance of stress;

- stopping the intake of alcoholic beverages, narcotic and medicinal drugs without medical prescription.