MPD Theory

or Multiple Personality Disorder Theory

By Tony Bondhus
The concept of Multiple Personality Disorder is an idea that is not readily accepted in the psychological world. Many psychologist and psychotherapist do not believe that there is such an illness as Multiple Personality Disorder. It is a common belief that some psychologists somehow brainwash their patients into believing that they have the illness.

The reality is, that yes, psychologists do often brainwash their patients into believing that they have this illness and many other illnesses. That however doesn't prove that MPD does not exist. It proves nothing. It only proves that there are some bad doctors out there. Not just psychologists, but regular doctors, dentist, and even eye doctors, will often do more harm than good. The patient needs to know for themselves what's right and wrong, not blindly trust the PhD.

If you have been told that you have MPD or DID, you need to understand the facts and determine for yourself whether you do or not, and try not to let emotions get in the way. It is really not as bad as it sounds. You can overcome it.

I forget what psychological theorist once said that we are all a product of our environment, but let me further clarify by saying that our mind's environment, is it's memories. Or more specifically, a personality is a product of it's memories. It would stand to reason that in order for you to have more than one personality, you have to have more than one set of memories. Let me clarify what I mean by more than one set of memories.

If I can take you into the world of mathematics for a bit, specifically into the study of number sets. Set A contains all integers (...,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5,...), Set B contains positive whole number (1,2,3,4,5,...), Set C contains only the numbers 2 and 3. Set A contains the entire contents of both sets B and C. Set B contains the contents of set C. Set C however does not contain everything that is in set A or B. This is a very simple example of set theory.

The image in figure 1, is a visual representation of four different sets. The sets shown here are not necessarily number sets, they can represent anything, even knowledge or experiences. As you can see, the purple area is the smallest of the four sets and gray circle is the largest (The green is not included). If the image was representing the memories that one person has, The gray circle contains all the memories.

Usually our minds have only one set of memories and therefore one personality, but not always. Sometimes an event is so unbearable that our mind blocks it from memory. If I could direct your attention to the little purple dot, it is located inside of the blue set. This little purple dot represents the unbearable event that I was referring to in the previous paragraph. As you can see, this unbearable event represented as the purple dot, is part of the blue set and part of gray set, but it is not part of yellow set.

Now that this unbearable event is blocked from the memory of the yellow set, this event doesn't have the usual effect on it's personality. It's almost like the memory is switched off. It no longer is part of our personality's environment, therefore doesn't affect our personality. The problem comes in when some memories get alternately switched on and off. Toggling from one group of memories to another. Like a computer who's memory banks are filled with one program, then cleared and filled with another program. The blue set and the yellow set in Figure 1 would represent the two different personalities or sets of information.

To illustrate this better let's create a hypothetical example. Starting with an event which is unbearable and blocked by our hypothetical mind. Now imagine we have another unbearable event. This forces our mind to remember the first event. Event one is now switched on making it affect our personality. Once again the memories are unbearable and therefore blocked from our original personality. This is the beginning stages of multiple personality disorder or MPD This is not yet what society would call MPD You could classify it as the mildest form. It is not yet at risk of developing further, so it really isn't a disorder yet.

Memories give a personality substance but it needs emotional strength or stamina to give it life. Our brains are just a piece of hardware, like your computer. The life is what is in it. It's survival of the fittest in our brain just like it is in nature. Only difference is that in our brain there usually isn't any other life to compete with. There is usually only one set of memories, and like a computer, an identical program produces an identical output.

A computer runs only one program at a time, multiple programs by sharing processor time. Constantly switching from one program to the other. A program needs only to request the processor's time and it gets it. And it keeps the processor until it's done or until some other program asks for it. Our brain is capable of operating billions of programs simultaneously. It has a slightly more complicated system for delegating it's use. You could say that when it comes to what program to run, our brain has a mind of it's own.

Stamina is what that makes the mind's hardware interested in pursuing the thought (personality) further. A personality will not be able to compete for consciousness until it has developed enough stamina, or emotional strength. Our alternate personality has just had to suffer through 2 events which were both so horrible that our primary personality couldn't bear them. Now our alternate personality is like an empty shell, it's will power is broken, it has no stamina.

Now let's introduce another horrible event giving our alternate personality another three hours of existence. Three hours to come to grips with what happened. It may modify it's beliefs or behavior, anything that will help it to make the pain go away. Our alternate personality is able to develop just enough stamina to maintain dream state for about two days.

What is dream state? It's where your brain is just mildly interested in the personality and it plays with it a little. Our minds go over the days events when we dream, it helps us develop our personalities, let's us determine what we did wrong and how to do better.

Our alternate is trying to figure out what it did wrong. It worked on it for about two days before finally giving up. Once it gives up it quickly slips out of dream state. These two days gave the alternate much more time to develop more stamina, also to develop farther away from the primary personality. Once again the mind is stable with just one personality. No MPD yet. To get MPD our alternate must maintain a permanent dream state. It must develop just a little bit more stamina. And one more horrible event would probably do it.

A personality in dream state has some control of the mind. It may on occasion gain consciousness, or alternately a conscious personality may choose to run from a horrible event by going back into dream state. This is what MPD is all about.

MPD Diagnosis:

Diagnosing MPD is not as easy as you might think. An alternate personality doesn't just come up and introduce itself as a separate personality. In fact it rarely knows that other personalities are present. Very few people would notice the loss of an hour or more everyday without pure chance. Having glanced at a clock slightly before and after the lost time. Even blacking out and waking up someplace else would go by quite unnoticed unless a person was expecting it. Keep in mind these symptoms creep up slowly.

Although not a perfect indication, loss of time, blacking out and waking someplace else, and memory lapses are fairly good indicators. I should point out that sleep walking, mind wandering, tiredness, drugs, dreams, dejavue and other things may also explain these symptoms. So you have to be careful not to misdiagnose MPD Also, as with any illness, being afraid might cause you to have psychosomatic symptoms (pretend symptoms).

Something has to cause MPD It is not spontaneous nor is it contagious. Drugs can create an hallucination which could be interpreted as reality, which could cause MPD Other than that drugs cannot create MPD Most people would overlook sex and love, but they are very emotionally complicated. What one person has no problem with could be the end of the world for another. Of all the emotions sex and love are the most powerful and therefore most likely to produce mental disorders.

Detecting MPD in a friend or relative is even more difficult. What the victim might see as a black out, someone else would only see a slight shift in mood. Memory lapses are very hard to spot unless you know where to look. Since people rarely actually take time to examine the people close to them, it is easy to see that MPD could slip by unnoticed for months, even years. Many people who suffer from MPD are from broken homes where it may never be noticed.

An alternate personality will usually appear to be very normal and there's a very good reason for this. An alternate personality is normal, it will act exactly like any other personality would act if it had the same memories. Some of the alternate personalities (not all) will have serious emotional pain affecting their personalities. Even these personalities will appear very normal, the reason, is that it is actually quite normal to have serious emotional pain. Almost all of us have a fairly serious level of emotional pain, sure we aren't in pain constantly but it does affect our personalities. In fact how we deal with pain is what determines what kind of personality we have.

Like any other personality an alternate personality dealing with intense emotional pain may be very caring and outgoing, it may be very inward, it may show absolutely no signs of pain or it may constantly hint about it. The intense emotional pain may sometimes cause the alternate personality to be very mischievous, it may just appear to be nice. Don't be so conceited to think you know the difference. If you went to college for the rest of your life you still wouldn't be able to tell the difference. These deceiving personalities are also quite common on people who don't have MPD and are considered perfectly normal (these people are sometimes referred to as sharks, snakes, wolves, or blood suckers, etc.).

MPD Treatment:

You should not be afraid of MPD It is the mind's natural response to a catastrophic event. Like any wound it can heal, however it will heal very slowly on it's own, much faster with a little help.

Basically it's as simple as this, point it in the right direction and let it heal itself. Like a fork in the road, it spreads further and further apart. For it to heal it has to be brought back together. What made it split apart in the first place was having independent memories. So what will bring it back together is sharing memories. If the personalities can be made to talk to each other, experience things together, they will come together. MPD will be completely healed. Any romantic will tell you how a couple grows closer when they share memories. It works even better in one body. The amount of time it takes for this to happen is dependent on how far apart they have become. A recent case will heal fast while one that's been around for many years may take years to heal.

It's important to note that none of the personalities die, they simply become one. As far as each personality is concerned, it's like being awake all the time. As if all other personalities died, but they haven't. They'll all there, just like you, thinking they are the only one left. You find yourself doing something that reminds you that a certain personality used to do that. Like being reminded of a long lost friend who left a special mark on your personality. Seeing his or her face when you close your eyes, except in this case it's your own face. And the special feeling you get when you realize that this friend will always be there with you.

I am not saying that MPD can not be cured suddenly out of the blue. It is possible for this to happen. It is also possible for it to appear to be cured, actually going dormant for several years and suddenly reappear. If it appears to be suddenly cured, I would advise the patient to learn to acceptance for anything that might be hidden in past memories. To gain emotional strength in areas that could've caused it.

The only way to be reasonably sure that it's not coming back, is to develop an ability to cope with any emotion stress that could've caused it. If the original personality didn't run away from a problem, the other personalities wouldn't have appeared in the first place.

Once the patient learns acceptance for the past, memory of those past events can no longer trigger MPD. Family members and friends need to learn to accept MPD as well, as even a completely normal person can develop mental problems if everyone around them treats them like they are some sort of freak. Treat them as if they never had it, and don't tell a soul about it, ever!

Basically, just learn to relax.

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