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What is the Treatment for Multiple Personality Disorder?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most common treatment for multiple personality disorder is psychotherapy. Sometimes doctors may also use medications to help the individual cope with her emotional difficulties. The goal of the psychotherapy is to integrate the different personalities so that they can co-exist peacefully and eventually combine into one. There is also a focus on managing the patient's overall mental state by encouraging peaceful activities and teaching them to deal with stress.

When using psychotherapy as a treatment for multiple personality disorder, the psychiatrist will try to speak to each of the personalities separately and develop a comfortable relationship with all of them. He will typically want to ask personalities questions that can help get to the bottom of the root trauma causing the disorder. The idea is to help each personality work out its own issues, and eventually they can either fade into the background to some extent or reintegrate with the other personalities.

Most cases of multiple personality disorder are caused by some terrible childhood trauma. The person typically experiences some kind of horrible event, and as a result, part of their personality splits off. Discovering the nature of that event, and how each personality feels about it, is generally one of the most crucial parts of treatment for multiple personality disorder.

In the area of drug treatment for multiple personality disorder, doctors use things like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. People with multiple personality disorder are usually very emotionally troubled, and they often suffer from depression and other forms of mental illness. Some of them may even be schizophrenic, and in those cases, they might suffer from severe derangement at certain times.

Some doctors don’t believe that multiple personality disorder is a real mental illness. Many of these doctors think that the whole thing is just an act and that it may just be a representation of another mental disorder. Some people have used multiple personality disorder as a defense in criminal cases, claiming that the crime was committed by an alternate personality. These kinds of defenses have had mixed results, but they are part of the reason for some of the skepticism regarding the illness.

There are other symptoms associated with multiple personality disorder besides the presence of other personalities. People suffering from this disorder also feel a sense of disassociation from their bodies. They can sometimes experience life as though they are watching someone else do things and they aren’t actually in control. Many patients also report memory gaps, and sometimes these gaps can cover several years.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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