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Psychology Paper (DID) Final

Psychology Paper (DID) Final - Mehmet Dervisogullari Dr...

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Mehmet Dervisogullari Dr. Boucher PSY 115F April 22, 2007 Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Imagine what it would be like to live with multiple personalities each with its own thoughts, memories, actions and experiences. How about sharing a body with two or more identities and not being able to remember important and personal information about oneself. This phenomenon is known as dissociative identity disorder (DID), and in studies of the general population, it has been diagnosed in one to three percent of people (Waller and Ross 1997). One of the most well known example of DID is the movie “Sybil” by Sally Field, which is based on the true story of a young woman whose childhood abuse led to the development of sixteen personalities. Another similar movie has recently came out in my country called “The women of Beyza”, telling about the three different personalities of Beyza which were appeared after three different traumatic experiences she experienced in childhood. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID is a disorder in which a person is living with more than one identity in the same body. Each identity is unique and separate from the others, having its own personality, memories and thoughts. Frequency of the disorder among the world is not exactly known. However, the estimated prevalence of DID in the US population is between 250,000 and 2,500,000 and four-fifths of all cases are diagnosed in women (Sar et al. 2006). Due to misdiagnosis and the lack of training of therapists to properly address the disorder, the average person can spend between five to twelve years in the mental health system before being correctly diagnosed with DID (Foote et al. 2006). Additionally, DID is not a disorder particular to 20 th century world, there is evidence in history that such cases existed in older times
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too. The psychological term “dissociation” refers to the disconnection or lack of integration between the normally integrated functions of memory, identity, or conciousness (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). The capacity to dissociate is normally distributed in the population. Traumatized individuals may utilize whatever dissociative ability they possess to defend against otherwise unbearable experiences (Krakauer, 2001, p 2). DID, the most severe manifestation of dissociative pathology, is a complex post-traumatic condition that can develop when a highly dissociative child is traumatized, most commonly before the age of 5 (Loewenstein, 1994), and almost by 9 or 10. “The greater the severity, chronicity, and emotional complexity of the trauma, the more complex the DID condition tends to be. These two factors, the innate capacity to dissociate and the experience of childhood trauma, are the two fundamental etiological factors in DID” (Krakauer, 2001, p 2).
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