9 Symptoms of Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, is a severe mental health problem that is diagnosed when a person has two or more distinct personality states. In most instances, the person has suffered severe trauma that has directly altered the brain’s chemistry. However, some genetic links can also be to blame.

The symptoms of this condition are extensive, but they usually start with a person being unable to recall certain events. These memory lapses go beyond typical forgetfulness. The alternate states can be observed in a person’s behavior as they often switch back and forth. Each alter ego will have their way of talking, personality, and likes/dislikes.

It is very rare for a psychiatrist to see a genuine case of multiple personalities in their lifetime. If a person has this condition, they are likely to be diagnosed with issues like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, self-harm or substance abuse, before they are multiple personalities. There is still much mystery surrounding this condition. However, some symptoms of multiple personality disorder can lead a medical team to the right diagnosis.

1. Impulsivity

Those suffering from multiple personalities have problems with impulsivity. Since each alter egos takes on their own identity, one may be involved in risky behaviors, like stealing or having promiscuous sex. They cannot stop them from doing acts that have undesirable consequences. It is not uncommon to find a person with multiple personalities in trouble with the law or have other legal problems.

Many physicians believed that this condition is a multifactorial construct because there is not much forethought given to the action. Unfortunately, when a person who is not mentally ill acts impulsively, they are often seen as bold, courageous and free-spirited. Therefore, there must be two independent components to help this diagnosis. First, the person must act without any deliberation. Second, they must look at the short-term benefits of their actions rather than the long-term ones.