MPD / DID Quick Facts
From the National Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Multiple Personality
- Victims of multiple personality disorder (MPD) are persons who perceive themselves, or who are perceived by others, as having two or more distinct and complex personalities. The person's behavior is determined by the personality that is dominant at a given time.
- Multiple personality disorder is not always incapacitating. Some MPD victims maintain responsible positions, complete graduate degrees, and are successful spouses and parents prior to diagnosis and while in treatment.
- A MPD victim (a multiple) suffers from "lost time," amnesia or "black-out spells," which lead the victim to deny his/her behavior and to "forget" events and experiences. This may result in accusations of lying and manipulation and may cause severe confusion for the undiagnosed multiple.
- More than 75% of MPD victims report having personalities in their system who are under 12 years of age. Personalities of the opposite sex or with differing styles are also common. Personalities within a multiple system often hold conflicting values and behave in ways that are incompatible with one another.
- 97% of MPD victims report a history of childhood trauma, most commonly a combination of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
- Multiple personality disorder can be reduced or prevented by early diagnosis and treatment of traumatized children and by working to eliminate abusive environments.
- While usually not diagnosed until adulthood, 89% of MPD victims have been mis-diagnosed include: depression, borderline and sociopathic personality disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy and manic depressive illness.
- When they first enter treatment, most MPD victims are not aware of the existence of other personalities.
- MPD victims require treatment techniques which specifically address the unique aspects of the disorder. Standard psychiatric interventions used in the treatment of schizophrenia, depression and other disorders are ineffectual or harmful in the treatment of MPD.
- Appropriate treatment results in a significant improvement in the quality of life for the MPD victim. Improvements commonly include reduction or elimination of: confusion, feelings of fear and panic, self- destructive thoughts and behavior, internal conflicts and stressful periods of indecision.
- Multiple personality disorder has been recognized by physicians since the 17th century. While often confused with the relatively new diagnosis of schizophrenia throughout most of the 20th century, MPD is again being understood as a legitimate and discrete disorder.
Multiple personality disorder IS treatable!
next: Dissociation Self-Test
Last Updated: 25 September 2015
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD