Behind Closed Doors The Correlation Between Multiple

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Behind Closed Doors: The Correlation Between Multiple Personality Disorder AndChild Abuse Essay, Research Paper Behind Closed Doors: The Correlation Between Multiple Personality Disorder and Child Abuse “Each day that we pretended, we replaced reality with lies, or dreams, or angry schemes, in search of dignity? until our lies got bigger than the truth, and we had no one real to be” From “For Children Who Were Broken” by Elia Wise Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Throughout history the idea of not being just us has intrigued everyone from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. But imagine having no control over who you are. Imagine having 30 people inside of you, and every one of them wanting to be in control. This is the case with Multiple Personality Disorder, and it

effects thousands of people in the United States alone. But why does MPD fascinate us? It has often been found quite interesting. Movies, books, and even talk shows have been made trying to show the harsh reality of the disorder, but how seriously are we expected to take Truddi Chase and the “Troops” when they are on The Oprah Show? How worried are we for Sybil when we remember Sally Field as Gidget? As grim as this disorder is we often don’t realize the severity unless we hear it from “the voices.” Using the psychoanalytical approach, I will show how past abusive experiences have driven some to MPD. Citing case studies from such books as When Rabbit Howls, The Truddi Chase Story, Sybil, and Jennifer and Herselves the correlation between MPD and abuse will be made.

There are more similarities to these examples than just MPD, all were driven to MPD due to excessive physical, ual, or emotional abuse from a parental figure. Also, each of these studies show the cause and effects this disorder has on . Most MPD sufferers are , in fact female MPD sufferers outnumber men by a ratio of nine to one (Hales, 1993). This may be true because will keep their feelings of hostility toward others to themselves, whereas men would be more likely to lash out in random acts of . For instance, Anna doesn’t want to believe that she is getting beaten, so she believes if she becomes someone else, it is not really her that is taking the abuse. However, it is only a matter of time before the abuse increases or takes another form. The effect compounds, one more

personality develops, and so on until “the voices” have consumed Anna and left her broken, with every facet of her personality now being an independent mind. With statistics showing that some form of abuse happens to as many as one out of every four s (Hales , 1993) it is almost impossible not to understand why so many are affected by MPD. Not every form of abuse causes as dramatic of results as MPD. Children who survive less personal traumas, such as concentration camps, are far less likely to develop the disorder than someone who is suffering at the hands of a loved one. Since 1970, the reported rate of growth in multiples and incest cases has been parallel. Almost as if when the bond breaks, the personality shatters. The alter personalities create a safe haven where the

pain cannot reach. Each personality is specially equipped to deal with a specific type of crisis, depending on whatever was happening when they came into existence. The make-up of most multiples is usually the same. Each body generally consists of the same people. There is a small child, who was born when the abuse started. A flirtatious side who exhibits the repressed ual feelings. A male, who is either protector or abuser. A strong female, who doesn’t need anyone, and assorted other personalities. But are the personalities just personalities? Not in their mind. Multiples believe that they are all different people, they just happen to be sharing the same body, they can be brothers, sisters, or just close friends. As strange as it sounds, this statement may have some bearing.