Teen Multiple Personality Disorder / Teen Dissociative Identity Disorder
Those suffering from Teen Multiple Personality Disorder (also known as teen dissociative identity disorder ) is a dissociative condition where they have two different personality states, or identities, which control the person’s behavior at different times. These alternate identities are referred to as “alters” and may exhibit differences in thoughts, manners, speech, and gender identity.
What It Looks Like
When teens are under the control of one identity, they think and behave in ways that are independent from – and often contrary to – their “normal” behaviors. Understandably, this often causes teens an extreme sense of confusion and sense of helplessness, as they can’t control the behavior of their alters. This contributes to teens feeling like they have lost control over their lives, and furthermore, who they are. This combination of symptoms often causes teens to feel detached from their own lives, experiences, and the world around them.
Another common symptom in teens with Multiple Personality Disorder is severe memory loss, including personal information such as their name, phone number, and address. This memory loss can create a sense of time loss, as large gaps of time seem unaccounted for. This is because people often don’t remember the events that took place when under the control of another alter.
Finally, it’s extremely common for teens to have Multiple Personality Disorder as a Co-Occurring disorder, along with such illnesses as Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, and Eating Disorders. Behaviors of self-mutilations are also somewhat common among those with the disorder. Sometimes the co-occurring disorders and overlapping symptoms make it difficult to recognize that multiple personalities are present, which is why teens experience symptoms for years, before being diagnosed.
Teen treatment for Teen Dissociative Identity Disorder, or Multiple Personality Disorder, often involves several different approaches. Because the disorder commonly exists along with other disorders, therapists will design treatment in order to address a teen’s symptoms accordingly.
The treatment goal is essentially for the therapist to discover and address as many of the different personalities as possible, in an effort to then help unite them all into a single identity. The therapist may use different techniques in order to work with different personalities, and will especially try to focus on those that may have dangerous or self-destructive behaviors. In a sense, therapists treat those personalities just as they would individual people, trying to help empower them toward recovery. There’s also special attention given to alters who may have experienced some sort of trauma, such as sexual abuse. As each individual personality can become more “healthy” in and of itself, there’s a better chance at a united identity in the teen.
While there is no medication specifically designed for the treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder, sometimes medications will be given for symptoms of Depression and Anxiety. Because Depression especially can be so intense in those with the disorder, often medication can help provide relief from these symptoms.
What causes Multiple Personality Disorder?
The cause of Teen Multiple Personality Disorder is often debated among mental health care professionals and there exist a number of theories on the issue. However, one of the most commonly respected and overreaching thoughts is that it stems from severe sexual trauma or loss during childhood. It’s thought that this trauma leads children to dissociate as a means of coping, or in other words, to identify themselves as being in a different, and more healthy, situation, rather the one they’re experiencing. This behavior, over time, leads to the “splitting off” of different personalities.