multiple personality

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the characteristic way that a person thinks, feels, and behaves; the relatively stable and predictable part of a person's thought and behavior; it includes conscious attitudes, values, and styles as well as unconscious conflicts and defense mechanisms. Personality traits are simple features of normal and abnormal personalities. Personality types are categories applicable to both normal and abnormal personalities; usually they belong to a coherent typology, such as introvert/extrovert or oral/anal/phallic.
Early Life and Personality. The newborn comes into the world completely dependent on others for satisfying individual basic human needs. Feelings of security in a relationship with the mother, or an adequate substitute, is the cornerstone of mental health in later years.

As children develop, they need to learn and to meet the day-to-day problems of life, and to master them. In resolving these challenges, one chooses solutions from many possibilities. Psychologists have studied how these choices are made and use technical terms to describe them, such as repression and sublimation. The behavior patterns chosen result in certain character traits which will influence a child's way of meeting the world—whether the child will lead or follow, be conscientious or reckless, imitate his or her parents or prefer to be as different from them as possible, or take a realistic, flexible path between these extremes. The sum total of these traits represents the personality.
The Well-Adjusted Personality. A well-adjusted individual is one who adapts to surroundings. If adaptation is not possible, the individual makes realistic efforts to change the situation, using personal talents and abilities constructively and successfully. The well-adjusted person is realistic and able to face facts whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, and deals with them instead of merely worrying about them or denying them. Well-adjusted mature persons are independent. They form reasoned opinions and then act on them. They seek a reasonable amount of information and advice before making a decision, and once the decision is made, they are willing to face the consequences of it. They do not try to force others to make decisions for them. An ability to love others is typical of the well-adjusted individual. In addition, the mature well adjusted person is also able to enjoy receiving love and affection and can accept a reasonable dependence on others.
alternating personality multiple personality disorder.
cyclothymic personality a temperament characterized by rapid, frequent swings between sad and cheerful moods; see also cyclothymic disorder.
personality disorders a group of mental disorders characterized by enduring, inflexible, and maladaptive personality traits that deviate markedly from cultural expectations, pervade a broad range of situations, and are either a source of subjective distress or a cause of significant impairment in social, occupational, or other functioning. In general, they are difficult both to diagnose and to treat.

Although individuals with a personality disorder can function in day-to-day life, they are hampered both emotionally and psychologically by the maladaptive nature of their disorder, and their chances of forming good relationships and fulfilling their potentialities are poor. In spite of their problems, these patients refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong and insist that it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Very often their behavior is extremely annoying to those around them.

Personality disorders result from unresolved conflicts, often dating back to childhood. To alleviate the anxiety and depression that accompany these conflicts, the ego uses defense mechanisms. Although defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves, they become maladaptive in individuals with personality disorders.

The category includes: antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. Distinguishing one disorder from another can be difficult because the various traits can occur in more than one disorder. For example, patients with borderline personality disorder and those with narcissistic personality disorder both may have a tendency to angry outbursts and may be hindered in forming interpersonal relationships because they often exploit, idealize, or devalue others. The symptoms of a personality disorder may also occur as features of another mental disorder. More than one personality disorder can exist in the same person.

Because patients refuse to admit that there is anything wrong, personality disorders are more difficult to treat than other mental disorders. However, a great deal can be done in many cases, if the therapist can break through a patient's defense mechanisms and help the patient resolve the underlying conflict.
double personality (dual personality) dissociative identity disorder.
hysterical personality former name for histrionic personality disorder.
multiple personality a dissociative disorder in which an individual adopts two or more personalities alternately. See multiple personality disorder.
split personality an obsolete term formerly used colloquially to refer to either schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder.

dissociative identity disorder

1. a disorder in which two or more distinct conscious personalities alternately prevail in the same person, sometimes without any one personality being aware of the other(s).
2. a DSM diagnosis that is established when the specified criteria are met.

mul·ti·ple per·son·al·i·ty

(mŭl'ti-pĕl pĕr-son-al'i-tē)
A dissociative disorder in which two or more distinct conscious personalities alternately prevail in the same person, without any personality being aware of the others.
See: dissociative identity disorder

multiple personality

A rare psychiatric dissociative disorder in which a person appears to have two or more distinct and often contrasting personalities at different times, with corresponding differences in behaviour, attitude and outlook. This condition is quite distinct from SCHIZOPHRENIA.
References in periodicals archive ?
The diagnostic literature shows the definition of multiple personality as changing markedly over the editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Bowers, Brecher-Marer, Newton, Piotrowski, Spyer, Taylor, and Watkins (1971) argued that a sense of self-contempt and self-alienation leads to the development of multiple personality.
1992) 'Multiple Personality Disorder: An Overview', paper presented at 1st Australian Association of Multiple Personality & Dissociation Conference, A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective on Satanic Ritual Abuse, Melbourne.
His topics include empirical discernibility and fission, the various senses of personal identity, Morton Prince's seminal case study The Dissociation of a Personality, the coexistence thesis, the criterion of individuation, and multiple personality in literary discourses.
An affirmative answer to both questions is suggested by the "back stories" of two classic films about multiple personality disorder: "The Three Faces of Eve" (1957) and "Sybil" (1976).
A sufferer of what is known as Multiple Personality Disorder, or Dissociative Identity Disorder, Alice, the former student at Liverpool University, jumps between personas.
The ITV funnyman is making a pilot show called Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder with the help of sidekicks including Alan Partridge actress Rebecca Front who also played Cath in Nighty Night.
Many have suggested that Gollum suffered schizophrenia, while others say he had a multiple personality disorder because of his other incarnation as Smeagol.
In the same chapter where Satel casts doubt on the existence of multiple personality disorder, she uncritically accepts "borderline personality disorder," which she describes as "a condition marked by volatile relationships, poor impulse control and enormous swings in self-regard, from grandiosity to self-loathing.
Miss Selfridge, the pocket money pit stop for voguettes with more style than money, delivers up a serious case of Multiple Personality Disorder this season.
Bravo to MacDowell, too, who brings her own convincing shades of multiple personality traits to the most demanding of straight roles.
As he was sentenced in Tucson, Arizona, Moody - diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder - told the judge: "I hope you grant the appropriate sentence to allow me to complete my mission.

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