multiple personality


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

personality

 [per″sŭ-nal´ĭ-te]
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.
The diagnostic literature shows the definition of multiple personality as evolving significantly over the editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The counter-claim is that multiple personality is a construction of problems in childhood and their consequences in adulthood.
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.
Yet after this cursory treat-ment of schizophrenia (mood disorders only get a page), over twelve pages are devoted to multiple personality disorder.
The first section traces the rise of multiple personality over the past few decades.
For instance, multiple personality patients feel as if they inhabit separate selves, often act impulsively and self-destructively, and cannot form stable relationships; drug abusers reort entering a separate drug or alcohol identify, undergo extreme mood shifts, and maintain a suspicious, withdrawn stance toward others; and bulimic women report distorted body images, binge-eat and purge, and avoid sexual relations.
In one of only a handful of articles on multiple personality published in philosophical journals since 1940, Kathleen V.
Robin maintained that even if the story temporarily disrupted her routine, the hassle would be worth it because multiple personality disorder is widely misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed.
Not everyone develops multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, but Nathan's suggestion that most incidents of childhood sexual abuse are the result of false memories or unscrupulous therapists further traumatizes those who have already suffered enough.
Author Debbie Nathan has reportedly discovered the letters of the three women, all dead, who formulated the concept of multiple personality, which later become an officially recognised psychiatric diagnosis.

Full browser ?