A fairly rare and misunderstood medical condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), has become the subject of renewed public interest with the recent release of screen writer and director M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller movie „Split“.
The big screen movie features actor James McAvoy who has twenty-three personalities. Without delving into the storyline of this film, the main actor plays a homicidal mental patient with a grossly exaggerated case of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Of course, in keeping with M. Night Shyamalan’s writing style, this what gives the movie its audience appeal.
M. Night Shyamalan states he has always had a fascination with Dissociative Identity Disorder. He claims to have done extensive background research on DID for „Split“. In an interview with @entertainment.ie, Mr. Shyamalan said he referenced a famous case called „The Minds of Billy Milligan“ in researching material on DID for the movie.
Aside from the fact the main character is not representative of the kind of behavior displayed by people who have multiple personalities, the woman who plays James McAvoy’s psychologist makes some interesting statements about the metaphysical nature of this mysterious condition.
Actress Betty Buckley plays Dr. Fletcher, James McAvoy’s therapist in the movie. Dr. Fletcher makes some interesting comments regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder. At one point during the film there is a scene where Dr. Fletcher was discussing the unusual nature of DID during a panel conference on mood disorders. She talks about unique characteristics and behaviors displayed by specific personalities in people with genuine cases of DID, including physiological changes in the person’s body.
Dr. Fletcher: „The human brain is the most complex object in the universe.
Dr. Fletcher: „An individual with multiple personalities can change their body chemistry with their thoughts“.
Dr. Clerque: „What will happen when he unlocks the potential of his brain?“
Dr. Fletcher: „There is no limit to what he can become.“
In a certain way, these peculiar character traits are strangely reminiscent of people with organ transplants who display specific behaviors of the deceased person who donated them. This is a phenomenon called cellular memory.
Dr. Fletcher poses an intriguing question about people with multiple personalities being „ultimate doorway to all things unknown?“ Which leads to this question… Is Dissociative Identity Disorder a medical illness or a strange spiritual condition?
Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition in which an individual appears to host two or more distinct personalities. These unique personalities can possess and control the host body for a period of time. The individual’s familiar personality seems to disappear and be replaced by an alternate personality, also called an „alter“. It is not known whether a person is born with these extra personalities or they appear after a certain life event triggers them to emerge.
The psychiatric community and medical professionals are still unclear about the nature of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The common professional opinion on this phenomenon is that alters are manufactured or invented by the minds of people who have suffered traumatic experiences, meaning alternate personalities are not independent sovereign beings in their own right. Alters are considered to be manufactured by the mind of the individual for psychological defense reasons.
Some professionals state that many people who claim to have multiple personalities do not have a genuine case of DID, particularly when they lack dissociation (loss of time & memory). This means people with multiple personalities have an unconscious psychological or emotional purpose in creating their alternate personalities.
The presence of dissociation seems to be the defining element in true cases of Multiple Personality Disorder. Dissociation is a kind of „altered state“ where an individual’s familiar personality „disappears“ for a period of time. A true DID patient is said to have little awareness or knowledge of what takes place at these times.
What is the nature of these alternate personalities in true cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder? Are alters, in fact, inventions of the mind? Or could it be that they represent an unexplainable mystery medical science is presently unable to decipher?
One can conclude from the literature currently available on DID that the medical community is at a stalemate when it comes to agreeing on the cause of this rare condition. Critics of research studies on DID make frequent reference to the inadequate methods used and the presumptive conclusions derived from these studies. It seems that the results obtained from medical studies leave much to be desired. Studies using modern technology such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have also come up short in determining a definite biological cause for this condition.
The most widely accepted explanation for the emergence of DID in individuals is psychological trauma, typically due to physical and/or sexual abuse in the formative years. Indeed, individuals with multiple personalities often have a history of early childhood trauma. However, this theory has not been substantiated as the sole cause of multiple personalities. There appear to be variants of this condition where multiple personalities or consciousnesses are present in the same body and sometimes competing for dominance without dissociation.
This raises a question about the major difference between a person diagnosed with psychiatric conditions such as Dissociative Identity Disorder versus a recognized medium or channeler who receives spirit communications from otherworldly beings? Perhaps the significant difference lies in the individual’s capacity, comfort level, and willingness to manage the spiritual communications. A good resource book on this subject is Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources by Jon Klimo.
There are several promising treatments available to assist a person struggling with Dissociative Identity Disorder and Multiple Personality Disorder (without the dissociative feature). The most common and successful DID treatment models involve therapeutic counselling.
Many psychotherapists have found that they can „integrate“ multiple personalities. In reality, it’s unlikely that two or more distinct alters can form an entirely new unified personality. Alters will often compete for dominance over the host body. In some cases, competing alters may learn to relate well in order to establish normal life functioning. However, alters rarely assimilate into a single personality, even when this appears to be the case.
Psychotherapists try to work with alters individually to create a sense of order in how they operate. The intention of this therapeutic technique is to get multiple personalities to cooperate with one another and organize their activities. This usually involves an education component for those who hold close relationships with the patient.
Another therapeutic technique involves strengthening the original personality in the patient. This technique could also focus on strengthening the „primary“ and strongest alter to make it emotionally balanced and stable enough to weather through the personality changes that take place.
Psychiatric medications have not been shown to be overly effective in alleviating this condition. However, some medications can be useful in treating symptoms associated with DID such as depression and anxiety.
Metaphysicians offer a very different explanation for the manifestation of multiple personalities which lies outside the confines of the traditional psychological theories supported by mental health professionals.
In spiritual circles, DID is thought to have its origin in both the etheric realm and the physical world. Many metaphysicians believe most authentic incidences of Dissociative Identity Disorder are due to various forms of „spirit possession“.
Dissociative Identity Disorder seems to manifest in people who are in an emotionally vulnerable and weakened state. In situations where an individual has experienced childhood trauma, spirits may be able to step into the person’s body. However, it’s understood with spirit possession that entities have a selective process in choosing their human hosts. These are predatory spirits. They are opportunistic creatures. They look for the just right situation. If this were not true, hundreds of thousands of people would fill our mental health hospitals with this condition. Spirits choose their hosts based on an unknown quality. There is something about the person that makes them the perfect mark. Perhaps that’s the key to preventing this difficult situation from occurring.
Why would a disembodied spirit want to enter an occupied body? One reason is that some spirits are anxious to re-enter the physical world.
It’s been claimed in reports by astral travelers that the process of reincarnation is not instantaneous. There can be a long waiting cycle in-between lives depending on the spirit’s pre-life ambitions for their next incarnation.
Reincarnation is said to be a complicated matter by spiritual authors who have made an extensive study of it. It’s not enough to have a desire to be reborn. It appears specific rules must be followed and agreements are made in order to reincarnate. There are pre-requisites to be met, such as attending pre-life classes and meetings with teacher guides. It’s likely that many spirits lack the patience needed to complete these required steps.
One of the most famous books on this topic is the „Journeys Out of the Body“ series by Robert Monroe.
„Demonic“ possession is another kind of multiple personality condition that has received a lot of attention from sensational Hollywood horror filmmakers with movies like „Exorcist“.
Much like human spirit possession, „demonic“ or nonhuman parasitic entities are able to take control of a body occupied by a human spirit. When it happens, these troublesome creatures can make quite a spectacle of themselves. Fortunately, dramatic cases of demonic possession are fairly rare in the world.
That’s not to say that less aggressive and subtle „demonic“ possessions are uncommon in the world.
Parasitic entities are attracted to the human aura the way ticks and fleas attach themselves to domestic animals. In many cases, they may only exacerbate a biological or psychological condition already present in the host such as major depression. There are numerous treatments and psychic self-defense techniques to counteract these spirit attacks. There are many books and articles on psychic protection available on the World Wide Web.
In demonic possession, malicious nonhuman spirits seek to drain the life force from their vulnerable hosts. These types of entities feed on negative emotions such as anger, hatred, and grief. They are attracted to humans who resonate at a lower vibration. The best way to remove these entities is raise one’s vibrations by bringing in positive energy. This tactic cuts off their food source and makes the host body uninhabitable for these parasitic entities. The host also needs to make a firm statement of authority over their body and demand the intrusive spirit leave immediately.
It’s important to realize that (for the most part) we are unable to perceive the hidden world of spiritual beings that exists all around us. Parasitic and predatory entities are much like bacteria and viruses which were once invisible to us until the invention of the microscope. We need to maintain a strong spiritual immune system by being vigilant to the presence of malicious entities.
Another kind of relatively unknown situation involving multiple personalities occurs when past-lives bleed into the present incarnation.
In metaphysics, it is understood that time is a concept of the human mind which does not exist in nonphysical realms. In most etheric realms, spiritual beings are able to easily perceive and visit past, present, and future lifetimes in their light bodies. This accounts for the numerous reports of ghost sightings in our world.
Occasionally, past-life personalities have been known to enter the body of their own incarnations. Past-lives do this for a variety reasons. Oftentimes, they wish to provide direct guidance to assist in the evolution of their master Over-Soul. There is also a chance that deceptive spirits or nonhuman spirits will pose as past-lives for own hidden agendas.
Metaphysicians recognize that humans are complex multidimensional beings existing on many levels of reality at one time. Dissociative Identity Disorder is multi-causal and multi-factorial, and as varied as people’s personalities!