multiple personalities?

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ELI5
when someone has multiple personalities, how does the doctor know they’re not just faking it?

In: Other

I am not an expert here, so this is a laymen’s explanation:

Number one reason in my mind would be the social stigma against people with multiple personality disorders. I think it would be very very rare for someone to want to fool a doctor into thinking they have it. Also, most anti-psychotic meds have nasty side effects, especially if you don’t have the condition they’re meant to treat. If someone were to do this, it would probably be because of Münchausen syndrome, which is itself very rare.

Secondly, it would be hard to convincingly fake. Cases of Münchausen syndrome would usually have other signs present, like a history of extensive medical diagnoses or of lying about medical issues. Good psychologists and psychiatrists pick up on that sort of thing, and would think about all the other possibilities before diagnosing a multiple personality disorder.

There is a book called the DSM-5 which is the current diagnostic manual used by professional to diagnose mental illnesses (I’ve read parts of it, so I know what it is like). It has lists of diagnostic criteria, and to diagnose an illness, a patient must meet a certain number of them.

Additionally, these disorders cause a lot of problems and damage in people’s lives. To lie convincingly, a person would most likely have to damage things like their professional reputation, personal relationships, etc. That sort of thing isn’t done without a motivation, and I think that’s the main piece missing here.

Because they are experts and it’s really hard to fake a mental illness convincingly.

A person pretending isn’t usually gonna be

A. As knowledgeable as an expert on what mental illness they are faking

B. A professional actor

I think you’d need to have both A and B going for you, and if that’s the case, you’d probably have better prospects in your life than faking a mental illness

i have worked in a mental health hospital for many years and have not come across someone with multiple personality disorder. A person with anti social personality disorder is very common and can absolutely come across as a split personality. But from what i have seen in documentaries and at work, multiple personality disorder isn’t taken seriously. I could be wrong though.

Multiple personality disorder doesnt exist in pshyciatry. There are diagnosis with dissociative symptoms where the person has a warped sense of time or feels outside of the body or loses awareness completly of what is happening. This does not mean that the person in that time is “taken over” by another distinct fully formed other personality from inside the pshyce.

There is one mention of it way back in the seventies (read money grab, pop science paperback “sybill”) based on a single patient. That was discovered through the use of memory recovering hypno therapy , wich is another debunked psychological idea.

Its resurgence back in the mainstream seems through tumbler users in the 2010’s liking things so hard , they claimed it became an intrinsic part of their identity. I find it absolutly fascinating how this “did” idea carried over allmost 40 years untouched for it to explode into allmost a whole generation believing it exists as such.

oooh interesting. i remember hearing about sybil at one time. ill definitely read up on that. thank you!