Understanding Multiple Personality Disorder
Drug use has a negative impact on all individuals, especially those who suffer from multiple personality disorder. MPD, which is also known as dissociative identity disorder, occurs when an individual has two or more personalities or identities. There can be many causes for this disorder, such as a history of emotional, sexual or physical abuse. An individual with this disorder will have, on average, two to four personalities at one time. However, 13 to 15 different personalities can surface during treatment.
Individuals with MPD have a disconnection in their mental processes that causes a misinterpretation of thoughts, feelings, memory and identity. An individual will dissociate himself with an occurrence that had a negative impact on his life, which may have happened in childhood. This is a coping mechanism that helps the affected person separate himself from previously experienced negative trauma. The incidents that occurred in the past are usually extremely intense, and are what sparks the disorder. There’s also evidence that links environmental triggers to the incidence of an individual shifting personalities.
A person with MPD usually has a variation in memory, which can cause personalities to differ in gender, race and age. The personalities within an individual may cause him to talk differently and have specific postures and behaviors. Certain symptoms can accompany MPD, such as the following:
• Mood swings
• Suicidal thoughts
• Night terrors
• Sleep walking
• Panic attacks
• Auditory and visual hallucinations
Other symptoms that can surface in an individual with MPD can include an altered perception of time, headaches and out of body experiences. Some individuals with multiple personality disorder report having out of body experiences, which are likened to being a passenger without any control. The disorder can also cause an individual to act outside of his normal behavior.
There’s a misconception that MPD is the same as schizophrenia, which isn’t true. Individuals with schizophrenia don’t have multiple personalities, but there are similarities in symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts.
How Drug Use Affects Multiple Personality Disorder
Drug use in individuals who have MPD can be a dangerous mix. When such individuals resort to drug use, the symptoms that accompany the disorder can be amplified. Unfortunately, individuals with a personality disorder will often turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with the problems that coincide with the disorder. When an individual with multiple personality disorder turns to drugs, it can create new and dangerous problems for the individual and those around him. There’s also an increased risk for overdose in an individual who has MPD.
Although those with MPD may feel that alcohol and drugs are an ideal way to cope and numb the pain from past experiences, it’ll only make the symptoms worse. Increased thoughts of suicide and violent behavior may result in individuals who have multiple personality disorder and engage in drug and/or alcohol use. These people may also start to isolate themselves from friends and family, which is why it’s vital to seek help for those with MPD and addiction problems. Alcohol can be dangerous because it can amplify depression. Although drugs may temporarily numb the pain, an individual can have increased cravings because he experiences a heightened feeling of depression when the drugs wear off.
Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders
Treating individuals with co-occurring disorders should be carefully approached to ensure the best chance for recovery. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that disorders such as MPD are present in one in five individuals living within the United States. Among these individuals, an estimated 7 million have an addiction problem with drugs or alcohol.
When mental health treatment and addiction treatment are integrated, there’s a greater chance of an individual recovering from addiction. Not only do co-occurring treatments help those with addiction, they can also be effective in treating symptoms that accompany MPD, such as depression and isolation from friends and family.
It’s vital that the team of professionals treating the individual are trained to address dual disorders. There are several treatment options for an individual with a co-occurring disorder, some of which include the following:
• Outpatient treatment can be a suitable option for those who don’t need around-the-clock supervision and need to maintain work or school schedules.
• Individual therapy programs are ideal for those with a dual diagnosis. Healthcare professionals can help individuals become motivated and develop ways to think in a positive manner.
• Group therapy can also be helpful for those suffering with MPD and addiction. Support groups show individuals that they’re not alone while allowing them to share their experiences and learn from others.
There’s also educational and support counseling for families of individuals who suffer from addiction and MPD. Educational and support counseling is a great way to inform families on how to deal with a loved one who suffers from these afflictions.
It’s important that an individual receives continued support after a rehabilitation program is complete, which will increase the chance the individual continues to lead a healthy and happy life. Numerous rehabilitation programs exist that offer continuous care after treatment is completed and provide support to help prevent relapse.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction and MPD, it’s crucial to seek help.
Take the necessary steps leading to a happy life without drugs or alcohol by calling our hotline today at 800-447-9081 FREE.
We’re here to help.