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Multiple Personalities

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posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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As my username suggests I am very interested in the subject of multiple personalities- unfortunately I'm not familiar with the subject. As far as I know multiple personalities usually occur when someone is abused in some form as a child and they create another personality who goes through these horrors instead of them. However today a strange question popped into my head:

Could someone consciously create a second personality?

I've heard of some experiments using hypnosis but I'm wondering if one person could create another personality by pure thought alone or self-hypnosis. It would probably require some sort of delusion but I'm curious whether abuse has to happen to create such an affliction. It would be dangerous to even try such a thing although I'm not quite sure how someone would go about it. Any thoughts? I hope this doesn't sound like some strange ramblings but I;m incredibly curious.

P.S Sorry if this is in the wrong section- I couldn't find anywhere that really fit.




posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 04:53 PM
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The CIA conducted some experiments under the auspices of Project Bluebird that hoped to create Multiple Personalities in subjects. Dr Louis West, a neurologist, conducted a number of experiments with CIA funding aimed as creating dissociative identities in subjects. He utilized a number of methods, including electro-convulsive therapies and hypnosis. Some were at least partially successful.

Female secretaries were hypnotized with an ‘alter’ and programmed with a ‘key’ that would bring that alter to the surface when they were contacted by a specified handler (who would be present during the hypnotic programming). The CIA saw this method as useful in information couriering (and probably assassinations? Squeaky Fromme anyone???).

Similar experiments on adult men were less successful and it was further found that the identities would break down and create pathological confusion in the subject.

These experiments though failed to create a full and independent personality that can be found in genuine cases of MPD. There is some evidence that the CIA progressed to Operation Monarch which using child subjects actually encouraged trauma to be inflicted to create MPD. This is rumour though and I have not been able to find anything concrete on it, though given the morality of the CIA I do not doubt the possibility.

In most cases though MPD cases are the result of prolonged trauma prior to puberty. This can be physical, emotional or sexual. Dr Dorothy Otnow Lewis has written some interesting papers on the subject and a book “Guilty by Reason of Insanity” which details a number of MPD suffers who she has examined in her work in the prison system.

I doubt whether you could induce MPD in yourself, you would after all be aware of the existence of the alter, which many sufferers do not tend to be. But cases like the “Three faces of Eve” and “Sybil” show that it is possible for the therapist to unwittingly or otherwise, exacerbate symptoms, whereby through suggestion other personalities are created in order to “please” the therapist on whom the subject may have developed a dependency.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 12:51 PM
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Excellent topic, but one question, just so I'm clear on what we are discussing here...Are you asking a question on Multiple Personality Disorder (what is commonly referred to as Dissociative Indentity Disorder), or are you talking about Schizophrenia? I only ask because people often times get the two confused with one another, and both are completely different disorders.

I will assume you are asking about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) by how your question was phrased, but please excuse me if you were alluding to Schizophrenia. On a side note, I will commonly refer to it as simply "DID" from here on out to save word length.

There has been some room for controversy of whether DID can be associated with any particular personality disorder as currently its care and treatment is done on a purely subjective nature. Whereas many personality disorders fall under the category of being objectively viewed, and that verifiable factors in mental and physical deterioration can be observed, DID remains opposite of that. Most cases that I know of are the direct consequence of childhood trauma (either mental or physical), a secondary mental illness, or possible undue stress on a patient that is either child or adult. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is a sort of "split" between the real and un-real in a patients personality that is characterized by hallucination, dementia, and paranoia. This is why I posed the earlier question of which you were referring to.

One thing to remember is that most psychiatrists do not believe that humans have one solid ego state, but rather we change our identity depending on the situation we find ourselves in. I have often thought of personality as a sort of natural defense mechanism in that we find ourselves in various situations throughout our lives, and adapt according to our experiences. In other words, someone may not naturally feel inclined to exhibit the characteristics of a socialite, but may be forced in certain situations to conform to that role in order to "fit in". The same thing happens in the brain of someone going through early childhood stress and abuse...the brain essentially "splits" into seperate entities to lessen the stress on the brain as a whole. One side will bear whatever trauma is forced upon it and the other side will compensate along opposite lines. So, when added stress or pressure is put upon the side that cannot cope with it a natural defense mechanism kicks in and switches the personality to the identity that has learned to cope.

Another thing to keep in mind is that their are no scientifically testable methods for verifying if someone has a mental disorder, because we have yet to find the exact triggers that cause the problems. In fact, we know very little about the brain, and hopefully with current advancements in science we will continue to gain a better understanding. This is not to say that the brain is a totally foreign object, but it is very hard to measure and quantify the organ itself. Most personality disorders including DID eventually fall into the realm of philosophy, and even though there is incredible evidence to suggest that they do in exist, it has yet to be proven.

There are some known cases of DID that cannot be explained by convential means in that there was apparently no trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. in the patient exhibiting signs of DID. Barring the cases of experimental DID as mentioned by KilgoreTrout, I am unaware of any successful attempts to induce a patient with DID like symptoms. However, I do believe that should a participant in such an experiment be put under the same conditions as they would in early childhood, when the brain is still adapting to it's surroundings, it could be possible to cause enough mental stress to induce DID. Having said that, I believe any undue stress on a subject would not only be unethical, but unprofessional in any form.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Jazzerman
However, I do believe that should a participant in such an experiment be put under the same conditions as they would in early childhood, when the brain is still adapting to it's surroundings, it could be possible to cause enough mental stress to induce DID. Having said that, I believe any undue stress on a subject would not only be unethical, but unprofessional in any form.


Excellent post Jazzerman, suitably impressed.

I agree wholeheartedly that to attempt to replicate DID in a subject would be unethical. What is apparent from the CIA studies is that the attempt was made to create these symptoms in otherwise normal adults (ie no history of abuse) and showed a resonable amount of success. Though they were unable to create a Dissociative Identity, they were able to create a dissociative state that could be manipulated independantly from the 'original' personality. This to me is fascinating. It also has a number of nefarious uses.

You are obviously knowledgable about the subject, so though I may be straying away from the OP I would be interested in how you compare the processes of Dissociative (excuse the spelling - this is why I went with MPD - I can spell that??!!) Identity Disorders with the more conscious ability to compartmentalise events which is similarly dissociative.

Similar mechanism, used for coping and very common in violent offenders with a variety of personality disorders. The key difference is awareness of the state, but from my reading I can also see comparisons with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (ie compartmentalism can occur in both offender and victim) so it is not necessarily a conscious decision.

I wonder whether DID is a form of PTSD where the brain is still in formation and can "break away" into seperate, independent identities. I'd be interested in your opinion on this.

Have read that back and not sure if it makes sense, I'll give it a go though.

All the best



posted on Jul, 6 2007 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by KilgoreTrout
...I would be interested in how you compare the processes of Dissociative (excuse the spelling - this is why I went with MPD - I can spell that??!!) Identity Disorders with the more conscious ability to compartmentalise events which is similarly dissociative.

Similar mechanism, used for coping and very common in violent offenders with a variety of personality disorders. The key difference is awareness of the state, but from my reading I can also see comparisons with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder...


I apologize for not getting back to this issue sooner, I've been busy in another thread. To answer your question I agree that the process the brain seems to go through with DID is very similar to other conditions that typically force the subject to compartmentalize events...similarities can be drawn. I tend to go with the line of thinking that certain events forced upon a person can change their personality greatly, but depending on their amount of resistance to the situation they might be able to do it under a conscious mind. That is to say, I believe we all do such a thing with traumatic events that happen in our lives and we consciously compartmentalize them to deal with them as that area of our mind dictates. Nevertheless, I also believe that people with DID experience the same thing but that the difference is a pre-existing condition that exemplifies the matter in a way that is not found in an otherwise stable mind. Most research on this is subjective at the current time, which makes it extremely difficult to diagnose mental conditions as pre-existing or "on the spot" reactions to stimuli.



posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 01:25 PM
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Thanks jazzerman

As you point out the problem in assessing these behaviours or modifications, is that they are subjective and based on the individual.

I am particularly interested in whether those who repeatedly commit 'murder' willfully compartmentalise or whether it is a subconscious mechanism.

I have at various times studied serial killers, 'hit men' and state executioners and have wondered at the shared characteristics.

Obviously the latter group has the law on its side, but similarly hit men tend to be held in high esteem, to an extent, by their peers so can be seen as similarly validated. Both groups are able to talk about their actions which can have cathartic benefits. The serial killer can seldom do so, the compartmentalism therefore becomes a survival mechanism, as opposed to a tool for coping. Ted Bundy is a prime example and to the extent that he was only able to relate his crimes in the third person (the Green River Killer did this too) as he had seperated his 'normal' self from the 'hunchback' (his description not mine).

In terms of hit men, the Ice Man, Kuklinski, is fascinating. He kept his professional life completely secret from his family and describes switching that side of himself off when he went home. This appears to have exacerbated his violent tendencies and the longer he continued the more brutal he became in carrying out his 'work'.

What is also interesting is how the use of drugs and alcohol differs between the groups. While the serial killer will use it to lower inhibitions prior to killing, the professional killers will use it to help remove the immediate memory. They take their work seriously and prefer to be in control, where as the serial killer wishes to lose control...maybe...I don't entirely know. Very much a lay-man, but find the subject very interesting....

With DID it seems that the mechanism is more extreme because the 'trauma' occurs in children whose brains have not fully formed and are not able to control their emotional reactions. The child's brain seems uniquely capable of total compartmentalism.

In terms of the other three groups, I suppose it would depend on whether their 'career' was choice or necessity. If you have an in-built ability to compartmentalise, due to development, or whether you develop the mechanism to survive in that environment.....



posted on Jul, 12 2007 @ 01:47 PM
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Sounds like we have similar interests KilgoreTrout. I too am extremely interested in event compartmentalization with serial killers and comparing their development of this with those who do it for a living. One case that has always facinated me is Donald Gaskins who once said that he had a , "special mind" that would allow him to kill without remorse. In a case such as Gaskins we have an extreme form of DID and Schizophrenia, but the methods behind him developing a mind like this are essentially the same as anyone. However, it appears that individuals like him are completely able to disassociate themselves with their perceived ego states and form what can only be described as an alternate reality. Gaskins took great pride in his killings, but did show remorse at certain times. To me this indicates that there are two seperate mind states working with each other, and like you pointed out with Kuklinski, there appears to be a greater division between them and the ability to even recognize that ones own mind can perceive the other mind state. One interesting thing that can be drawn from this is...can someone be aware that they have two seperate egos?

In most documented cases of DID or other such mental illness that I am aware of it appears that the patients are not able to describe themselves out of their own current state. If they are not able to associate themselves with having two seperate personalities in these cases then I have to wonder if Serial Killers that ARE able to describe the seperate states in their own words, or if they are playing the "mental illness card".



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by Jazzerman
I too am extremely interested in event compartmentalization with serial killers and comparing their development of this with those who do it for a living.

Where have you been all my life?!! Most people blanch at my book shelves and check the nearest exit.

Donald Gaskins is a fascinating case I agree. The brutality and neglect that he experienced practically from birth make him a prime candidate to have developed DID, coupled with schizophrenia and the poor guy didn’t stand a chance really. He also demonstrates how the penal system often fails to protect both society and the offender. There are comparisons to be found with Carl Panzram, who was similarly brutalized in the penal system and sought revenge on society. Do you know when Gaskins became aware that he had DID? I think it is too often expected in women and as a result missed in men or assumed to be faked. Symptoms of Schizophrenia could have actually been conflict caused by the personalities becoming aware of each other. To commit the crimes he did and still be capable of empathy suggests some kind of mental split.

When it comes to playing the “mental illness card”, I think it very much depends upon the killer. Some are obviously not the full-shilling, others are master-manipulators who believe themselves capable of fooling everyone. Kenneth Bianchi, famously attempted DID as a defence, with little success, but enough to give the condition a bad name. Some are obviously fake but others are mind-blowing and can’t possibly be an act.

With Bundy and Kuklinski though I think there is an active creation of mental barriers. The mind is structured into rooms or compartments to seperate knowledge and experiences from the conscious self. Kuklinski did it so that he could provide for his family and still remain human when with his family. Bundy so that he could hide his true self and pretend to be human.

So rather than an actual disorder, in one case it is a prevention from insanity and the other a possible disguise for insanity. Because they had consciously constructed these defences they found them harder to break down and harder still to reconcile themselves to their actions. Remorse was therefore out of the question because it meant self-destruction.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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They should perform labodomies to remove the portion of the brain or chemical inbalance that cause people to be homosexuals.


I just woke up and upon turning on the television I noticed that it is a continual homosexual inuendos after inuendos after inuendos. Has the entire population converted to screwing each other.



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