Do Alternate Personalities have Dreams? (Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorde

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posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 07:28 PM
I am currently reading an interesting book, All of Me: How I Learned to Live with the Many Personalities Sharing My Body” which is purportedly written by/about alternate personalities sharing the body of a woman named Kim Noble who has ”over 20” personalities due to childhood abuse. I have read a number of similar books over the years and I accept many of the assertions that are made regarding “Multiple Personality Disorder” (MPD), currently known as “Dissociative Identity Disorder” (DID). Kim Noble is a particularly interesting example of the disorder, because she began painting as part of her therapy, several years ago, and each of her alternate personalities now not only paints, but has their own painting style, and they are quite accomplished. Here is the set of on-line galleries for Kim Noble & Co

Kim Noble has been interviewed on the Oprah show, and several “alters” or alternate personalities surfaced during that interview: Oprah Interview with Kim Noble

She was also written up in an article on the Vigilant Citizen web site here - in the Vigilant Citizen take on the subject, Kim Noble’s abuse constitutes “Monarch Programming” as described in their article on the subject of Monarch Programming.

Here is Kim Noble's Web Site

Here is the WebMD topic on Dissociative Identity Disorder.

On to the main subject…

The book opens with the current “primary alter” discussing her interview on Oprah and what it is like to be in her situation. Here are some quotes:

Coming back after a personality switch is like waking up from a nap. It takes a few seconds of blinking and looking around to get your bearings, to work out who you’re with, where you are and what you’re in the middle of doing. The only difference is with a normal nap you soon realize you’re in exactly the same place you went to sleep, whereas I could disappear from my sofa and wake up again at a pub or a supermarket or even driving a car and not have a clue where I’m heading.

Speaking of driving, sharing a body, I think, is a bit like being the driver of a bus. Regardless of how many passengers are on board, there’s only one person in control. The only difference with us is that any one of those passengers can take over the steering at any point.

Even when, years later, I was told again and again that I only ‘existed’ for an hour or two a day, I rejected the very idea. How would you react if someone told you that?

The question that has peaked my curiosity is this – do the alters (alternate personalities in a person who is diagnosed with DID) experience themselves as having dreams?

I did some research and found some interesting forum conversations.


I have learned that alters express themselves with nightmares, dreams and “daymares” (another subject altogether). While you sleep, alters feel safe to move around and feel. One of the ways they feel is by dreams. I have done my share of sleep walking and re-arranging things in my sleep, but if you are not sleeping alone, your alters might not feel safe enough to physically move, but they will still express their feelings in dreams.
Sometimes the dreams are graphic images of exactly what happened in the alter’s past – quite possibly events that you knew nothing about because they shielded you from them and now you have both reached the stage where this secret should be kept from you no longer. In other dreams, the actual events featured have never occurred in the alter’s life but the dreams express dilemmas and emotions that are of great significance to the alters. The biggest point about either sort of dream is that they communicate things that are deeply distressing the alter, and trying to bear them alone has become too great for the alter and is no longer necessary. The alter needs your support, and probably the support of other parts of you as well, and you have much to offer in terms of a listening ear, empathy and wisdom.
Often in my dreams, I am in a no-win situation. If I do one thing, I will suffer; if I do another I will suffer. That is exactly how I feel with a certain relative. I have noticed a real spike in these dreams right after I talk with that person.

In this topic, the person commenting is talking about aggressive alters:

The first alter i ever met was in my dreams and i did not know who or what it was. since i was a child i would lucid dream, where you know you are dreaming and you are aware that everything in your environment is you. however in my dreams, objects would show up, usually obstructive, that were not a part of 'me'. like a teacup where one should not have been or a windfall of trees over a road i was traveling on. i would remove or circumvent the offending obstacle or thing and go about my merry way dreaming until another bigger obstruction would appear. this would repeat with bigger and more obvious obstructions. the whole thing would culminate with an 'entity' attacking me. this entity never looked the same but always had the same eyes. it was definitely not 'me'. it did not like to be seen and it hated 'me' with an hatred i never imagined possible. i would wake up in sleep paralysis having gruesome hypnopompic hallucinations and wondering what the hell had just happened. it was terrifying. as i got older the attacks got worse.

i now know i am fragmented. this 'entity' is a very strong alter that i have very little communication with. i think it was formed at nine out of a severely traumatic event that created it and a twin, a little girl named lily who just cries and says sorry. it does not want a name. it is very animalistic and demonic. i think it was made out of all the rage i had at my abuser but it didn't have an outlet so now it just hates me. i don't think it talks. i think it hates me because i sent it hates me because it thinks i am weak and worthless and did not stop the traumatic event when it happened. i say this but it doesn't feel like it even thinks.

What I am wondering about is whether the alternate personalities experience themselves as dreaming/having dreams. Do they not dream at all, but simply re-awaken to existence periodically? Do they dream, and identify the dreams as perhaps happening to “the body” or to other alters? It caught my attention because of the mentions of "existing" and the suggestion that regaining their consciousness is like waking up after a nap. Do they experience anything when they are not controlling "the body"?

Do they dream?

Thanks for your attention!

edit on 9-0320133-1313 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 07:59 PM
Well, first S&F on me. Thanks for the thread.

I only watched the interview video. What a remarkable and unforgettable experience for me was to observe how calm her daughter was on that interview, very strong girl even when she cried at the end. I hope living her youth under this situation won't stop her of having a normal life in the future.
edit on 9-3-2013 by Trueman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 08:31 PM
I don't know, I really have no experience with this type of thing. But I'll try to hit it with some reason.

I would imagine, that the "alters" would experience things the same as the "primary". As in, when they are not in control they feel like they were napping. That is if I am understanding what Ms. Noble was saying. So I am under the impression that they are each a person in themselves. I think it stands to reason that they would each have their own dreams. And the body would experience each dreamer as they phase in and out of control, just like if they were awake.

But I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Very interesting stuff though.
edit on 9-3-2013 by watchitburn because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 08:39 PM
I agree, I feel for the daughter, Aimee, too! Imagine how you would feel knowing your mother only recognizes you as her child a tiny percentage of the time, and often not from the same perspective from one minute to the next. What a difficult situation!

Not to mention, the justification is because her Mom, "the body" has been so abused that she fragmented into different personalities in order to deal with it. Who wants to know that their mother has undergone such abuse?

The main topic of the OP, however, is whether alternate personalities perceive themselves as having dreams?

The rest of us dream regularly, or so we think. We believe we inhabit our bodies all by ourselves, not sharing with any other "alters", and we experience ourselves as having at least some dreams during the times we sleep, and are not consciously awake. I am curious to know whether an acknowleged alternate personality, who believe they share a body in common with multiple other persons, experiences themselves as dreaming?
edit on 9-0320133-1313 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 09:02 PM
reply to post by watchitburn

I think it stands to reason that they would each have their own dreams. And the body would experience each dreamer as they phase in and out of control, just like if they were awake.

It is interesting, isn't it? The question took my interest because I haven't yet seen an account from the perspective of an alternate personality, where their own experience of a dream was mentioned. I have, however (as quoted in the OP) found mention of affected persons experiencing what their alters are doing with their bodies, in what they experience as a dream.

posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 10:18 PM
i don't have DID, but most of the time when i dream i'm multiple people in the dream at the same time, sometimes they're in the same location, other times one of my perspectives is sitting in a classroom, and another is skydiving (real example).

it only becomes odd after i wake up, when i'm asleep it seems perfectly natural, though i suppose that has something to do with the logic center of the brain shutting down during sleep.

posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:21 PM
a reply to: gwynnhwyfar

Wow, this is fascinating stuff.

The human brain is indeed a complex organ.

I watched the Oprah segment, it's so strange how when Ken the young gay guy was asked what he see's when he looks in the mirror and he replied "i'm not a transvestite, I don't wear women's clothing". Clearly this is an all encompassing disorder, to the point where each "personality" is seeing/perceiving things differently..

I have done research on this sort of thing in the past but only in terms of “Monarch Programming”.

Do we know what abuses happened to trigger her disorder, it must have been something very disturbing indeed.

I am going to research Kim's story further, I feel for her poor daughter too.

A thought just occurred to me, when she was writing her book, who was writing it? Herself or the other personalities residing within, or all of them?

Fascinating, the mind boggles - literally !

Thank-you OP for bringing this to our attention S+F
edit on 1052014 by idontfitinandidontwantto because: (no reason given)
edit on 1052014 by idontfitinandidontwantto because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:39 PM
a reply to: idontfitinandidontwantto

I heard of a study awhile back that claimed, in short, the alters were simply compartmentalized operational modes of the primary and that a person doesn't necessarily have to suffer trauma to develop these compartmentalizations. Had something to do with a governing function to put it very simply.

posted on Jun, 13 2014 @ 11:32 PM
Ok, but what do the alters dream? If anything? Do they experience dreaming? That is what I am curious about. Is an alter an entity which experiences his/her own dreams, from his/her own perspective? Do they share dreams with the dominant personality? Do all personalities share the same dreams all the time? Do they share dreams any of the time? Sometimes, never, or always? Are alters capable of having their own dreams (as in nighttime dreams, not as in "goals and aspirations")?

a reply to: Logarock

posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 02:11 AM
I don't have a diagnosis of DID, and don't dissociate in time; however, I obviously have sub-personalities (alters) running through my mind at all times, and different aspects of whom I imagine myself to be take control depending on the situation at hand. We all work for the well being of myself. I am one.

Having said all of that, this is the experience. Imagine a round table of associates. Each has their perspective and skills. The table works as a team to make sure all projects are complete on time, and that the system is running smoothly. That's my psyche.

It's experienced internally as a constant shifting in perspective, and scenario-building through role-playing. I will re-imagine things already experienced, and play them as if other people, or maybe integrate a new insight as a pattern to be thrown into the previous situation. I run through the program and see how the introduced variable changes the system (internal movie). Maybe I'm imagining something I will do in the future, and need to anticipate everyone's reactions to how I plan to navigate through the scene. At any rate, each internal character will put on masks, and play the roles of the people I'm going to be meeting with.

At times, these characters will pop out for a bit. The mood changes, my perceptions change, my focus changes, my energy levels can change, my ability for affect can change, and more. I'm aware of the shifts, fully allowing them as is best.

From a neurological perspective, I imagine neural circuitry reinforced due to positive outcomes. Each circuit represents a persona/character. Circuits cross-fire simultaneously, and may appear as if a Christmas tree blinking on and off all over the psyche on an EEG reading.

When I go to sleep, sometimes, a bizarre phenomena occurs. I will, just before losing consciousness, expand my connection between subconscious, in what I call the semi-conscious realm. That's when the table is expanded, or it seems more like apparitions are floating all around the room which contain my super team around the circular table. These must be disowned aspects of my psyche, who have yet to join the team.

Now, how are my dreams? Often quite "out there". I share the multi-perspective view with bob above, sometimes. I don't think that has to do with a lack of logic, though. I'm almost always aware of my dreamscape, ie lucid, and capable of recreating the environment to my choosing at will, else rolling with it and deciding there may be some things to learn from my subconscious. What I find interesting is the layeredness of the dreams that I experience from time to time. This isn't a mere dream within a dream, rather, as if each packet of information cross connects between multiple dreamscapes, has multi-tiered meaning, and application. I'm essentially experiencing many dreams at once, with an integrative unfolding amongst them all.

Not sure if this may give you insight into how a DID may experience their dreams. I imagine they are more likely to have bizarre dreams, but perhaps lack the ability to properly understand them and gain insight from them as I may. It seems the difference between creativity and "mental illness" lies with a lack of acceptance of how and what ones reality is. I'm okay with ambiguity, and what many would label as "bad" or "wrong" or "disordered" if it doesn't seem to do any harm. The harm seems to be in attempting to solidify that which is abstract, and in flux. Leave it be, ya dig?

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