March 5 is all about you - and you! It's Multiple Personality Day, an annual "holiday" that celebrates the many faces of, well, you! Do you ever notice you are in a good mood with certain people and a downright lousy mood with others? Do you tend to be more polite to strangers than to your own family members? Why is that?
While this event may take a lighthearted look at our various personalities, it also can help shine the spotlight on a serious disorder that affects many people around the world.
Multiple Personality Disorder
According to Psychology Today, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a "severe condition in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in - and alternately take control of - an individual." DID is believed to be an effect of severe childhood trauma.
Symptoms can include a presence of two or more distinct personalities and the inability to recall very personal information. Each personality has its own age and gender with its own gestures and ways of talking. Some personalities may even be animals. "Switching" to a different personality can occur quickly or take days, according to Web MD. Other symptoms may include depression, mood swings, sleep and eating disorders, phobias, alcohol and/or drug abuse and suicidal tendencies. Diagnosis takes time - often years - to properly diagnose. While there currently is no cure, long-term treatment is quite successful.