My I-Search Paper

Don’t we all have voices in our head?This is partly true but for some people it is much more than just voices.A patient with Dissociative Identity disorder, DID, have more than just voices in their head.DID was called Multiple Personality Disorder until 1994, when the name was changed to reflect a better understanding of the condition—namely, that it is characterized by a fragmentation, or splintering, of identity rather than by a proliferation, or growth, of separate identities (Phycology today Dissociative Identity Disorder).

A person with DID personalities are called alternates.The alternates can switch at any time, replacing the dominate personality (the personality with the most control).I chose this topic to do my research on because I have always been curious about the topic.Also writing a story with a character that is diagnosed with DID has always been on my writing list.In order to write a story about a character with DID I needed to know what causes it, how long it can last, how it affects person, and how it affects the persons family and friends.Going into this topic all I knew was that DID was caused by extreme trauma.

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My search took about three days because of absentees.The search was extremely interesting and insightful. In reading medical texts and watching videos, it really opened my mind.It was amazing to see how such a disorder can exist!Seeing patients talk left me wondering and imagining. What it would be like to have five other people sharing my mind? Some of my alternates could even be a different gender than I! The first sources I found where only written sources.They provided a sturdy layer of background information before I started to dig a little deeper.

On the sites such as Cleveland Clinic and Phycology Today I got to see what a good source looked like.When you scrolled down to the bottom of the page they listed their sources.I took notes using those sources but most of the information seemed to be repeated and common knowledge.Once I gathered enough information using those basic sources I moved on to videos.I found that videos better fit my purpose.

This was because in the interviews I got to see the patients with DID and their reaction, also their personal experience.Once I gathered all my sources and took good notes I began to sort them.I sorted using the categories of cause, how it effects person/loved ones, life style, symptoms/awareness/medical stuff, Definitions, alternates, and how it is treated.I then highlighted the flash card to match the category.This method is my favorite for doing research, especially for if I want to write a story.I will keep my flashcards so when I am writing my story I can refer back to my flash cards for causes, reactions, etc.

There were no failures in my search.I did make a modification in the beginning though.I felt that videos would fit in better with what I was looking for and it turned out that videos where my greatest discovery. Through the videos I was able to answer all of my sub questions.The medical information was put best in the writing texts where the reaction part was best answered in videos.

I feel that I made good choices of my sources and overall I am happy with what I learned. DID is caused by a harsh trauma, usually that occurred during child hood.The patient uses their different alternates (different personalities) to escape from the mental frustration.Different types of abuse that can cause DID are, but not limited to, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or a loss of a parent. The alternates stay for most of the person’s life, but over time may fade away.

The controlling personality, also called the dominate personality, may change over time as well.There is no known cure but patients often go to therapy and take depression medicine.In some cases the patient will not seek care.A family member may have to inform the patient that what they have is not normal.When a patient changes personalities they often experience black outs and memory loss. The dominate personality may wake up in some odd positions: in the middle of getting a tattoo, waking up realizing that you slept with a stranger, in a hospital, or even in jail!This tactic might seem good when the patient is getting abused.

Sadly though when it comes to real life it’s not the best thing to be diagnosed with. It is indeed hard for a person with DID to live with the disorder, but it can be a challenge for the family as well.A subject of DID must be watched at almost every second.It especially becomes difficult if the person with DID is driving.An alternate might decide to switch because of road rage or if they see a trigger.A trigger is anything that causes an alternate to come out.

A trigger can be anything that the alternate enjoys or it can be a caused by stress.An example is if the patient was walking and saw an ice cream cone, they might switch personalities to a little boy (Jessica Clark).The alternates have their own personality traits, history, and gender.A DID patient could potentially have 30 or more personalities of the different gender or age.Though, a personality that is all male in a female body is rare (Jane Mcarthy).This can cause trouble in dating for; the personality may or may not know about the other personalities.

In researching I found a news clip where The Oprah Winfrey show was interviewing a lady named Kim.Kim is a mother with 20 personalities (as stated in the title).She has a daughter named Aimee who looks to be 14 but her age is not stated.They bring Aimee in to react to her mother’s alternates as Kim switches. The most interesting personality has to be Ken.Ken is a 20 year old gay male.

When Kirsten, the interviewer, asked Ken why he went to a therapist Ken said, “I go to a therapist because people have problems with me being gay.” Later in the interview Kirstin says, “When I look at you…I see a women.” “I’m gay, not a transvestite….I don’t dress in women’s cloths, I don’t go boobs.” Ken then leaves after he says that (Meet the Mother with 20 Personalities).

This shows how wide spread the personalities can be.What could Ken look like in his mind? In My search I was able to answer all of my questions and most of my predictions of the answers where proven correct.It gets very difficult for patients to cope with DID when they get older. They will have more responsibilities which bring around problems.Often they go to therapy to try and control the personalities and learn to deal with stress.

It is important for a patient with DID to learn how to deal with stress, because the disorder is caused by stress.Also alternates tend to switch in stressful situations.Some patients will have to take depression medicine so they can better handle their everyday lives. I have to say that it will be super easy to write as the character with DID.I learned through my research that all I have to do is write different personalities and stick them into one person.I was very surprised to see how simple but complex the disorder is.

If I was to do anything differently then I would spend more time editing and focusing on avoiding run on sentences.Even though I didn’t have much time to edit I feel like I learned how to interpret a rubric and make a strong paper.I usually don’t draft out my work but I found that drafting it out makes it a lot easier when you go to type it all out.This paper (besides my science fair paper) was one of the most fun things I have ever written.I am excited to do more papers like this in the future.

So, to write a character with did I needed to know about the cause, how it affects the people around them, and if it has any possible treatments.Through this paper I was able to answer that question So I guess we all have voices in our head.Most of us probably don’t even realize that they are there.Maybe if we took the time to listen we will hear their voices; a voice of a girl, boy, Indian, or a veteran.Maybe they aren’t even voices…. Could there be people trapped inside our heads?