In dissociative disorders, the individual may experience disruptions in consciousness, memory, sense of identity or perception. Patients may have periods of amnesia, find oneself in a new city with no recollection of their old life or feel separated from their emotions and experiences, as if their mind and body are in two different places.
The most severe dissocitive disorder is the dissociative identity disorder ( also known as multiple personality disorder), in which at least two separate and distinct personalities exist in the same person. One such patient had two different addresses, two sets of doctors and two lovers who did not understand why she was not often available.
Kim Noble has been suffering from DID since she was very young. As a child of 6, she was sexually abused and later in her twenties, she was forced to give her baby away. Kim was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 14 and was sent to a mental hospital, however one of her personalities appealed the decision. Kim switches personalities around 4-5 times a day. She says it’s like waking up all over again.
Although “Kim Noble” is her original identity, for the last six years, her dominant personality has been “Patricia”. Patricia, characterized by her calm and rational personality, is the only identity that is aware of her DID. This personality also leaves notes around the house. Nevertheless, “Julie” was a very destructive personality. She even ran Noble’s vehicles into a bunch of parked cars! On the other hand, “Hayley”, another personality character, was involved in a pedophile ring.
Here are some of her other personalities:
- Abi – Young and single, flirtatious and desperate,
- Bonny – Mother with a young daughter,
- Salome – Very religious Catholic,
- Diabalus – A boy who writes only in Latin,
- Ken – Depressed twenty year old,
- Judy – Self-conscious fifteen year old,
- Dawn – A young women looking for her baby,
- Ria – A twelve year old girl who paints pictures that exemplify abuse.
Kim makes use of the plural personal pronoun when she talks. For example, if you were to ask “how are you?”, she would reply saying, “We are fine”.
Kim Noble doesn’t take any medications today, nevertheless, she spends time in therapy twice a week and has a support team that helps her occasionally. She also met an art therapist which was how she got into painting.
Talk therapy is perhaps one of the best treatments for DID. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and psychotherapy are often used by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. It is important to know that there is no cure for DID, still, long term treatment is often helpful if the patient stays committed.
Edited by: Keerthana Suresh
Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R. Psychology 4th edition