Alter

From Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dissociation and Trauma Disorders
Jump to: navigation, search


An alternate identity (alterAltered states of consciousnessExchangeable terms include parts, dissociative parts, personality states, self-states, states, identities, selves, or ego states. Alters are present only in those with dissociative identity disorder or similar presentations of other specified dissociative disorder, where the parts of the personality are highly dissociated and isolated. No alter, including the host alter, is a complete personality, even though an alter might feel as if they are. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55-67}}Alters are psychodynamically interacting parts, each with their own separate centers of subjectivity, identity, autonomy, and sense of personal history. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55}}An individual with dissociative identity disorder may have few or many |alters, which include a variety of ages, cross gender, animal or objects, with coconsciousness (see coconsciousness) at varying degrees, and [[communication]] can be limited to one direction. (one way amnesia) <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|301}}) is a less that distinct or distinct state found in dissociative identity disorderPrior to the DSM-IV, <ref name=DSMIV/> <ref name=DSM5Deskref/> dissociative identity disorder was known as multiple personality disorder, which was from 1980-1994. The International Classification of Diseases,(ICD) still uses this label, <ref name=ICD10/> even though the ICD-11 is expected to change it. The term is misleading. No one can have more than one personality, nor is the disorder a personality disorder. {{See also| Multiple Personality Disorder}}Dissociative identity disorder is a disorder of mental states, where a individual switches from one distinct state to another distinct state, which distinguished it from OSDD/DDNOS, BPD and PTSD. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|557-570,487-494,471-486}} {{See also| Dissociative Identity Disorder}} and other specified dissociative disorder. There are various common roles or types of altersAltered states of consciousnessExchangeable terms include parts, dissociative parts, personality states, self-states, states, identities, selves, or ego states. Alters are present only in those with dissociative identity disorder or similar presentations of other specified dissociative disorder, where the parts of the personality are highly dissociated and isolated. No alter, including the host alter, is a complete personality, even though an alter might feel as if they are. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55-67}}Alters are psychodynamically interacting parts, each with their own separate centers of subjectivity, identity, autonomy, and sense of personal history. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|55}}An individual with dissociative identity disorder may have few or many |alters, which include a variety of ages, cross gender, animal or objects, with coconsciousness (see coconsciousness) at varying degrees, and [[communication]] can be limited to one direction. (one way amnesia) <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|301}} and here are some of the more common ones:

Abuser alters
Abuser alters are often introjects of the original abuser(s) - the parents in most cases. These alters are actually trying to protect the individual and not trying to injure them. The abuse"interactions in which one person behaves in a violent, demeaning or invasive manner towards another person (e.g. child or partner)" <ref name=VandenBos2007/> results because they feel that they are protecting the system of alters by preventing actions that, when the individual was a child, might have caused further harm from the original abuser. (Howell, 2011, p. 62)
Apparently normal partA distinct state who performs the job of daily activities and does not hold trauma memories. Dissociative identity disorder is the only mental disorder where an individual can have two or more ANP. <ref name=HauntedSelf/> {{See also| structural dissociation}} (ANPA distinct state who performs the job of daily activities and does not hold trauma memories. Dissociative identity disorder is the only mental disorder where an individual can have two or more ANP. <ref name=HauntedSelf/> {{See also| structural dissociation}}, see structural dissociation below)
(See host) The apparently normal part of the personality is a dissociative state that has a key part in daily living. There are at least two ANP in those with dissociative identity disorder, and often many more. Those with acute stress disorder (ASD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative disorder not elsewhere specified (DDNESUnspecified dissociative disorder replaces DDNOS in the DSM-5. {{See also| Unspecified Dissociative Disorder}}), and borderline personality disorder (BPD) have only one ANP (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 80). ANP normally have the job of integrating memory, but fail in the case of trauma memory. ANP do not normally remember trauma events clearly, if at all. What does exist of the trauma memory"Memory is not a static thing, but an active set of processes." <ref name=Siegel/>{{Rp|51}} "Our earliest experiences shape not only what we remember, but also how we remember and how we shape the narrative of our lives. Memory can be seen as the way the mind encodes elements of experience into various forms of representation. As a child develops, the mind begins to create a sense of continuity across time, linking past experiences with present perceptions and anticipations of the future." <ref name=Siegel/>{{Rp|11}} is depersonalized to the ANP. Some ANP can recall a traumatic event, but the recall lacks the emotional and physical feelings that should be present. (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 81)
A child alter may act like a child while in the inside world and/or the outside world. They may also look like a child when in the inside world, but act mature when in the outside world (Ringrose, 2012, p. 7). In either case they are not real children, and therefore can have advanced intellect and knowledge (Howell, 2011, pp. 60-61), but they may not always have experienced mental growth and development (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 81). Child alters have nothing to do with the concept 'inner child'.
Dead alter
Some alters endured events where they felt they had died, such as being strangled until the child passed out, and then were replaced by another alter who then took over their job. If there is no one that can help the alter "assimilate the experience of near death and to recognize that they actually lived through it" (Howell, 2011, p. 64), the part believes they are essence dead. Later in life during therapy, these "dead alters" are often found.
Emotional part (EPAn state that holds trauma memory. A term used in structural dissociation. <ref name=HauntedSelf/>{{Rp|38-39}}, see structural dissociation below)
The emotional partAn state that holds trauma memory. A term used in structural dissociation. <ref name=HauntedSelf/>{{Rp|38-39}} of the personalityEvery individual has a personality that is composed of many diverse, fragmentary and generally illusory images of [[Personality|self]]. (see multiples) <ref name=Noricks2011/>The DSM-IV uses the term identity in its definition of dissociation. (see identity) <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|127}}, the EP, is fixated in process that was activated at the time of traumatization, leaving the EP with their own inflexible patterns of behavior. For example, an EP may be very cautious for danger while the need to be so alert has long passed. Although the ANP does feel emotion, EP's emotion is vehement, meaning that their emotion is not adaptive, and instead overwhelming and the expression of this emotion is not helpful (Van der Hart, 2006). An EP may have trauma memory with some verbal narrative that is not traumatically experienced, but their main job is to hold unintegrated trauma memory. An EP remembers and experiences the emotion associated with the original trauma that they experienced (Van der Hart, 2006, pp. 38-39). Trauma memory is quite different from autobiographical memory.
Observing emotional part (OEP)
Observing EP have the ability to see and hear many alters that others alters within the system cannot. Some OEP "seem to develop more secondary elaboration, and appear highly intellectualized, non-feeling, and are sometimes quite insightful. OEP typically do not interact externally in the world, but they can be active internally." (Van der Hart, 2006, pp. 68-69 323-324)
Emotional PartAn state that holds trauma memory. A term used in structural dissociation. <ref name=HauntedSelf/>{{Rp|38-39}} & Apparently Normal PartA distinct state who performs the job of daily activities and does not hold trauma memories. Dissociative identity disorder is the only mental disorder where an individual can have two or more ANP. <ref name=HauntedSelf/> {{See also| structural dissociation}} (ANP) mixture
ANP and EP mixtures are common in those that have multitudes of them. In this case, abuse began exceptionally early and was so extreme that these children had to alternate quickly and frequently between emerging defensive and daily life actions in order to survive (Van der Hart, 2006, pp. 78-79).
Differently gendered alter
Alters that are the opposite gender from the body are common in those with DID (Howell, 2011, p. 63).
Fragment
A fragment is a dissociated part of the personality that may be too limited to see as an alter, yet it still usually is an alter in those with DIDDissociative identity disorder is a disorder of mental states, where a individual switches from one distinct state to another distinct state, which distinguished it from OSDD/DDNOS, BPD and PTSD. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|557-570,487-494,471-486}} {{See also| Dissociative Identity Disorder}}. A fragment usually holds one or two emotions or responds to a few specific situations (Howell, 2011, p. 58).
Gatekeeper alter
A label that is sometimes used by those with DID to refer to those alters who keep other alters from doing things and function as the one who watches and/or remembers events (Howell, 2011, p. 58).
CoreThe terms "core" and "original" were used back in history to mean the part that body was born with, but today we know there is no such part. Many also incorrectly assume the host or ANP is what they call the core. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|59}} <ref name=HauntedSelf/>{{Rp|80, 87-88}} (see personality and alters) (see personality)Note: Outside of the dissociative disorders the term core is used by some to mean an individuals "suchness;" a part that is "beneath narrative and memory, emotional reactivity and habit." <ref name=Siegel2011/>{{Rp|208-209}}
See host alter.
Disabled alter
Alters do not change appearance - at least not on their own. Until helped many are deaf, blind, missing limbs, sickly, dying, bloody, bruised and so on.(citation needed)
HostWhen dissociative identity disorder was previously called multiple personality disorder, the individual who experienced the outside world most frequently and managed daily life was known as the host. <ref name=Miller2012/>{{Rp|21}} ANP (apparently normal part) is now used. See structural dissociation. alter
The host is a role in a system. "The host is an alter that has the function of living daily life" (Howell, 2011, p. 58). The role of host is usually taken by an "apparently normal part", but multiple alters may fulfill the role of host (Van der Hart, 2006). It is important to understand the host is not a complete personality (ISSTD, 2011). There is no such thing as an original alter.
Original alter
There is no such thing as an 'original alter' or 'birth personality' (ISSTD, 2011). Dissociated parts of the personality emerge due to a disrupted personality development, not from the 'splitting' off a single unified 'birth personality'.
Inner self helper (ISH)
The ISH is a dissociated part that is usually unable to communicate with other alters, yet has the ability to watch and hear everything going on inside a system. The ISH will usually display little emotion or affect"a person's present emotional responsiveness, which can be inferred from facial expressions" including both the degree and range of expressive behavior. This can also be shown in tone of voice, hand and body movements. <ref name=Sadock2008/>{{Rp| 6}}. Because the ISH observed inner events, it has access to the memories of the individual as a whole, as well as to the memories of each alter individually. Other names include: internal self helper, guidance, unconscious mind, observing ego"the notion of a being who both thinks and acts". Feeling is also a characteristics of the ego. (van der Hart & Horst (1989){{Rp|2}}) Ego states is a term sometimes used to refer to several different identities within a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, i.e., several different dissociative parts of the personality, each with his/her own sense of "me"., higher self, and inner wisdom. Those without DID also have this part of the self, and it is commonly called the hidden observer. (citation needed)
Introjects
These alters are sometimes called as "copy alters" and are internal copies of another person, often they are an internal representation of an attachmentThe communication of emotion between an infant and their primary caregiver(s) is essential to shaping the developing mind. "Emotion serves as a central organizing process within the brain. In this way, an individual's abilities to organize emotions - a product in part, of early attachment relationships directly shapes the ability of the mind to integrate experience and to adapt to future stressors." <ref name=Siegel/>{{Rp|9}} Interruption in the attachment pattern of young children with their caretaker(s) has been shown to be a primary precursor to Dissociative Disorder pathology. (see etiology) <ref name=Medscape/> <ref name=HauntedSelf/>{{Rp|85}} <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|97}} figure such as a parent, abusive introjects alters are very common in dissociative disorders (Miller, 2012). Miller (2012) states that an introject may be an internal "mother" or "father" alter which warns the child not to act in a way which would cause the child's real external mother or father to punish them, protecting the child from physical harm. See also Abusive alters. Introjects can be calming and soothing if they are representations of caring people. Introjects exist outside of dissociative disorders, and are first developed in early childhood as internal thoughts representing the views of care givers. In DID they can taken the form of independent, autonomous alter personalities who may actually believe they are the person copied rather than a part of another person. (Miller, 2012)
Child alters
A little, is a term often used by those with DID. This type of alter is a "developmental state that is encapsulated and stored inside the brainThe brain is a approximately a 1300-gram organ containing 100-billion neurons. It is the control center of the central nervous system. The mind and brain are not the same thing. (see mind) The mind emerges out of interactions between the brain and relationships during the earliest years of childhood. Different child-parent attachment relationships form differing physiological responses, patterns for interpersonal relationship and how an individual views the world. <ref name=Siegel2012/>{{Rp|9}} (see attachment)," which acts 7 years old or younger (Haddock, 2001, p. 38).
Manager alter
A system manager might be seen as a leader to the other alters. They are involved inside and outside if needed - including acting as a temporary host, but mostly they operate inside. They direct what is going on in the system in many ways. Although the system managers usually know all parts of the system and have memory back to the beginning, they are not ISH's.
Main alter
(See host) The alter out most often.
Memory"Memory is not a static thing, but an active set of processes." <ref name=Siegel/>{{Rp|51}} "Our earliest experiences shape not only what we remember, but also how we remember and how we shape the narrative of our lives. Memory can be seen as the way the mind encodes elements of experience into various forms of representation. As a child develops, the mind begins to create a sense of continuity across time, linking past experiences with present perceptions and anticipations of the future." <ref name=Siegel/>{{Rp|11}} trace alter
One that has a more or less complete life, unlike how many alters which have a limited range of memories. SystemAlso known as a [[dissociative identity disorder]] system. This term refers to all dissociated states in a personality system in an individual with dissociative identity disorder. managers and ISH's often have this ability.
Middle alter
A term often used by those with DID to describe an alter that appears to be between the ages of 8 and 12 (Haddock, 2001, p. 38).
Non-human alters (animals, spirits and demons)
These types of alters believe they are any form other than human, such as animal alters, demons, spirits, or inanimate objects. Animal alters are often linked to ritual abuse (Miller, 2012; Oksana, 1994). Historically, several of Freud's most famous cases are recognized by an animal component, such as the rat man (Freud, 1955). Clinical reports of non-human alters are limited, (Henrickson, 1990) but are demonstrably linked to abuse, such as childhood trauma involving being forced to act or live like an animal, witnessing animal mutilation, being forced to engage in or witness bestiality, or experiencing the traumatic loss of or killing of an animal (Henrickson, 1990; Carlson, 1986; Smith, 1989).
The ISST-D treatment guidelines for DID explain that the "demon" alters are just dissociated identities, like other alters, and their link to abuse:
Although patients may experience certain parts of themselves as demonic figures—and occasionally positive spiritual entities such as angels or saints—and as “not-self,” clinicians should regard these entities as alternate identities, not supernatural beings. Names of alternate identities such as “Devil” or “Satan” may reflect patients’ concrete culture-bound stereotyping of their self-aspects using religious terminology rather than evidence of a demonic presence. Malevolently labeled self-states also may reflect specific spiritual and/or religious abuse, such as abuse by clergy and/or projectionUnconscious defense mechanism in which persons attribute to another unconscious ideas, thoughts, feelings, and impulses that are in themselves undesirable or unacceptable, as a form of protection from anxiety arising from an inner conflict; by externalizing whatever is unacceptable, they deal with it as a situation apart from themselves <ref name=Sadock2008/>{{Rp|29}} of blame by the abuser. For example, a child may be told that punishment is necessary because he or she “is filled with the devil.” The child may encapsulate forbidden behaviors and affects in a malevolently named “other” identity, thereby preserving a sense of selfNormal sense of self is experienced as alterations in consciousness, but the sense of self remains stable and consistent. In individuals with a Dissociative disorder the sense of self alternates and is inconsistent across time and experience. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|160}} There is no unified sense of self. as “good.” (ISSTD, 2011)
Psychologists agree that putting together the memory of the traumatic experiences which lead to the belief in "possession" or a demon alter is crucial (Miller, 2012). The belief can be caused by costumes, magic tricks, shaming a child and telling them they are evil or forcing them to do evil and using hallucinogenic drugs, but "demon" alters are just dissociated identities formed from a child, and need to be cared for and to know that the responsibility for the abuse belongs with the abusers. Attempting an "exorcism" of the "demon" parts of a person hinders healing (Miller, 2012) and have not been shown to be effective (ISSTD, 2011).
Protector alter
There are three types: persecutory, fight and caretaker alters which all, in their own way, protect the system and can "dominate consciousness. (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 83)
Persecutory alters (see protector alters)
Persecutory alters defensively protect the system, but their idea of how to do this, once the body is no longer a child, can be damaging to the whole - in fact they can terrorize the person in the same way the original abuser did. They are often introjects of the original abuser(s) and tend to respond to both inner and external perceived threats, harming alters inside and out the same way the original abuser did. In addition they often self harm, including cutting and purging. These parts do not have skills to regulate feelings such as anger, fear, pain, shame and needs. (Van der Hart, 2006, pp. 82-83)
Fight alters
Fight alters appear almost fearless in their protection. They protect from both inside and outside abuse. (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 82)
Caretaker alters (soother alter)
Caretaker alters are true protectors of the system. They act as caretakers both internally and externally, but are limited to care of others and are depleted easily, lacking awareness needed for self care. They are often introjects of caring adults. (Van der Hart, 2006, p. 83)
Secret-keeper alter
A term used by some with Dissociative identity disorder to refer to an alter that keeps information of abuse or other information away from others in the system.
Sleeping alter
Time passes for a sleeping alter without knowing.
Slider alter
An alter whose age varies (Haddock, 2001, p. 38).
Sexual alters
A term sometimes used by those with DID to refer to parts that are often sensual and perform the job of sex and even romance.
Suicidal alters (see protector alters)
Often there is a least one alter in a system that will harm other alters (including the host alter) and even attempts to kill them. They threaten and hurt others to keep parts from telling about the system or about the abuse they suffered.
Teen alter
Teen alters appear to be between the ages of 13 and 18 (Haddock, 2001, p. 38).
Twin alters
Twins appear the same in many ways, and may even have the same name. One twin can good while the other is bad.

Structural dissociationStructural dissociation (SD) is one of the three accepted etiological ideas for the etiology of dissociative identity disorder. <ref name=HauntedSelf/> <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|158-165}} It also explains other specified dissociative disorder, dissociative forms of borderline personality disorder, and dissociative posttraumatic stress disorder {{See also| Structural dissociation}}Structural dissociation of the personality is a theory that describes the effect of trauma on the personality. It applies to PTSD, complex PTSD, other specified dissociative disorder and dissociative identity disorder.

The theory of structural dissociationStructural dissociation (SD) is one of the three accepted etiological ideas for the etiology of dissociative identity disorder. <ref name=HauntedSelf/> <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|158-165}} It also explains other specified dissociative disorder, dissociative forms of borderline personality disorder, and dissociative posttraumatic stress disorder {{See also| Structural dissociation}}Structural dissociation of the personality is a theory that describes the effect of trauma on the personality. It applies to PTSD, complex PTSD, other specified dissociative disorder and dissociative identity disorder. describes two types of alters.

The "emotional" part

The emotional part of the personality (or EP) is the part that initially keeps the trauma memories. In PTSD, these parts may gain a rudimentary sense of self.[12]:5-6 In DID, these parts can get as developed as ANPs (apparently normal parts), blurring the distinction between EP and ANP.

The "apparently normal" part

The apparently normal part of the personality (or ANP) keeps the appearance of normality. It does not know about the traumaThe most fundamental effect of trauma is dissociation, so we define trauma as the event(s) that cause dissociation. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|75}} The original trauma in those with dissociative identity disorder was failure of secure attachment with a primary attachment figure in early childhood. <ref name=Howell2011/>{{Rp|83}}, or does only so semantically (lacking personification: knowing it did happen, but not feeling any attachment or feelings to it). Often, this part avoids anything related to the trauma (also when it does not know about it, or about parts of it).

The ANP is not always 'apparently normal'. Often, the ANP has a (slightly) lower level of functioning, due to avoidance of trauma (related memories), and due to amnesia. And intrusionsParts of the [[personality]] influence each other, whether they are aware of others or not. Any part may intrude on, and influence the experience of the part that is functioning in daily life, without taking full control of functioning. <ref name=Boon2011/>{{Rp|27}} In dissociative identity disorder and other disorders, dissociative symptoms are felt when one dissociated state intrudes into the experience of another. Intrusions occur in perceptions, ideas, wishes, needs, movements and behaviors. <ref name=Boon2011/>{{Rp|18}} In partial dissociation, amnesia is not present. <ref name=Dell2009/>{{Rp|228}} by the EP(s) make functioning and appearing normal harder.[12]:6-7

References

  1. ^ Carlson, E.T. (1986). The history of dissociation until 1880. In].M. Quen (Ed.) , Split minds split brains: Historical and current perspectives. New York: New York University Press.
  2. ^ Freud, S. (1955) p216. Notes upon a case of obsessional neurosis. In]. Strachey (Ed. andTrans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works, Vol. 10, (pp. 153-318). London: Hogarth Press.
  3. ^ a b c d e Haddock, D. (2001). The dissociative identity disorder sourcebook. New York:McGraw Hill.ISBN 0737303948.
  4. ^ a b Hendrickson, Kate M., Teresita McCarty, and Jean M. Goodwin. "Animal alters: Case reports." Dissociation: Progress in the Dissociative Disorders (1990).
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Howell, E. F. (2011). Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Relational Approach. Routledge: New York. ISBN 0415994977
  6. ^ a b c d International Society for the Study. Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, volume 12, issue 2, 28 February 2011, page 115–187. (doi:10.1080/15299732.2011.537247)
  7. ^ a b c d e f Miller, Alison (2012). Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control. Karnac Books.ISBN 9781855758827.
  8. ^ Oksana, Chrystine (1994). Safe passage to healing: A guide for survivors of ritual abuse. Harper Perennial.ISBN 0060969962.
  9. ^ Ringrose, J. (2012). Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder Or Multiple Personality Disorder.. Karnac Books.ISBN 978-1-78049-033-5.
  10. ^ Smith, S.G. (1989). Multiple personality disorder with human and non-human subpersonality components. DISSOCiATION 2,52-56.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Van der Hart, O, E. Nijenhuis, K. Steele (2006). The Haunted Self. New York:W.W. Norton.ISBN 978-0393704013.
  12. ^ a b Trauma-related structural dissociation of the personality; 2010

Further reading