People who suffer from multiple personality are adults who live with a coping mechanism that worked well to survive the horrors of abuse in childhood but is not working as well in a normal adult environment. All patients with DID suffer to some extent, which usually drives them to find relief. Some of these forms of relief are healthy, such as psychotherapy, and some may be unhealthy, such as addictions used to drown the painful feelings.
Some people with multiple personality appear to function normally and may not themselves know that they have more than one personality. They may be able to function at a very high level at a job, for instance, while those close to them sense things are not normal. They may function normally for years and then have a crisis that seems to develop very rapidly. Other people with DID have trouble functioning normally and have a long history of psychological problems. These people may be unable to work to support themselves and need multiple hospitalizations. It is common for someone with DID to function at an extremely high level in one area or at one time and, conversely, to function at a very low level in another area or at another time. This leaves those around them very puzzled and confused.
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