Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly referred to as multiple personality disorder, is a condition wherein a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personality states. People with this rare condition are often victims of severe abuse (Psychologytoday.com, 2018). A personality can be described as the complex of all behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental attributes that characterize a unique individual. A difference in all these aspects will constitute a different personality and this is what explains the occurrence of different personalities exhibited by human beings. An individual typically subscribes to one personality. Among other criteria, one can conclude that a person who exhibits several suffers from Dissociative Identify Disorder (Ringrose, 2018).

The video in question presents a patient, Tony, who suffers from multiple personality disorder. The narrator says that Tony has more than 50 personalities besides his original personality. Dr. Francis, on the other hand, believes that Tony has a problem with his free-flowing consciousness. He believes he shares his body with a lot of people. Based on my observation, the following is what I would say about Tony (Annenberg Learner, 2018).

In the beginning, as he is walking, he seems to be stressed with something and insecure as he turns back and pockets in discomfort. As the interview begins, he is well composed and much in control. He answers the questions confidently. He then feels uneasy at the mention of a female. Though he claims he doesn’t know her, a sigh, eye-blinking and a cough indicate a change in his mood. He goes into a state of confusion, shivering and avoids eye contact with the interviewer. Furthermore, he shows mistrust and general denial of everything as he questions why he is being interrogated and he seems distressed about it. He is observed maintaining his focus since he is struggling to formulate complete thoughts.


Annenberg Learner (2018).  The Brain: Teaching Modules – Multiple Personality. Retrieved May 24, 2018, from http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1591

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). (2018, March 06). Retrieved May 23, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

Ringrose, J. L. (2018). Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder (or Multiple Personality Disorder). Routledge.

Replies For R. Green

The client being observed is Tony, who has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.  Upon reviewing the interview there were several things that stood out to me. For example, in the beginning of the video Tony is in the woods talking about his condition in third person meaning he is detached from his current situation.  He is smoking to help him deal with his anxiety and states he does not have control or is even aware of what happens when the other personalities take over (Annenberg Learner, 1997).   This seems to bother him but not to the extent that he believes that his situation can be changed.  Secondly, during the interview the therapist asked Richard if he knew the woman sitting beside him and he appeared to be detached, avoiding the questions (Annenberg Learner, 1997).  He then started coughing and twitching as another personality came to the surface which was 5yr. old Anthony (Annenberg Learner, 1997).      Next, I observed, that Anthony was afraid, shaking his hands nervously, he shielded his eyes as though the light in the room was to bright (Annenberg Learner, 1997).   When the therapist started probing a little bit deeper, Richard resurfaced and took charge. It seemed as if Richard did not want Anthony to divulge any important information, because he became agitated and told the therapist that things were moving too fast (Annenberg Learner, 1997).  Toward the end, the video goes back to Tony in the woods, and he shares what he thought about the results of the brain imaging test.  He stated he wanted proof that there were other personalities and this test helped him to believe (Annenberg Learner, 1997).  Watching Tony at this point, was a profound moment in that he felt some validation as his posture, breathing, words, had clarity and confidence that what he has been experiencing is real.

I had the advantage of watching this video clip several times to watch for Tony’s expressions whether they were physical, emotional, verbal or nonverbal.  This helped me to understand the importance of being vigilant during observations as it provides clues to what lies underneath what’s being said by the client.

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