The Positive Benefits of Multiple Personalities


By Grantley Morris


Do People With

Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.)

Have

Superior Brains?

M.P.D.

Does Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D.) Increase Oneís Intellectual Powers?







A call for

scientific research into the positive benefits of Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) on the brain






A challenge for

neuroscientists & research psychologists






Does Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D.) increase brain power, creativity and multi-tasking ability?






Encouraging thoughts for people with

multiple personalities

Introduction: Helping people who would like to read this to actually find it, is more challenging than for most topics. Although Dissociative Identity Disorder is the more fashionable term, some people have only heard of multiple personalities or Multiple Personality Disorder. A further complication is that some would type into a search engine only the abbreviation, and some would use periods, and some not, and some using spaces and some not, thus giving eight more options (D.I.D., D. I. D., DID, D I D, M.P.D., M. P. D., MPD, M P D). Still more perplexing is that search engines tend to give priority to webpages that mention a term several times. As you read the following, you will see how this has influenced my writing style.

If I could find the time, Iíd engage in scientific research to confirm my conviction that Multiple Personality Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder) develops oneís brain far beyond what it would normally have been.

Of course, no sane person would want anyone to suffer the trauma that causes Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and until healing commences, D.I.D. is more of a handicap than an advantage, but I believe that ultimately a person can enjoy intellectual advantages from having had multiple personalities.

Athletes focus on developing their bodies to perform at a level far beyond what they would otherwise achieve. Genetic factors aside, most people vary in their speed, strength, stamina and health, not so much because of deliberate training but primarily because of circumstances, such as the type of job they end up in. Just as the performance our bodies can achieve varies according to deliberate or accidental training or circumstances, so it is with our brains. In fact, no part of our bodies is capable of being improved by training or circumstances more than the brain. In psychology, learning has been defined as creating a permanent change in the brain.

To understand how having multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder) could end up an intellectual advantage, consider this analogy:

Imagine a laborer daily working in a job that involves moderately heavy lifting. His fellow workers use both arms for the task but he is forced to use only one. Since the load is not shared between each arm, each time he lifts, his lifting arm is effectively bearing twice the weight than borne by the arms of his fellow workers. The muscles in that one arm would therefore end up not only developing more than those in his other arm but stronger than the arm of any of his fellow workers. Now suppose that although he was allowed only to use one arm each time he lifted he was permitted to sometimes use his left arm and sometimes his right. Each arm would grow unusually strong because each time he lifts, one arm must bear the full weight, but in this scenario he will end up with superior strength in not just one arm but both. While he is unable to use both arms together, however, he has little advantage over his fellow workers and often a disadvantage, since using only one arm is awkward. But suppose after a year or so of lifting this way he is allowed to use both arms. He would then be able to lift heavier loads and achieve more than those who had always used both arms.

This is how I believe it is, intellectually, with people with Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.). For years they have had to perform mental tasks, one alter at a time, thus being forced to use only a portion of their full intellectual capacity at any given time. This puts them at a significant disadvantage to other people. Like lifting with one arm, each part of the brain controlled by a specific alter is forced to develop beyond the corresponding part of the average personís brain. If, after years of this, the person begins to heal from Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D.) so that alters begin to work together Ė thus allowing the person to access different parts of the brain simultaneously Ė one would expect the person to then have greater intellectual power than if he or she had never had multiple personalities (MPD), just like the laborer who finally gets to use both arms.

One reason for believing that having multiple personalities affects the very structure of the brain is the very age at which Dissociative Identity Disorder (D. I. D.) commences. When neuro-scientists speak of the plasticity of the brain, they mean the ability of the brain to undergo change, move functions from one part of the brain to another, adapt to brain injury, and so on. Research confirms that although older brains have more plasticity than was once thought, the brainís plasticity is greatest in babies and thereafter slowly declines through the years. (Just one outworking of this is the well-known fact that the younger a person is, the easier it is to learn a new language.) People with Dissociative Identity Disorder (D I D) usually have their first alter at a time when they were little children or babies Ė at a time when their brains were particularly capable of significant ďre-wiringĒ and anatomical changes.

Psychologists keen to understand how the brain works and what it is capable of, have paid much attention to studying people who are bilingual. An observation they consider significant is instances in which bilingual people have suffered an injury to the brain that causes them to lose an entire language and yet their ability to use the other language has remained intact.

I think findings concerning bilingual people are relevant to people with Multiple Personality Disorder (M P D) because it seems likely that having multiple personalities would cause various skills, abilities and knowledge to be duplicated and stored in separate parts of the brain, similar to what apparently happens when learning a second language. One alter, for example, was formed in her twenties without the ability to read and write. She had to teach herself these skills all over again. If this was the genuine learning from scratch that it seems, then this woman has the ability to read and write stored in two separate parts of her brain. If so, then extrapolating from the findings concerning bilingual people, it is a good guess that if she were to suffer a brain tumor, head injury or stroke, her chances of one of the parts of her brain storing this ability being unaffected would be higher than would for people who have never had Dissociative Identity Disorder.

A friend of mine, when in her twenties, nearly died from an infection that caused a dangerously high body temperature to rage for several consecutive days. Thereafter, her short-term memory was significantly impaired. Years later, as she began to understand Dissociative Identity Disorder, she discovered young alters that were exceptionally good not only at remembering events from years ago but with recalling numbers and so on encountered just minutes ago. By gaining the help of these alters, her ability to perform tasks that required short-term memory skyrocketed.

This same woman had a poor sense of smell but discovered younger alters who had a much better sense of smell. She found that a younger alter could smell something and transfer to the host exactly what it smelt like.

I presume that in both cases the parts of the brain habitually accessed by the host had been slightly impaired, whereas those parts accessed by the younger alters still functioned well.

Creativity is of immense importance not just in the arts but in scientific advance, inventions and problem solving in every imaginable field of endeavor. It is well established that children are usually more creative than adults. The experience of people with Multiple Personality Disorder (M. P. D.) suggests that through their child alters, are much more able to tap into their creativity than if they had not suffered this disorder.

My observations of people with multiple personalities also suggest that they are unusually skilled at multi-tasking. A young alter wrote in an e-mail apologizing for the spelling, explaining that her host was busy and unable to help her. My curiosity raised, I asked what her host had been doing. She replied that while she had been e-mailing, another alter was on the phone to a second person and yet another alter was working on figures and Instant Messaging the figures to a third person. At the same time she was handling interruptions from a fourth person who was with her in person. Her only restriction was that she had just one set of hands. She had the phone on her shoulder, and kept alternating between typing a little of the email while mentally working in the Instant Messaging, and then swapping to typing the Instant Messaging while mentally working on the e-mail. People who have seen this woman at work have been flabbergasted, but I expect that many others with multiple personalities could do equally amazing multi-tasking.

Another thing I have observed in people with Dissociative Identity Disorder is that if a particular alter has been working long, stressful hours that would exhaust anyone, that alter will take a dayís rest and ask other alters to take over while the tired one is recuperating. What is happening here? The person is still working. I believe it is like someone lugging a heavy bag in one hand. When that arm tires, he swaps hands and keeps going, feeling refreshed even though he is still carrying the bag. It seems that by swapping alters, people with Dissociative Identity Disorder are able to swap the part of the brain that has tired for another part that is relatively fresh. Thatís a valuable ability that I expect few other people have.

So, although it is only a guess on my part, it might be that Dissociative Identity Disorder could give a person extra stamina. If you were using your right arm to perform a skilled task for hours at a time, it would be a real advantage if you could give yourself a break by swapping arms. This would depend, however, on whether the part of your brain controlling your left arm has developed the necessary skills. It likely to me that not only muscles, but parts of the brain, can tire after hours of concentrated effort. So if someone with D.I.D. had developed different parts of the brain to perform the same task (mathematical calculations, for example) then when one part of the brain tires, the person could switch to using another, fresher part of the brain to continue the task, whereas other people would have to stop or would become less efficient at the task.

D.I.D.

For a few examples of the mental skills someone healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder can develop, Iíll adapt something a friend has shared in another of my webpages:

    I see relating to the external world as like being in a car. It has a driverís seat and a back seat. Those in the back seat can observe both the outside world and advise the driver but they cannot interact with the outside world until they move to the driverís seat. Any alters in neither of these positions are in my internal world. They are free to do whatever they wish there but they are unaware of what is happening in the outside world.

    Weíve been practicing having two of us in the front seat. This, for example, enables one of us to be talking on the phone while another is looking through Facebook. Our first experiments with this were kind of clunky but weíre getting quite good at it now.

    On the other extreme, Iím hoping to learn how to block out every mental distraction so I can give whatever I want to study such intense focus that it is beyond what most people are capable of.

    Another skill Iím seeking to develop is putting myself so deeply and exclusively into my internal world that an alter of my choosing could move into the front seat and converse with someone in the outside world without me having any idea of what is said. This degree of confidentiality gives them the confidence to share their secrets with Grantley or my therapist before they feel secure about revealing them to me.

    A related skill Iím working on is to learn how to block pain when needed. Iím inspired by one of my parts who is very good at this. When I let this alter have the body almost every pain goes away. I think a little pain remains because I am co-conscious. What if I learned to remove myself completely from the driverís seat and back seat? I would have to be careful about this because pain can be a God-given warning that I should ease up or that something needs attention, such as alerting me that I have a hand on a hot stove. Used wisely, however, blocking pain could be useful.

    My mental message board is another example of us continually experimenting with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of how we relate to each other and to the outside world. It was originally modelled on a giant chalkboard but since those early days my part, Annalise, has brilliantly added refinement after refinement to it.

    The message board started off as a means whereby alters could express themselves anonymously. Then Annalise thought of connecting it to our altersí minds so that even those who cannot write can add a message to it. Later, Annalise came up with the idea of attaching it to my short term memory, both to improve my memory and lessen my stress about continually reminding myself not to forget something important. Another added function is that it allows my parts to inform me of things, without interrupting me at inappropriate times. The message board does this by monitoring the busyness of my mind and waiting for the appropriate level before sending the message. Itís a little like phone messages that I can access when I have time but this system knows when itís the best time for me to be informed and thatís when it automatically alerts me.

    Iíve shared these examples in the hope of inspiring you to dream up your own ways of using Dissociative Identity Disorder to expand your mental powers beyond what average people are capable of. As Grantley says, ďWhy not transform a disability into a super-ability? Trauma you could not control pushed your mind to extremes. Why not turn this into an asset? When circumstances were out of control it was heroic merely to survive but now you can take control and thrive.Ē

D.I.D.

Response to This Webpage

I have permission to share the following with you from someone commenting on this webpage.

    Your webpage really fascinated me! I say this, not because I feel that I personally have a superior brain, because Iíve always felt quite stupid.

    I never thought of multi-tasking as being related to D.I.D.

    Iíve been told most of my life that I can multi-task like no one else. Even though, by nature, women are often better at it than men, Iíve been told by women that I can do it in a way they can only dream of.

    My dad one time told me that he was sure Iíd no idea what heíd just said to me because not only was I listening to him, I was also having a conversation with my three-year-old daughter, my mother and my sister. All different conversations were going on simultaneously. As well as this, I was baking and looking in the cook book for instructions, plus I was texting my husband on my phone.

    So I repeated back to my dad what he had said to me and I answered his question for a second time. I was also able to repeat back to my mom, sister and daughter what they had been saying to me and answer my daughterís questions, plus show him that the text I sent my husband wasnít messed up in anyway at all and neither was the stuff that I was baking.

    My dad sat there in amazement! My mom, sister and daughter all knew I could do that, so they never thought anything about it.

    So, I guess, with that in mind, maybe we who have D.I.D. do have superior minds, although Iíve never felt that I do, in any way, shape, or form!

The following is where it gets really weird in that it turns out she is clearly far more intelligent than she had been indicating Ė so much so that, like me, you will probably feel intellectually inferior to her. What is significant, however, is that she saw herself as unintelligent, in fact, ďstupidĒ. This is very common with people with Dissociative Identity Disorder for two reasons. One, they usually receive such putdowns from their abusers that their self-esteem has been brutally crushed. Two, as hinted at below, by alters remaining isolated from each other they often do not realize they only have limited awareness of all the abilities other parts of them have.

She writes:

    I was a horrible student in class all of my adolescent years! There were a few subjects that I excelled at, most of those being some sort of art (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.) or music. My primary instrument is the violin. From when I was only twelve years old right through to ending upon high school graduation at age eighteen, I was the ďstudent teacherĒ and substitute orchestra teacher/conductor, for my orchestra. I also play the piano, string bass & bass guitar, as well as cello, viola, flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, trombone and trap set drums. I can play just about any instrument handed to me.

    I was always good at writing, drama, debate and public speaking. Although I was always an extremely shy person, some part of me comes to life when Iím on stage Ė a part that is usually hidden away somewhere.

    I was horrible at Math and Science, although Iíve always loved certain sciences, like Astronomy. I absolutely love Astronomy! I also enjoy Archeology.

    One day when I was in my mid-twenties, however, it was just like the whole Math & Science thing ďturned onĒ for me! They both made a whole lot more sense than they ever had before.

    Now, I know that it was actually one of my parts Ė thatís what my counsellor calls alters. I now call on this part when I need help with Math. Apparently she always loved Math and Science. Unlike me, she could understand it completely. It was amazing when she finally stepped up to the plate and started to do those for me!

D.I.D.

I see Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) as like splitting a computer into several smaller computers and then having to maximize the efficiency and programming of each computer in an attempt to match the performance of people who have larger computers. I see healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder (D I D) as linking each computer so that a super computer is formed. This is not merely restoring the brain to what it would have been had fracturing not occurred, but taking the brain beyond that level because the fracturing had forced each part of the brain to develop more than that part of the brain would have done had there been no fracturing. This is why I believe that having multiple personalities (M. P. D.) can end up producing a brain that is superior to what it would otherwise have been.

If you have any thoughts about the possible intellectual advantages of Multiple Personality Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder) I would love to hear from you.

D.I.D.

Related Pages

Your Amazing Potential if you have Dissociative Identity Disorder


The following is just a sample of the help available. For a full list, see:
Christian Resources: Index of Help for Dissociative Identity Disorder


Main Page:
Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.)

Powerful Help for People Traumatized as Children

Pages by Alters:
An Alter Meets Jesus

Insights into How to Help Alters

Insiderís Testimony: ďI Thought I Was the Opposite Sex!Ē
Coping With All the Confusion of Being an Alter

Godís Love for Alters
A Word from Jesus to an Alter, For all Alters


Helping you explain the gospel and empower child alters:
Presenting Christ to Child Alters

Heartwarming Stories for Child Alters


Free help in the full recovery of survivors (male and female) of all forms of sexual interference:
Comfort, Understanding and Healing for Abuse Survivors


Godís Extreme Patience With Alters:

ďI Kept Trying to Force God to Reject MeĒ

Encouraging testimony of a man with D.I.D (alters not specifically mentioned, but feature strongly)

General Help:
How to Comfort the Hurting


Personalized support

Grantley Morris: healing@net-burst.net


* * *

Not to be sold. © Copyright 2008, 2015, 2016 Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net  Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.

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