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Thread: Multiple Personality and Personality

  1. #1

    Default Multiple Personality and Personality

    I have recently discovered a theory about personality that suggests we have a core personality (similar to MBTI) that we received at birth, but that which is NOT necessarily evident or obvious in a person, except at infancy. The idea is that the core personality devises ways to wear a different persona and that it is, more or less, a partly unconscious endeavor. Now MBTI suggests to do so means to exert more energy than needed because we have one personality that is the only minimal-energy-viable personality. I believe this is partly true; I believe if a person exerts the initial inertia of energy needed to be another type that once done will require minimal energy to use at will, it becomes a preference without the person being aware unless isolated and made to reflect on their identity. The idea uses Jung's idea of archetypes in place of personality. I think this is a correct approach. And I think the only problem anyone will have with this is supposed evidence of others failing to change their personality and ending up reverting back to a state already familiar or losing their (sometimes temporarily) sanity. This can happen for two reasons: not putting forth the appropriate energy or having too many roadblocks put in their cognitive way for it to be a worthwhile endeavor (thus the retreat). But I will discuss this below.

    But what I want to get at now then is what has been covertly attacking the idea of personality on this board - multiple personalities. It seems what we really have here is a conflict between a belief in one personality and a belief in multiple personalities. Jung remarked that to have no personality was, for the most part, an unhealthy state to be so susceptible to other personalities and removed from a defined self to interact with the world in. If we take this to be true, then what can we say about the inverse? If someone has all or many of the personalities at their disposal, then what better way to interact with the world? Of course, this assumes quite a lot of initial building-energy and growth on an individuals part, but are we doing ourselves justice by eliminating the possibility?

    But back with the idea of a person changing a personality, let us consider first those that fail. We can look at the homeless guy on the street walking back and forth talking to himself or the seemingly-psychotic patient in a mental ward going back and forth between different identities and playing with them, perhaps in search of finding one that can be used to align everything and help them interact well with their environment, and we can assume that having more than one personality is dangerous, can leave someone to such confusion and indecision that they can not interact, that having more than one personality means to be fragmented. But I propose that those individuals are fragmented because they never reached a personality state that defended them from great stress or that satisfied their needs with the world; they are (temporarily) broken, and for perfect reasoning, like a neglected now-inoperable machine that never received its maintenance services, and I suggest that those who have successfully integrated multiple personalities to mold many, instead of one, personality mask, are quite healthy and quite reasonable in attacking the idea of MBTI.


  2. #2
    Priestess Of Syrinx Array Katsuni's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    I've kind of known that for awhile, but not to the extent listed there, or that clearly.

    Thing is that MBTI can only measure yeur PREFERENCE of which type yeu "prefer" the most, or at least which one yeu aspire to be.

    Chances are I'm probably about 50/50 F/T naturally, but have developed T more over the years, with alot of emphasis on Ti.

    Anyways, the idea is that that there may be different types residing within one individual is fully plausible in many cases. If there's a discrepancy between the innate and cultivated personality types, it could possibly cause enough of a division to show two separate halves at the same time. That isn't neccesarily how it works all the time, but it may explain at least some rare cases.

    Now, does that mean that multiple personalities is a bad thing? Not necessarily, though it is kinda strange admittedly, which would probably lead many to suggest unhealthy by default. Considering the cases are exceedingly rare and many professionals don't agree with it as even being a valid diagnosis still, it can be hard to test.

    Regardless, each personality type in MBTI has its' own strengths and weaknesses, and the type yeu are at birth is molded by experience along the way, and can, in some cases, change dramatically from the original starting position. Having two different ones, or more, to rely on as the situation dictates isn't all that bad, but it could become confusing for others when there's no real way to tell which one is truly surfaced at any one time.

    I've never seen anyone successfully integrate multiple personalities at once... in fact I'm only aware of the one individual I've known who's had that case in the first place, and that wasn't quite in a traditional sense either, so I have a rather limited scope of experience to work with in saying much more than I have.

    I'd like to discuss further though, maybe someone'll say something I can go on about further XD

  3. #3
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    953 sp/so


    I find that there is both a flexible and a nearly inflexible approach to MBTI. It is obvious that one's MBTI type is usually an imprecise description of a personality. One can appear to be both INTP and INTJ, for example, and it takes a lot of understanding to know which one is before determining between the two. The flexible and inflexible MBTI philosophies have different approaches to such conundrums. The flexible approach is simpler, but less useful: that one develops all sorts of different personality traits, in arbitrary proportions, and at best, one's "real" type is the one that best matches one's predominant traits. The truly inflexible approach is false, on its face, since that would be to insist that a person just has one set of MBTI traits or another. Thus instead one will still try to stick with the 16 types, but then, a la Beebe and many others, one will characterize "shadow functions" and "tertiary functions" and so on, such that eventually all aspects of the other types play a role in one's primary type: that there is an ordering to the Jungian functions and that only 16 such orderings are possible. My main problem with the latter approach is that it still insists that there are only 16 types, but it adds complexity of such a degree that it becomes unfalsifiable. (The flexible approach is more obviously unfalsifiable.)

    The merits of each approach are beside the point, however. Multiple personality disorder is quite real, but is not described by MBTI, though one may use MBTI as a descriptive tool to describe the "personalities."

    MPD appears to me to be (having experienced one such individual in great detail) a case in which one has taken the various "voices" in one's head (which argue different perspectives, or play roles in understanding/predicting real life interactions, and so on, in a normal, healthy way), and has come to understand them as being real entities in their own right. Normally, such voices are just "sock puppets" for one's own amusement/understanding, and will say whatever you want them to say, but you have internal rules for how they talk/argue. When they become "real", and one is convinced that each is "another self," then they can switch themselves out, and tend to struggle for power. The internal world becomes extremely complex: there are even personalities that don't normally come out, but play a significant role in deciding which personality comes out, there are other personalities that have various roles in taking care of other matters, or even taking care of the needs of still other personalities, all the while not actually surfacing except in rare intervals.

    However, that is just my reporting 2nd-hand of one MPD individual's perspective. From my personal perspective, the reason it's a disorder is not that one has all of these voices or roles, but because the MPD individual uses the other personalities to dissociate from reality and avoid personal responsibility, usually to avoid whatever one perceives as a painful experience. An alcoholic or drug user will use chemicals to achieve a similar effect, but the MPD gets there just by adopting a different personality. Also, the MPD does not do this in a useful way: the switching is mostly done to avoid pain, and is quite random - it is not like a Swiss army knife from which one chooses the most appropriate personality.

    One can use MBTI and Jungian functions to describe these alternate personalities, but neither MBTI or Jung actually explain or even approach explaining this particular mental disorder, and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise.

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