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The link between insomnia and multiple personality disorder

We already know that sleep deprivation can alter our minds. Now it would appear that a very real risk is associated with sleep disturbance and multiple personality disorder.

Now known generically as 'dissociation', the condition describes the disruption of normal psychological or conscious functioning. It often leaves people feeling detached from their emotions and surroundings.

Researchers discovered that when 25 healthy volunteers were sleep deprived for just one night, they experienced many more dissociative experiences.

This is an important finding since popular belief argues that multiple personalities are a symptom of a past trauma such as child abuse or combat.

It sounds as though sleep may be more important to our mental health than we ever imagined.

Source: Association for Psychological Science

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Last updated: May 10, 2012

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • John
    April 1, 2014, 4:33 pm

    That’s a load of shit. For one, I couldn’t sleep since a kid due to MPD keeping me awake. Either voices or just straight insomnia, one of the worst parts of my childhood. And two, it’s becoming someone else under a circumstance, or trigger. Not just a fatigue ridden zombie. You could say, ‘drinking a cup of coffee creates dissociative symptoms!’, why? Because your brains acting in a different rushing, psychotic behaviour due to the caffeine, not the result of split or trigger. As soon as the stimulant wears off though, your back to normal, just like when you sleep with your so called ‘insomnia induced’ MPD, haha. Sleep deprivation can cause a lot of commonly mistaken symptoms of personality disorders. I think the biggest part that wrecks your ‘theory’ is for MPD to develop your brain needs to go somewhere or do something to take it away from the ABUSE or TRAUMA your receiving, as a kid and not knowing how else to deal with it. I know what I did, and that was rhyme in my head or out loud constantly. It’s actually how I remembered who was the source of the abuse, remember them saying ‘do you like poetry?’ Because I’d be rhyming away during it, either in my head or out loud, MDP is you leaving the situation your in somehow, switching off or turning into someone to handle that position your in, because of a trigger. I very much so disagree with your analysis. It almost doesn’t make sense. Ofcourse staying awake will leave you a zombie daydreaming, haha, so will dwelling on a thought for a long time, but I’m pretty damn sure a fact it doesn’t create MPD.

    • Martin Reed
      April 1, 2014, 5:09 pm

      Thanks for your comment, John. I think it’s important to clarify that this blog post doesn’t necessarily reflect my own theories – I was simply reporting on research that was published in a peer-reviewed journal.