Multiple personality disorder: an analysis of 236 cases

Can J Psychiatry. 1989 Jun;34(5):413-8. doi: 10.1177/070674378903400509.


The authors collected a series of 236 cases of multiple personality (MPD) reported to them by 203 psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and other health care professionals. MPD patients experienced extensive sexual (79.2%) and physical (74.9%) abuse as children. They had been in the health care system for an average of 6.7 years before being diagnosed with MPD and had an average of 15.7 personalities at the time of reporting. The most common alter personalities were a child personality (86.0%), a personality of a different age (84.5%), a protector personality (84.0%), and a persecutor personality (84.0%). Patients MPD are highly suicidal with 72% attempting suicide and 2.1% being successful. The patients frequently received diagnoses for other mental disorders. The most common previous diagnoses were for affective disorders (63.7%), personality disorders (57.4%), anxiety disorders (44.3%), and schizophrenia (40.8%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder / genetics
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Male
  • Psychopathology
  • Risk Factors