The study of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) cannot be complete without a serious examination of the condition known as Spirit Possession Syndrom (SPS). Comparison of MPD and SPS reveals some indisputable similarities. Some signs and symptoms of the two conditions are quite similar, some are distinctly different. Most mental health professionals have considerable skepticism regarding both conditions.
The classic symptoms of MPD may be muted and attenuated in childhood. The condition is often ignored, misunderstood, misinterpreted or misdiagnosed. A child’s complaints and behavior are frequently disbelieved or passed off as fantasy and may lead to punishment.
Recognizable symptoms may begin to manifest in the late teens, but the condition is often not discovered and accurately diagnosed until the mid to late thirties. Approximately 65% of cases are found between the ages of 20 and 40 yo. The condition has a natural history from the original traumatic episode(s) to full maifestation of symptoms of MPD. The person with MPD usually holds a poor self-image of mental and physical health.
The earthbound spirit of a deceased human can form an attachment to a living person at any point between conception and death. The mental, emotional and physical health of the host has no bearing on the potential for an attachment. Many cases of SPS are discovered in therapy while searching for the cause of a chronic problem or unexpected new conflict in the life of the client.
Some phases of the treatment of MPD and SPS have a parallel intention, yet the final goal is totally different. For the alter personalities in MPD, the final step is either integration and fusion or at least cooperation and co-consciousness. For the condition of spirit attachment, only the release of the spirit can bring relief of the symptoms.
Allison(1980) describes numerous cases of apparent spirit possession in MPD. He has developed a conceptual scheme which distinguishes five levels or types of possession:
- Simple obsessive compulsive neurosis
- Thought forms and created beings
- An aspect or fragment of the mind of a living person
- The earthbound spirit who once lived as a human being
- Full demonic possession
Today, as the work expanded and we are more aware of another type of influence we would add another level to Allison’s scheme:
- The possession and influence by non-human ET’s and interdimensionals.