Is The many sides of Jane fake?

Is The many sides of Jane fake

In this article, we are debating whether the many sides of Jane fake or true. In order to do this, we need to understand better what is Dissociative identity disorder. 

The many sides of Jane fake or truth?

The 2019 TV mini-series, The many sides of Jane describes the reality of a young mother who claims to have 9 personalities with individual names and ages, ranging from 6 to 28 years old. Jane was diagnosed with Dissociative identity disorder.

Dissociative identity disorder formerly called multiple personality disorder. It is characterized by the presence of two or more alternating identities or personality states, as well as an inability to recall information about some of the personalities.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

The double identity is known to the general public, it has been a source of fascination since the first documented cases. This is probably due to the uniqueness of this condition in its manifestations, and its dramatic character. It inspired countless screenwriters and directors in creating movies and TV series on the subject.

A person who contains radically different “personalities” inside him, who come out without warning, is extremely interesting for a film script. Among the best-known productions on this theme are the classic “The Three Faces of Eve“; Scorsese’s thriller “Shutter Island” and the series “United States of Tara“. But unfortunately, cinema has sensationalized and turned an already controversial disorder into an SF condition, dehumanizing people with this diagnosis.

This explains why this disorder is so little understood by the general public and is still shrouded in mystery and the Hollywood air. This also is the reason why viewers consider that the TV series Many sides of Jane is fake.

The truth is that we can’t know for sure if Many sides of Jane is fake or not, but what we know for sure is that Dissociative identity disorder is a real disease that affects real people. And for this, we must be grateful to the producers of the TV series for highlighting and informing the public about this mental health issue.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

Dissociative identity disorder 

Dissociative identity disorder occurs when an individual has two or more distinct personalities or identities. This condition was previously known as multiple personality disorder.

Most often, people with dissociative identity disorder have a main personality, which can be passive, addictive and depressed. Instead, alternative personalities may have different ages and genders and have different states, feelings, and preferences.

These personalities take control of successively, transforming a person’s behaviour. When a personality is not used, it dissociates or detaches and does not know what happened while it was gone.

The symptoms of the impact of dissociative identity disorder on a person’s quality of life may vary depending on the number of existing personalities, their social situation and whether they have other health conditions.

Symptomatology

The most common symptoms that occur in adults are:

– The feeling of losing time;

– Confusion;

– Memory disorders;

– Exposing two or more personalities, by changing behaviour;

– Feeling of detachment, dissociation.

The condition can also occur in children, and symptoms include:

– The presence of painful dreams and memories;

– Attention deficit;

– Convulsions, especially in response to trauma or unpleasant memories;

– Unexpected changes in food preferences, clothing, but also of activities.

It is believed that dissociative identity disorder occurs in childhood, and symptoms may become more severe over time.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

Causes and risk factors

Dissociation or detachment is a common mechanism by which one tries to cope with stress or extreme trauma, especially in childhood. Dissociative identity disorder can affect people of any age, ethnicity, gender and social status.

However, the most important risk factor for this condition is physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood.

Dissociation or detachment from reality can be a way to protect the main personality so that it does not experience mental or physical trauma.

In this way, a different personality bears the trauma instead, leaving the main personality without the memory of the event.

Associated diseases

Dissociative identity disorder can be correlated with other mental disorders, such as:

– Post-traumatic stress disorder;

– Dissociative amnesia;

– Derealization / depersonalization disorder;

– Acute stress disorder;

– Anxiety;

– Depression.

Diagnosis

Both adults and children are diagnosed using the diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Classification Manual of Mental Disorders. The doctor will also ask for as much information and symptoms as possible about the affected person from close people.

Subsequently, the person with a dissociative identity disorder should be referred to a mental health specialist.

The criteria for diagnosing a person with a dissociative identity disorder are the following:

• Displaying at least two personalities that disturb the person’s identity, behaviour, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition or senses;

• The existence of gaps in memory, lacking personal information and daily events, but also traumatic ones from the past;

• The presence of symptoms that cause significant distraction from the work environment or social situations;

• Experiencing disorders and behaviours that cannot be considered part of any accepted cultural or religious practice;

• There is amnesia and chaotic behaviours that are not caused by alcohol, drugs or other substances.

In addition to these criteria, there are other tests used to help diagnose the condition. These include the psychological interview and the Rorschach Inkblot Method.

Once a person is diagnosed correctly, treatment is essential for a normal life.

Treatment for DID

Dissociative identity disorder is most often treated with psychotherapy. This therapy focuses on:

– Educating the affected person about their own condition;

– Increasing awareness;

– Management of existing emotions and impulses;

– Prevention of the following dissociations;

– Managing current relationships, stressors and daily functionality.

Studies have found an improvement in symptoms in people with dissociative identity disorder who have received this treatment. The goal of treatment is not to reduce all personalities to one or to eliminate additional ones.

The treatment aims to help all personalities to live and work together harmoniously. It also aims to identify the factors that produce personality changes.

Life with dissociative identity disorder

Dissociative identity disorder has a significant impact on a person’s mental health, relationships, ability to work, and life in general. Living with this disorder can lead to frustration, fear and isolation.

Many people are not diagnosed until they become adults, which means they may experience years of frightening symptoms without knowing why.

A person’s alternate personalities cannot always cooperate with each other. When another personality takes control, it can wake up in an unknown place, without remembering how it got there.

However, personalities can be taught to work well together and help the main personality cope with everyday situations.

People around you may not notice changes in personalities, as some people with dissociative identity disorder have mild symptoms and do not show visible changes.

Instead, social stigmas about this condition exist, and most people have heard of dissociative identity disorder only from fiction books and movies. It should be noted that it is rare for alternative personalities to become violent.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

History – from multiple personalities to dissociative identity disorder

The truth is that we can’t know for sure if Many sides of Jane is fake or not, but what we know for sure is that Dissociative identity disorder is a real disease that affects real people. And for this, we must be grateful to the producers of the TV series for highlighting and informing the public about this mental health issue.

As with most mental illnesses, the history of dissociative identity disorder begins long before our day and goes a long way toward this understanding. The first cases were described in 1586 and later in 1791. Later the dissociative identity disorder was described by famous theorists in the field of psychology and psychiatry, such as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Binet or William James, who tried to explain this incomprehensible condition.

In the 19th century, the precursor to dissociative identity disorder was doubling or double consciousness. This was described as a state of somnambulism, with physicians of the time believing that patients alternated between a normal state of consciousness and a “sleepwalking” state. 

Between 1968 and 1980, the term used for dissociative identity disorder was hysterical neurosis, the dissociative type. In 1980, with the publication of the third edition of the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Illness (DSM), dissociative identity disorder was called multiple personality disorder. This is also the name that has remained imprinted in the collective mind, thanks to movies and media channels, which still use this incorrect term.

In 1994, the name was changed to more accurately reflect the nature of the condition. It is not about the development and existence of several personalities, as the old nomenclature erroneously suggested, but a fragmentation, a decomposition of identity. 

Because there is no connection and cohesion between the sense of identity, memory and consciousness, the affected people have rather less than one personality, certainly not more.

 Personality is what defines and characterizes us, and in the case of people with dissociative identity disorder, this switching between different patterns of thinking and behaviour is an immutable aspect of their personality. This is how dissociative identity disorder came to be.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

Conclusion

The truth is that we can’t know for sure if Many sides of Jane is fake or not, but what we know for sure is that Dissociative identity disorder is a real disease that affects real people. And for this, we must be grateful to the producers of the TV series for highlighting and informing the public about this mental health issue.

The duration of the diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder is usually quite long. This condition is also often accompanied by other mental health conditions.

Social stigma can affect people with this disorder, leading to anxiety, guilt, shame and depression. For these reasons, people with dissociative identity disorder have a higher risk of self-harm and suicide.

Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are extremely important and possibly life-saving aspects. Under proper treatment, people with dissociative identity disorder may notice significant improvements in quality of life, but also a reduction in other mental health problems.

If you have questions, comments or recommendations, please let us know in the comments section below. 

Further reading

Fractured Mind: The Healing of a Person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, by Debra Bruch

Recovery is my best revenge: my experience of trauma, abuse and dissociative identity disorder, by Carolyn Spring 

The Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook (Sourcebooks), by Deborah Bray Haddock 

Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder, by Xenia Bowlby

Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Techniques and Strategies for Stabilization, by Colin Ross M.D. 

References

The Merck Handbook, 18th Edition.

Comprehensive textbook of Psychiatry, Kaplan & Sadock’s, Tenth Edition, vol.1, 2017.

Harrison, Handbook of Medicine, 18th Edition, All Publishing House, 2014.

Is The many sides of Jane fake?

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.