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Do I have a split personality?

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The reason I’m writing is because I can’t find anything to explain my problem.I’d always been quite good at remembering things until I was 10 years old.I remember something happening then,but not what it was.Since then I don’t know why but I’d made a sort of different person in me so I wouldn’t feel alone and wouldn’t be scared.Now,I don’t remember most of my life.I remember being a weird kid sitting alone in dark rooms and having many nightmares,my 8th birthday and when my father left and that’s about it.I have trouble remembering many things and when my friends ask stuff like “do you remember in little school when we etc etc” and no,I don’t.

This “other me” has never left,it’s like there’s a “black” me and a “white” me.The “white” one is me happy,kind and do whatever I can to keep the people around me happy, but the other one remembers the hurt and pain of what people do and is violent and sad and angry.It’s not been much of a bother until about a year.I hate it.I hate how I argue with it in my head and often hit my head against walls to make it stop or so I can pass out.I don’t sleep much.I’ve been going to sleep about 4am to 6am most nights and wake up at 7.30am to 8.00am to go to school,I’ve been doing this for the past 2 years when I started getting depressed and self-harm.When it’s the happy me,the lack of sleep doesn’t matter because I’m always more hyper and have more energy than my friends, but when it’s the other one I stare into space and get confused and often get ill and pass out,when it’s like this in the morning I try to take a day off school so no one notices.

But that’s not what’s scaring me.What’s scaring me is that I am sometimes aware of the feelings of the other me but not of the actions…but ermmm…how can I explain this?..I want to kill.It’s scaring me so much because I know that I could,because when I’m like that,I don’t care about anything or anyone or what happens to me,it wants to kill the people who’ve hurt me,it wants to hurt the world.I’ve stopped self-harming since about November after one of my teachers found out and I don’t want anyone to know or worry,but when I get nightmares I sometimes wake with new cuts and slits on my body.Please help me,I don’t want to hurt anyone,is it better to kill myself instead?Could I keep them safe and happy then?

Do I have a split personality?

Answered by on -

A.

I’m very, very glad your wrote to me. You have been carrying this problem by yourself for much too long. I first want you to know that other kids have experienced the same kinds of things that you are describing. But there are several different things that can cause the same kind of thoughts. That’s why it is important not to jump to conclusions about what might have happened with you.

You don’t mention whether you have talked to your mother. If you think she can listen to you and help you, I hope you will let her. Us moms are sometimes underestimated by our kids. But if you think your mother either can’t handle your problems or won’t take you seriously, there are other ways to get some help.

Believe it or not, there are a number of medical conditions that can cause this kind of thinking so the first thing I would have you do is see your doctor. You could show the doctor your letter if you have trouble talking about how you are feeling. Another possibility is that it is not that your thoughts are causing your sleep problem but your sleep problems may be causing your thoughts. Your sleep cycle is so out of rhythm right now that it could be causing the confusion, the on and off energy, and even could be affecting your thinking. Your doctor would be the one to talk to about this possibility too.

Still another possibility is that something very bad happened to you when you were 10 and you have blocked it out. The human mind is an amazing thing. When something happens that is too hard for a kid to deal with, sometimes the mind kind of puts it in a box and puts it away until we grow up enough to handle it. Since young kids tend to think that even bad things that happened to them are their fault, sometimes they “punish” themselves by hurting themselves. If you have an intuition that this is what is going on, you need to find someone who has experience with helping young people like yourself uncover the memories in a safe way. No kid should ever have to feel she has to hurt herself or kill herself to either protect other people or to manage her own hidden pain.

The UK has a helpline for kids at getconnected.org.uk. I strongly urge you to call their hotline at 0808 808 4994. I copied this from their website:

“A Get Connected Helpline Worker will listen to whatever’s bothering you and ask you some more about the situation. You won’t be encouraged to tell us anything you aren’t comfortable talking about and you won’t be hurried. You can talk to us about anything, including relationships, school, emotional stuff and finding somewhere to live. Based on what sort of help you think would be most useful, the Helpline Worker will suggest services that might be appropriate and then provide you with the details of any you want to contact. It could be another helpline, a face-to-face service or an online service. Your conversation with the Helpline Worker will be confidential and the Helpline Worker will be impartial and supportive at all times.”

Another resource for you is Child Helpline International. Their number is 116 111. This helpline is intended to provide kids with comfort, help, and support.

Please do call one of these numbers. The counselors there can then help you figure out what kind of help you need and where to get it. Please write me back and let me know how things turn out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I have a split personality?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Do I have a split personality?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/03/08/do-i-have-a-split-personality/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.