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Natural Multiple, Family Systems Theory, and other Theories

DID requires trauma to develop (chronic or ongoing trauma, the dissociative trait, and poor caregiver attachment/consistency are 3 recognized predisposing factors — as well as age of onset of the chronic trauma being usually before age 6 but sometimes as late as 9 or 10), and a necessary criteria according to the DSM-V (Criteria C) is that the system experiences significant impairment in their lives due to their disorder.

It can be noted that throughout the history of psychology, humans have been recognized for having "parts" and not always being fully merged into one unified person. Some multiples and plurals cannot trace their multiplicity to trauma or poor caregiver attachment issues. However, they do experience being multiple and there are various theoretical explanations for this:

  • Internal Family Systems Theory, by Richard Schwartz — this is an entire branch of psychology focused on people creating introjects of family members and other people close to them and having internalized differences of opinion and identity from externalized sources. This theory puts forward that all normal humans have these internalized models and have conflicts, desires, and make decisions based on input from the variety of models. Could be compared to Freud's SuperEgo as well. Other psychology models such as Jung's anima/animus, shadow, archetypes, and Freud's Id, Ego, SuperEgo, etc. come to mind as well. These theories have been around a long time, and the English language is full of hints of people having parts such as being "of two minds on an issue" or having a good & bad conscience, etc.
  • Self-Plurality & Polypsychism - a transpersonal concept of "many souls in one body." See also Claims There is No Research on Endogenics New.
  • Complexes - Carl G. Jung -
  • Subpersonalities -
  • Born that way — There are many developmental models which put forth that people are not born with "one personality" and that their sense of self as one person develops over time. It is possible that even in the absence of trauma, some people simply may not completely fuse their identity into one person the way the overwhelming majority of people seem to.
  • Genetic predisposition -- Some doctors have speculated on (and there is a twin study to support) a genetic predisposition to a trait of dissociation, which is one factor considered a prerequisite to becoming multiple.
  • Spiritual group entity -- A reincarnation model in which a group of spirits choose (or are forced) to be born in the same body.
  • Channeling -- a child may have opened itself to or invited spirits who became residents very early on.
  • Learned multiplicity -- if your parent is a multiple, maybe you can learn how to be a multiple, too? The book Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams comes to mind. --B- of the Shards
  • Walk-in -- In walk-in theory, a spirit who wishes to leave in a human body might leave their body unoccupied, and other spirits may "walk-in". If walk-in theory is used to explain multiplicity, one would presume it was possible for more than one spirit to occupy the same body.
  • Parogenic - a plural community "origin" term for a formerly singular or non-plural system that chose to develop plurality on purpose, or the origin term for specific system members in already-plural systems who were purposefully created.

Spiffed up a bit by Bluejay of Astraea ;)
And a bit more spiffed up by Astraea^Bluejay, 1-9-05 ;)
And a bit more modified and modernized by Crisses 3-30-18

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