News | World News | Woman, 23, has rare condition that caused her personality to split into a dozen pieces

Woman, 23, has rare condition that caused her personality to split into a dozen pieces

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Woman, 23, whose personality has split into TWELVE, including a devout Mormon and an angry seven-year-old, reveals how she copes with the rare and debilitating disorder

  • Lauran Stott from Acworth Georgia, has dissociative identity disorder (DID)
  • The condition is where a person's psyche is split into two or more personalities
  • Doctors believe that Lauren suffered from a severe trauma in first or second grade, which eventually triggered the disorder
  • The 23-year-old, who is engaged, was officially diagnosed in August 2017 

By Dailymail.com Reporter

Published: 22:41 EDT, 13 June 2018 | Updated: 22:42 EDT, 13 June 2018

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A woman living with 12 personalities keeps a dozen journals to cope with the thoughts and feelings of each fragmented piece of her identity.

Lauren Stott, 23,  from Acworth, Georgia, has dissociative identity disorder (DID), a condition in which a person's psyche has been shattered into two or more distinct personality states. The disorder is typically triggered by trauma and has been referred to as an extreme form of PTSD.

In Lauren's case, doctors believe she suffered an unidentified trauma between first and second grade, which resulted in her personality fragmenting as a survival mechanism.

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Helpful: Lauran Stott from Acworth Georgia, has dissociative identity disorder (DID). She keeps 12 journals to keep up with her personalities 
Helpful: Lauran Stott from Acworth Georgia, has dissociative identity disorder (DID). She keeps 12 journals to keep up with her personalities 

Helpful: Lauran Stott from Acworth Georgia, has dissociative identity disorder (DID). She keeps 12 journals to keep up with her personalities 

The condition - which causes multiple personalities - is typically triggered by trauma
The condition - which causes multiple personalities - is typically triggered by trauma
Doctors think Lauren's traumatic moment occurred in first or second grade
Doctors think Lauren's traumatic moment occurred in first or second grade

Traumatic: The condition - which causes multiple personalities - is typically triggered by trauma. Doctors think Lauren's traumatic moment occurred in first or second grade (right) 

Love: Lauren, 23, is engaged to musician Alex Wells, 21. But he admits sometimes it is difficult to handle his fiance and her multiple personalities 
Love: Lauren, 23, is engaged to musician Alex Wells, 21. But he admits sometimes it is difficult to handle his fiance and her multiple personalities 

Love: Lauren, 23, is engaged to musician Alex Wells, 21. But he admits sometimes it is difficult to handle his fiance and her multiple personalities 

Seeking help: Lauren was officially diagnosed with DID in August of 2017
Seeking help: Lauren was officially diagnosed with DID in August of 2017

Seeking help: Lauren was officially diagnosed with DID in August of 2017

She was diagnosed with the condition in August 2017, a year after seeking psychiatric treatment following a suicide attempt in August 2016.

Since then, Lauren has attended therapy almost every day where she is encouraged to picture her personalities in a 12-desk classroom.

She says the characters are always chattering, include 'Sylvie', a tantrum-throwing seven-year-old who Lauren's fiancé Alex Wells, 21, struggles to cope with.

There is also 'Intellectual', a fragment of her personality that is a devout Mormon and 'Hope', a personality that holds many of her painful teenage memories and feelings.

Lauren, who refers to them collectively as her 'system', says it is too difficult to speak in detail about some of the others, including one which she describes as 'animalistic'.

The former Kennesaw University student keeps journals to help her piece the personalities together and in the hope of releasing painful memories from the past.

Recently, she and her therapist had a breakthrough when her teenage personality 'Hope' shared repressed memories of a time Lauren was sexually assaulted aged 17.

Watchdog: Lauren volunteers at an animal shelter and recently got a therapy dog 
Watchdog: Lauren volunteers at an animal shelter and recently got a therapy dog 

Watchdog: Lauren volunteers at an animal shelter and recently got a therapy dog 

Buddies: Her emotional support dog, a German Shepard named Sergeant Tibbs, will play a key role in her recovery
Buddies: Her emotional support dog, a German Shepard named Sergeant Tibbs, will play a key role in her recovery

Buddies: Her emotional support dog, a German Shepard named Sergeant Tibbs, will play a key role in her recovery

Goofy: One of Lauren's personalities is a seven-year-old who throws tantrums often. Alex said this personality is one of the harder ones to deal with 

Big kiss: Besides owning a dog, Lauren also attends therapy every day to help with her disorder
Big kiss: Besides owning a dog, Lauren also attends therapy every day to help with her disorder

Big kiss: Besides owning a dog, Lauren also attends therapy every day to help with her disorder

Lauren, who volunteers at an animal shelter, said: 'The memories and personalities - they are all parts of me, but my personality is fragmented into twelve different psyches.

'In therapy I've conditioned myself to think of everyone as if there are twelve desks in a classroom, four in a row, with a leader at the top.

'There are twelve people in that room and each hold their own memories and feelings. I keep twelve different journals for each of them.

'One of them is a little girl, she is about seven. I call her Sylvie.

'My therapist and I have worked with her a lot, she has a lot of anxiety, she has a lot of my memories from when I was younger.

'She has a lot of temper tantrums. She's quite fearful and she always wants to be listened to.

'Another one of my personalities I call Intellectual.

'For a brief time I was Mormon and I was even baptized. It's a time I can hardly even remember now but at that point she was the leader.

'Hope is the one I used to call the victim. Before I started therapy, I had no idea I had been sexually assaulted when I was 17, but Hope finally felt like I was safe enough to have those flashbacks last year.

'I hear her now better than I could before.'

So sweet: 'He's my rock, the love of my life, most understanding, kind, open-minded beautiful human being,' Lauren said about Alex 
So sweet: 'He's my rock, the love of my life, most understanding, kind, open-minded beautiful human being,' Lauren said about Alex 

So sweet: 'He's my rock, the love of my life, most understanding, kind, open-minded beautiful human being,' Lauren said about Alex 

Family: Lauren's DID was first triggered by a traumatic moment in her childhood 
Family: Lauren's DID was first triggered by a traumatic moment in her childhood 

Family: Lauren's DID was first triggered by a traumatic moment in her childhood 

All dressed up: One of Lauren's personalities is named Hope. She revealed recently that Lauren was sexually assaulted when she was 17 years old 

Frustrating: 'The way DID is presented in television and movies makes it hard for people living with it,' she said
Frustrating: 'The way DID is presented in television and movies makes it hard for people living with it,' she said

Frustrating: 'The way DID is presented in television and movies makes it hard for people living with it,' she said

Lauren said it is frustrating when people are skeptical about her diagnosis or believe she is violent.

'The way DID is presented in television and movies makes it hard for people living with it,' she said.

'In shows, people with DID are always murderers or violent villains and that's so rarely the case.

'One of the worst things about life with this condition is that people look at me like "That's not true".

'When people suggest that I'm lying I think to myself, "Why would I want to lie about this?"

Dr David Spiegel, Associate Chair of Psychiatry at Stanford University, said the condition is often confused with schizophrenia.

Dr Spiegel said: 'People with schizophrenia have a skewed perception of the world based on hallucinations and delusions.

'With dissociative disorders, all of the fragmented pieces are their own but these people have trouble integrating their memories, sense of identity, and aspects of consciousness into a whole.'

Dr Spiegel said the disorder, which affects one per cent of the population, often stems from significant trauma, usually in early life.

'The evidence is there that trauma, particularly in childhood, often produces these dissociative disorders.

'It is a mechanism to protect oneself from distress and could be said to be a severe form of PTSD.'

Misunderstood: Lauren has tried to inform the public that people with DID are not violent, unlike how movies and TV shows portray the disorder 
Misunderstood: Lauren has tried to inform the public that people with DID are not violent, unlike how movies and TV shows portray the disorder 

Misunderstood: Lauren has tried to inform the public that people with DID are not violent, unlike how movies and TV shows portray the disorder 

Hopeful: 'My hope for the future is that there will come a time where I don't have to go to therapy every day,' Lauren said
Hopeful: 'My hope for the future is that there will come a time where I don't have to go to therapy every day,' Lauren said

Hopeful: 'My hope for the future is that there will come a time where I don't have to go to therapy every day,' Lauren said

Bright future: Alongside her recovery, Lauren is currently planning a wedding as she prepares to marry her musician fiancé Alex next summer
Bright future: Alongside her recovery, Lauren is currently planning a wedding as she prepares to marry her musician fiancé Alex next summer

Bright future: Alongside her recovery, Lauren is currently planning a wedding as she prepares to marry her musician fiancé Alex next summer

Lauren manages her condition with medication and regular therapy but said her emotional support dog, a German Shepard named Sergeant Tibbs, will play a key role in her recovery.

Lauren said: 'My dog sits with me through flashbacks and panic attacks. He tries to put his weight on me to help.

'He also can pull the refrigerator open, get me an ice pack and bring it all the way into another room.

'He also never leaves my side.'

Alongside her recovery, Lauren is currently planning a wedding as she prepares to marry her musician fiancé Alex next summer.

'DID can make my relationships difficult,' she said.

'Sometimes my boyfriend says it can be like dating a child when Sylvie is the leader because she is prone to tantrums.'

'But he's my rock, the love of my life, most understanding, kind, open-minded beautiful human being. And he wants to be with me. I can't wait to marry him.

'My hope for the future is that there will come a time where I don't have to go to therapy every day.

'There's still so much uncovering I need to do in my head, but I think I will get everything in working order eventually.' 

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