Multiple Personalities: Is print media making light of a serious mental illness?

The ongoing use of multiple personalities to describe people who change their minds frequently continues. I don’t think Mr. Lukashenka has multiple personalities, as a psychiatric diagnosis, any more than Leu Marholin does, yet the cavalier use of the term continues to be used in the media.

Why does the print media use multiple personalities in such a manner when some people believe it to be a serious psychiatric condition caused by repeated childhood sexual abuse and other horrific trauma?

Just a question.

Leu Marholin: Lukashenka has multiple personality disorder

Frequent changes in decisions to sell state assets can be explained with Lukashenka’s multiple personality disorder.

Economist Leu Marholin spoke to about Lukashenka’s recent change in mind and his reluctance to begin privatisation of the country’s biggest enterprises.

“Psychiatrists call it multiple personality disorder. On the one hand, he says he is ready to sell everything he can and speaks about a high demand for Belarusian enterprises and their assets. On the other hand, he says he won’t sell anything, because they want to buy everything for a song. This is the main obstacle for privatisation for the last 20 years. Sometimes he has a desire to sell and the State Property Committee begins to make lists and to approve procedures. But Lukashenka then understands if he remains without property (he considers it to be his own property), he will lose his power. He changes the direction. I think this year and next year won’t be exceptions. The policy ‘one step forward two steps back’ will be continued,” the expert is confident

Full article, retrieved 11/13/13

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  1. Unfortunately, these mistaken usages enter the public vocabulary and shape the way people think about issues. This one is comparable to the belief that schizophrenia is “split (or multiple) personality” — something that Everybody Knows, including graduating psychology majors, although every psych professor tells them over and over that it’s not the case. Another example is “it’s in his DNA”, used to mean “he really likes it” or “he often does it”. What this makes people think about real DNA is beyond me.


    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  11/22/2013

      Hi Jean,

      So in your experience graduating psychology majors think schizophrenia is “split” personality? How can that be? Are we failing to educate? Or are cultural beliefs too hard to smash?



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