Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde’s Trauma

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Dissociative identity disorder is usually a reaction to trauma as a way to help a person avoid bad memories. When people face traumatic experiences, they have a choice to cope in a healthy or unhealthy way. Sometimes in extreme cases, they believe that having another identity could help them cope by escaping their current reality. For example, Dr. Jekyll has created a different personality, Hyde, that he uses to escape his reality and create a new one. Through Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll displays a Dissociative identity disorder due to a traumatic experience that happened in his past.

Dr. Jekyll displays signs of an abused childhood by having a second personality, Mr. Hyde. Jekyll uses Hyde to forget and run away from the pain. It is shown that, “Among childhood trauma types, only physical abuse and physical neglect predicted dissociation [identity].” (Sar et al. 1). He is saying that the reason to dissociative identity is not only childhood trauma, but abuse as well. Childhood trauma can cause dissociative identity by allowing the kid to escape to a different reality, due to the creation of another personality. In about 90% of dissociative identity cases there is a history of child abuse.

Dissociative identity is another way for people and kids get away from the world and create a new and better one. Some signs of dissociative identity is having nightmares, zoning out, and memory problems. Jekyll shows these signs throughout the book by waking up without realizing what he did. For example when he killed Carew in the alleyway. Dr. Jekyll stated, while talking to Mr. Utterson, “I know you have seen him…and I fear he was rude.”(Stevenson, 13). Under the context, it seems that he does not remember meeting him. That’s shows that he does not remember what happens whenever he is Mr. Hyde, which is a prime example of dissociative identity disorder.

Another traumatic experience that could happen is a close family member dying, or a mentor dying. They use their second personality to escape the pain of losing someone they loved. It is most common that because of a loss of a loved one, people generally create a different personality to disband the pain in their original world. Some signs are a loss of identity as related to individual distinct personality states, and loss of time, sense of self and consciousness. In the book, it shows lots of times where Dr. Jekyll wakes up, not remembering what happened when he was Hyde. For instance, in the book Jekyll turns into Hyde by accident at a park, “ I looked down; my clothes hung formlessly on my shrunken limbs…I was once more Edward Hyde” (Stevenson 51). This shows that he realizes that he changes, but not what he does, and example of this, “Dr. Jekyll was a double personality because he remembered the process of transformation (what today we would call dissociation), but not what he did while he was Mr. Hyde.” (Waiess Vol.

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