A woman has revealed how she claims to 'share' her body with 25 different personalities - including a teenage boy and an angry middle-aged woman.
Bo Hooper has dissociative identity disorder, a disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality state,. which is usually triggered by trauma.
It means the 23-year-old, from Plymouth in the UK, has 25 alter egos, including five-year-old Layla, 13-year-old Toast, teen Tracey and middle aged woman Texas.
She says any of her personalities can emerge at any time and will stick around for as long as they like, meaning that her partner Casey, 22, has to wait until Bo remerges.
"They are very different to me and it's taken a long time for me to get to know them allm,” Bo, who doesn't work due to her condition said.
"One is a boy called Toast who's just turned 13 and he's very loud.
"He likes to play games and he has a very brotherly relationship with Casey.
"Sometimes Casey walks in the room, asks me if I want a cup of tea, calls me darling and a 13-year-old boy replies and calls him dude or bro.”
Bo continued, saying she also has a boisterous alter-ego called Tracey who is very different to her because she’s so shy.
"She gets drinks from guys in clubs and she once kissed a man for a cigarette, and I don't even smoke,” Bo said.
There’s also Layla, who “refuses to be seen as a woman and she's really childish”.
"Then there's Rosie who never lets me get angry, if Bo tries to get angry, Rosie will come and take the anger away,” Bo said.
"They can even come forward just for a few minutes. One might come forward and tell me to have a shower or they can stay around for days and the people around me just have to wait until Bo comes back.”
Each personality has different taste in food, clothing and even partners.
Bo started noticing her personalities when she was in her teens after fiery middle-aged Texas started being hostile towards her friends.
"Texas came out when I was around 14 and she really hated my friends,’ Bo said.
"Sometimes my friends would be upset with me and I didn't know why.
"Then one of my friends confronted Texas and she confessed that she shouldn't be in my body.
"It was really scary and I felt like Jekyll and Hyde.”
Rosie Weatherley, spokesperson at mental health charity, Mind, said those with dissociative identity disorder will experience severe changes in their identity.
"Different aspects or states of your identity may be in control of your behaviour and thoughts at different times. This can happen in various ways,” she said.
"Each of your identity states may have different patterns of thinking and relating to the world, your identity states may come across as different ages and genders, you may feel you have one 'main' part of your identity that feels most like 'you' - some people call this a host identity.
"The different parts of your identity may have memories or experiences that conflict with each other, some people refer to these different parts of your identity as alters or parts, you might not have control over when different parts of your identity take over and you may experience amnesia, which means you don't remember what happens when another part of your identity is in control.”
She said that while looking after yourself can be difficult if you have dissociative identity disorder, there are some practical things that can help
"You can keep a journal which can help improve connections and awareness between different parts of your identity, think about practical strategies, for example wearing a watch, keeping a list of friends and family with their contact details, or writing notes to yourself in your house,” she said.
"Look after yourself physically, including getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking exercise."
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