Note: This was done some time ago, and is in
no way attempting to force anyone into boxes or labels. It was done
primarily to counter the rising rate of 'fragment multiples' that
were being used as a means to dodge responsibility or attract attention.
Hmmm... so.... more research done into the spectrum theory....
For all intents and purposes, let's break this down into more
numeric terms and categories. And let the assumption be made that
each person--due to any rumored biological capacity to disassociate,
as well as the levels of imagination and mental capacity--is disposed
towards one of these categories. They cannot /will/ themselves to
be in a higher one (How to tell that they have? There is a high
number of incidental fragments....more on this in a bit.)
To begin simply, let's cut down the spectrum into approximate categories.
(Note: These designations are not for 'wholeness of people' but
rather for the extent of time each spends in interaction with up-front
B. 1 Central persona with minor/major fragments
C. 2-3 central personas with minor fragments
D. 2-3 central personas, 3-5 secondary personas, with major/minor
E. 7-8 central personas with minor fragments
F. 7-8 central personas, 9-15 secondary personas, with major/minor
G. 10-12 central personas, 20-30 secondary personas, with a wide
range of major and minor fragments.
The average person fits into categories A and B. It is once the
level of C has been reached that such occurrences as amnesia and
conflicting behavior result.
Why no numerical range for the fragments? Quite simply, fragments
can be made, remade, and displaced in the drop of a hat by any person
who wishes so. If the spectrum were translated into finances, they
would hold the role of the penny. People can make them for anything
from role-playing characters to facades for business meetings. They
can be the most easily misused of all aspects of multiplicity, as
the average layman does not understand the difference between a
fragment and a full personality, resulting in induced multiples
proudly declaring numbers up to the thousands and beyond.
Often, deliberately created fragments (having not been formed
from severe traumas) do not have enough strength on their own to
exist without attention being paid to them or the backing of another
personality. They can easily fade back into the collective unconscious.
As such, a multiple who claims 90 personalities may only have 2
or 3 major ones, and 15 fragments--as the others only exist once
they remember to think about them, or they may have already dissipated.
In some stronger cases, the behavioral pattern is only stored, and
the essence and memories of the fragment simply hibernates until
the required need draws it out again. Having a high number of fragments
means nothing in terms of the numbers game that many wannabe multiples
seem to play. Since they emerge--relatively--so rarely, they do
not create constant internal struggles. Experienced multiples on
the higher ends of the spectrum end up becoming practiced in handling
and controlling such instances--although such upsurges may be almost
daily occurrences, the unified strength of the dominating personas
can work to minimize any damages.
Perhaps that's my personal bias, but I can't seem to understand
why anyone would proudly declare that they routinely 'fall prey'
to fragments, act out in public, and then wonder why multiplicity
has the reputation of being an unstable disorder which /must/ be
cured. As for the ones which almost eagerly reach for psychiatrists,
using such instances as proof of any 'traumas' they purportedly
suffered in their youth, and who casually pass on blame for any
of their misdoings onto 'other personalities'... that's just misuse
of disassociation. Bah.
Fragments are unable to develop or change in response to their environment.
They are often only emotional pieces, task-specific, or are memory
holders. They are rarely active, if at all, in the overall daily
decisions. They often can only emerge once called for or triggered,
and often cannot even take over fully. They rarely cause amnesia,
save during the exact situations that they may have originally been
created for. Fragments can be easily made and can, relatively, be
the easiest to be dispensed with. Over time, however, they can become
quite durable, resisting any attempts to displace them.
In the case of minor fragments, both these and major fragments
are the infamous 'voices in the author's head', as they do not come
out and walk around for months on their own (they have no basic
personality structure with which to judge appropriate behavior and
reactions). Minor fragments are regulated to perhaps another voice
that shows up occasionally, or as an impulse with the feeling of
being 'not oneself'. Major fragments can be more active, but, once
again, tend to only keep company. It may be constant, it may be
loud, but it is not a case of subsumation of the identity.
For example, find me a case where an author in category B with,
say, Xenogear's Billy in their head suddenly wakes up and finds
that they've spent the last 6 hours in prayer at the local chapel,
and incidentally donated all the money on them to the church, leaving
them with no bus fare home. I'm not sure that those who let original
or fan characters ride in their head with them and then claim them
to be full personalities would agree to such an occurrence. Very
often, if minor--or even major-- fragments are behaving in radically
different and conflicting ways to the core personality, the dominant
core can push them off. Fragments can even be a way for the primary
personality to find the strength to do something that they would
normally never have the nerve for, but rarely something that they
do not want or have to do at all.
Fragments can also be the condition to which a preexisting personality
has faded to; in such a case, it is not the lack of development
of the persona which qualifies the personality as a fragment, but
rather, the force of mental presence. Such personalities can return
with no loss of self if they are simply given time up front.
Secondary Personas are those personalities which are capable of
observation, deduction, and response with the environment and time.
They remain largely inside, however, rarely taking over for events
which do not specifically interest or involve them. They have full
emotional ranges, but may tend to be inclined towards a specific
emotional set. They can be triggered, but can emerge on their own
with no such stimulus. This group also includes fragments which
have had enough time and experience that, although they may be limited,
have enough of a mental niche carved that they remain stable despite
Secondary personalities are still quite capable of walking your
body to Peru and then leaving you there with no idea of how you
arrived. They can behave in ways which they are aware are contrary
to the primary intent of the overall body--for example, quitting
the job which you worked for years to get, when doing so will leave
you literally penniless. (Fragments tend to be unable to act consciously
and so directly against the will of the many other personalities
in roles which do not concern them and which relate to matters in
which they are unfamiliar and have no jurisdiction.) They do not,
however, tend to keep up months up front without other personalities
to help them, or without moving into a more central role (even temporarily).
Hence, characters that are held in an author's/actor's/whoever's
head are not secondary personalities, unless a person is already
predisposed towards further disassociation and they then assume
those roles. This requires them to become developed in other ways,
however--they must be able to handle more circumstances--and so
Central Personas are the personalities which are in primary control
of the body and the daily agenda. They need no triggers to emerge,
often doing so whenever they feel the wish. They can change and
develop without fragmenting themselves, and can become radically
different from their original intended roles. They have full emotional
ranges, and each reacts to the same stimuli in dissimilar ways from
Much like secondary personalities, central personas can descend
to the level of secondary or fragment with little loss of their
complexity. On a wider scale, multiples can do the same; a case
D multiple may become partially integrated, or have one personality
stay out for so long that they behave at the level of C or even
B. This does not, however, affect their maximum capacity, which
is what the chart is focused around. It is a basic keystone of this
theory that a multiple can travel up and down the scale, but cannot
exceed their own maximum rating. In other words, a C multiple performing
at level B is not a B multiple.
This is not to imply that central personalities which have faded
to the level of fragments should be considered as two-dimensional
as fragments usually are. It is not complexity and sophistication
which is always lost, but merely the dominating presence of this
personality in the mind. Very often, personas may recede for privacy
and return later on their own in full force. It actually common
for the internal mental standings to be fluid, with some central
personas yielding the floor to secondaries for a time, and with
other fragments to be shuffled out to secondary status.
Why 2 to 3 for categories C and D? Multiple patterns and mental
social structures tend to balance more easily in either dual paradigms
or trinities--not by any especial quality due to multiplicity, but
simply because those numbers are stable overall.
Why 7-8 for categories E and F? Even for multiples on the higher
end of the scale, it is observed that there are approximately only
that range who are active and in a position of mental strength at
any given time. Personas in that position may step back for a time
and not be as active; others from the secondary rank tend to step
forward and take the role.
Why 10-12 for category G? Allowances made for multiples who may
be able to balance more than D. Bell curves, after all.
Why do the secondary persona numbers increase exponentially? Multiple
personality structures tend towards pyramids--the more the active
personas, the more the primarily internal ones. This is primarily
a result from internal checks and balances.
As a note for all categories, the numbers referred are for personalities
which are active and present, not those which have regressed or
disappeared. This is the same for fragments, as here, the numbers
can reach their values of easily over 100 simply by having fragments
declared and then forgotten, or so finely split that there is negligible
difference between them (aka, this is the fragment Bill at age 12,
and this is another fragment of Bill at age 13). Many times, if
research is done on cases who claim literally hundreds, the results
show that a large number of them are either fragments to the point
of simple and specific impulses or memories, or full personas who
have fallen back to fragment level due to the sheer physical limitation
of a lack of time spent out. Hence, the main controlling structure
resembles case G.
As another side note, it drives me nuts when a supposed multiple
claims such high numbers, and then states that many of them no longer
exist--and yet they still count them in their current total as if
it's some sort of cumulative badge of honor. When did high numbers
somehow equate a multiple with being worth any or more less than
Although many multiples may be able to increase the number of
what seems to be the central personalities, such a raise is performed
at the cost of shifting the centrals down to secondaries. Central
personas are such because of physical restrictions such as hours
in the day--they must be able to spend enough time out that their
identity structures are maintained. Personalities who spend less
time either outside or interacting with those outside become, by
definition and practice, secondary.
In the case of the earlier point, such a multiple would indeed
have many more people than simply 8 or 10 running around; ergo,
one would think that the central count is higher. Yet those personalities
become weaker because of the time that must be divided up, and the
amount of coexisting and cocommunication that is required for a
harmonious routine--such behavior leads to personas merging, once
more settling the multiple back into the set of central and noncentral
While disassociation may be relatively common, it does exist within
a range--having three personalities does not automatically mean
you have hundreds.