Masking Personality Disorder (MPD), also known as Personality Masking Disorder, False Self Syndrome or, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a condition in which an individual presents a false image of themselves to the world, often to the point where they lose touch with their true identity.
In today’s society, it’s common for people to wear a mask, either figuratively or literally, to hide their true feelings or intentions. However, for some individuals, masking their personality is more than just a coping mechanism – it’s a disorder.
In this article, I’ll share with you about what it is, why & how it develops. And what are few ways to prevent it from completely developing.
What is Masking Personality Disorder?
Masking Personality Disorder (MPD) is a psychological disorder characterized by an individual’s consistent presentation of a false image of themselves to the world.
Suppose you have a masking personality disorder you’ll present yourself as someone you’re not, either to gain approval or to hide your true self from others.
However, we all wear such mask sometimes at events, meeting someone (out of nervousness maybe!!). But those with this disorder, kind of have it permanent. They act like someone who they are not..to gain social recognition or just to impress someone.
Example of Masking Personality Disorder
Let’s say you have a friend named Sarah who has MPD.
Sarah is naturally introverted and quiet, but she’s also really self-conscious and worries that people won’t like her if she doesn’t act a certain way. So, when she’s around other people, she puts on a mask and acts like someone else entirely. She’s outgoing, bubbly, and always cracking jokes.
But after a while, it gets exhausting for her to keep up this act, and she starts to feel like she doesn’t even know who she really is anymore.
See, masking has both advantages and disadvantages. When you see externally, you’ll have balanced relationships, social acceptance, etc. But if you ask yourself you’ll always notice a void inside of you.
How MPD Develops?
The causes of masking personality disorder are not fully understood, but it’s believed to be a result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
Some of the common causes of MPD include childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, or a lack of emotional support during childhood.
But mainly (in adults) it’s because of their peer group.
Especially adults can easily fall into it. Most of the adults want to be cool, like X superstar, with incredible popularity. It all starts with fake it till you make it mentality, when it becomes uncontrollable, MPD starts to grow.
You might have noticed a change in your pitch or voice in some conditions (event, meeting someone, speaking, etc.) that’s masking. Some choose to stick with it (permanently) whereas others are just nervous and with time they get back to normal.
Possible Consequences of Masking Your Personality
Wearing a mask with a fake personality might seem like a good way to deal with stuff, but if you do it for a long time, it can have some pretty bad consequences. Basically, if you’re always pretending to be someone else, you might start to forget who you really are.
Some of the common consequences of MPD include:
- Loss of identity: Individuals with MPD may lose touch with their true selves and struggle to understand who they are outside of their false persona.
- Difficulty forming close relationships: Masking one’s personality can make it difficult to form authentic connections with others, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Increased risk of mental health issues: MPD is often associated with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
- Substance abuse: Individuals with MPD may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress of maintaining their false persona.
- Difficulty with self-acceptance: Masking one’s personality can make it difficult to accept oneself for who they truly are, leading to feelings of shame and self-doubt.
Is there any positive side of MPD?
Well, to be honest, there aren’t really any good sides to Masking Personality Disorder.
While it might help you fit in or avoid negative judgment in the short term, in the long term, it can lead to a loss of identity and a sense of disconnection from yourself and others.
It’s important to remember that your true self is worth embracing, and there are people out there who will love you for who you are. It might take some time and effort, but learning to let go of the mask and be yourself can lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life.
How to know if You’re masking?
Here are some examples of what it might look like if you’re masking your personality:
- You act differently around different people.
- You have trouble expressing your true feelings.
- That feeling like you’re living a double life.
- You’re always trying to please others.
- You don’t really know who you are.
Four Ways to not Fake Yourself
1) Don’t overthink about being liked
Being charismatic and loved by everyone feels great.
But ask yourself, do you really like those people?
Do you actually enjoy spending time with them or do you just pretend to in order to fit in? Constantly pretending to be someone you’re not is only going to turn you into a fake person.
But the truth is, not everyone has to like you, and that’s okay! You are a unique individual with your own thoughts, values, and quirks.
When you let go of the need to please everyone, you open yourself up to more meaningful connections with those who truly appreciate and accept you for who you are.
2) Understand difference of being fake & being nice
It’s easy to confuse the two, especially when you’re trying to fit in or make a good impression. But the truth is, being fake will never lead to true happiness or fulfillment in your relationships.
When you’re being fake, you’re essentially living a lie. You’re not being true to yourself, and you’re not allowing others to see the real you.
This can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression, as you constantly worry about maintaining your image and avoiding detection.
In contrast, being nice allows you to build genuine connections with others. By being kind and compassionate, you show others that you value and respect them as individuals.
So, if you’re trying to avoid being fake, focus on being nice instead. Treat others with kindness, empathy, and respect, while still being true to your own thoughts, feelings, and personality. This way, you’ll attract people who appreciate and accept you for who you truly are, rather than those who only like you for the image you project.
3) Clarify what matters to you
When it comes to being true to yourself, it’s important to take a step back and clarify what truly matters to you. What are your values, beliefs, and passions? What makes you feel alive and fulfilled?
Once you have a clear understanding of what matters to you, it becomes much easier to stay true to yourself and avoid faking it for the sake of others. It allows you to make authentic choices and connect with people who share similar values and passions.
4) Don’t assume how people react if you be true
It’s common to worry about how others will react when we show our true selves. We may assume that people won’t like us or that we’ll be rejected if we’re honest about who we are.
But the truth is, we can’t predict how people will react, and assuming the worst only holds us back from being our authentic selves.
Instead of assuming how people will react, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. People may surprise you with their acceptance and understanding. And if they don’t react positively, it’s important to remember that their reaction says more about them than it does about you.
Being true to yourself may even inspire others to do the same.
It’s good if you have already set boundaries. Read book boundaries to understand everything about relationships. HERE
Treatment of Masking Personality Disorder
If you find yourself at an extreme stage you’d need professional help.
Treatment for MPD typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care strategies. Therapy can help individuals with MPD explore their true identity, understand the underlying causes of their masking behavior, and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two common forms of therapy used to treat MPD.
Masking personality disorder is a common coping mechanism that can have serious consequences if left unchecked.
While it may provide temporary relief, long-term personality masking can lead to a loss of identity, difficulty forming relationships, and increased risk of mental health issues.
If you suspect that you may be masking your personality, seek necessary steps as I shared above.
There is no sense in faking yourself to make others feel good if you are uncomfortable.
Seek freedom my friend…Good day🤝
Consult a professional if you are at extreme stage, I shared intellectual knowledge.