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Marcela Del Sol lives with seven personalities, and they're completely out of her control.

When you meet Marcela Del Sol, you’re never sure quite who you’re going to meet.

It could be an encounter with Lola, Marcela’s fiesty, flirty alter ego.

It could be Bella, an ageing hippy who just wants to take things slow, or Bella’s “invisible” twin sister Angel.

It might be Chris, a defensive young man who’s determined not to let any other men near “him”.

It’s possible – although unlikely – that it will be the elusive Plan B, who normally only surfaces when speaking to a psychologist.

And of course, it might be Marcela herself.

On 60 Minutes tonight, the Newcastle resident told host Peter Stefanovic it’s almost impossible to describe how it feels when her alter egos take over.

Marcela's alter ego Lola. Image via 60 Minutes.
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"You have been completely taken over by someone else. Your mind, your body. So it’s not that you are able to hear them all talk and you are still you, it’s that you just lose yourself. It’s just so surreal."

Marcela often finds herself with absolutely no memory of where she is or how she got there - and, more importantly, no idea what she did when she wasn't "herself".

"It’s like climbing a set of stairs. So you go one, two, three, and then there’s no steps. And somehow, you have to get from the third step to the tenth one."

Marcela suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. It's a condition thought to stem from awful trauma, causing an individual's mind to create multiple personalities to block the memory.

Specialist Psychiatrist Dr Nick Bendit describes the condition as follows:

"Essentially, it is someone who, when they’re under great emotional pressure, instead of just having a meltdown or a bad day like you or me, they actually split into a different person, or a different person emerges."

Bella, another of Marcela's personalities. Image via 60 Minutes.

Dr Bendit, who diagnosed Marcela with Dissociative Identity Disorder in 2013, suspects it can be traced back to a traumatic sexual assault in her past.

"The only reason we dissociate is because we’re in overwhelming emotional or physical pain that we can’t bear. Experience that is unbearable, literally unbearable," Dr. Bendit told 60 Minutes. "And so the brain fragments and falls apart and sequesters feelings in different parts."

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One of the most difficult aspects of DID is diagnosis, as many sufferers initially believe they're going insane. When Marcela began experiencing the symptoms, she had no idea what was happening.

"I didn’t recognise my writing. I found clothing that wasn’t mine in my wardrobe. Losing time was one of the biggest problems for me. I just thought I was going insane."

Chris, Marcela's male alter ego. Image via 60 Minutes.

One of Marcela's most confronting personalities is Chris, her only male alter ego.

It's strange seeing Chris speak out of Marcela's mouth - but it's even stranger for Chris, who's been tasked with the job of keeping Marcela and the other girls "safe".

"I make sure that everyone is safe. That people who come to us are safe," Chris says.

When asked why, his answer is simple: "Have you met Lola? That's why. I don’t want a man touching the same body that I’m sharing."

One of Marcela's greatest fears is that she'll never again be able to have a romantic relationship.

"I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have a partner again. And that’s really sad. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone that… loves me and everyone else."

There's the question that can follow someone like Marcela, who has a story that seems almost too surreal to be true: Is there any chance she's making the whole thing up?

"No," is Dr. Bendit's definitive answer.

"You’d have to be, firstly, an amazing actor to fake it. And what’s the benefit? What’s in it for them?

"For Marcela, when I saw her, and all the other clients that I have seen, all they do is live a tough life and trying to cope with it best they can. They’re not going to get anything out of it. There’s no reward here."

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