Radical Opinions About Dissociative Identity Disorder: Do They Move the Pendulum to the Middle?

I spent this evening reading blogs written by people who identify themselves as having a dissociative disorder – namely Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), characterized by experiences of alter selves. This community was discussing many aspects of DID the pros, cons, advantages, foibles, therapy, practitioners, and more. Topics anyone would discuss about mental health subjects they are passionate about.

I found reference to this blog, and to me personally, in the comment section of Holly Gray’s blog titled: Don’t Call Me Sybil. The title of the article is “How Do I Blog Responsibly about Dissociative Identity Disorder?”

Before going further, I want to say that I have utmost respect for Holly Gray and the work she did on Health Place.com and on her blog – Don’t Call Me Sybil which I have not visited in a long time, sorry to say. Holly is the only person who believes she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) with whom I am able to discuss issues in a manner that is challenging and useful to my understanding of issues and insights she struggles with. I wish there were others like her.

Holly, unlike me, says what’s on her mind – while I try to make my opinions palatable, knowing that I inflame others and incite them to come to my blog where they make personal attacks on me rather than criticizing my opinions. For example, this Spring I had a commenter so vile and threatening, I was compelled to report them to the local police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. I’ve read comments elsewhere on the Internet that some people find my blog so offensive they tried to get me blacklisted, some made bogus reports to wordpress to shut me down, while others think I should be reported to the police and lawyers. Whaaaat? I don’t know if bloggers who write about having multiple personalities deal with these issues, but I suspect not.

I am aware of the risks I take with each keystroke and, as a result, am overly concerned about how my articles will be received and what vile posts I may get in response – and rightly so. The main difference between Holly’s work and mine is that she enjoys commenters who mostly leave kudos and words of thanks and encouragement – I receive the opposite, with a few supporters. I cannot control responses but cannot continue to blog responsibly worrying about it. As a result, I have unwittingly cheated my readers.

My blogging reality is different. I do not enjoy the liberty of blogging without remembering that I may endure threats to my personal safety by someone who disagrees with me. My questions are: How do I blog realizing I am a minority and will be treated with disrespect and disdain because of my beliefs, not for who I am? How do I blog freely knowing I may be threatened with bodily harm?

Holly taught me a good lesson tonight and that is:

Write what I want, how I want, and remember that I am not responsible for how someone else reacts to my words. But I must add… but am I responsible? Reading responses left on this blog it appears that most in the DID community hold me responsible for their reactions and, as a result, determine that I am abusive, triggering, and disrespectful – not that I am. I simply disagree with their positions. Although I know that is nonsense, it weighs on me and derails my posts.

It was ironic that the comment section following Holly’s article showed a similar difficulty as I experience. Someone read her article and instead of discussing points she made was more interested in finding fault with her opinions. But that wasn’t the main issue – the commenter accused her of saying things she did Not actually say. Holly called him out on it and I applaud her for doing so. It happens to me all the time.

Unfortunately for my readers, I have to be concerned about how my opinions effect people who believe they have Dissociative Identity Disorder because my personal safety is at stake. That reality changes how I write and what topics I explore. Can that fact change? I remain hopeful that my end of the continuum can bring these discussions to the middle where they have a better chance of making a difference in our understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder and the controversy around it. More importantly, I hope we become tolerant of differing opinions,

In closing, I am excited to see that Holly and I are evolving in our understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder and we may be nearer to meeting somewhere in the middle – or near the middle. I have no interest in remaining steadfast to old opinions and as my base of knowledge and experiences widens, so will my views and opinions.

I highly recommend a visit to Holly Gray’s blog: Don’t Call Me Sybil.

Mental health care, a disaster of Titanic proportions

Thank you, Tony Foster for writing this letter. The more that people speak out and write letters as you did, the greater the chances of change through awareness and education.

The historical account of Dorothea Dix’s work to deinstitutionalize mental health patients continues to need work. She started to help psychiatric patients in the 1800s. I wonder what she would think about the strides we’ve made? Think she’d flip her wig and ask lawmakers: “Why so little progress in 200+ years? ” I think she would.

Ninth plate daguerreotype of Dorothea Lynde Dix.

Ninth plate daguerreotype of Dorothea Lynde Dix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Amarillo, Texas, USA

Amarillo Globe News

January 8, 2013

In the 21st century, prisons and jails have become makeshift hospitals for those who have mental illness, but it wasn’t always this way.

Philanthropists such as Dorothea Dix led crusades in the 19th century to decriminalize the mentally ill. Her prison ministry led to the discovery of inmates with obvious psychosis chained to walls, with no heat during winter, often naked and surrounded in feces. Poetic in her pleas to Congress, Dix challenged the sanity of salad-mixing the mentally ill with hardened criminals. With razor-sharp wit and a talent for diplomacy, she voiced the morbid conditions to legislators and garnered support….

Deinstitutionalization began in 1955 with the advent of a successful anti-psychotic medication (Thorazine), and was given a boost through federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

The “grand experiment” ushered in a new era — the closing of mental health hospitals, reduced availability of beds and a mass exodus of patients released from hospitals. …

In the least restrictive environment, patients could anchor themselves to a robust outpatient system padded with supports. In theory, this would allay the uncertainty of institutionalized patients and assist healthy integration….

Weak investment in mental health care has created a human rights Titanic, capsizing in a sea of piecemeal provision and scant accessibility. The ship is sinking to the extent the contemporary face of mental health treatment is behind bars. …


American Psychological Assoc: Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse (1998)

Final Report of the APA Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse


Vol. 4, No. 4, December 1998
Item #: 2190404
Format: Hard copy

About the special issue


The APA Council of Representatives voted in February 1993 to establish a working group to review current scientific literature and identify future research and training needs regarding the evaluation of memories of childhood abuse. This special issue presents the report of the working group. This report includes substantive reviews of the applicable literature on trauma and memory as well as clear recommendations for future research and training.

Articles in this issue

American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse: Preface to the Final Report
Pages 931–932

Final Conclusions of the American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Child Abuse
Pages 933–940

Symptomatic Clients and Memories of Childhood Abuse: What the Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Literature Tells Us
Pages 941–995
Alpert, Judith L.; Brown, Laura S.; Courtois, Christine A.

Comment on Alpert, Brown, and Courtois (1998): The Science of Memory and the Practice of Psychotherapy
Pages 996–1010
Ornstein, Peter A.; Ceci, Stephen J.; Loftus, Elizabeth F.

Reply to Ornstein, Ceci, and Loftus (1998): The Politics of Memory
Pages 1011–1024
Alpert, Judith L.; Brown, Laura S.; Courtois, Christine A.

Adult Recollections of Childhood Abuse: Cognitive and Developmental Perspectives
Pages 1025–1051
Ornstein, Peter A.; Ceci, Stephen J.; Loftus, Elizabeth F.

Comment on Ornstein, Ceci, and Loftus (1998): Adult Recollections of Childhood Abuse
Pages 1052–1067
Alpert, Judith L.; Brown, Laura S.; Courtois, Christine A.

More on the Repressed Memory Debate: A Reply to Alpert, Brown, and Courtois (1998)
Pages 1068–1078
Ornstein, Peter A.; Ceci, Stephen J.; Loftus, Elizabeth F.

Recovered Memories in Theory and Practice
Pages 1079–1090
Davies, Graham; Morton, John; Mollon, Phil; Robertson, Noelle

The Controversy Over Recovered Memories
Pages 1091–1109
Roediger III, Henry L.; Bergman, Erik T.

Neurobiology of Reconstructed Memory
Pages 1110–1134
Jacobs, W. Jake; Nadel, Lynn

Criteria for Judging the Admissibility of Eyewitness Testimony of Long Past Events
Pages 1135–1159
Haber, Lyn; Haber, Ralph Norman

Pseudoscience, Cross-Examination, and Scientific Evidence in the Recovered Memory Controversy
Pages 1160–1181
Pope, Kenneth S.

The Facade of Scientific Documentation: A Case Study of Richard Ofshe’s Analysis of the Paul Ingram Case
Pages 1182–1197
Olio, Karen A.; Cornell, William F.

Admissibility of Repressed Memory Evidence by Therapists in Sexual Abuse Cases
Pages 1198–1225
Gordon, Jonathan D.

The Admissibility of Expert Testimony Based Upon Clinical Judgment and Scientific Research
Pages 1226–1252
Shuman, Daniel W.; Sales, Bruce D.

Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse and Liability: Society, Science, and the Law in a Comparative Setting
Pages 1253–1306
Partlett, David F.; Nurcombe, Barry

Bullying in Mental Health Care: Misuse of Authority and Power Can Trump Wellness* by E.Powers

Originally posted on Trauma and Dissociation Project:

* Bullying in Mental Health Care: Misuse of Authority and Power Can Trump Wellness*

by Elizabeth Power, M.Ed.
1995 President’s Award, ISSD
1992 Media Award, ISSMPD
Author, Managing Our Selves: Building a Community of Caring (EPower & Associated)
Author, “The Use of the Basic TQM Tools in Managing MPD: a qualitative application of TQM,” in the Harcourt Brace Dryden Press college text.



View original

Dissociative Identity Disorder & Abusive Alters

Dissociative Identity Disorder, commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is fraught with oddities and having an alter personality who is abusive is only one of them. People who believe they are inflicted with other selves inside their minds and bodies refer to themselves as multiples which is a term also used by the medical/psychiatric profession when referring to patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID.

Abusive alters do more than self-harm during suicide attempts or cutting arms and legs that may require emergency intervention. Abusive alters extend their emotional angst to husbands, children, siblings, parents, co-workers, and friends. Although children in families with a mother who thinks she has other personalities is harmful enough in my opinion, covering abuse and neglect of children is beyond the scope of this post.

Spouses of multiples suffer in silence. There are not hundreds of forums and Internet groups for spouses to discuss their chaotic lives as there are for multiples. Female multiples have a wide support system of cyber friends available, but their spouses have scant support from outside the home. Spouses who are welcome to post on Internet forums for multiples report chaotic home lives that sometimes include physical assault by their wives.

Spouses, or SOs, of multiples are usually the support staff for their mate who’s emerging personalities are unpredictable, violent, or at best, immature. Child alters of a 40 year-old-woman, for example,  can emerge and demand attention in the way of game playing, doll and stuffed animal hugging, watching child videos, and other play and behaviors of real children. The spouse loses his or her wife and may be forced to become the caretaker, playmate, or the adult responsible for medical or psychiatric intervention.

One multiple reports in an Internet forum: “I have an incredibly abusive, sadistic alter … who treats a young alter in a way similar to the way my step-father treated me when the body was very young (five and six). He is both physically and sexually abusive and his role is to torment and inflict pain on the poor young alter. This alter has been doing this stuff since I was about six or seven. “

Another multiple says, “One of the alters was out last night and threw a total fit, to go eat hamburger and fries. However, I want to try and have a baby again, and I want to get my body as healthy as possible. .. She [alter] comes out and starts arguing with my husband, getting mean, and pushes him. He locks her in bedroom and hides all of our car keys. “Debbie” starts to threaten to call the police and say he’s abusive and send him to jail, etc.

“Well, things calm down. By the time I come back [abusive alter recedes] my husband has a raging headache and is terrified because this is the first time ever any of the alters has revolted against him.

“So, does anyone know how to deal with the legal aspects of DID. I need to figure out how to protect my husband, so if the police ever do show up, they can do a peek around, but he has to say, “Look, this is my wife, but she’s not herself.” At the same time, I’m not happy with a psych hold.”

This multiple goes on to worry about herself in the event her husband dies and there is no one to ensure she does not self-harm and care for her little personalities.

Ruth Blizard, PhD.,  psychotherapist in Binghamton, New York, USA, treats people with multiple personalities, offers classes, workshops, individual and group therapy, diagnoses and treats personality disorders, complex trauma and dissociation. Dr. Blizard has an extensive list of articles and presentations on her website. Her article below discusses the alliance a psychotherapist needs to make with abusive alters. Following the article are a few resources for spouses of multiples. I do not support or endorse any of the links or organizations listed.


 Therapeutic alliance with abuser alters in dissociative  identity disorder: The paradox of attachment to the abuser.

Ruth Blizard, Ph.D.

Dissociation, 10(4), 246-254, 1997

Abstract: Abuser alters present a dilemma in the treatment of adults with dissociative identity disorder, because they often undermine the therapy as well as re-abuse the patient. They are paradoxical because they were created to help the child survive abuse, but continue to do so by abusing the self. They were often modeled after an abusive primary caretaker to whom the child was attached. Object-relations and attachment theories clarify how creation of the abuser personality serves to preserve the attachment to the abusing caretaker. By understanding how abuser alters function to maintain attachment, contain overwhelming memories, and protect against abuse, therapists can better engage abuser alters in a therapeutic alliance. Empathy, cognitive reframing, and gentle paradoxical techniques can help host and abuser personalities become more empathic toward one another, develop common purpose, and begin integrating. By working through the transference, attachment to the internalized abusive caretaker is replaced by healthy attachment to the therapist in the therapeutic alliance

Significant Other’s Guide to Dissociative Identity Disorder
http://www.pods-online.org.uk/index.html   Partners of Dissociative Survivors, provided by HiddenAngel08.

Alternate Explanations for Dissociative Symptoms

I don’t agree or disagree with this article but am pleased that researchers are looking into alternative reasons for the development of dissociative disorders other than childhood sexual abuse.



Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 Mar 19. pii: S0163-8343(14)00073-5. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2014.03.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Dissociative disorder due to Graves’ hyperthyroidism: a case report.

Mizutani K1, Nishimura K2, Ichihara A3, Ishigooka J1. Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.


We report the case of a 20-year-old Japanese woman with no psychiatric history with apparent dissociative symptoms. These consisted of amnesia for episodes of shoplifting behaviors and a suicide attempt, developing together with an exacerbation of Graves’ hyperthyroidism. Patients with Graves’ disease frequently manifest various psychiatric disorders; however, very few reports have described dissociative disorder due to this disease. Along with other possible causes, for example, encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, clinicians should be aware of this possibility.


Is Dissociative Identity Disorder Factitious?

When the lie is the truth: Grounded theory analysis of an online support group for factitious disorder

Authors: Aideen Lawlor & Jurek Kirakowski

Psychiatry Research Available online 4 April 2014


Factitious Disorder (FD) is poorly understood because of the elusiveness of sufferers. What is known is based on speculation from observational case studies and this is evident by the manifold diagnostic and treatment issues associated with FD. This study sought to fill the gap in the literature and overcome the elusiveness of FD sufferers by analysing their text communications in two online communities. 124 posts by 57 members amounting to approximately 38,000 words were analysed using grounded theory. The analysis showed that contrary to current theories of FD, motivation is conscious and not unconscious, members did experience symptoms associated with the disorder, and they were also upset by their behaviour and wanted to recover but were deterred by fear. Furthermore, using the excessive appetitive model by Orford (2001) it is hypothesised that the characteristics of FD described by the members were congruent with those associated with addiction.

  • Factitious disorder;
  • Munchausen ayndrome;
  • Online support groups;
  • Grounded theory;
  • Addictive behaviour


Lipid Levels in Dissociative Disorders

Lower lipid levels, or fatty acids and cholesterol, have been linked to suicide and now are being studied as a possible cause of dissociative disorders.

If the dissociative disorder of multiple personalities was found to be biological instead of a psychological reaction to severe childhood trauma and abuse would the findings be embraced or ignored? Healing dissociation with diet instead of endless years of expensive psychotherapy and inpatient hospitalizations would drastically change the landscape of dissociative identity disorder and its treatment.

The Psychology Industry and Big Pharma stand to lose in this scenario because most patients in treatment for multiple personalities are on medication to alleviate symptoms, but there is no medication to control the disorder.

Will high-powered psychiatrists who are members of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association embrace this breaking science knowing they will sacrifice income for patient wellness? You decide.



Publisher: Psychiatric Quarterly, April 2014


Although there are several data suggesting a link between lower lipids levels and the risk of suicide, there are few data concerning lower lipids levels in patients with dissociative disorders (DD). This is the first longitudinal study investigating the evolution of the lipids levels during a specific 8 weeks of psychodynamic psychotherapy (PP) for patients with DD. 32 patients diagnosed with DD (SCID for DSMIVR) were assessed with Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), Clinical Global Impression and Improvement Scale and their lipids levels (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein and very low density lipoprotein) were measured at inclusion and after 3 and 8 weeks of PP. 30 patients finished the study. There is a significant positive (p < 0.05) link between lower lipids levels (total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerids) and a higher level of dissociation (DES scores) at the beginning and at the end of the study. Interestingly, we found a significant (p = 0.018) positive link between the reduction of the dissociation (DES) and the increase of the triglycerides levels after 8 weeks of treatment. While lower lipids seems related to a higher level of dissociation before and after the treatment, an increasing triglycerides level was observed after 8 weeks of PP in patients with a better outcome. Further studies are needed with larger samples and control groups, in order to confirm these preliminary data. These findings could open the way for hypothesis about the role of lipids in the pathophysiology of DD and raise the question of the patients with DD receiving antilipidemiants agents.

resources for this article here

retrieved 04-09-14

Anger May Lower Tolerance for Distress

Anger is a hallmark of treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder – commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Angry “parts” of a person’s personality are encouraged to express past abuse and trauma – over and over and over – usually over a period of years. These parts are assigned a name so future encounters can be identified and explored further. For example the “Suzie” personality might expresses incest anger while “Diane” holds and expresses ritual abuse anger and so forth.
Does creating alter personalities as a vehicle to express anger and rage actually improve one’s ability to tolerate stressful memories and current life hurdles? Since there are many women have been purchasing Dissociative Identity Disorder therapy for over 10,15, 20 years – it obvious that expressing anger and creating alter personalities isn’t working any more than the therapy is.
I have yet to read an anecdote about someone having an angry alter that finished being angry and learned to cope  – surely it’s occurred, but what is commonly reported is that the angry alter continues to be angry. In addition, more alters are created to distribute the anger and rage, not the reverse.
Most people engaged in therapy for multiple personalities may be treated for Dissociative Identity Disorder, but have a secondary diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder – making the study below quite pertinent.
Ruminative and mindful self-focused attention in borderline personality disorder.
by Shannon E. Sauer & Ruth A. Baer
Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, Vol 3(4), Oct 2012, 433-441. doi: 10.1037/a0025465

The current study investigated the short-term effects of mindful and ruminative forms of self-focused attention on a behavioral measure of distress tolerance in individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who had completed an angry mood induction.

Participants included 40 individuals who met criteria for BPD and were currently involved in mental health treatment. Each completed an individual 1-hr session. Following an angry mood induction, each participant was randomly assigned to engage in ruminative or mindful self-focus for several minutes.

All participants then completed the computerized Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT-C), a behavioral measure of willingness to tolerate distress in the service of goal-directed behavior.

The mindfulness group persisted significantly longer than the rumination group on the distress tolerance task and reported significantly lower levels of anger following the self-focus period.

Results are consistent with previous studies in suggesting that distinct forms of self-focused attention have distinct outcomes and that, for people with BPD, mindful self-observation is an adaptive alternative to rumination when feeling angry.


In Memoriam: To those who died while struggling to live with multiple personalities

English: Flower arrangement for funeral Dansk:...

English: Flower arrangement for funeral Dansk: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

January 2013.

There was another tragic death in the community of people believing in, and living with, multiple personalities and/or the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Prompted by the recent suicide of a woman named “Sara” and to my friends, this post was created.

Below is a list of people who took their life believing they harbored alter selves, multiple personalities, parts, or other psychotherapy. Some were in therapy; some were my friends.

You are welcome to add your loved ones to this list.


Beth S., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Barb, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Lori Ann N., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, (age 26)

Candace Newmaker (age 10), nee Candace Tiarra Elemore, North Carolina, USA, Killed during    rebirthing therapy

Sara, blogger, approx. January, 2013.

Fragmented Sleep, Fragmented Mind: A New Theory of Sleep Disruption and Dissociation

Scientific research has shed new light on dissociative symptoms and dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. This condition seems to arise most often when a vulnerable person meets a therapist with a suggestive line of questioning or encounters sensationalized media portrayals of dissociation. Research shows that people with rich fantasy lives may be especially susceptible to such influences.   A new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests a mundane but surprising reason why some people might be vulnerable to dissociation: sleep problems.

The pop psychology belief is that patients develop multiple personalities to cope with traumatic experiences in their past, especially child sexual abuse. But this assumption isn’t supported by scientific evidence…Many people with dissociative disorders  do say they were abused as children, but that doesn’t mean abuse caused their condition.

A more likely explanation, Lynn says, is that dissociative identity disorder arises from a combination of cues, from therapists and from visions of multiple personalities in the media..

Lynn and his colleagues’ research further suggests that sleep problems may be one reason why some people are more vulnerable to dissociation and dissociative disorders….“We’re not arguing that this is a complete or final explanation,” Lynn says. “We just hope the word will get out and other investigators will start looking at this possibility.”

…Therapists should “be scrupulous in avoiding suggestive approaches—not only with people who may be particularly vulnerable to those procedures, but with people in general who seek help.” Also, he cautions, “if your therapist is trying to convince you that you have multiple personalities, you should find a new therapist.”


For more information about this study, please contact: Steven Jay Lynn at stevenlynn100@gmail.com.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews on the latest advances in theory and research spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications. For a copy of “Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders: Challenging Conventional Wisdom” and access to other Current Directions in Psychological Science research findings, please contact Divya Menon at 202-293-9300 or dmenon@psychologicalscience.org.

Retrieved 05/13/12.

Therapists, Take Responsibility for Your Patients

As a follow-up to my essay regarding the revocation of driver’s licenses of multiples, I think it’s time for psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and research psychologists to step up to the plate and take action to ensure that the public remain safe from the potential actions of the unstable patients they create.

I for one, do not want to be driving 75 mph (legal where I live) and unknowingly be surrounded by multiples driving trucks, cars, and other vehicles. Nor do I want to go to a hospital and be treated by a nurse or doctor who claims to have other personalities. I also don’t want to worry about children being cared for by a teacher who may have a serious lapse in judgment that puts a child at risk.

Where are the psychotherapists and psychiatrists who make this diagnosis and then leave patients, families & the general public to deal with the aftermath? Don’t professional health care providers have an ethical responsibility to warn the public? Do we have to remain at risk, be injured, and eventually sue a psychotherapist for negligence or death before it becomes mandatory that multiples be treated properly – as any other mentally incapacitated person?

Society, for example, doesn’t allow severely mentally impaired individuals to operate heavy machinery, we don’t allow them to conduct surgery, and we don’t generally place them in a position of power & trust. An individual claiming to have multiple personalities is no different. Claiming to be co-conscious of other alters, being cooperative or having pacts with other personalities in order to function doesn’t cut it.

Multiples claim that taking such actions would force them back into the closet & do nothing to help them heal and recover from their severe abuse. Perhaps that is a good idea because it would put distance between patients and therapists who are doing more harm than good when they contribute to the general decompensation of their clients.

Let’s get these patients the help they need & protect the public in the meantime.

Why is “do no harm” a subjective concept that can be molded to fit the needs of a caretaker rather than the patient & public?

originally published 12/07/10

Creative Commons License
Therapists, Take Responsibility for Your Patients by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

2014: Halle Berry is: Frankie & Alice a Woman with Multiple Personalities in Theaters

Movie Info by RottenTomatoes.com

“From Lionsgate and Codeblack Films and the executive producers of INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE and LACKAWANNA BLUES comes a mind-bending drama starring Academy Award (R) Winner and Golden Globe (R) Nominee Halle Berry (THE CALL, MONSTER’S BALL). FRANKIE & ALICE is inspired by the remarkable true story of an African American go-go dancer “Frankie” with multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder or “DID”) who struggles to remain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old child named Genius and a Southern white racist woman named Alice. In order to stop the multiple voices in her head, Frankie (Halle Berry) works together with a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgard) to uncover and overcome the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.”

Directed By: Geoffrey Sax

Writing Credits (WGA)

Cheryl Edwards (screenplay) and
Marko King (screenplay) &
Mary King (screenplay) &
Jonathan Watters (screenplay) and
Joe Shrapnel (screenplay) &
Anna Waterhouse (screenplay)
Oscar Janiger (story) &
Philip Goldberg (story) and
Cheryl Edwards (story)

Trailer Internet Movie DataBase

Dissociative identity disorder: Integreation

Jeanette Bartha:

I don’t recall ever reading that personalities are only a collection of thoughts – which I came to realize only after being far into remembering sexual & ritual abuse that, in reality, never occurred. Kudos to you, Sidran.

Originally posted on Trauma and Dissociation Project:

From sidran:

I feel sad when I read accounts by individuals with DID who choose to stay dissociative. I fear they do not understand integration as a natural part of the healing process. I remember after I integrated all of the personalities, I was surprised that I still had all of the thoughts and feelings that had been labeled as personalities. I came to realize that the personalities were always and only a collection of thoughts, feelings, experiences and memories that had been separated from normal awareness and from other collections of thoughts, feelings, experiences and memories. Personalities are not real people. They are aspects of one person that have been separated from normal awareness. After my final integration, I realized that the personalities were a way to describe my internal experience. With therapy, I changed my internal experience and learned new ways to describe my inner thoughts and feelings.

View original 2 more words

Making sense of memory: Schacter examines links between past and future

Harvard Gazette

Massachusetts, USA, Thursday, August 16, 2012

We create these false memories, according to Harvard psychologist Daniel Schacter, because our brains are designed to tell stories about the future. “Memory’s flexibility is useful to us, but it creates distortions and illusions,” says Schacter, .. “If memory is set up to use the past to imagine the future, its flexibility creates a vulnerability — a risk of confusing imagination with reality.”

Schacter, … was recently honored with the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association (APA).

Memory is inherently constructive, Schacter says: We remember by rebuilding the past from bits and pieces — and the same ability helps us imagine the future.”

Retrieved 08/17/12  Full story: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/08/making-sense-of-memory/


Inpatient Suicide

by the Law Offices of Skip Simpson

The loss of a loved one is devastating

An inpatient suicide is a shock to friends and family. You may have spent time choosing the right facility. You may have placed your loved one into a psychiatric or rehabilitation center, believing he or she would receive increased attention from healthcare providers. Unfortunately, when healthcare providers fail meet the standard of care, or to follow procedures or lack adequate training, inpatient suicides can occur. A suicide might occur because a staff member failed to conduct a regular check of the patient’s well-being. It is not the standard of care to put a suicidal patient on an every 15 minute observation level.

It is estimated 1,500 patients die each year by suicide in our hospitals and many thousands more make non-fatal attempts. Among other factors, investigations have shown these injuries and deaths can be attributed to inadequate staff training in a) how to detect, assess, and communicate suicide risk, and b) how to properly monitor known at-risk patients in the emergency room or hospital.

Dangerous hospital practices persist

Even when clinicians know patients are at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors, antiquated, untested, and dangerous hospital practices persist; e.g., the so-called every 15 minute monitoring level – a routine “intervention” that allows patients 14 minutes and 59 seconds to kill themselves using obvious anchor points, ligatures and sharp instruments.

There is no standard of care that allows healthcare professionals to needlessly endanger patients known to be at risk for suicidal behaviors. Published studies point to improved practice models, use of environmental safety and procedural checklists, and evidence-based training in how to detect, assess, monitor and manage suicidal patients – training that is now accessible, available, affordable, and which establishes the standard of care.

When a patient is at increased risk for suicidal behavior

Suicidality is the most common reason for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. When a patient is admitted to the hospital because of thoughts of suicide, the clinician and hospital is on notice that the patient is at an increased risk for suicidal behavior. When hospital staff members are aware of a patient’s suicidal tendencies, the hospital assumes the duty to take reasonable steps to prevent the patient from inflicting harm.

Filing a claim can be difficult following a traumatic event. At the Law Offices of Skip Simpson, we provide compassionate representation for family members who have lost loved ones. You and your family have placed a large amount of trust in the medical professionals, from doctors to orderlies. They have a duty to provide their patients with correct diagnoses and to take appropriate action based on the symptoms.

How an inpatient suicide can happen

An inpatient suicide usually occurs in a psychiatric hospital, but can occur in a general hospital. They may have been placed at the facility involuntarily (a court has made a determination that they’re imminently suicidal). They may have checked in to a facility voluntarily.

An inpatient suicide may occur under any of the following circumstances:

  • Inadequate suicide assessment
  • Improper suicide watch or negligent suicide watch
  • An unsafe environment of care
  • Failure to remove environmental dangers
  • Inadequate policies and procedures regarding dangerous contraband
  • Failure to remove shoe laces or belt from patient

In handling an inpatient suicide case, we typically investigate hospital records and patient charts. Our investigation consists of interviews with witnesses and reviews of logs.

Contact our law firm

For a free and confidential consultation, contact a compassionate attorney who cares about people and demands justice. Contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson. See what we can do for you. Call 214-618-8222 or reach a personal injury lawyer by completing our online contact form.

Retrieved 06/21/12. Reprint by permission.

I Miss My Therapist

Panic attack

Image via Wikipedia, Yet another depiction of the sick woman being treated by the all-knowing and reassuring male-doctor. About as stereotypical as it gets. JB

When I was in therapy remembering sexual abuse that actually never occurred, I was totally dependent on my psychiatric team for support, comfort, and scraps of love. When any one of them went on vacation, left their shift, had the day off, or was sent to work on another unit – I was devastated and not sure I would make it until I saw them again.

I obsessed about them, cried, held my teddy bear, took more meds, slept, and stared into space or at a TV screen counting the days and hours until they returned. The constant state of panic was all consuming.

Thankfully, that infantile need disappeared when I fled therapy. Coincidence?

Below are thoughts of people in therapy for dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder found elsewhere on the Internet.

Published on December 30, 2009

This time last year, I was freaking out …I was counting the seconds until she returned. Going from three days of analytical bliss a week to zero – for two weeks in a row – was a sleepless demon that required constant taming.

Missing your therapist – a LOT – during the break is definitely a common thing. … And more than once for me, getting through that span of time felt like crossing a vast desert. It can be lonely without your therapist, even if you’re surrounded by people who love you, and life is busy. …

When that longing would come on – for the relief and release and risk and recovery of the session room – the summer or winter breaks …could feel agonizing.

Full Story Psychology Today, December 30, 2009.


Related links:

Feeling so attached to my therapist I can’t cope

…Feel so raw and vulnerable and scared and lonely and hurt and mad and YUCK and she’s the only person on the planet who understands me and says the right thing and makes me feel safe.But I only get to see her for two hours a week and it feels HORRID! I honestly wanted to grab her leg in session today, lie on the floor and not let her go!up today, and it hurts. Retrieved 6/14/11


I think I’m addicted to therapy and maybe too attached to my therapist. It just feels as though those 45 minutes are the only time I feel capable of expressing myself and venting my frustrations. … I may just be using my therapist to dump all of my feelings on, when I can’t talk to anyone else. He seems to genuinely understand me and believe in me. …”
Retrieved 4/31/11.


“…Currently I’m sitting at the beginning of my therapist’s one week vacation …She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hrd… I realize just how much I rely on her or what she brings to my life and I’m terrified of losing it. …
She’s my foundation, upon which everything else has settled. I count on our regularly schedule appointments. …It’s part of my routine, which I find safety in. ….I feel disconnected and lost. … I feel lonely and afraid.
…My PTSD and dissociative symptoms tend to go through the roof as July approaches, and I need her to help me keep them in check. …I don’t want to put myself on the verge of ending my life because I’m so miserable….She needs her time away, just as much as anyone else. My first reaction to missing her is to conclude that I need her too much, meaning I need emotionally pull away, which isn’t healthy. …”


“Right now there are seven hours until i get to my therapists office and i am just trying to make it until then.”…


“Is thinking about my therapist this much normal/healthy?”

I’ve been seeing a therapist for several months and I feel good about the progress I’ve made with her help and guidance. However, there are times when I can’t stop thinking about her, and I find that somewhat disturbing.

… I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with her, but I do have very warm feelings for her, as I would for a close friend or sibling. I get excited thinking about talking to her, and I feel energized even when I’ve had even the briefest contact by phone.

I understand that as a professional she needs to protect her boundaries… how do I resolve these feelings of curiosity about my therapist and wanting to be her friend? Retrieved 1/31/11.


…”She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hard.

… My fear is if I’m not in a person’s routine than I’ll be completely forgotten, so I try to do what I can to stay “active” in a person’s mind by staying present in his or her life. … Basically, I feel like if I don’t make myself noticeable, then no one will see me and will ultimately forget I even exist.

So, this fear is amplified with my therapist because I do miss her while she’s away…. I’m afraid she’ll forget me. … She’ll realize how emotionally draining I am as a patient. I won’t be important to her anymore. I’ll have been replaced or just plain forgotten about. Retrieved 1/31/11.


I’ve been through several terminations -each of them different.
The first I invested a lot in but felt was extremely damaging.  I was discharged from the service.  The T still worked there and I was still desperate for support and contact.  My mental health really deteriorated and I became extremely unwell. … I didn’t work through any of my termination issues, just pushed them away. Retrieved 1/30/11.

“Sybil Exposed” Exposes Disinformation Campaign by Supporters of Multiple Personalities & Dissociative Identity Disorder

Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case, by Debbie Nathan, Free Press an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Since the book’s release, posts, blogs, articles and other news venues have chattered about the inaccuracies of Nathan’s research methods. Negative comments & opinions have flown around the Internet at warped speed beginning shortly after (and some before) the book’s release.

Nathan spent years pouring over archives written by Shirley Mason, known as Sybil, her psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, and Flora Schreiber the author of the book Sybil.

What opponents of Debbie Nathan’s work either do not know, or will not divulge- is that hundreds of original resources were used and interviews conducted to complete the true story of Shirley Mason’s life.

Below are excerpts of the first few pages of the acknowledgments section of Sybil Exposed beginning on page 239:

  • Conversations with Mikkel-Borch-Jacobsen (scholar) who, along with with historian Peter Swales uncovered the true identity of Sybil (Shirley Mason) in the early 1990s.
  • audio tape (sent from Borch-Jacobsen to Debbie Nathan) of an interview with Virginia Flores Cravens, a childhood neighborof Shirley’s.
  • David Eichman, grandson of Shirley Mason’s stepmother, Florence Eichman Mason. Eichnan inherited old correspondence between Shirley & her father – and Shirley and her step-mother. Eichman also had some of Shirley’s artwork, photographs of her as a young woman.
  • Dan Houlihan, psychology professor at the University of Minnesota at Mankato – the school Shirley attended as an undergraduate. Houlihan was a student back then. He donated old correspondence between Shirley & her former teachers, legal documents about her father’s business affairs, college yearbooks, and registrar’s office records and the names and location of Shirley’s former roommates from the 1940s.
  • Muriel Odden Coulter, daughter of a dorm mate shared letters penned by Shirley
  • Stanley Giesel, Vadah Purtell, Frank Weeks, Vivian Beaver, Roy Langworthy and Joan Larson people who grew up in Shirley’s home town of Dodge Center, Minnesota.
  • Dennae Ness Wilson who was residing in the Mason’s old home offered Nathan a tour.
  • Janet Kolstadt Johnson, Roger Langworthy, Melanie Wheeler Langworthy – had conversations about growing up in Dodge City.
  • Conversations with Shirley’s cousins: Patrica Alcott, Lorna Gilbert, Arlene Christensen, and Marcia Schmidt
  • Members of the Seventh-Day Adventist (the Mason’s church)
  • Shirley’s baptism papers
  • Jean Lane, Shirley’s best friend during college
  • Robert Rieber, emeritus psychology professor at John Jay College in New York City. Taught with author of “Sybil”, Flora Schreiber
  • Robert Rieber shared an audio tape of Shirley’s therapy session
  • Interviews with Dr. Herbert Spieger, who worked with Shirley in the late 1950s & 1960s. He and his wife, psychologist Marcia Greenlief, showed Nathan Shirley’s treatment records.
  • Robert Schade, cousin of Dr. Connie Wilbur
  • Deborah Brown Kovac, niece of Connie Wilbur’s second husband
  • Neil Burwell Connie Wilbur’s nephew
  • Warner & Douglas Burwell, Connie Wilbur’s great-nephews

Negative opinions flared, in part, from Dr. Patrick Suraci. His opinion & refutation of what he perceives as Nathan’s inaccuracies and research, in favor of his own, is being reposted by people claiming to have survived ritual-sexual abuse, members of fringe survivor groups, and by proponents of multiple personalities and dissociative identity disorder. The speed of distribution and repetition of opinions generated from this one source makes my head spin.

There is little evidence that the most out spoken critics have read the book. In one instance, a reviewer at Amazon Book Reviews admitted to not having read the book. In another the reviewer said she would not buy it, yet published many scathing posts.

Publishing disinformation about Sybil Exposed and repeating it over and over and over serves one main purpose – an attempt to discredit the author – Debbie Nathan. By attempting to discredit this author, one must also agree to discredit the publisher, Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, as well as the literary agent, editors, legal fact-checkers, members of the editorial staff, and employees at Free Press. In addition one must either discredit, or ignore, the hundreds of people interviewed, including family, who knew Sybil during her lifetime. Most profoundly, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and Shirley Mason (Sybil) must be discredited because their own correspondence was used as source material.

The politics behind the admonishment of Sybil Exposed is clear. Many who think they have multiple personalities and their supporters view the fictitious story of Sybil, as a positive force because it tells their story and is an affirmation of their beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.

Thanks to authors and journalists like Debbie Nathan, the fictional character of Sybil was finally exposed.

Creative Commons License
Book Release: “Sybil Exposed” Exposes Supporters of Multiple Personalities &amp; Dissociative Identity Disorder by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

originally published 11-21-11.

Is Change in Handwriting Evidence of Multiple Personalities & Dissociative Identity Disorder?

English: Cournut_handwriting_and_signature_25_...

Image via Wikipedia

I updated this article because Dr. Yank, whose research was sited, stated that I misunderstood her research study from 1991.

I am grateful that she came here and gave me this opportunity.

Dr. Yank submitted the following (an excerpt):

I happened to stumble upon this website and noticed a comment about my research. The research was rigorously performed and evaluated, but it seems that the blogger may not have understood the intent of the study.

I am a handwriting researcher. My goal in this study was to determine whether individuals could write different styles so consistently over time that it would make it difficult to ascertain authorship on documents. This question is relevant in the case of questioned signatures and writings (wills, forgeries, written statements, and others). That goal was clearly stated in the article.

I do not have an opinion on whether or not DID exists. My research showed that in some rare cases, alleged alters wrote in unique and consistent patterns over the time that samples were gathered (several months). These situations were very rare and were verified by people who knew the writers (I did not).

Original article:

Is a change in handwriting proof that an individual possesses multiple personalities or has dissociative identity disorder as many expert believe?

Different and/or changing handwriting styles has been used as evidence of the existence of multiple personalities for decades. It is argued that an individual, either believing in or having a diagnosis of MPD/DID, can have alter personalities who write and express themselves differently on paper. It is furthermore argued that each personality can be identified by their handwriting.

I won’t argue the point that any given alter personality can be identified by their handwriting as Jane Redfield Yank, M.S.S.W. did in “Handwriting Variation in Individuals with Multiple Personality Disorder, 1991. It’s easy enough to create a character with all types of personality traits that can be reenacted and recreated over time. It occurs in films, theater, novels, and television every day. It would be interesting, however, to have a handwriting expert analyze writing samples of someone who believes they have multiple personalities. I know of no such study, but my guess is that there would be consistent inconsistency through all personalities.

I was researching the life and work of  Dr. Wallace Nutting, a minister who was also a photographer and interested in preserving antiquities. Nutting (1861-1941) became interested in photography after ill health forced him to retire from ministry. His photographs were sometimes hand-colored and often signed by the colorist, rather than Nutting himself. As a result, there are many authorized signatures on file at the Wallace Nutting Library.

Here are quotes from the Library website that address the multiple personality/handwriting theory:

“Wallace Nuttings career spanned several decades so it would reasonably be expected that his signature style would change to some degree.” Of course, my handwriting is not the same as it was when in high school is yours?

“During the several decades that the Nutting Studio was in operation, several head colorist were authorized to sign Nutting’s name to his work. For this reason the signature style will vary depending on when and in what studio the picture was made.”

Wallace Nutting Library Authorized Signatures

The library shows illustrations of Nutting’s signatures over the decades of his life. They are most interesting as they changed considerably as the culture changed, his health failed, time constraints on his art grew, colorists entered his work, and daily life moved on.

While I was in treatment, and diagnosed with multiple personalities, my former doctor used my handwriting changes as evidence that I had alters inside me that wanted to have a voice. I was initially shocked. His observations and analysis were enlightening because they quelled my doubts, and his observations were terribly frightening – leaving me with increased feelings of unreality, disconnectedness, and loss of control. Upon further thought, however, I found the statement odd for several reasons.

First, I was a prolific journalist in the early 1980s before I met him and wrote for many hours daily  – easily filling a blank book in a few weeks with tiny letters and tight use of space. When I told the doctor, he chose to ignore me.

I also knew that at times I got tired and my hand hurt – so of course my handwriting changed. When I told the doctor, he chose to ignore me.

When I was mad, or in a hurry, my letters were larger, as were the loops. The script in general was more intense, bold, and forceful. When I told the doctor, he chose to ignore me.

I savored the joy of the physical act of writing, the texture and smell of different types of paper, the feel of fountain pens or plastic ones off an assembly line, and enjoyed watching how the ink flowed as I wrote. I liked the colors, the feel of a pen in my hand and how the right combination of pen and paper could keep me writing for hours. And how the wrong texture of paper and pen could keep my journal entries short. I wrote at my desk, on my lap, while on a bus, and any other place whether or not I was stationary – so of course my handwriting changed. When I told the doctor, he chose to ignore me.

I gave up trying to tell him how writers love the instruments of their craft and that there was an another explanation to the changes in my handwriting. I let the matter go and choose to ignore him – sometimes.

Back to Wallace Nutting. His plethora of signatures could easily have been used as evidence of severe childhood sexual abuse and, therefore, he could have been diagnosed with multiple personalities had he survived and lived in America during the explosion of the MPD diagnosis in the 1980s and 1990s.

I know some will say Nutting was an undiagnosed multiple. I can’t change that. Those who put weight on changing handwriting using it as proof or evidence that multiple personalities and dissociative identity disorder exist might take a moment and factor into the equation that different handwriting exists just because we are human and change all the time.

Yank, J.R. Dissociation_Vol._4_No._1_p._002-012_Handwriting_variations_in_individuals_with_MPD

<img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0″ src=”http://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nc-nd/3.0/88×31.png” />
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test

Mercy Ministries Under Fire for Using Debunked Repressed Memory Therapy

Houston, we have a problem.

Mercy Ministries is under intense fire from former patients and their families for allegedly practicing the debunked pseudoscience of repressed memory therapy on unwitting clients.

Mercy Ministries is welcome to come here and refute or explain the charges former patients are making.


A Christian-based residential treatment program by the name of Mercy Ministries is being challenged by a group of previous clients who call themselves “Mercy Survivors”.    These previous clients are using online resources such as Facebook, Tumbr, YouTube, and Twitter to spread their message and connect with other affected families.

The Mercy Ministries official website says, “Mercy Ministries does not practice repressed memory therapy” (1)  but at least one past client disagrees, “At this Nashville, TN based facility called Mercy Ministries, the retired school-teacher who was “called by God” to cure me of mental angst, eating disorder behaviors, and substance abuse, implanted a memory that I had been sexually abused as a child.”  (2)

Mercy Ministries is a faith-based multi-state Christian residential treatment program for girls ages 13-28 which operates at no charge to clients.  They treat anything from eating disorders, addictions, and depression to unplanned pregnancies and brag of an overall  93% success rate in turning these women’s lives around.   The funding for the program comes from donations by sponsors.  Churches and individuals can sponsor the program as a whole or may sponsor a single patient.  (3)

Up until 2008, Mercy Ministries used a therapeutic model known as “Restoring the Foundations”.  But when the Australian branches of the ministry were exposed for using exorcisms as part of their curriculum and usurping clients’ social welfare checks as payment, the American ministry developed its own seven-point counseling model entitled “Choices That Bring Change” (CTBC).    The Mercy Survivors group argues that CTBC still utilizes the same key parts of “Restoring the Foundations” which caused problems.  Specifically, they say that part 5 “Healing from Life Hurts” is a search for memories of abuse which may create false memories and that part 6 “Freedom from Oppression” is sometimes treated by exorcisms.   While the official website for Mercy Ministries specifically states that “Mercy Ministries does not perform or endorse exorcisms as part of its treatment curriculum”  (4), Mercy Survivors offer this  audio of Mercy Ministry’s president, Nancy Alcorn, to demonstrate otherwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soX-IOeO9jg. (5)

Treatment through Mercy Ministries culminates in a graduation ceremony.  One father explains how he first discovered he’d been accused of sexual abuse by finding his daughter’s graduation speech “ She came back [home] and everything seemed OK.” “It seemed like we had a good relationship….”Three days after she got home, she said she was here for a visit and she said we had misunderstood. Either that day or the next day, Smith said, his wife discovered their daughter’s graduation testimony. “In her testimony, she said I had molested her from [ages] 4 to 17”.  (6)

For further information, please visit the Mercy Survivor’s blog(s) and Youtube channel:




http://www.mercyministries.org/what_we_do/our_program.html  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://prettypinkkoolaid.com/post/76982455501/intentionally-or-unintentionally-mercy-ministries  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.mercyministries.org/who_we_are/about/  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.mercyministries.org/who_we_are/about/faqs.html  (accessed 3/24/14)

https://www.youtube.com/user/MercySurvivors  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.lincolnnewsmessenger.com/article/mercy-ministries-two-fathers-views  (accessed 3/24/14)

Reblogged with permission from personal correspondence.





Challenging Conventional Beliefs that Dissociative Identity Disorder is Strictly Trauma Based

Conventional wisdom for most beliefs is eventually challenged and the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or multiple personalities, is no exception.

During the proliferation of this mental malady in the mid 1980s, it was believed that extreme and repeated childhood sexual abuse caused the mind of the victim to split into additional personalities and then bury the trauma from awareness so they could cope with an inescapable situation. That conventional wisdom was challenged and science has since demonstrated that the human mind does not repress trauma in this manner, nor does the mind develop multiple personalities as a coping mechanism.

Dissociative Identity Disorder and multiple personalities are not found in people worldwide and, therefore, conclusions are drawn that this mental illness is culturally specific. Before the argument is made saying that other cultures have it but aren’t aware of it or it is undiagnosed, let’s wonder and question why this illness is not manifesting itself worldwide without interventions from Western cultures? When people in the United States display depression, it is similar to depression seen in Europe, Asia and South America. Why is Dissociative Identity Disorder so special? Question, question, and then question some more.

Social and psychological scientists are not the only ones responsible for challenging theories that aim to explain human behavior. We, the public, are equally responsible for challenging theories and must use logic and reason when deciding if explanations of our behavior make sense. The case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, commonly referred to as multiple personalities, is a perfect example of the need to challenge conventional wisdom because the wisdom in this case was grossly misleading and many patients and their families suffered from treatment that sometimes proved harmful and sometimes fatal.


Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

  1. Steven Jay Lynn, Binghamton University (SUNY)
  2. Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emory University
  3. Harald Merckelbach, Maastricht University*
  4. Timo Giesbrecht*
  5. Dalena van der Kloet*

Current Directions in Psychological Science, February 2012, vol. 21 no. 1 48-53. doi: 10.1177/0963721411429457   free pdf here


Conventional wisdom holds that dissociation is a coping mechanism triggered by exposure to intense stressors. Drawing on recent research from multiple laboratories, we challenge this prevailing posttraumatic model of dissociation and dissociative disorders.

Proponents of this model hold that dissociation and dissociative disorders are associated with (a) intense objective stressors (e.g., childhood trauma), (b) serious cognitive deficits that impede processing of emotionally laden information, and (c) an avoidant information-processing style characterized by a tendency to forget painful memories.

We review findings that contradict these widely accepted assumptions and argue that a sociocognitive model better accounts for the extant data. We further propose a perspective on dissociation based on a recently established link between a labile sleep–wake cycle and memory errors, cognitive failures, problems in attentional control, and difficulties in distinguishing fantasy from reality.

Conclusions: We conclude that this perspective may help to reconcile the posttraumatic and sociocognitive models of dissociation and dissociative disorders.


Babette Rothchild: Dual Awareness & Working Through Trauma (YouTube video)

Trauma Specialist, Babette Rothschild: Description of Dual Awareness

I like how Rothschild explains and teaches people suffering from trauma (the source matters not) how to acknowledge what they are feeling on an internal basis while also acknowledging the reality of the external environment. Distinguishing between ones inside and physical self and the reality of the here-and-now is, in my opinion, a key to healing from dissociative episodes, multiple personalities, and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I’ll go so far as to say that if a therapist fails to employ techniques for coping with and working through trauma, PTSD, flashbacks and other dysfunctional coping mechanisms on a consistent basis by helping a patient anchor themselves in the here-and-now, a new therapist is in order – today.

Most therapists treating dissociation, multiple personalities, trauma, PTSD, internal parts, and associated psychiatric conditions do Not help patients anchor themselves in reality. Instead, these therapists offer clients a “safe” environment (the therapy office) to explore alter selves/internal parts rather than help clients settle in the here-and-now. Learning to tolerate internal discomfort and fear while recognizing that the traumatic event(s) is over is a key to moving on rather than staying stuck with feelings and memories that are both demoralizing and crippling.

Splitting adult women into multiple selves or internal parts leads them further astray from the real world and offers nothing but an endless opportunity to create and reside in a fantasy world.

Is your therapist letting your child alter play with toys during a therapy session? Is your therapists letting your stare into space, curl in a ball, rock yourself, or remain silent? Ask yourself: why am I paying for this? Am I learning how to cope? Is this therapy getting me back to my life?

Take the challenge. Examine the techniques offered by your therapist. Are you learning techniques to anchor yourself in the here-and-now by learning to identify internal feelings? or are you encouraged to delve deeper into the alter selves you and your therapist may be creating.

How many years have you been doing this? How many more will you tolerate before finding psychological treatment that acknowledges your trauma and teaches you how to move through it – without creating multiple personalities?

These are questions and challenges I wish someone had posed to me while I was in treatment and trying to remember abuse – that didn’t happen. Treatment nearly killed me. A simple reality check asked by someone may have gotten me out of therapy and back to my life, but no one on my treatment team cared to do that.

Retrieved 12/16/12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlM8XV7vIFs

Rebirthing Therapy: Candace Newmaker nee Candace Tiarra Elmore, dies in therapy at 10 years-old, a YouTube video

I came across this video while researching. It does not directly connect to Dissociative Identity Disorder, or multiple personalities. It does, however, show how death from fringe therapies happens more often than the psychology industry would have the public know. And, it reminds me of my friends who were treated for multiple personalities and died during treatment.

I attended the trials of the therapists who murdered 10-year-old Candace during a rebirthing session meant to bond her to Jean Newmaker, her adoptive mother. This YouTube video shows the slow torture of Candace during that psychotherapy session that led to her death. Some details I would add:

Jean Newmaker, Candace’s adoptive mother, was head of pediatric nursing at Duke University. Newmaker, however, was unable to assess that Candace was being suffocated during the rebirthing session.

Candace’s birth family (grandparents) attended the trials. I got to know them rather well over the weeks of the trial. They are a loving family. They told me they were hoping that Jean Newmaker, a single woman who had an above average lifestyle compared to their daughter, would give Candace opportunities that they could not. Instead, she killed their grandchild.

After Candace’s death, her birth family took action and were instrumental in getting the practice of rebirthing banned in Colorado where the incident occurred.

The treatment  some patients are subjected to during dissociative identity disorder amounts to torture. When a patient is continually badgered to “remember” their past as a means to heal old wounds, that is torture. When a patient is obviously regressing and getting worse during treatment -  that is torture. When a patient regresses and cannot function after therapy is initiated, is down right medical malpractice.

We must stop this senseless killing and the decline of patients mental stability during psychotherapy.

“YouTube video titled: This is Child Abuse, Not Therapy”

Update 6/6/11.

The Millenium Project has more information about the Candace Newmaker murder. Here is a link to where you can find some of the transcript of the session that ended her life after 2 weeks in therapy with Connel Watkins and Julie Ponder.


I remember this conversation that occurred as Candace was struggling to breathe under layers of sofa cushions and tightly wrapped in a flannel sheet. The child screamed, she begged; she pleaded for oxygen; she became silent. Her 10-year-old mind understood the concept of “death” and she accepted her fate after hours of struggling for air. Her last word being “No.”

Jean Newmaker was (and may still be) a pediatric nurse at Duke University. Candace vomited and defecated under the sofa cushions and blanket, yet none of the counselors (there were 4) nor adoptive-mother Newmaker recognized that Candace’s body was shutting down preparing for death.

This was a bone-chilling moment in my life to watch this video.

Dissociative Disorders & Hyperthyroidism?

Tokyo, Japan. Researchers report a case study of a 20 year-old woman who claims amnesia for episodes of shoplifting behaviors and a suicide attempt. Doctors linked her apparent hyperthyroidism to a dissociative disorder – what?

Dissociative disorders, states the Mayo Clinic, are characterized as follows: “We all get lost in a good book or movie. But someone with dissociative disorder escapes reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy. The symptoms of dissociative disorders — ranging from amnesia to alternate identities — usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay.We all get lost in a good book or movie. But someone with dissociative disorder escapes reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy. The symptoms of dissociative disorders — ranging from amnesia to alternate identities — usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay.”

This is the first report I’ve read that associates dissociative disorders with the thyroid gland which regulates the body’s metabolism. In the case study below, the patient claimed amnesia for events which is a fundamental symptom of dissociation so perhaps that’s why a diagnosis of dissociative disorder was reached? What if the patient is faking amnesia to avoid culpability for allegedly shoplifting? Will she now be saddled with a dissociative disorder that could easily morph into full-blown case of Dissociative Identity Disorder where she will start to exhibit multiple personalities? We may never know unless a follow-up study or report is published.

The authors of this paper are associated with the Tokyo Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Their findings were published in the journal of General Hospital Psychiatry.


Dissociative disorder due to associated with Graves’ hyperthroidism: a case report*

Received 20 June 2006; accepted 20 October 2006.

  • Kaoru Mizutani, M.D., Tokyo Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  • Katsuji Nishimura, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Corresponding author at: Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, School of Medicine
  • Atsuhiro Ichihara, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Medicine II, Endocrinology and Hypertension, Tokyo Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  • Jun Ishigooka, M.D., Ph.D.,, Department of Psychiatry, Tokyo Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan


We report the case of a 20-year-old Japanese woman with no prior psychiatric history with apparent dissociative symptoms. These consisted of amnesia for episodes of shoplifting behaviors and a suicide attempt, developing together with an exacerbation of Graves’ hyperthyroidism. Patients with Graves’ disease frequently manifest various psychiatric disorders; however, very few reports have described dissociative disorder due to this disease. Along with other possible causes, for example, encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease, clinicians should be aware of this possibility.

*The title is exactly as it appears in the journal of General Psychiatry.

“Doubtful News” Meets Multiple Personalities & Dissociative Identity Disroder Doesn’t Exist

This post is inspired from the website Doubtful News. It is a site dedicated to “unique news feed providing links to original sources of internet news stories about things that make you go “Hmm…”

I’ve been following the book discussion on the recent publication of Twenty Two Faces by Judy Byington. The book, according to the author, is a true account of a woman tortured as a child by neighborhood pedophiles, satanists involved in ritual abuse, school children who repeatedly rape her, incest, failed marriages, psychiatric hospitalizations, and lastly multiple personalities. The protagonist, Jenny Hill, is visited by God who instructs her to keep a diary of her experiences. In subsequent visits, God tells Jenny that the written account of her life will become a published book that will help others. Fair enough.

The discussions on the Amazon.com book review section makes it perfectly clear that readers of Twenty Two Faces are split into two camps. One group, identify as survivors of abuse and torture similar to Jenny Hill’s; the other group is skeptical and critical of both Jenny Hill’s narrative and statements made by the author, Judy Byington. I’ll let you read the discussion for further details.

I was cruising topics and discussions on the James Randi Educational Foundation website this morning and articles on cognitive dissonance grabbed my attention and prompted me to offer you opportunities to read about the thoughts and beliefs of others to see what you think. We all believe our perceptions of the world are correct – thus making everyone else wrong – so let’s take a look at news that some think is preposterous – and others believe is true – so we can use the information to enhance discussions about multiple personalities & Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Cognitive dissonance explains how our brains and emotions struggle with opposing views and how we go about rectifying the discomfort it brings.

This post is offered as a tool to examine our thoughts and emotions and as an educational opportunity to learn why we fight to make our beliefs right regarding multiple personalities and Dissociative Identity Disorder – a topic and psychiatric diagnosis that continues to be controversial.

From the Doubtful News website:

Helping you decide …

           Can you really believe this stuff?

“Doubtful News is a unique news feed providing links to original sources of internet news stories about things that make you go “Hmm…”  News is pulled from a wide range of sources including paranormal and anti-science sources. Categories of news include: alt med/anti-vax, cryptozoology, hauntings, paranormal, UFOs, psychics, questionable claims, superstition, and money-making schemes, among others. Information about paranormal and skeptic personalities is also included, good news and bad.

Posts are primarily written with a skeptical bent, providing brief commentary and some background, encouraging readers to seek out the source and inquire for themselves.


1. Be the one-stop source of breaking news of interest to critical thinkers. There are a lot of topics gaining attention in circles you may not be aware of.

2. Be first or really fast to deliver something you may not find on your own. The DN format, with multiple updates daily, allows for stories to be posted days ahead of their appearance in larger outlets..

3. Provide the alternate view from a credulous media. The theme woven through the stories is that critical thinking is essential when consuming media or products and for understanding what is going on in the world. …

4. We’d like to be a place where all views are welcome. Thoughtful comments between people who disagree spark new ideas and realizations that promote better understanding. ..


originally posted 12-12-12


A science salon hosted by National Geographic Magazine

Trauma and Dissociation Project

Our project includes the trauma-stressor and dissociative disorders in the DSM-5.

The Demons Of My Insane Sanity

My Very Own Rollercoaster; Buckle Up And Join The Ride, Scream As Loud As You Want, They'll Never Hear You!

Grumbles & Rumbles

Pugs, Pseudoscience, and possibly Penny Loafers.

terribleminds: chuck wendig

Chuck Wendig: Freelance Penmonkey


Thoughts about Counseling, Therapy, Recovery and having a happy life

Just a thought...

from inside my head

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 792 other followers

%d bloggers like this: