I Wonder What Would Have Happened If…

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)

Image via Wikipedia

..someone told me Before I started treatment that:

  1. your new doctor is considered an expert in the field of multiple personality disorder
  2. you will be diagnosed with multiple personalities
  3. your doctor failed the clinical examination for his medical degree on the first try
  4. if you admit yourself to this prestigious hospital to treat your depression, you won’t be allowed to leave for 2 full years
  5. hypnosis is not reliable
  6. you will be encouraged to remember your childhood
  7. every feeling you have will be given a person’s name
  8. you will wonder why new memories are different than the one’s you had before therapy
  9. you will search and search your mind, but that one memory you need to make you believe all the others will never be found
  10. Sodium Amytal (a truth serum) does not necessarily render the truth
  11. you will become addicted to Sodium Amytal
  12. you will become addicted to Valium
  13. you will take the psychotropic drug Haldol
  14. you will take sleeping pills
  15. you will take many drugs that make you sick, sleepy, lethargic and spaced-out
  16. the pharmacy at the hospital will repeatedly question the type and amount of drugs prescribed by your doctor, but they won’t do anything about it
  17. nursing staff thinks your doctor is a wacko, but it doesn’t stop him
  18. some nursing staff will make a formal written complaint against your doctor, but you will never know about it because the hospital administrator buries it and nothing changes
  19. staff at the hospital will pin you to the floor and inject you with sodium amytal
  20. you will become uncontrollable at times and kick holes in the walls and throw lamps
  21. you will lose your lucrative job
  22. you will lose your apartment
  23. you will have to drop out of the graduate program you just started
  24. you will think you were raised in a cult
  25. you will have to break off contact with your family –  in order to get well
  26. you will be absent when your nephew is born
  27. you will miss your niece growing up
  28. you will become sicker and sicker
  29. you may die
  30. your depression will be ignored as will the opinion of another doctor’s advise on drug interventions
  31. your parents and family will be worried sick not knowing what is happening to you
  32. you will lose all your savings
  33. your friends will see you, at the most, 4 times in the next 2 years
  34. you will lose 1 friend to suicide
  35. you will lose another friend to DID therapy, due to cutting herself & ensuing complications
  36. you will walk around the hospital hiding a dolly or teddy bear under your robe so no one will know you are carrying it
  37. you will spend money out-of-pocket for art therapy sessions you can’t afford
  38. you will live in a cheap apartment in a bad section of the city near the hospital
  39. you will see or talk to your new psychiatrist every day
  40. you will have no one in your life but your doctor
  41. you will get upset, run, fall, and chip your front tooth
  42. you will get tackled by male aids on the unit and break some ribs
  43. you will get tackled by male aids and have permanent nerve damage to your knee cap
  44. you will break a finger
  45. you will get lots of bruises
  46. you will be upset most of the time wondering why your family didn’t love and protect you
  47. you will get court committed many times so you Have to stay in treatment
  48. your doctor with wrestle you on the floor of your bedroom so he can stay in control
  49. you will spend one full year spending some of each day restrained to your bed
  50. you will become addicted to psychotropic drugs ordered by your doctor
  51. you will believe that there were satanists in your home town abducting and killing children
  52. you will believe you were sexually abused your entire childhood by family, neighbors, church members
  53. no one in your childhood noticed the beatings you received at cult meetings in the middle of the night
  54. you would spend most of the next 6 years in bed trying to block out the world
  55. you will read only 2 books
  56. you will not watch TV when you want
  57. you will be locked in a tiny section of the unit for weeks at a time with no peers to talk to
  58. you will not enjoy healthy food
  59. you will consume greasy hamburgers and french fries most every day
  60. you will gain 30 pounds
  61. the doctor will block all incoming calls
  62. the doctor will not allow you to make phone calls or receive mail or visitors
  63. every Halloween, you will be locked in the hospital – for your own safety
  64. you will cry when your nurse leaves her shift to go home
  65. you will sit on a window sill watching the world go by
  66. happiness will come in the form of pizza on Saturday afternoons
  67. you will be scared to go to sleep wondering what patients are on the unit
  68. you will be scared to go to sleep wondering if staff likes you and will protect you
  69. you will cry your guts out and no one will come
  70. you will call your self Little Jen, and other names and think they are real people who live in your head and body
  71. your doctor will go on vacation to Colorado and you will start exercising
  72. your need for drugs to settle down will then decrease
  73. you will start fencing at a gym again
  74. you will jog every day
  75. you will start a writing class
  76. you will figure out that your doctor is crazy
  77. you will flee the hospital and go underground on the streets and hotels of Philadelphia so your doctor can’t find you
  78. you will start detoxing from the drugs alone in a hotel room
  79. your family will get frantic and think you are nuts & they will try to get you to go back to the hospital but they had no idea what you had endured
  80. you will get on a plane with a one-way ticket out
  81. you will arrive across country with only a gym bag in each hand late, on a cold winter’s night
  82. you will leave all your possessions and your car in Philadelphia
  83. you will stay underground in your new state so no one can find you and return you to the doctor
  84. you will be rejected by 25 therapists and programs in Philadelphia and another 25 in your new state when you tell them you were treated for multiple personalities but don’t really have them
  85. you will finally find a county mental health clinic who diagnoses your medical condition and prescribes medication
  86. the medication makes you feel better
  87. you will start to think more clearly
  88. you will own only a single bed, a TV, a chair, a fork, a baking dish, cheap boots, a coat, a pair of pants and a few shirts
  89. you will take a bus every few days to the grocery store and bring home only what you can carry
  90. you will wash your clothes in the bath tub because you are afraid to leave your apartment
  91. you will go to a conference and find out that you are not the only one who knows that repressed memories are crap and multiple personalities don’t exist
  92. you will decide to sue your doctor for medical malpractice and negligence
  93. you will spend the next 5 years waiting for your case to reach trial
  94. you and your family, after nearly 10 years of turmoil, will begin to heal
  95. you will win a settlement from the doctor and the hospital
  96. you will wish you had gambled it all and gone to trial
  97. you will put what little money you were awarded to good use
  98. you will know, without doubt, that your former psychiatrist is Looney
  99. you will know, without doubt, that multiple personalities don’t exist

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I Wonder What Would Have Happened If … by Jeanette Barhta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
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Leave a comment


  1. K

     /  12/24/2011

    While I disagree with the conclusion you reached, I am very sorry for what you experienced. I do hope you can one day accept DID as valid, but I am glad you have healed as far as you have.


  2. Therapy Abuse Victim

     /  09/11/2011

    Jeanette, I sent you an email which I’m hoping you will recognize as coming from me.

    I am the person who some time ago wrote you and Monica about collecting stories of victims of DID therapy in the hope of writing a book warning the public about the continued pursuit of “multiple personalities”–even a resurgence of that pursuit–in a cult-like way, by “therapists” with poor scientific training, who are blindly following leaders like Richard Kluft and the ISSTD. I have watched your blog grow and believe it is an important gateway to information which could be life-saving for anyone considering “psychotherapy.” However, I have also had my eyes sorely opened to the fact that, regardless of who writes what or where (including in prestigious journals, esoteric books, etc.), DID THERAPY WILL CONTINUE. There just isn’t an organized group of powerful “therapy” professionals who care enough to force change–and even if there were such an organized group, the industry is such that FORCED change will never happen. I have lost all hope.


    • Hi TAV,

      Try not to lose hope. We, as the public and health care consumers, have the power to make change. Losing hope is exactly how nonsense like DID proliferates and sweeps up the innocent. It’s our job to get the word out – you coming here and speaking your mind is one way to do that. With the medical system as it is in the US, all of us are responsible for our health care. I’m here to offer a tidbit of information regarding the hazards and pseudoscience associated with DID that isn’t easy to find otherwise.

      You are right (as far as I know) – there are no groups that directly counter DID. Again, it’s up to you and me and everyone else effected by DID to step up and be counted. I believe that many people are not politically active for their own personal reasons. Word of mouth is strong so keep talking… and talking… and talking. Go to sites and leave comments. No sentence is too small when it comes to protecting mental health consumers & your friends & family.

      Yes, DID therapy will continue. There are many changes that have occurred that has put a dent into DID therapy. Here are some examples:

      – insurance companies no longer blindly fund treatment for DID
      – many “professionals” left the MPD/DID business and went into related fields like art therapy. They continue to do harm, but they obviously want to dissociate themselves from the stigma and potential for being sued for malpractice associated with DID therapy
      – many special wings of psychiatric hospitals dedicated to DID have been closed
      – many psychiatrists have been sued for malpractice, negligence and other atrocities
      – some psychotherapists/psychiatrists have lost their license to practice
      – some psychotherapists have left their country to set up practice elsewhere. Fleeing from something?

      Researchers in hypnosis, memory, cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as others continue to debunk DID and write about it.

      Let’s stop once in a while and count our accomplishments. Cheers. Thanks for all you do.


  3. V

     /  06/16/2011

    I can’t believe what you had to go through, or the courage and determination it must have taken you to flee your therapist and start totally over.

    Hang in there! With what you have been through in the past, I imagine you can handle almost anything.


    • 🙂 What I say about my life post-therapy is that the psychiatrist didn’t know ME, all he knew is what he created. He almost succeeded in destroying my belief in family and a higher power, but he failed.

      I have a powerful will to survive and love life. One of those I’ve dedicated my memoir to is the singer, songwriter, social and peace activist Holly Near. Her music and ability to keep me focused on the larger picture beyond my own troubles – like the women in Chile who disappeared by the Junta is how I kept moving forward.

      Holly makes a statement like: Life is a powerful lover and I am helplessly in love. – it’s a tough feeling, and way of being, that is not easily crushed.


  4. Steve

     /  06/16/2011

    Jesus Christ almighty.

    I hope someone decides to publish your book Jeanette. I’ll certainly buy it.

    I can’t believe those crazy bastards are going to keep DID in the DSM-V. It borders on the criminal.


    • Today was the deadline to voice your opinions. It’s a sad day for the field of psychology and psychiatry. I can think of no better way to kill science.


    • p.s. I didn’t realize you had just read the “what if” post. thanks for the support, Steve.



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