Teens & Multiple Personalties

The Internet has made it easy for teens and college students to have access to misguided information about multiple personalities & Dissociative Identity Disorder. Contrary to what proponents of this disorder believe, there is a lot of information available regarding symptomatology and the lifestyles of multiples on hundreds of websites, blogs, chat room, forums, and discussion boards.

Our youth are reading up on multiple personalities and then developing symptoms that mimic what they are reading about  –  then they begin to believe they have signs or evidence of multiplicity. The phenomenon is spreading through high schools as is the behaviors associated with it like cutting on their body somewhere the wounds can be hidden from parents , spacing out, claiming to lose time, and believing they have other entities in their mind.

Unfortunately, these impressionable young people do not realize that this disorder is not cool and doesn’t actually exist. In addition, there is scant information on the Internet reporting the destructive nature of this bogus mental malady that is likely to decrease their ability to mature and to live productive lives. Unwittingly they are self-educating themselves about learned helplessness and taking steps to become a lifelong pseudo-mental patient.

What occurs over time, if these teens are followed through chat rooms and  discussion forums, is that their behavior becomes increasing erratic, chaotic and self-destructive as their stability and tender sense of self begins to unravel, often in ways that agree with what they are reading in social networking sites. Many young people do not realize the depth and breadth of the road they have embarked upon and their parents are often stunned when they discover that their child thinks they have alter personalities and may be cutting themselves to cope – just like their new friends do.

Teens are influencing each other and the belief in multiple personalities in some school districts seems to be a popular epidemic.

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  1. Anonymous

     /  11/02/2013

    hi jeantoette–thanks for asking the question regarding my post regarding the myth that lesbian and feminists not only bouught into but helped proliferate the horrible theories and clinical practices of rmt, ect..i again ask folks who state without consideration of facts which i and other have provided that in fact, many, many, lesbians and feminists have actively fought againts these practices. my experience is that the horrs of rmt ect..have been practiced and preached by both staights and gays, by both feminists and fundamental patriarchal religious extremists.. i do not write and generalize blame on straights and patriarchal religious systems whic i believe are oppressive to women–i realize that this would be supporting a yth resuling from failure to critically think through these issues,,i wonder if people who continue to generaliize regarding gays and feminists on this issue do not believe my experiences are true–sometimes i feel double whammied and want to scream–i got whacked for speaking and working to expose and end rmt..ect..and i feel whacked when i read posts blaming gays and feminist (me) for betraying our community..i believe many tgays and feminists have been alienated by such spoken and misguided opinions. i am attempting to tt tm


    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  11/05/2013

      Hi Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to return. My response got a bit long.

      I sometimes feel double whammied too, because I spent much of my youth marching on Washington, D.C. for women’s rights, human rights, and peace.

      What comes to mind is the history of the “woman as inferior and in need of treatment” mentality that grew out of the Believe the Children movement which supported reporting & talking publicly about child sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the work we did to support women (and men) in discussing sexual abuse returned society, in some ways, backward in time where we find ourselves, once again, digging out of the woman is inferior mentality.

      I believe history repeats itself. Americans are re-experiencing a birth of multiple personalities, diagnosed as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and we are needing to return to the streets and fight for the same rights we won in the late 70s. DID has morphed into parts-therapy and “new” therapies like Internal Family Systems which address parts, etc.

      Some of the theorists and psychotherapists are simply changing the name of the treatment they sell which deceives consumers into thinking that what they are buying is cutting-edge but, if we look at the history of MPD/DID we find similar theories. Again, history repeating itself.

      If there is blame to dole out I look towards the Amer. Psychological Assoc, and the Amer Psychiatric Assoc., and other powerful organization for not policing their members and allowing treatment to stay on the market after many former patients have demonstrated that they have sustained serious and lasting harm and treatment for DID isn’t particularly effective even after 5-10 years of therapy.

      Secondly, I look towards institutions, and mental health groups, who offer continuing education credits (so providers can keep their licenses)for offering workshops on how to treat multiple personalities. Much of the time, the name of the treatment has changed, but the theories remain.

      People must speak out, as you are, and express what they’ve experienced, and what they think,and make their voices heard in any forum available.

      Those of us who support safe and effective mental-health care, must get out our walking shoes and head to the streets once again to fight for the rights of patients.

      Best, J



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