What the Belief in Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personaltiies Teaches

Learning about dissociation, multiple personalities, alter selves, inner selves or other terminology preferred is intricate but not difficult to determine or understand. I was in this type of therapy and thankfully left.

I suspect that people who get involved in DID do not think indoctrination is a huge aspect of how this therapy works and how it keeps patients/anyone entrenched in it. The word indoctrination is difficult to accept largely because it may seem to indicate that someone nefariously tried to harm another. It may not involve intention to harm, control, or manipulate yet there is an element of trying to help someone change their beliefs about their past.

Of course this therapy indoctrinates/teaches/encourages/suggests that the cause of needing to split off into alter parts is due to extreme trauma – usually childhood sexual abuse.

This is what therapy for multiple personalities and/or dissociative identity disorder teaches (indoctrinates) people to accept and believe:

-that MPD/DID survivors are highly intelligent

-they are creative

– anyone who disagrees or questions the sexual abuse believed to have been endured is wrong and is (or considered) abusive just for not agreeing with DID, denying that the abuse occurred (such as a sibling, cousin, aunt)

– those who dare to question must be eliminated from the DID persons life (usually parents)

– a therapist or support group or Internet forum/message board is used for support and validation

– leaving the family of origin because they may hinder treatment, will not confess to sexual crimes, and are considered abusers and/or pedophiles

– that alter selves hold memories of traumatic events that other alter parts have no memory of

– one must dig up and/or discover additional alter personalities to piece together the past

– having no memory of the past or large chunks of it

– loss of time indicates that something one cannot remember, usually sexual crimes, have occurred

I suspect that people in this therapy would not accept that this is indoctrination and fight to prove my statements false. Remember, I was entrenched in this therapy and believed all the statements listed above.

Secondly, thought reform – occurs as new memories replace previously held beliefs and knowledge, like thinking childhood was normal or happy, with beliefs that severe childhood sexual abuse occurred and is the underlying cause of apparent adult dissociation and inability to function.

The diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder brings with it a subtle replacement of what an individual once knew about their past with an entirely rewritten biography over a period of years. Slowly, treatment erodes what one knows to be true with confabulated and reinvented memories.

When people are entrenched in the slow changing and influence of previously held beliefs they do not realize it is occurring. Nonetheless, it is and does,and will.

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What the Belief in Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personaltiies Teaches by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
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20 Comments

  1. Lucy

     /  07/26/2014

    Hi Jeanette,

    Well first let me say cause it’s the most important thing to me is my children are doing really well, I know it was hard at times and we speak openly among each other. They know not to excuse any behavior towards them that is wrong no matter what. It doesn’t matter how they feel about me they were given the freedom to be open and express my wrong doings to me.

    The thing that impacted them most was the isolation because they as well as myself just thought I was “crazy”. I still live as isolated as possible they are adults now and have pretty full lives. None of them would say it was horrific, massively confusing at times. I knew something was very wrong with me but I did everything I could to hide it away for there sakes and my partner helped so much. My biggest fear always was not being in control and what might happen. The couple of adults who knew had permission by me to have me locked away, send me to jail, whatever needed to be done to protect my children even if it meant me not being with them.

    What I intended to to say about the therapist and trying to contact an alter is if I am sitting in front of you I would not stand for one to say anything like “I want to talk to so and so ” I do not believe in being hypnotized either. I can do little if another aspect of myself takes over on there own but I don’t believe therapist should be trying to drag one “out” if I had that control I would not have an issue.

    I also do believe people can be manipulated. I think it happens in all sorts of ways. In fact current world events can prove that everyday. But for myself and maybe it is a result of what I grew up in I question everything all the time. I accept nothing at face value. I suppose if I were in some state of desperation or fear that could be used against me and then manipulation could occur, but I’m not sure if it could occur long enough to cause me to believe in something. Frankly my parents did that already so maybe I see it everywhere and just stay clear.

    Also I have had extensive neurological testing many other test even down to foods I eat because I simply didn’t believe in D.I.D. It was not just forgetting but I don’t have much need to make a list to check off because the fact of the matter is you are right, many different reasons could have symptoms of D.I.D and the person not have it. For some reason that I can not understand at all people who accept the dxd easy seem almost happy to have “it” it’s not fun at all.

    Thank you for taking your time to chat with me I appreciate it and I appreciate your pushing the lines of current understanding.

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    • Hi Lucy, Thank you for your thoughtful post.

      You seem to have your life in order and make it work for you and your family. I agree that many who adopt the DID dx seem to revel in it. I don’t care what people believe. What I find intolerable is that the DID dx regresses women to the state of small children and they have difficulty functioning as time moves forward. That is not what psychotherapy, IMHO, is about.

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  2. Lucy

     /  07/02/2014

    Like M the trauma was admitted to and extremely sadistic so much so the evil that bestowed it laughed about it. No need for searching for memories but that does not mean all “parts” (which is a stupid word) hold all information.
    As much as many people may see you as a naysayer I can not imagine what it was like for you not having a separated mind but being treated as you did.

    I also am not a fan of online forums and such as SOME self described DID people tend to appear awful convenient with how the disorder is displayed. However I don’t put the blame all the therapist. No therapist can make me do anything I am not willing to do, no therapist can create in me anything I am not willing to create. I think many people need help in many ways and if they can’t find it they go the direction suggestion.

    It is one thing for someone to say I have DID and an “alter” ate all the chocolate cake so it isn’t my fault.

    Then for someone who isn’t even diagnosed cause going to a therapist is intrusive and dangerous, wondering who a check is made out to for a job I worked 20 years and have no recall of it at all. Bank accounts, academic degrees etc.
    Not knowing when your child was born, not being able to cook because you can’t recall only to another time cook for 50 in a shelter. Forget seeing a doctor for chronic disease because you even struggle to hold on to that. Until you have no choice cause not getting treatment means your gonna die.

    When you do you are shocked to find out most people know there jobs, friends, have a recollection of day to day and your crazy and you are willing to accept crazy and institutionalization above D.I.D cause that is impossible to you.
    Your sure you have dementia or brain tumor. You do not embrace D.I.D.. Embracing it goes against the nature of it. It is only when your left with no other option and evidence you can’t excuse away that you think about thinking about it. Your therapist if good let’s you try to disprove it, call it false and never pushes for an “alter”

    I think we need people questioning respectfully just like we need acceptance of truth even when we don’t understand it. If a therapist, even my own ever tried to connect with an “alter’ I would walk out and not look back. I can’t deny the evidence I have of other “parts” to much of it exist not in a therapist office. However I can be responsible as much as I am able for my own life. I do believe D.I.D exist but not way it is portrayed. Even though I can not control some things I if I am aware I am responsible for the result not some excuse or blame to another “part” of myself. I don’t display it in video’s, talk about it 24/7 or obsessed with who is who. I am only constantly obsessed and concerned with how not to harm people I love and how to be responsible even when I have no idea of what I might have done.

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    • Hello, Lucy. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      The stress you live with sounds overwhelming. I lived like that too when I thought I had multiple personalities. They all went away when I realized I was being manipulated and had been sucked into someone elses belief system. The personalities were there only so long as I believed they were real. When I stopped believing, they went away.

      Good for you that you take responsibility for your actions – not all multiples do so.

      Your statement: No therapist can make me do anything I am not willing to do, no therapist can create in me anything I am not willing to create. may be naive. We all would like to believe we are not easily duped or manipulated, however such is not the case. If the internal and external conditions are right, anyone can be manipulated.

      Look at religiously based cults and some factions of the Mormon church. The fact that people can be easily manipulated is well documented.

      You state: If a therapist, even my own ever tried to connect with an “alter’ I would walk out and not look back. That statement is contradictory to others you’ve made. If you can’t remember important parts of your life, how do you know your therapists isn’t having lengthily conversations with an alter you don’t know or an alter that is operating without your approval? Given your beliefs, it is likely this is occurring, no? You can’t claim no memory, then claim to know everything you do. Doesn’t make sense and isn’t logical thinking.

      Not being able to remember isn’t always because of a psychological reason. You could very well have other serious neurological problems. Can you remember how to drive? Remember where you live? Do you recognize faces? What I’ve found with DID is that not remembering is rather pigeonholed. Not remembering how to cook seems like it supports the DID theory, but then the same person never forgets how to drive so it leave me wondering why. The argument that alters know how to do different things, is not proven through scientific means.

      It must be horrific for your child to have a parent who is so fragmented. How is your illness impacting him/her?

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  3. M

     /  06/16/2014

    I don’t have to worry about false memories. All of my abuse and trauma memories are verified by outside sources (family, friends know it happened/witnessed it).

    My mother accepts my diagnosis and thinks it makes sense, rather than arguing against it, and so does my good friend of twelve years. I started to show signs of DID long before I got a diagnosis.

    Could you please refrain from making sweeping statements about those in therapy for dissociative disorders. We are not all simply victims of bad therapy. Otherwise, you have made some good points, and I check out your blog frequently.

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    • Hello M, Thank you for stopping by.

      I am glad to know you are able to verify your memories of the horrific events you survived in your life.`You are in the minority of people diagnosed with DID who can say that. Most people cannot verify the abuse and rely on decade old memories and the emotions that come with them as verification that something happened.

      I understand, I think, why you say I make sweeping statements about DID. This blog is questioning DID and reports on the long and painful treatment that often accompanies it. You may not know that I went through this treatment and diagnosis. During that time I knew several other women similarly diagnosed. Most of the abuse events remembered were not verifiable.

      Your experiences with verification are unique among people in treatment for DID.

      Best JB

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  4. Sheri Storm

     /  05/25/2012

    Hi Jeanette.

    You’ve once again hit the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to ‘the programming’ of MPD/DID. I think one more point needs to be added however…

    * The mind is like a computer – a steel trapping of all your memories – held in pristine fashion – often in a hidden ‘file’ until you are capable of emotionally handling its contents.

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  5. Altus

     /  05/21/2012

    Yes, the proliferation of DID youtube videos and chat rooms is a bit concerning. Everybody and seems to know what it is and who has it, the definition is so broad. And it seems some people visit the therapists for confirmation already having diagnosed themselves, but still others are convinced of it through weird therapy role play like the one cited in the paper. Men as a whole don’t seem to fall for this stuff and they are the bulk of veterans so maybe they will escape the misdiagnosis that has ensnared so many others.

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    • I hope you are right about male veterans, however, Hershel Walker NFL football star claims to have alter personalities due to bullying and he’s all over the country on a lecture circuit. But see? He has MPD but not from severe trauma so I’ve not found conversations spending any time on him.

      Yes, I see a lot of women self-diagnosing and then finding a therapist to agree with them. Some seem proud to have self-diagnosed and and somehow that proves that they weren’t influenced – also not having a therapist. The influences from media, chat rooms, forums, and the like are discounted because the diagnosis came from within not from a therapist and those individuals cannot understand how they were influenced and how suggestion works even without a therapist to lead the way.
      Nonetheless, their lives are either in ruins or on the way there.

      The formula for this MPD/DID symptoms that leads to a diagnosis that leads to treatment is very straight forward and easy to understand. When you are in the therapy, on the other hand, it seems like a daunting task to remember so all the pieces of one’s life can be put back together. As months turn into years, treatment gets even more complicated as one tries to map a system of alter personalities in an effort to keep track of them, etc.

      The bottom line is that the therapy is predictable and usually follows the same formula whether or not a therapist leads the way or someone self-diagnoses.

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