Women who believe they have multiple personalities do not necessarily set out to develop symptoms associated with this psychiatric malady – although that is exactly what occurs. They are not usually malingerers, or otherwise intentionally trying to deceive others. They are misled by the psychiatric industry into a belief system and a lifestyle wrought with pain and psychic distress that is in need of medical services.
The problem is the self-deceptive aspect of believing in an illness that does not exist yet is reinforced by the powerful and influential psychiatric profession, practitioners, insurance companies who pay for the treatment, and its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (listing of psychiatric disorders) – DSM IV.
The DSM is a list of psychiatric symptoms. A disorder’s inclusion in this publication is not “proof” that it exists. The DSM was created so practitioners could list and follow psychiatric symptoms – it is not a diagnostic tool. It was not designed for that purpose, yet most do not understand the circumstances under which the DSM came into existence and mistakenly think the DSM legitimizes their illness because of its inclusion.
I am repeatedly deluged with passionate arguments from women who claim they have multiple personalities who use the DSM as “proof” that their condition is real and, therefore, that it exists. Wrong. Inclusion of MPD/DID means nothing of the sort.
Ferris Jabr eloquently addresses self-deception in his article, “Self-Fulfilling Fakery: Feigning Mental Illness Is a Form of Self-Deception.” He states that, “by pretending to be sick, people can convince themselves they really are.”
Regarding MPD, however, I would say that by believing to have alter personalities, convinces women that they have this psychiatric condition – which leads to defending its existence.
Ferris Jabr’s full article at http://www.scientificamerican.com, July 28, 2010.