Originally published under the title: “MPD Kills” when Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was called Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). The basic premise of the disorder and treatment, however, have not changed significantly.
by Jaye D. Bartha
“Jaye, Betty Ann is dead!” she screamed into my ear through the phone.
“What!” I answered in horror.
“Yeah. She took an overdose.” Kathy frantically gave me blow by blow details as if she were an excited sports commentator. Gasping, she continued, “They saved her but when she returned to the hospital she ran from her wheelchair, sprinted down the hall, collapsed and died right there on the spot. She’s dead! Betty Ann is dead! She was my best friend. What am I going to do?”
Betty Ann was 26. Her death was the second I dealt with while a patient of repressed memory therapy. I buried two more friends, before realizing Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) was a bogus diagnosis, and one more after that. Five friends dead. Each death occurred during treatment for (MPD), now referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
It seems to me that patients in treatment for MPD/DID often live in a chronic state of suicidal thinking and that acting out suicidal impulses is a by-product of treatment. While the intense search for memories of abuse is in progress, I observed doctors and hospital staff making provisions for suicidal behavior. They hospitalized patients, increased medication, instituted suicide watches, and in extreme cases implemented physical and/or chemical restraints.
In my experience, suicide is a pervasive problem of treatment for MPD/DID and should be yanked out of the dark corner of treatment closets. This diagnosis is a serious threat to human life and ought to be addressed as such. The medical community supporting the MPD/DID diagnosis often views suicide as the patient’s inability to cope with the horrors of an abusive past when, in fact, it is the treatment itself that is likely the culprit.
Originally published in the FMS Foundation Newsletter, April/May 1999 Vol. 8 No. 3, ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 1998 by the FMS Foundation
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DID Kills by Jeanette BArtha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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