On the incidence of multiple personality disorder: A brief communication (by the early therapists for “Eve”) 1984

According to two of the psychiatrists who treated Chris Sizemore (The Three Faces of Eve), they found only one (1) case that fit the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder until this article was published in 1984.

Given this analysis of the medical literature it seems there was a huge explosion of misdiagnosed patients after 1984. Why is this information tucked in old medical journals? Because it would not serve the needs and wishes of some contemporary theorists and psychotherapists – and patients who desperately want to fit into what they perceive as a romantic and highly- intellectualized diagnostic category.

Chris Sizemore was an interesting clinical case study for her first two psychiatrists, Corbett H. Thigpen & Hervey M. Cleckley, but mundane in comparison to the multiple personalities displayed by Shirley Mason AKA Sybil, years later.

Sizemore, the earlier face of multiple personalities, claimed that successive tragedies she merely witnessed as a three-year-old caused her personality fragmentation. She did not claim to have been sexually abused during childhood.

Why then, do nearly 99% of people diagnosed with multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorder claim to have survived childhood sexual abuse? Where are the people like Chris Sizemore who have multiple personalities due to other reasons? Are other non-sexually abused cases of multiple personalities going unreported other that Hershel Walker, famed football player? Perhaps they simply vanished or didn’t exist in the first place.

If we look at Shirley Mason and the character of “Sybil” that grew from her therapist, Cornelia Wilbur’s, imagination and clinical observations, Chris Sizemore’s life played out in The Three Faces of Eve pales in comparison. In comparing these two cases, it must be remembered that both women behind the flamboyant theatrical characters had other therapists who treated them. Withholding this information to the pubic only serves to perpetuate the mystery and entertainment value behind these iconic folk legends. If it was widely known that these women had other doctors on their treatment teams who disagreed with the multiple personality diagnosis, and stated so, would it have made as much money at the box office? Note too, that the therapists of Chris Sizemore banked the money, not Chris.

Read the summary of the article below written by Chris Sizemore/Eve’s first two therapists who were responsible for the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder. And let’s not forget that it was they who led their patient to Hollywood and reaped the financial rewards – not their patient. Read their own words, not mine or anyone else’s. Find out for yourself and reach your own conclusions.

In hindsight, this is a profound warning to the psychiatry industry who chose to ignore warnings of impending disaster to their profession as the diagnosis of multiple personalities and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) proliferated and continues to do so.

Photo credit unknown. If you are the owner, please contact me.

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International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Volume 32, Issue 2, 1984

On the incidence of multiple personality disorder: A brief communication

Corbett H. Thigpen & Hervey M. Cleckley
pages 63-66

Available online: 31 Jan 2008

Abstract

Abstraet: Since reporting a case of multiple personality (Eve) over 25 years ago, we have seen many patients who were thought by others or themselves to have the disorder, but we have found only 1 case that fit the diagnosis. The other cases manifested either pseudo- or quasidissociative symptoms related to dissatisfaction with self-identity or hysterical acting out for secondary gain. One particular form of secondary gain, namely, avoiding responsibility for certain actions, was evident in a recent legal case where the person was diagnosed as having the disorder and successfully pled not guilty by reason of insanity. We urge that a diagnosis of multiple personality not be used in such a manner and recommend that therapists consider the hysterical basis of the symptoms, as well as the adaptive dynamics of personality before diagnosing someone as having the disorder. (type face by blogger) If such factors are considered, the incidence of the disorder will be found to be far less than the “epidemic” recently claimed.

Retrieved 7/24/11.

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On the incidence of multiple personality disorder: A brief communication (by the early therapists for “Eve”) 1984 by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
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9 Comments

  1. avalon111

     /  09/27/2012

    A few more bits from the EAS results, published at http://eassurvey.wordpress.com/extreme-abuse-survey-final-results/

    ‘Three additional questions on the EAS asked about abuse in ideologically motivated groups: (1) Ritual abuse in a witchcraft cult was reported by 23% of 971 respondents, (2) ritual abuse in voodooism was reported by 7% of 966 respondents, and (3) 26% of 1000 respondents answered “yes” to the question: “Secret government-sponsored mind control experiments were performed on me as a child.”’

    The survey results are published in ‘Ritual abuse in the twenty-first century’ (pp. 49-50). They don’t need poking fun at, they are already a good resource for a giggle or two.

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    • I agree that these absurd theories lend themselves to joking because to many they are implausible. What becomes a challenge is to have discussions with those who believe what I see as irrational. It is a delicate balance.

      What also occurs is that criticism of the theory or statement is mistaken as criticism of the person making the statement. This is sad and unfortumate. When values and
      beliefs are questioned or challenged many discussions dissolve and what could have been exciting is gone.

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  2. avalon111

     /  09/27/2012

    By the big clue in its title, Jeanettes Web site is by default a ‘skeptics’ site.And so it seems inconceivable that quotes from other public-published web sites and sources are likely to appear and be analysed.

    But for poking fun? No, I’ve never seen Jeanette do that. But I am certainly tempted, and often the very words and deeds of DID-MPD/RMT enthusiasts attract ridicule and an easy means to take a less-than-concillatory attitude towards the ‘diagnosis’.

    Let’s review the basic tenets of the DID-MPD/RMT community (the two are bound together intractably). Please go ahead and correct me if I am wrong in these assertions, which are backed-up with the very words of numerous DID-MPD/RMT advocates.

    DID is caused by prolonged long-term traumatic and painful childhood sexual abuse.

    The nature of the abuse is such that only certain groups and indivioduals can perform it; that is satanists, satanic CIA or government officials intending to create sex slaves or covert spies/assassins, aliens, The Illuminati/Patriarchy and (unfortunately reflected in much feminist and fundamentalist literature), gay men.

    The abuse is unusual in that it invariably doesn’t leave visible injuries, or any of the gynalogical or intestinal injuries that normally accompany chronic childhood sexual abuse.

    The key element is that the abuse is accompanied by instant memory loss. At this point some in the RMT community will diverge from the DID-MPD community.

    The ‘RMT-only’ advocates reckon that the instant memory loss remains in place until the end of the ‘survivors’ childhood and teens, whereupon, perhaps with the assistance of a book like ‘The Courage To Heal’ or with visits to a therapists, the hidden memories, once instanly forgotten, will re-surface.

    The DID-MPD community believe that the instantly-forgotten memories are compartmentalised into multiple personalities. These don’t manifest themselves in childhood (this technicality is pretty much accepted by the community) but rather come-to-the-fore, perhaps after reading ‘The Courage to Heal’ and/or attending a therapist, or feminist/religious fundamentalist group that encourages DID-MPD belief.

    As the multiple personalities come-to-the-fore, so do they bring with them the memories that were previously instantly forgotten. By now the satanic group/CIA/aliens will have long released their hold on the ‘survivor’, who by now may be married with children. On some occasions the ‘survivor’ will be found to be a virgin – for which there are a number of explanations – mostly involving the intervention of satan.

    The facility to instantly forget traumatic childhood sexual abuse is only available to Western white females, mostly English-speaking and invariably from middle-class or affluent backgrounds. Black child rape victims in say the Democratic Republic of Congo are not afforded this facility, despite suffering long-term external and internal injuries together with life-long mental illnesses caused by their abuse.

    As typified by the infamous EAS (Extreme Abuse Survey) a large proportion of DID-MPD ‘survivors’ – 174 to be precise, reckon they were ritually abused by government agents to deliberately create multiple personalities that could be used as trained assassins/saboteurs. This means that the DID-MPD community, seemingly chock-full of these white female middle-aged Jason Bourne-types represent the most dangerous and highly-trained lethal group of ‘victims’ to be found in the world.

    It’s a sobering thought to think that some of Jeanettes detractors are possessed with the skill to kill her and other skeptics with an eyelash!

    Fortunately such events don’t happen, and skeptics and therapists haven’t over the decades haven’t been known to be throttled-to-death by former covert assassins with multiple personalities, armed perhaps with a nice purple wool with which to knit their ‘blankeys’.

    Yet attendance at say Neil Brick’s annual S.M.A.R.T conference (a firm supporter of the EAS) would be an interesting visit, seeing as the visitors and the number of them would manage to beat any gathering of say former Delta Force and Ranger troops.

    Recently I watched Ridley Scott’s ‘Black Hawk Down’ and reflected that the Battle of Mogadishu (1993) would have been resolved easily for the UN/US forces if they’d only sent-in some of the highly-trained of the 174 middle-aged middle-class white women who reckon they were trained in their childhoods in the dark arts. Mike Durant would have no doubt have been found and released early if only the military had sent Neil Brick and a few of his conference attendees in after him!

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  3. Anonymous

     /  09/01/2011

    I am very sorry for your experiences and I don’t doubt that they are real. There are bad therapists and bad doctors in all specialties of mental health and medicine. I’ve read more than several posts and I have a few respectful questions.

    You are very insistent that what happened to you is real and I would assume that you hope that all who read here would believe you. Why can you not extend that same thought process to those who have been diagnosed and are actively working and improving in therapy with good therapists and doctors?

    You talk about those with DID and the therapists and doctors who treat them having much to gain through the diagnosis; financially and otherwise. You received a settlement as a result of your lawsuit. That’s a lot to gain and a lot at stake as well. Now I’m not saying that you didn’t deserve the settlement because of what happened because I’m in no place to judge. But would it be all that bad to extend that same non-judgement to those who again are actively working in treatment?

    Lastly, it’s very disconcerting to see you pulling quotes from other sites that are written by those diagnosed with DID. It carries the air of poking fun and doesn’t give you the credibility you are seeking. It’s one thing to quote a medical journal, a doctor, a therapist; it’s quite another to pull a quote (possibly out of context) from someone who is in pain. I agree that there are some “far out” things written but that’s true of nearly any subject on the internet. Would it be possible for you to stick to your own experiences, what professionals and so-called professionals say and leave the others who are in enormous pain alone?

    Is DID real? Who knows. Is child abuse of all kinds real? You bet. Are there survivors who hurt and wrestle with what happend? Absolutely. Is the human mind capable of enduring and healing? Yes, and I wish that for you and all those who suffer because of any kind of abuse.

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    • Dear Anonymous,

      If someone insists they have been abused or traumatized, I do not question those experiences as I was not there. You will find that statement repeated on this blog. I have also stated that sexual abuse is horrid. I do, however, think it prudent to examine how someone arrived at that conclusion. There is a huge difference, to me, if someone always knew they were abused vs. someone who finds memories assisted by other means.

      What happened to me Is real and this is why:
      I can produce thousands of official hospital records, doctor’s notes, nurse’s notes, handwritten doctor’s notes, psych aid’s notes, photographs of my artwork, personal journals, hospital admissions, art therapy notes, group therapy notes, music therapy notes, movement therapy notes, audio tapes, video tapes, court commitment papers, medication sheets, consultations, financial bills, insurance payments, as well as legal depositions, witness statements, expert witness reports, and years of court proceedings & my legal expenses – to name a few. My insistence , as you put it, to what I state occurred pales in comparison to the laundry list of evidence I can produce and the truth of my story runs deeper than just my opinions & recollections.

      If people are in therapy and getting better, that sounds positive. That doesn’t, however, make multiple personalities exist.

      Regarding the negligence and medical malpractice settlement – if you saw the digits on the check, you would find that it is a deplorable sum compared what was spent, what was in lost in earnings & potential earnings, ongoing medical expenses and other things. Say none about the “treatment” I survived and the fallout I cope with on a regular basis.

      I acknowledge your opinion about quoting from other sites, I am fine with your sentiments. If the context to my blog, to which you address as making “fun” at someone, you will find that there has Never been an incidence of poking fun at anyone by me. What my readers may say is another matter. I have no control over their opinions, rarely do I censor or fail to approve statements. Several people have come here stating that they find the information helpful – why would you deny them a healing experience or an educational one? There are undoubtedly many people who read and benefit from what I quote and make available but they don’t post. Again, if people with DID don’t want their private business made public, the Internet is not the place to be. Readers can find the information as easily as I can.

      It is a mistake to link DID to child abuse which happens all too often. The two are separate issues in my opinion. I do not question child abuse, or those who have suffered from it. I agree, people hurt and wrestle with their past.

      Again, that does not make multiple personalities or DID exist.

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  4. Angela

     /  08/31/2011

    Hi Jeanette, I wrote to you in June (on the message boards) about visiting a local campus in NH. You seemed interested at the time, but I didn’t find your response until recently. I’ve since sent you a message via your facebook account with more details. If you’re still interested, please let me know.

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    • Hi Angela, I responded to your invitation here. Perhaps you didn’t get it. You can email me at MultiplePersonalitiesDon’tExist@gmail.com – I do not know what “message board” you are referring to as I do not spend time there. I will check my facebook account – I don’t recall seeing anything there either. Thanks.

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  5. V

     /  08/29/2011

    About the APA report: I have access but I don’t think I can post it (I am a rule-follower and I don’t know the rules about re-posting it).

    There is nothing in there about DID, or dissociation, or the DSM.

    One thing that might be of interest to you is about false confessions. Apparently the APA has become concerned about how police interrogation can result in false confessions. They have a publication called “Police Interrogations and False Confessions” by Lassiter and Meissner.

    The bulk of the report is financial status, educational outreach, and other genearl stuff you’d expect for a large professional organization.

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