Should People with Multiple Personalities or Dissociative Identity Disorder Be Parents?

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The voices of children raised by a mother who claims to have multiple personalities is barely a whisper. The Psychology Industry is responsible for conducting research and insuring that mental health care is safe and effective but in the instance of multiple personalities, professionally referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID,  researchers lag way behind in connecting science to this mental malady that remains one of the largest debacles in the industry according to Paul McHugh, M.D.,

former head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, USA. The wheels of research is known to pump out information about mental illnesses rapidly, but is lagging behind on studying the long-term effects of what I refer to as Generation Two meaning the children of parents who suffer from multiple personalities

 

There is not much published, or scientific studies conducted, about children raised by mothers with multiple personalities, more recently renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder*

which is a mental condition allegedly proceeded by horrific and continued childhood sexual abuse.

Fortunately, someone who calls herself “V” comes to this blog and shares her childhood with a mother who was in treatment for multiple personalities. I am most grateful to her and the wealth of information, insight, and passion she brings.

I remember the total chaos I experienced after being diagnosed with multiple personalities and the months that warped into years locked in a psychiatric hospital trying to remember abuse that I subsequently found did not happen.

I endured daily therapy sessions, spoke to my psychiatrist 7 days a week, was fed a plethora of  psychotropic drugs that made it impossible to think. Most days I needed help to care for myself, to do laundry, feed myself, and in worse times I was unable to get out of bed, or even walk.

In addition to psychotherapy, I attended group therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and movement therapy – sometimes referred to as adjunctive therapies, that offer patients other means of expressing themselves without the pressure of actually having to talk to someone. I went from having a career and a good paying job – to unemployment, dropping out of graduate school, zero income, no family or friends, and destitute. But for being legally  remanded to a mental hospital where I had a warm bed and three meals a day, I would have been homeless while receiving psychotherapy, or I’d have to funnel myself into a state funded facility to  continue trying to remember horrific events so I could get well from debilitating depression.

The constant search for and then reliving my newly acquired abuse memories consumed my energy and focus all day – every day. The psychotherapy was intense and as years of treatment rolled on, I was more convinced that I was a victim of repeated sexual abuse as a child by my parents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, teachers, clergy, and others allegedly interested in destroying me when I was a child. Try to make that your focus and see how your day goes.

My questions and concerns about children raised in homes with constant chaos and unrest asks the broader question of why psychotherapy of this sort needs to  cut patients down to their knees before they can overcome a plethora of physical and emotional illness like depression or addictions?

Back to “what if”: What if I had a child to care for while I was unable to care for myself? How would I have cared for two or three little ones depending on me to make home a safe place? Who would have prepared meals for my son or helped my daughter study for college entrance exams? Would I have been able to attend their athletic or artistic events and be fully present or would I have been home acting out memories of sexual abuse while coloring and watching Saturday morning cartoons? Could I have been a good partner who contributed to my adult relationship, usually marriage? Having been there so to speak, I know I would have failed miserably  at caring for my children and would now have adult-children who grew up while I was searching for memories of abuse that never happened. No amount of love, in my opinion, would ever make up for the injury my children would have suffered because my psychotherapy came first. I am grateful that this is not a scenario I had to face.

No way around it, this is how some treatment for multiple personalities, renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder, therapy works. All focus is on the multiple, or patient, and their needs. It can debilitate an otherwise healthy woman and turned her into a shell of her former self – which was my experience as it was others who were hospitalized at the same time I was.

Being in treatment for multiple personalities, a condition that actually doesn’t exist in my opinion, would have been extremely harmful to my children. My needs would have made it impossible for my children to know me, to trust me, and to have a mother they could depend upon all the time. My spouse may have fallen by the wayside except for the income and insurance coverage he or she would hopefully have provided.

Adult-children of dysfunctional mothers immersed in DID therapy – display child personalities and other types of entities on a regular basis – they have debilitating flashbacks and PTSD and overwhelming anxiety. Is this a stable force in a child’s life? How can a mother in constant psychic pain provide a safe and secure environment for a developing and vulnerable child. I often wonder how mothers with multiple personalities are able to slide under the radar of child protect services. Any other parent with an inability to be attentive or to provide a stable home can easily be scrutinized – but multiples escape this fact of life. Why? How?

“V” described to me that coming home from school and not knowing which personality state her mother would be in. She didn’t knowing which of her mother’s personalities would welcome her home. Her anxiety increased as she walked home hoping a personality that she did not like,or feared, would be facing her as the front door opened. “V” describes coming home to her mother who was curled under the covers of her bed hugging a teddy bear and sucking her thumb while watching “V”s favorite cartoon video? How do children cope with a mother drunk on a daily cocktails of psychotropic drugs? What is the difference between this mother and one who is addicted to heroin? I contend that there is no difference. Both mothers are quite capable of loving their children – yet neither is capable of caring for them.

In homes with a mother believing she has multiple personalities, it is common for the child to take on the role of parent or caregiver. Again, a DID parent (usually the mother) is not unlike an alcoholic or one addicted to drugs in that they are physically there, but emotionally absent. The commenter, “V” I mentioned earlier, says she desperately tried to normalize her home life, but is unable to do so.  She tried to make sense of her mother acting like a little child alter personality and chattering at her in a little girls voice, but no matter how she tried, she couldn’t make sense of her mother’s behavior that sometimes seemed contrived for attention.

In Internet forums, women with multiple personalities complain endlessly about their abusive childhood, yet they are often incapable of recognizing that they are perpetuating abuse to their own children – another generation. Perhaps the inattentiveness is not the same, but the long-term effects of an unstable parent and a home filled with unpredictability and stress can’t be the base for lasting mental health in my opinion.

Women who began therapy to search for memories of childhood sexual abuse in the 1980s-1990s are now somewhere between 50-65 years of age. That makes some of them grandparents. They have not only raised generation-2 under the cloud of Dissociative Identity Disorder, but greatly influenced generation-3 (their grandchildren) who are also left to cope with inadequate parenting.

Where does the chain of generations effected by the multiple personality disorder debacle end? The American Psychiatric Associations need to fess up to making the biggest blunder in the history of psychiatric medicine before people can count on their psychological treatment being based on scientific evidence rather than  the belief system of psychotherapists, clergy, or others.

How many generations of children will be influenced by this sort of potentially harmful psychological treatment that is largely void of science? Since there appears to be no end to the belief in multiple personalities, the number of Mom’s, Dad’s, and children like “V”will be sucked into it will continue albeit under the radar and in underground, secret societies on the Internet.

Generations of children forced to cope with this psychiatric debacle by psychotherapists is likely to be many.

 

Note from blogger: I would appreciate the photographer of the image above contacting me so I can give you credit.

*Links for reference only. Wiki sites are only one source for general information and the links used in this article are provided for that purpose only. I do not support any information from Wiki sites as they change frequently.

Last update: 11-22-14.

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41 Comments

  1. Ariel

     /  11/15/2016

    I can’t say about DID specifically, but I was raised by a mentally ill mother (likely bipolar, borderline, depression, or some combination of the three). I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and it’s upsetting to see how taboo the subject of mentally ill parents’ effects on their kids is. We can’t address this issue that affects the *children* because we might hurt the *parents’* feelings. That is messed up.

    I have so much admiration for people like you who are responsible with their mental problems, and I try to be that way with mine. I am still not sure I should ever have kids because I am so afraid of being the kind of mother mine was.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • It sounds like you have it rough at home. If you want to share more, I’m sure you will help many others dealing with similar situations.

      Like

      Reply
    • Hi Ariel, Thank you for leaving a comment that has the potential to help others. And, thank you for the support.

      I was not raised by a parent with a mental illness, so I won’t pretend to know what it’s like. I do, however, support you. I appreciate people like you who come to this blog and offer your opinions.

      It’s difficult to be honest with people about mental health issues – particularly DID and bipolar. People know little about it but have many opinions. Family members can be the worst if they don’t support the person trying desperately to cope with a medical problem that they don’t understand & often make erroneous assumptions.

      Just recently, a new neighbor found out about my condition from another neighbor. She found it perfectly OK to stand in the street and yell that I need my medication because I was annoyed that her 2 dogs bark endlessly! I no longer associate with the person who decided to betrayed me by telling her my personal business. No problem saying bye to people who have no respect for me and who use my medical condition to hurt me. Is it that bad for you or do you keep things to yourself?

      Sharing with other people is a personal decision. Sometimes I am glad I said something and find the person caring. Other times, it backfires when people use my condition to hurt me intentionally. I can only imaging what you have to cope with everyday. Take care of yourself. J

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  2. Zee

     /  02/27/2016

    I was raised by a mother with MPD/DID and my experience is that it was a traumatic childhood and left a terrific amount of damage. I spent an enormous amount of time over many, many years in therapy dealing with the fallout. I now have a life that works, that is practical and functional, but it is not and never will be a life that is not impacted by the damage… what I didn’t have was a ‘normal’ childhood in any way, and what I don’t have now is a ‘normal’ life.
    That said, this life has been an interesting and challenging journey, with many things I would not have experienced or learned any other way.
    I don’t hold any anger or blame for my mother… what was done to her was far, far worse than what she passed on to me. She gave better than she got. Still, it is not a childhood I’d wish on any child.
    Should people with DID be parents? Based on my own experience, I’d say no. However, since DID is a slippery diagnosis, and often is misdiagnosed or goes untreated for a long time, many people with DID have children before they realize they have DID. And then, you have what you have, and all you can do is mitigate the damage.
    What I haven’t seen, and I suspect is needed, is study and support for the second-generation consequences of living with DID, and help for those who are subject to the impact of parents or family with DID. Certainly it would have been helpful to me… my therapist and I had to negotiate that territory without a guide. While I knew I couldn’t be the only one with the that experience, as a child I was very isolated, and as an adult I had nobody who could say ‘yes, me too’, ‘yes it is exactly like that’.
    If you are aware of resources or groups that are doing that, I’d love to know. Perhaps I could be that voice for someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Gosh, Zee. What a tangled web of hurt you have. You bring up interesting points. I hadn’t thought about women who have children before learning of the DID diagnosis. It doesn’t allow you to make different family plans if you would have liked to.

      I understand the loneliness you felt and likely still feel. I don’t know of any groups for folks like you. I keep blogging hoping to be of some help. If you’d like to write and publish on this blog, you are welcome to do so.

      I felt alone when I left treatment for DID after realizing I did not have DID. I had to go forward knowing not where I was going. I still feel like that sometimes.

      I’ll check around and let you know if I find any resources that could help.

      Thank you for coming by and being so honest and candid. Be well, J

      Like

      Reply
  3. Rachel G

     /  11/25/2015

    I am a mother of two. I have a DID diagnosis. I was not aware of my predicament until after the children were here. As if this wasn’t tough enough, soon after my spouse was dx’d with an adult low functioning ASD.
    Its articles like this one and the ones written by the poor souls traumatized by low functioning ASD parents as well that give me nightmares! My kids are everything to me!
    So my spouse and I went on a traditional route of treatment: medication & therapy.
    Oh boy! I was reduced to a non functioning, unstable, useless mess. I was convinced I couldn’t trust myself, and the more I questioned the ‘healing process’ the more I was accused of not wanting to get better. I joined a multi support group and learned that my healing journey was typical and productive..
    Suuuuuure…. I felt like Alice down the rabbit hole. The worse I felt, the harder I threw myself into treatment. The harder I threw myself into treatment, the worse I felt.
    And my kids were left w/o a good mommy.And when I brought this up? The consensus was, “ya gotta put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help the next person”
    Okay.
    Meanwhile, my spouse was learning to be the best invalid he could be in his treatment. All of a sudden he could be an asshole and blame his illness, neglect adult responsibilities, and needed to be handled with kid gloves.
    And so there went a good daddy too.
    We became dependent on hand outs and plummeted into poverty. Holidays were depressing. Everything was destroyed.
    Then I began reading and found your blog (wasn’t it called dissociative identity disorder doesn’t exist?). Although I maintain the belief that I do have a diagnosis that describes DID (& believe it does exist) I could truly relate to the treatment making me sick, traumatized at times, people trying to make me believe certain people abused me in ways I know they did not, and the damage it causes.
    I began seeking answers and for the most part dismissed as being nuts.
    That’s when they found a neurological disorder. One that mimics some symptoms of DID. And that’s when I started talking about my treatment to the neurologist.
    He advised me to quit.
    So I did. I quit and spiraled into a pit of confusion and depression that landed me in a psych ward.
    I got out half dead (literally) and mad as hell. I got my kids counseling. I changed my spouse’s shrink to one that wouldn’t treat him like a baby. I’ve been tapering the medications. I am sick(physically) & screwed up (mentally and physically), but I nor my spouse have never been more lucid.
    Now we both listen to ourselves, each other& our kids & not experts or protocols.
    I have a new shrink that is skeptical of DID. I want her to see MY pathology, not be looking for a pathology according to an agreed consensus or giving me a complex to cure a complex (like how does ‘going inside’ get me OUT of my head??!).
    Its a painful existence that I live now. I wish I could delete my past. I wish I could give my kids Pleasantville parents. We love those kids more than life itself! We went unto treatment in order to try and become better parents for them! I am so angry..
    I am really happy for those w DID for whom the treatment works. It does work for certain people. Lives have been saved.
    But for me the treatment nearly decimated mine, and if it weren’t for blogs like yours, I may never have questioned it.
    Thanks.

    Like

    Reply
    • Dear Rachael D., First, I want to apologize for being unable to respond to you sooner.

      Your family experiences with DID therapy as well as your husband’s treatment is a nightmare to me. I’m glad you found my blog useful. I cannot imagine how you are coping. Like me, you got out, but the treatment leaves us a mess. Unfortunately, this therapy will likely be around for some time. If I can help with resources I’ll be glad to do that.

      What happened to you is wrong, unethical, malpractice and on and on IMHO. It seems like you are pointed in a healthy direction. Keep us posted. Be well, J

      Like

      Reply
      • Rachel

         /  08/30/2016

        I am curious as to what those resources are. I have gone as far as I can go medically (as has my spouse). Because we are still stuck on a fixed income, we are unable to access the nearby resources that might be better for us.

        We are at a point where we have done our part and hit a glass ceiling. The children no longer need therapy (not that it was so helpful anyway) and I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I’ve got a good psychiatrist who has a good fix an what dissociation is and what it isn’t and most of his views are in line with yours.
        I would like to learn of resources if you care to share.
        Thank You Kindly,
        Rachel

        Like

        Reply
  1. Should People with Multiple Personalities or Dissociative Identity Disorder Be Parents? | Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

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