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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Persecutory Alters and Ego States: Protectors, Friends, and Allies

by Lisa Goodman & Jay Peters

date of publication unknown, appears to be around 1992

Abstract

Persecutor alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder are uniformly described in behavioral terms as belligerent, abusive, and violent. While most authors agree that persecutors begin as helpers there is no consensus about their later development or function within the system. This paper presents a theoretical model of the etiology and development of persecutor alters. It elucidates the underlying and continuously protective nature of the alter which becomes masked by the apparently “persecutory” behavior.

Using clinical examples which build on their appreciation of the positive function of persecutor alters the authors present their treatment techniques, which include: engagement, building rapport with the underlying protective function, psychoeducation of the alter, and finally, family therapy style negotiations of roles, expectations, and boundaries.

The paper concludes with an examination of the countertransference issues which commonly arise in working with persecutor alters and their impact on the clinician and the therapeutic task.

Retrieved 07/15/12. http://www.umaine.edu/sws/Writing/persecut.htm

I Miss My Therapist

Panic attack

Image via Wikipedia, Yet another depiction of the sick woman being treated by the all-knowing and reassuring male-doctor. About as stereotypical as it gets. JB

When I was in therapy remembering sexual abuse that actually never occurred, I was totally dependent on my psychiatric team for support, comfort, and scraps of love. When any one of them went on vacation, left their shift, had the day off, or was sent to work on another unit – I was devastated and not sure I would make it until I saw them again.

I obsessed about them, cried, held my teddy bear, took more meds, slept, and stared into space or at a TV screen counting the days and hours until they returned. The constant state of panic was all consuming.

Thankfully, that infantile need disappeared when I fled therapy. Coincidence?

Below are thoughts of people in therapy for dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder found elsewhere on the Internet.

Published on December 30, 2009

This time last year, I was freaking out …I was counting the seconds until she returned. Going from three days of analytical bliss a week to zero – for two weeks in a row – was a sleepless demon that required constant taming.

Missing your therapist – a LOT – during the break is definitely a common thing. … And more than once for me, getting through that span of time felt like crossing a vast desert. It can be lonely without your therapist, even if you’re surrounded by people who love you, and life is busy. …

When that longing would come on – for the relief and release and risk and recovery of the session room – the summer or winter breaks …could feel agonizing.

Full Story Psychology Today, December 30, 2009.

~~~~~

Related links:

Feeling so attached to my therapist I can’t cope

…Feel so raw and vulnerable and scared and lonely and hurt and mad and YUCK and she’s the only person on the planet who understands me and says the right thing and makes me feel safe.But I only get to see her for two hours a week and it feels HORRID! I honestly wanted to grab her leg in session today, lie on the floor and not let her go!up today, and it hurts. Retrieved 6/14/11

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I think I’m addicted to therapy and maybe too attached to my therapist. It just feels as though those 45 minutes are the only time I feel capable of expressing myself and venting my frustrations. … I may just be using my therapist to dump all of my feelings on, when I can’t talk to anyone else. He seems to genuinely understand me and believe in me. …”
Retrieved 4/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

“…Currently I’m sitting at the beginning of my therapist’s one week vacation …She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hrd… I realize just how much I rely on her or what she brings to my life and I’m terrified of losing it. …
She’s my foundation, upon which everything else has settled. I count on our regularly schedule appointments. …It’s part of my routine, which I find safety in. ….I feel disconnected and lost. … I feel lonely and afraid.
…My PTSD and dissociative symptoms tend to go through the roof as July approaches, and I need her to help me keep them in check. …I don’t want to put myself on the verge of ending my life because I’m so miserable….She needs her time away, just as much as anyone else. My first reaction to missing her is to conclude that I need her too much, meaning I need emotionally pull away, which isn’t healthy. …”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Right now there are seven hours until i get to my therapists office and i am just trying to make it until then.”…

~~~~~~~~~~

“Is thinking about my therapist this much normal/healthy?”

I’ve been seeing a therapist for several months and I feel good about the progress I’ve made with her help and guidance. However, there are times when I can’t stop thinking about her, and I find that somewhat disturbing.

… I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with her, but I do have very warm feelings for her, as I would for a close friend or sibling. I get excited thinking about talking to her, and I feel energized even when I’ve had even the briefest contact by phone.

I understand that as a professional she needs to protect her boundaries… how do I resolve these feelings of curiosity about my therapist and wanting to be her friend? Retrieved 1/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

…”She’s in my life for two hours a week, yet knowing she isn’t around for an entire nine days hit me hard.

… My fear is if I’m not in a person’s routine than I’ll be completely forgotten, so I try to do what I can to stay “active” in a person’s mind by staying present in his or her life. … Basically, I feel like if I don’t make myself noticeable, then no one will see me and will ultimately forget I even exist.

So, this fear is amplified with my therapist because I do miss her while she’s away…. I’m afraid she’ll forget me. … She’ll realize how emotionally draining I am as a patient. I won’t be important to her anymore. I’ll have been replaced or just plain forgotten about. Retrieved 1/31/11.

~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been through several terminations -each of them different.
The first I invested a lot in but felt was extremely damaging.  I was discharged from the service.  The T still worked there and I was still desperate for support and contact.  My mental health really deteriorated and I became extremely unwell. … I didn’t work through any of my termination issues, just pushed them away. Retrieved 1/30/11.

updated 12-13-14.

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My Teacher has Multiple Personalities

I write this after reading several blogs written by women who state that they have multiple personalities and are teachers of our children.

On a blog maintained by a multiple who describes herself as a substitute-teacher, she posted a lengthily expose’ about her system of alter personalities and goes into intimate detail about suicidal thoughts, cutting & burning herself, switching personalities, having a scattered memory, and rapid eye blinking. In addition, she discloses intimate conversations with her male therapist.

I left the following comment: “With all respect, I don’t understand how it is OK for you to teach our children? Are you public about your DID? Do parents know? What does your principle say about it?” My comment is being reviewed by a moderator. As of this revision, December 12, 2014,  a response was not received.

I want to know if therapists and patients who believe they have multiple personalities disclose this to the school board overseeing teachers. While personal medical health is private, is multiple personalities and the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder an exception? Should it be? Yes, is my vote. If the teacher injures themselves, what’s to keep them from hurting children either indirectly, or directly?

Let’s suspend our knowledge that some teachers may have unruly alter personalities. What concerns and angers me is that given the obvious and self-disclosed mental instability these individuals deem it proper to go to work and put themselves in a classroom as teachers in a position of power and trust. They see nothing wrong with being a role model and influencing an unknown number of children.

Obviously therapists don’t see anything wrong with their patients caring for our school children –  knowing the sometimes high-level of decompensation and chaos these teachers experience at home. Don’t therapists have a responsibility to disclose to someone the possible threat their client poses to a classroom of children? Sure, this would be illegal, but this childhood educational situation is outrageous!

I read blog after blog where women write detailed events of their lives and those of their many alter personalities. They live stressful and dark lives full of secrecy – not only of their alleged abusive pasts and the secret lives they live lest someone find out they believe they have multiple personalities. The trauma and abuse they report is horrific. The ensuing dissociative splitting into multiple personality states is alleged to help them cope with the chaos and fraught with behaviors, like cutting and burning their skin, that exemplifies a high level of distress, in their own words.

My point is, multiples, and their treating psychotherapists, cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, if a teacher experiences frequent dissociated states and is unable to cope with daily life without alter personalities, suicidal gestures, cutting and burning themselves then how can we, as parents and concerned citizens, accept that these teachers are fit to educate our children? Would the school board be liable if an incident occurred?

The frequent and easy answer from teachers with multiple personalities is often: “We have a particular personality that does the teaching.” Or, “So and so personality has control over the teacher personality and they agree that nothing will happen while we are working.” Or other nonsense that is fraught with  illogical thinking and rationalizations.

I don’t buy it.

I once thought I had multiple personalities too. I know the high level of dysfunction, the actions of medications on the body and mind, and the uncontrollable chaos and inability to take care of what is known in The Psychology Industry is activities of daily living like brushing teeth, taking showers, doing laundry, combing hair, or making dinner for our kids.

Multiples in psychotherapy are permitted and encouraged to be dependent on their therapists.The result is a painful existence of chaotic days, self-harm, emergency care and/or unscheduled psychiatric admissions to hospitals, suicide interventions, and what seems to be endless psychotherapy sessions. When, on the other hand, these same patients want something that requires them to put the alter personalities and destructive behaviors aside, society is expected to allow them to act as if they were mentally sound so they can step in the role of educator with all the rights and responsibilities that go with the profession.

But those who define themselves as multiples aren’t like everyone else. They live secret lives behind the closed doors of their homes and the offices of their beloved therapists. Many cuddle teddy bears and watch children’s videos while acting like a little child in need of comfort, care, and constant supervision. May talk or write in gibberish child-speak; Many go to schools and teach your children.

My point is this. Every teacher or educator needs to take all the time needed to heal. Get all the medical and psychiatric care you require. Then enter the classroom and teach our children.

updated 12-08-14.

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Conference: International Association for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Another conference on discovering and treating multiple personalities. Don’t be fooled by the name change. This is the same organization that was founded to investigate the phenomenon of multiple personalities in the mid-1980s that, according to lawsuits, led to patient harm, familial alienation, and wrongful convictions based on recovered memories of abuse. This group of practitioners and interested parties is probably the only organization of “experts” in psychiatry and psychology that has seen the highest number of medical malpractice lawsuits, medical license revocation, and questionable associations with online degree programs.

I will have reports from the conference when they are available.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Exploring and Learning Together:

What We Now Know about Trauma & Dissociation”

October 23-27 || Westin Long Beach || 333 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach || California 90802 || United States 

2014 Plenary Speakers

Constance J. Dalenberg, PhD
Alliant International University
Past-President, Division 56 (Trauma Psychology) of the American Psychological Association
Topic: Countertransference and Transference Crises in Working with Traumatized Patients

Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD
University of Oregon
Editor of the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Topic: Institutional Betrayal

Gail S. Goodman, PhD
University of California
President, Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association
Topic:  Trauma & Memory in Children and Adolescents

Rick Goodwin, MSW, RSW
Steve LePore
, 1in6 Founder and Executive Director

Topic:  Strength & Courage; Addressing Men’s Experiences of Childhood Sexual Abuse


Therese Clemens, ISSTD Executive Director at tclemens@isst-d.org.

The ISSTD Conference Committee

Kevin J. Connors, MS, MFT, Chair
Therese Clemens, Executive Director ISSTD
Lynette Danylchuk, PhD
Philip J. Kinsler, PhD, ex officio
Christa Kruger, MD
Christine Forner, MA, MSW
Florence Hannigan, MA, BSW
Mara Katz, LCSW
Kathy Steele, MN, CS
Vedat Şar, MD
Joan Turkus, MD