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

Arcadia Child My photos that have a creative c...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test

Creative Commons License
This work by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=233&action=edit.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=233&action=edit.

Multiple Personalities: A Lifestyle of Choice

It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that hundreds of women believed they had multiple personalities and began to live their lives accordingly – whatever that meant. By the 1990s their numbers at least doubled. Richard Kluft, M.D., Bennett Braun, M.D., Cornelia Wilbur, M.D., Colin Ross, M.D., Richard E. Hicks, M.D. a other proponents at the center of the multiple personality debacle, had significant influence on their colleagues. Kluft confesses  –  “not much has changed over the years.”

Kluft is wrong, and so are the others whether or not they admit it. The change in the relationships between adult-multiples and their birth families is devastating for all – except for Kluft and others who conjure up theories, treat patients, collect numerous paychecks and then go home to enjoy the weekend. These medical doctors are either unaware or don’t care about the human carnage left behind their therapeutic wake. The impact of this psychotherapy on the families of multiple’s is profound.

You may be wondering what I mean by ‘lifestyle.” When I was misdiagnosed (by Kluft and my treating psychiatrist) and believed I had multiple personalities, life was difficult every hour of every day. It was difficult to live alone and find a means to support myself, difficult to be in and out of a hospital, difficult to be with family – difficult to be without them, and difficult to be uncertain about my future. Would I always be multiple? would I recover? were questions that plagued me.

Stress was enormous. Everyone around me believed I had multiple personalities stemming from horrific childhood sexual abuse. If they didn’t believe I was a survivor, they were replaced by others who did. Over time, my family was shunned and then cut-off altogether because I was brainwashed into believing they would impede my recovery and/or damage me further. I missed being a part of the lives of the children in my family as they grew up, missed birthday parties with kooky cakes and presents, holidays with traditional foods, songs and celebrations. I missed it all – by choice.

I was the only one in the family who was multiple; the only one who had been abused. I alone was the survivor of multi-generational sexual torture, secrecy, and nefarious acts. Common sense was no longer working in my brain. If I was the only one relating abuse stories, wasn’t it possible I was the one who was wrong – rather than declaring that everyone else was in denial? Nope. Again, that common sense switch was turned off.

I chose to surround myself with other multiples who said they were similarly abused and I allowed myself to be guided by a psychiatrist who promoted abuse theories and encouraged me to stay away from family. I’m the one who went to art therapy, to music therapy, and who sequestered myself either in my apartment, or in a hospital room ingesting psychotropic drugs ordered to relieve psychic pain by my negligent psychiatrist.

If I changed one thing about my multiple-lifestyle be it a new apartment, different friends, or treatment at a different hospital by a different psychiatrist it would have been the collapse of my social and psychic infrastructure – I unknowingly proved that theory right when I fled therapy. I found that shedding the multiple-lifestyle left me with nothing but a need to rebuild my life from the ground up.

Knowing multiple personalities didn’t exist and that the psychiatrist had a personal agenda was helpful, but didn’t put my life back together. It didn’t instantly mend my family; didn’t reinstate my career or give me a regular paycheck. I was homeless and on the run from the psychiatrist who was eager to find me and return me to treatment even if it was against my will – he court ordered treatment before and I knew he would do so again.

It’s unfortunate that multiple personality doctors and others similarly influential in the DID movement don’t spend an extended time with multiples and/or their families. If they reunite families, these theorists and therapists have a lot to lose. Some would lose their entire practice, other would lose book deals, TV consulting contracts, and the admiration of colleagues of they stopped to look at the human carnage they create. If any one of them decided to decry the multiple lifestyle as one of utter dysfunction and chaos and, instead, promoted lifestyles based on health and growth – without multiple personalities they would create an unprecedented stir in the psychiatric community that would ultimately heal many people – this time, at their own demise. Reinstate “do no harm” would kill the careers and lucrative income of many mental health care providers.

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test

Dissociative Identity Disorder and the Process of Couple Therapy

I find little on the Internet addressing individuals living and loving a spouse believing who suffers multiple personalities/Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Only a few spouses have come to this blog to share their difficulties, frustrations, and triumphs.
      A home with a spouse, usually the wife/mother identifying as a multiple who experiences alter selves, by nature creates a home in chronic chaos. The woman believed to suffer from alter personalities is often a financial drain on family financial resources as well as emotional resources. Treatment for DID is known to be long and arduous – sometimes lasting decades. The depths of despair the wife/mother experiences during therapy makes it extremely difficult for her to function making home responsibilities and employment outside the home overwhelming or impossible. Marriages suffer from the weight of long-term psychotherapy that usually disassembles the patient rather than bolstering their functioning and overall mental health.
      For example, multiples present themselves as little children, therefore, demanding guidance and assistance from someone else (usually the husband or psychotherapist) to keep them safe and to carry out spousal and parental duties. At other times, the multiple may present as an angry or suicidal alter who needs emergency medical intervention; or someone of the opposite sex; or other personalities they are not – in reality.
      The unpredictability and chronically unstable mental-state of one spouse creates unique needs for the other spouse.
      A spouse and parent who brings this type of chaos to the family brings challenges to the marriage and family unit. Although I think the psychiatric condition of multiple personalities is contrived (not to mean faked), I support the mental health care profession addressing marital difficulties stemming from the diagnosis and treatment for multiple personalities clinically called Dissociative Identity Disorder.
~~~~~~~~~~

Heather B. MacIntosh PhDCPsych
Accepted author version posted online: 10 Sep 2012

Abstract

Couple therapy in the context of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) has been neglected as an area of exploration and development in the couple therapy and trauma literature. What little discussion exists primarily focuses on couple therapy as an adjunct to individual therapy rather than as a primary treatment for couple distress and trauma. Couple therapy researchers have begun to develop adaptations to provide effective support to couples dealing with the impact of childhood trauma in their relationships but little attention has been paid to the specific and complex needs of DID patients in couple therapy (MacIntosh & Johnson, 2008). This review and case presentation explored the case of “Lisa”, a woman diagnosed with DID and “Don”, her partner and illustrated the themes of learning to communicate, handling conflicting needs, responding to child alters, sexuality and education through their therapy process. It is the hope of the author that this discussion will renew interest in the field of couple therapy in the context of DID with the eventual goal of developing an empirically testable model of treatment for couples.

Retrieved 12-05-12.

Amber Alert Cancelled: Mother has Multiple Personalities

AMBER Alert cancelled

A two-year-old is unharmed and his mother is in custody. By Tom Moore, Newsradio WTAM 1100 Check out Tom’s personality page (East Cleveland) – The AMBER Alert that was issued for a two-year-old boy from East Cleveland after he was taken without permission from a court supervised visit by his mother has been cancelled. The toddler is safe and his mother has been arrested. His mother, Ja’teir Hines, is 22-years-old. Hines is bi-polar, has multiple personality disorder and has recently attempted suicide several times. She has family in Akron.

Read more: http://www.wtam.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=122520&article=9512590#ixzz1h5szqgC5

Retrieved 12/20/11. News Radio – Cleveland, Ohio, USA