Ticker Tape: Mental Health Topics & More

Mental health issues expand quickly and information is available on the Internet 24/7. Keeping up with the constant stream of news reports and peer-reviewed articles is a daunting task so I’m starting a list of links and titles of news reports that you may find interesting or useful in an evolving ticker-tape sort of delivery.*

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Two who resigned from the DSM-5 work group explain why. Psychology Today 10-01-15.

Child Taken from Mum with Multiple Personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Psychiatrists Maryann Weisman & Stacey Zuniga Arrested on Alleged Prescription Drug Crimes, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA.

False Memory Syndrome Led Woman to Make Farm Rape Claims in Devon. North Devon Journal, 5-21-15.

The Forgotten Childhood: Why early memories fade. National Public Radio: All things considered. 4-8-14

The Devil and Mercy Ministries: A conversation with Chelsea Darhower | Dysgenics| 05-04-15.

The San Antonio Four Go Back to Court | Texas Public Radio | Apr 20, 2015

 
Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric? New York Times | 11-25-14. Barbara Dury, producer (Includes interview with this blogger)

Reforming Mental Health Care: How recovered memory treatments brought informed-consent Psychiatric Times | June 05, 2015  by Christopher Barden, J.D., Ph.D.
retrieved 03-24-15.

Could You Be Convinced You Committed a Crime That You Didn’t Commit?

 Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime | Psychological Science | 11-04-14.

Testimony Reliance Unsettles U.S. Courts

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Advisory Board Profiles

Researchers are now able to erase and restore memories in rats

Out of Mind Out of Sight: Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influence.

A Life in Pieces by Richard K. Baer

England: Suicide among mental health patients receiving home treatment doubles

*For information purposes only. I do not agree, or disagree, with the links above.

Last Update: 09-23-15.

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The therapeutic value of adolescents’ blogging about social–emotional difficulties by Meyran Boniel-Nissim & Azy Barak

I’ve blogged about the use of the Internet to obtain information on mental health issues by teens with an unfavorable opinion. I continue to find it potentially dangerous for adolescents to publish diaries on the Internet even though short-term support can easily be found. It is all to easy to find information on mental illnesses and particularly people who believe they have multiple personalities. Usually, when someone publishes a blog or post in a forum claiming to be a teen questioning whether they have multiple personalities, they are flooded with supportive and caring opinions in favor of their questions. There is rarely anyone who takes the time to challenge what the teen is asking about.

Maybe the researchers below, favoring the use of the Internet for journaling as a practical therapeutic endeavor, will create new clients after adolescents learn that publishing personal thoughts and feelings for the world to read is not a good idea. Commiserating with people who believe they have multiple personalities is a sure way to develop them, in many cases.

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The therapeutic value of adolescents’ blogging about social–emotional difficulties.

Boniel-Nissim, Meyran; Barak, Azy

Psychological Services, Dec 12, 2011, doi: 10.1037/a0026664

Abstract

Research shows that writing a personal diary is a valuable therapeutic means for relieving emotional distress and promoting well-being, and that diary writing during adolescence helps in coping with developmental challenges.

Current technologies and cultural trends make it possible and normative to publish personal diaries on the Internet through blogs—interactive, online forms of the traditional personal diary. We examined the therapeutic value of blogging for adolescents who experience social–emotional difficulties.

The field experiment included randomly assigned adolescents, preassessed as having social–emotional difficulties, to 6 groups (26–28 participants in each): Four groups were assigned to blogging (writing about their difficulties or free writing; either open or closed to responses), a group assigned to writing a diary on personal computers, and a no-treatment control group. Participants in the 5 writing groups were instructed to post messages at least twice a week over 10 weeks. Outcome measures included scales of social–emotional difficulties and self-esteem, a social activities checklist, and textual analyses of participants’ posts. Measurement took place at pre- and postintervention and at follow-up 2 months later.

Results showed that participants maintaining a blog significantly improved on all measures. Participants writing about their difficulties in blogs open to responses gained the most. These results were consistent in the follow-up evaluation. ( (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

* formatting and bold type by blogger

updated 04-11-15

Creative Commons License
The therapeutic value of adolescents’ blogging about social–emotional difficulties by Meyran Boniel-nissim & Azy Barak by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

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.

Creative Commons License
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.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

Carol Tavris, Ph.D.: How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience & Biobunk

“When it comes to pseudoscience, social psychologist and writer Carol A. Tavris is a self-appointed curmudgeon.”

“I have spent many years lobbing hand grenades at psychobabble — that wonderful assortment of pop psych ideas that permeate our culture in spite of having no means of empirical support,” said Tavris at the 24th APS Annual Convention.“Today, however, we face an even greater challenge because in this era of the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex, where psychobabble goes, can biobunk be far behind?””

Carol Tavris is one of the most engaging speakers I’ve heard. Her teaching methods, wit, wisdom, and endless wonder at the absurdities of human nature bring her audiences to laughter frequently. At the end of this post are several lectures you may find enlightening and perspective adjusting.

“Not every aspect of this “biomedical revolution,” as Tavris calls it, is unwelcome. She admitted that she gets very excited about many of these discoveries. What she takes issue with is the perception that biomedical explanations are infallible. Similar to the psychobabble that plagues psychological science, “brainless neuroscience” should be giving the field an image problem, but because most people don’t know how to spot biobunk, they are more willing to accept bad neuroscience findings over good psychological ones.”

Carol Tavris IIG.jpg *

According to Dr. Tavris there are a few surefire ways to spot biobunk:

1. Technomyopia – Technology knows more that I do

2. Murky Methods – Questionable methods are a sure sign of pseudoneuroscience. Statistical problems and artifacts are often hidden behind flashy findings. Imaging studies are one of the most common culprits

3. Rampant Reductionism Be wary of conclusions that seem too neat and simple

4. Neuromarketing – Watch out for hype and overselling. Often “neuromarketers” will hawk impressive sounding devices or treatments to desperate parents, students, and teachers that are backed by questionable science.

More Abaoaut Psychobabble and Brain Silliness

How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

A Skeptical Look at Pseudoneuroscience  YouTube

Books

Psychoababbly and BioBunk: Using Psychological Science to Think Critically about Popular Psychology, 3rd Edition

Mistakes were Made (But Not by Me):Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad  Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

The Mismeasure of Woman

Psychology 10th Edition

Invitation to Psychology with DSM-5 Update

Invitition to Psychology 5th Edition

 

*Photo credit unknown, owner please contact blogger at questioningdid@gmail.com so I can offer you the byline.

Creating False Memories: Not exclusive to Dissociative Identity Disorder

Creating false memories, believing an event occurred when it did not, is an everyday occurrence not a phenomenon strictly associated with the development of multiple personalities (usually diagnosed as Dissociative Identity Disorder) which is based on the theory that buried memories of childhood sexual abuse is behind the disorder.

False memories are not exclusive to psychotherapists who may unwittingly mold their patient’s memories to fit their own view of the world rather than sticking with facts of their patient’s lives. In this scenario, patients are encouraged to recall memories of childhood sexual abuse that may, or may not, be real. False recall of abuse has demonstrated it can cause the incarceration of individuals wrongly accused of events that did not occur. Eyewitness testimony in criminal cases are ripe with mis-identification of the perpetrator.

Science continues to demonstrate that human memory is fluid and changes with time unlike the long debunked theory that every event in our lives is recorded like a videotape that sits on a shelf deep in our mind ready to be replayed in its pristine form. Research shows that human memory simply doesn’t work that way.

False memories are not nefarious, or evil, or nonexistent. They are a reality of our lives and we unknowingly manipulate our memories to fit our view of ourselves and the world around us – often with no awareness that we are doing so.

Below are excerpts from the article offering insight into why we unknowingly manipulate our memories. Follow the link to this article if you are interested in reading comments. There are also resources if you want to read more about how false memories are formed.

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Why does the human brain create false memories?

By Melissa Hogenboom Science reporter, BBC News

Human memory constantly adapts and moulds itself to fit the world. Now an art project hopes to highlight just how fallible our recollections are.

All of us generate false memories and artist AR Hopwood has been “collecting” them.

For the past year he has asked the public to submit anecdotes of fake recollections which he turns into artistic representations.

They have ranged from the belief of eating a live mouse to a memory of being able to fly as a child.

Kimberley Wade at the University of Warwick, UK says, “I’ve been studying memory for more than a decade, and I still find it incredible that our imagination can trick us into thinking we’ve done something we’ve never really done and lead us to create such compelling, illusory memories.The reason our memories are so malleable,” she  explains, “is because there is simply too much information to take in.”

Wade found that “when we remember an event, what our memory ultimately does is fills in those gaps by thinking about what we know about the world.”

BBC News Science & Environment

Related articles & books:

Scientific American: Scientists Plant False Memories in Mice

TED Talks (18 min video) Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory

False Memory Syndrome Foundation

False Memory.net

Wired.com  Ads implant false memories

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering widespread misconceptions about human behavior, by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio and Barry L. Beyerstein

Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, memory, and mind by Paul McHugh

Eyewitness Testimony by Elizabeth Loftus

The Myth of Repressed Memory by Elizabeth Loftus

Victims of Memory by Mark Pendergrast

The Seven Sins of Memory: How the mind forgets and remembers, by Daniel L. Schacter

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