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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European Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation: Interview with Andrew Moskowitz

The European Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation, ESSTD,  released a for members only video.

If you are interested in what Andrew Moskowitz writes about so you can guess what he might lecture about, see the references below.

Again, why is the ESSTD withholding information the public may find useful when making decisions about their mental health care?

Lack of transparency breeds suspicion & distrust.

Retrieved 06/22/12. http://www.estd.org/news/interview-with-andrew-moskowitz/

Interview with Andrew Moskowitz

18 Apr 2012

A new video interview with Andrew Moskowitz is available on the Members only Section where he talks about the differentiation between psychosis and dissociation.

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Publications by Andrew Moskowitz:

Psychosis, Trauma and Dissociation: Emerging Perspectives on Severe Psychopathology, 2009

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Journal of Trauma, Violence & Abuse, no date or volume available

Dissociation and Violence

A Review of the Literature

  1. Andrew Moskowitz, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract

Violent acts are sometimes committed by people who do not normally appear violent or aggressive. This simple observation and others have led some to speculate about a relationship between dissociation and violence. However, no systematic review of the literature has so far been published.

To address this gap, studies assessing the prevalence of dissociation among violent individuals, and violence among highly dissociative persons, are reviewed.

Possible links between dissociation and violent behavior are explored. It is concluded that dissociation predicts violence in a wide range of populations and may be crucial to an understanding of violent behavior.

There is a clear need, however, for large scale, well-designed studies using reliable structured instruments in a number of areas reviewed.

Recommendations for clinical applications include the routine screening of offenders for dissociative disorders and adequate consideration of dissociation and dissociative disorders in the development and implementation of violence treatment and prevention programs.

updated 12-26-14.

 

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

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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Chris Costner Sizemore: AKA The Three Faces of Eve (1927- )

Update 01-11-14. To date, I know of one high profile case of multiple personalities or Dissociative Identity Disorder that did not claim childhood sexual abuse as it antecedent or cause. That case is reported by Hershel Walker, former American football icon, who claims his multiple personalities were caused by childhood bullying.

If there are people out there who claim to have developed multiple personalities by causes other than childhood child abuse, I’d be interested to hear from you.

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Christine (Chris) Costner Sizemore

born 1927 –

Most Noted for:

Diagnosed in the 1950s, she is considered by some to be the first documented case of multiple personality disorder in the 20th century. Chris Sizemore is known by the pseudonym, Eve.

Sizemore had eight psychiatrists during her lengthily treatment that spanned over two decades. Corbett Thigpen and colleague, Hervey Cleckley, M.D., published a book that was a historical case study based on her life titled: “The Three Faces of Eve” which gained best-seller status as did the movie by the same title.

During the later part of her illness and recovery from multiple personality disorder, Chris Sizemore was treated for four years by Dr. Tony Tsitos in Virginia.

Early childhood traumas:

Chris Sizemore, in a YouTube documentary “Hard Talk,” a BBC Interview, said that at the age of two, she experienced three consecutive traumas.

  1. her mother cut her arm badly
  2. she saw a drowned man being recovered from a ditch, heard the word “death,” and began to believe that anyone who was sick or hurt was “dying.”
  3. she witnessed a man cut in half at a lumber yard.

Chris Sizemore repeatedly states that it was with the help of her psychiatrists, devoted family, and her belief in God that saw her through her illness and led to her recovery.

Publications:

1958.  The Final Face of Eve

1977. I’m Eve

1989. A Mind of My Own

Sources:

Georgia Encyclopedia

Sizemore, Chris Costner, 1989. A Mind of My Own.

Wikipedia: “Chris Costner Sizemore”

YouTube: “Multiple Personality Disorder on Hard Talk BBC Interviews – Chris Costner Sizemore, Part I”rumiscience”  watch?v=CTvr2fDBjmg Retrieved 3/14/11.