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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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.*

““““““““““

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.

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.

~~~~~~~~~~

Publications by Andrew Moskowitz:

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

~~

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

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.

~~~

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

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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.