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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National Association of Social Workers (USA) Offers Educational Credits for Attending Multiple Personality Disorder Conference

Calling all Social Workers!

(and others)

If you take issue with dissociative identity disorder/multiple personalities being a valid disorder, it’s time to speak up – well, you missed your chance before the conference in Florida, USA, but it’s your responsibility and never too late. Even anonymous letters are good enough.

Unless the National Association of Social Workers in the United States discontinues offering continuing educational credits (mandatory for retaining a license to practice) their profession will continue to be haunted by pseudo-science masquerading as viable psychological treatment.

Social workers evidently support the belief in multiple personalities and the practice of psychotherapy aimed to treat dissociative identity disorder.

A conference: An Infinite Mind “Healing Together, was held in Florida, USA.

According to the conference website:

“This program is approved by the The National Association of Social Workers for clinical social work continuing education contact hours.This program has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselor. …”

Social Work

Image by Army Medicine via Flickr

I almost wish I hadn’t looked into the National Association of Social Workers to see what values they hold and what their standards and ethics are. But I did, and here is what I found:

Code of Ethics

Value: Competence

Ethical Principle: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.

Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge* and skills and to apply them in practice. Social workers should aspire to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.

1.03 Informed Consent (paragraph one)

(a) …Social workers should use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services …”

1.04 Competence

(c) When generally recognized standards do not exist with respect to an emerging area of practice, social workers should exercise careful judgment and take responsible steps …to ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from harm.

3.08 Continuing Education and Staff Development

“Continuing education and staff development should address current knowledge and emerging developments related to social work practice and ethics.

4.01 Competence

(a) Social workers should accept responsibility or employment only on the basis of existing competence or the intention to acquire the necessary competence.

(b) …should strive to become and remain proficient in professional practice and the performance of professional functions …critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge … routinely review the professional literature and participate in continuing education ….

(c) …should base practice on recognized knowledge, including empirically based knowledge, relevant to social work and social work ethics.

5.01 Integrity of the Profession

(b) …Social workers should protect, enhance, and improve the integrity of the profession through appropriate study and research, active discussion, and responsible criticism of the profession.

(e) Social workers should act to prevent the unauthorized and unqualified practice of social work.

5.02 Evaluation and Research

(c) Social workers should critically examine and keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to social work and fully use evaluation and research evidence in their professional practice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has a lot of thinking and work to do before their code of ethics reflects their behavior. Since they support the practice of treating multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder, what does that say about their lack of scientific training being a necessity for practice? Evidentially, social workers do not find science necessary.

When continuing education credits, annual schooling that enable social workers to retain a license to practice, are offered in areas that do not show scientific rigor, all patients and their families suffer.

Over and over in the document above uses the words: ethics, values, knowledge, professional. What dictionary are they using to define their terms?

The actual beliefs of the NASW become transparent when the dots are connected between the programs they supports for continuing education credits – – – – and their mission statement. What is on paper and what they profess to stand for are at odds and rather flimsy.

I doubt that many social workers actually know what is in their code of ethics. If they do, why are they supporting treatment for a psychiatric condition, multiple personalities, that is steeped in decades of controversy and documented patient harm?

I know social workers that I hold in high-regard. They are hard-working and dedicated to patient welfare. So this critique is meant as a criticism of their governing body rather than members who have few choices if they want to keep their license to practice. That fact, however, does not offer asylum from responsibility and knowledge about the organization that they support.

Perhaps a social worker will read this and inform/educate the rest of us about why the NASW turns their back on people who trust them to be honest about research and therapeutic practices both in general, and specifically in regards to dissociative identity disorder.

Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder Metaphors or Genuine Entities?

Clinical Psychology Review 22 (2002) 481–497

Harald Merckelbacha,Grant J. Devillyc, Eric Rassina,

Abstract
How should the different identities (i.e., alters) that are thought to be typical for dissociative identity disorder (DID) be interpreted? Are they just metaphors for different emotional states or are they truly autonomous entities that are capable of willful action?

This issue is important because it has implications for the way in which courts may handle cases that involve DID patients.

Referring to studies demonstrating that alters of DID patients differ in their memory performance or physiological profile, some authors have concluded that alters are more than just metaphors.

We argue that such line of reasoning is highly problematic.

There is little consensus among authors about the degree to which various types of memory information (implicit, explicit, procedural) may leak from one to the other alter. Without such theoretical accord, any given outcome of memory studies on DID may be taken as support for the assumption that alters are in some sense ‘‘real.’’

As physiological studies on alter activity often lack proper control conditions, most of them are inconclusive as to the status of alters. To date, neither memory studies nor psychobiological studies have delivered compelling evidence that alters of DID patients exist in a factual sense. As a matter of fact, results of these studies are open to multiple interpretations and in no way refute an interpretation of alters in terms of metaphors for different emotional states.

Conclusion
The older literature on DID offers some strong claims as to the literal status of alters. Anecdotal reports of alters differing in their allergic reactions, in their response to medication, and in their optical functioning abound (e.g., Miller, 1989). These anecdotes
led Simpson (1997, p. 124) to pose the following question: ‘‘Why not claim that they wear different size shoes?’’ …

Still, a literal interpretation of alters can also be found in the DSM-IV and in many serious articles on DID. In their thought-provoking essay on DID, Lilienfeld et al. (1999) present several examples of treatment interventions that seem to be predicated on the belief that alters in DID are independent agents. These examples include asking to meet an alter, giving names to alters, and encouraging alters to write letters to each other. On the basis of these examples, Lilienfeld et al. (p. 513) conclude that ‘‘many or most influential authors in the DID treatment literature treat alters as independent entities or even personalities, at least during the early phase of treatment.’’

It is this literal view on alters …. Yet, theoretical and methodological shortcomings of these studies restrict any conclusions that can be drawn from them. Memory studies on DID suffer from the absence of articulated theories about memory functioning in DID.

Psychobiological studies, on the other hand, primarily suffer from the absence of proper control conditions. This is unfortunate, becauseit is now perfectly possible to specify control conditions for this type of research.

…Neither memory studies, nor psychobiological studies have elicited compelling evidence
that supports a literal view on alters in DID. …A case in point is Gleaves (1996, p. 48) who notes that ‘‘what is critical to understand is that acknowledging a patient with DID to have genuine experiences of alters as real people or entities is not the same as stating that alters are actually real people or entities.’’ Obviously, this conceptualization of alters is reminiscent of the position that alters exist largely as a result of role enactment in which patients become absorbed.

Thus, it is probably time to de-emphasize the literal interpretation of alters advocated by the DSM-IV. …

…Meanwhile, the hypothesis that alters in DID may be nothing more than the result of some patients’ tendency to attribute causality to inside agents, only becomes a coherent position when one seriously considers the possibility that expressed alters are metaphors rather than real entities.

Mental health care, a disaster of Titanic proportions

Thank you, Tony Foster for writing this letter. The more that people speak out and write letters as you did, the greater the chances of change through awareness and education.

The historical account of Dorothea Dix’s work to deinstitutionalize mental health patients continues to need work. She started to help psychiatric patients in the 1800s. I wonder what she would think about the strides we’ve made? Think she’d flip her wig and ask lawmakers: “Why so little progress in 200+ years? ” I think she would.

Ninth plate daguerreotype of Dorothea Lynde Dix.

Ninth plate daguerreotype of Dorothea Lynde Dix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Amarillo, Texas, USA

Amarillo Globe News

January 8, 2013

In the 21st century, prisons and jails have become makeshift hospitals for those who have mental illness, but it wasn’t always this way.

Philanthropists such as Dorothea Dix led crusades in the 19th century to decriminalize the mentally ill. Her prison ministry led to the discovery of inmates with obvious psychosis chained to walls, with no heat during winter, often naked and surrounded in feces. Poetic in her pleas to Congress, Dix challenged the sanity of salad-mixing the mentally ill with hardened criminals. With razor-sharp wit and a talent for diplomacy, she voiced the morbid conditions to legislators and garnered support….

Deinstitutionalization began in 1955 with the advent of a successful anti-psychotic medication (Thorazine), and was given a boost through federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

The “grand experiment” ushered in a new era — the closing of mental health hospitals, reduced availability of beds and a mass exodus of patients released from hospitals. …

In the least restrictive environment, patients could anchor themselves to a robust outpatient system padded with supports. In theory, this would allay the uncertainty of institutionalized patients and assist healthy integration….

Weak investment in mental health care has created a human rights Titanic, capsizing in a sea of piecemeal provision and scant accessibility. The ship is sinking to the extent the contemporary face of mental health treatment is behind bars. …

 

Mercy Ministries Under Fire for Using Debunked Repressed Memory Therapy

Houston, we have a problem.

Mercy Ministries is under intense fire from former patients and their families for allegedly practicing the debunked pseudoscience of repressed memory therapy on unwitting clients.

Mercy Ministries is welcome to come here and refute or explain the charges former patients are making.

~~~~~

A Christian-based residential treatment program by the name of Mercy Ministries is being challenged by a group of previous clients who call themselves “Mercy Survivors”.    These previous clients are using online resources such as Facebook, Tumbr, YouTube, and Twitter to spread their message and connect with other affected families.

The Mercy Ministries official website says, “Mercy Ministries does not practice repressed memory therapy” (1)  but at least one past client disagrees, “At this Nashville, TN based facility called Mercy Ministries, the retired school-teacher who was “called by God” to cure me of mental angst, eating disorder behaviors, and substance abuse, implanted a memory that I had been sexually abused as a child.”  (2)

Mercy Ministries is a faith-based multi-state Christian residential treatment program for girls ages 13-28 which operates at no charge to clients.  They treat anything from eating disorders, addictions, and depression to unplanned pregnancies and brag of an overall  93% success rate in turning these women’s lives around.   The funding for the program comes from donations by sponsors.  Churches and individuals can sponsor the program as a whole or may sponsor a single patient.  (3)

Up until 2008, Mercy Ministries used a therapeutic model known as “Restoring the Foundations”.  But when the Australian branches of the ministry were exposed for using exorcisms as part of their curriculum and usurping clients’ social welfare checks as payment, the American ministry developed its own seven-point counseling model entitled “Choices That Bring Change” (CTBC).    The Mercy Survivors group argues that CTBC still utilizes the same key parts of “Restoring the Foundations” which caused problems.  Specifically, they say that part 5 “Healing from Life Hurts” is a search for memories of abuse which may create false memories and that part 6 “Freedom from Oppression” is sometimes treated by exorcisms.   While the official website for Mercy Ministries specifically states that “Mercy Ministries does not perform or endorse exorcisms as part of its treatment curriculum”  (4), Mercy Survivors offer this  audio of Mercy Ministry’s president, Nancy Alcorn, to demonstrate otherwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soX-IOeO9jg. (5)

Treatment through Mercy Ministries culminates in a graduation ceremony.  One father explains how he first discovered he’d been accused of sexual abuse by finding his daughter’s graduation speech “ She came back [home] and everything seemed OK.” “It seemed like we had a good relationship….”Three days after she got home, she said she was here for a visit and she said we had misunderstood. Either that day or the next day, Smith said, his wife discovered their daughter’s graduation testimony. “In her testimony, she said I had molested her from [ages] 4 to 17”.  (6)

For further information, please visit the Mercy Survivor’s blog(s) and Youtube channel:

http://mercysurvivors.com/

http://prettypinkkoolaid.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/MercySurvivors

http://www.mercyministries.org/what_we_do/our_program.html  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://prettypinkkoolaid.com/post/76982455501/intentionally-or-unintentionally-mercy-ministries  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.mercyministries.org/who_we_are/about/  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.mercyministries.org/who_we_are/about/faqs.html  (accessed 3/24/14)

https://www.youtube.com/user/MercySurvivors  (accessed 3/24/14)

http://www.lincolnnewsmessenger.com/article/mercy-ministries-two-fathers-views  (accessed 3/24/14)

Reblogged with permission from personal correspondence.

 

 

 

 

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