The United States of Tara: A Thanks From the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Dispite hilarious distortions of a serious “mental illness” that is painful for those believed to be suffering from it, the foremost authority for research, study, and dissemination of information – the ISST-D still thanks Steven Speilberg. Speilberg is appreciated for bringing public awareness just after they state that this show is largely a misrepresentation. Richard Kluft, MD a member of the ISST-D is one of the show’s consultants.

Is Richard Kluft displaying a conflict of interest, supporting educational information about MPD/DID, shooting for fame, or doing what he can to collect a hefty paycheck from Speilberg? You decide.


Thank You!

“The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is grateful to Showtime, Inc., Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, screenwriter Diablo Cody, actress Toni Collette, and the supporting cast and producers of The United States of Tara for their portrayal of the complicated, confusing, and sometimes desperate life lived below the visible surface of an everyday person with dissociative identity disorder. As Richard P. Kluft, M.D. noted in the special educational video produced by Showtime on their website (and available on this website, above), only a small percentage of people with dissociative identity disorder have the classical presentation of obvious switching from one personality state to another. Most people with this disorder go to work, raise families, and struggle to live their lives while healing from the painful emotional wounds of their earlier years. Too often, public discussion of dissociation and dissociative disorders is sensationalized. This is a public Thank You to Showtime, and all involved, for increasing interest about an important psychological disorder. We hope this increased interest results in improved treatments, and better lives for our patients, their families, and our communities!”

“The views of Showtime Inc. and the production team of the United States of Tara, are  their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ISSTD or its members.  The ISSTD website provides accurate, current scientific information about Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

Retrieved 3/15/11. ISST-D Thanks Steven Speilberg

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.

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The International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation, Episode Commentaries

The International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) who considers themselves the “premier professional society on dissociative disorders issues” summarized each episode and made lengthily commentaries on each.

Follow the link … ISSTD Tara commentaries

United States of Tara “Board Meeting” Represents the Mind of Dissociation?

United States of Tara

I found this YouTube video that posted on Mar 3, 2012. This individual states that it not only represents what he/she experiences in their head, but he/she found relief after viewing this film clip from the TV Series, The United States of Tara.

Retrieved 03/09/12.

What do you think?


Best in Show: The 6 Most Powerful Health Plotlines on TV ‘United States of Tara’: Taking the Stigma Out of Mental Illness

“Tara, like many people with DID, is not eager to admit how impaired she is,” explains Richard Kluft, MD, past president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and a consultant to the show. About one percent of the population has DID, according to the Sidran Institute, a non-profit educational organization, which makes it as common as schizophrenia.

Kluft goes on to say, “Tara and her alters remove some of the stigma from DID, and show that the condition can affect any otherwise healthy, suburban family. ”

Is Tara removing stigma or just entertaining the masses?

The other side of the story Dr. Kluft usually leaves out of the equation is that the “condition” he speaks of “affects healthy, suburban families” by tearing them apart and making some of its members non-functional and others to cope with accusations of crimes that never occurred.

Retrieved 5/20/11. Everyday Health.

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