DID / MPD - Does It Exist?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Incocknito, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Incocknito

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    Dissociative Identity Disorder aka Multiple Personality Disorder.

    This is a supposed condition that has two names - the professionals can't even decide on a name for it.

    I saw an interview last night on BBC's HARDTalk with Chris(tine) Costner Sizemore. Apparently she had at one point 21 'distinct' personalities. The first two were called Eve White and Eve Black.

    Now what struck me was that there was a religious undertone to her 'personalities'. For example, in therapy, her 'personalities' would always display in groups of three (holy trinity). Eve White for example was a deeply religious, kind and generous woman. On the other hand, Eve Black was a "party girl" and dressed provocatively.

    Which suggests to me that they are not entirely dissociated because they are not entirely distinct.

    Also, she admitted that at least one of her 'personalities' (Jane) was created / implanted by her own therapist. This again gives credence to the view that MPD is merely the result of suggestions by therapists which manifest within the patient. This is different from what MPD purports to be; a manifestation of distinct personalities from within the person, being manifest without any external influence (ie the suggestions of a doctor)

    But in more general terms, almost every case of MPD is in North America. There are very very few MPD / DID cases reported outside the US. Which again is odd because if it were a genuine condition then it would be more widespread and certainly not localised to such a small and specific geographical area.

    I was very intrigued by this and wondered what everyone else thought of the condition? Its an interesting idea but I don't know if its a verifiable medical condition.

    I have also read that although many MPD cases are from people who were abused as children, the multiple personalities ONLY manifest AFTER therapy has begun (in the majority of cases).

    A common view from the 'non-believers' is that the suggestions of therapists or their own willingness to diagnose MPD are what creates it in the patients (not that it was already present within the patients before therapy began).

    Comments, please.
     
  2. snoozan

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    MPD is no longer the name of the condition. It is known now as Dissociative Identity Disorder to reflect better what the condition is like. Not all DIDers have as distinct, separate personalities as we normally think.

    I know several people with DID who think it's a real phenomenon.

    I'm not sure what your sources are for the incidence of DID in other countries or that the various personalities only come out after therapy, but that's not my understanding of the disorder. Probably Wiki, which isn't always the best source of information about mental illness.

    This stuff is controversial even among professionals, and anyone commenting here is most likely pretty ignorant of the subject rendering their opinions moot.

    It is pretty well accepted that dissociative disorders exist. DID is probably the most extreme of them.
     
    #2 snoozan, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  3. Gillette

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    How would one prove the condition didn't manifest until after seeing a therapist? The unexplained behaviours might be present but it would be undiagnosed. Diagnosis doesn't equal onset. That would be like saying one didn't have cancer until they were tested for it.
     
  4. Incocknito

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    Because someone with MPD would behave eratically / differently and generally have episodes of amnesia. It would be quite apparent if this were the case either before or after therapy.

    However, the evidence is that most people generally behave 'normally' (or at least with no major variations in mood / temperament) and its only after therapy that they begin to exhibit separate personalities.

    Also what I forgot to mention was that during Mrs Sizemore's therapies, at one point when her therapist would ask her questions she didn't want to answer she would change into a deaf and mute personality to avoid the questions.

    Her therapist would then write down questions for her to read. This lead to her creating a blind personality that could not see. This suggests that she had some control over it, whether it be conscious or unconscious.

    What do you think of that?

    You may think that Sizemore is not a valid case of MPD because it seems selective but she is one of the biggest supporters and speakers on the subject of MPD.

    Discuss :cool:
     
  5. Gillette

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    Armchair analysis?

    Mrs Sizemore is desperate for attention.

    Just because she is a supporter doesn't maker her a valid case.

    I support (and celebrate) the large penis. This doesn't make me personally a valid case for their existence.
     
  6. tripod

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    Jesus Christ! Do you work in a mental institution? I find it highly dubious that most of the DID cases are found in North America though... I would say that people in North America would be experiencing much less trauma then other parts of the world where they do not have DID.

    *********************************************

    I've been watching the "United States of Tara" too and have been calling bullshit on most of the show.

    Here's what Wikipedia says about DID:

    There is considerable controversy over the validity of the Multiple personality profile as a diagnosis. Unlike the more empirically verifiable mood and personality disorders, dissociation is primarily
    subjective for both the patient and the treatment provider. The relationship between dissociation and multiple personality creates conflict regarding the DID diagnosis.

    Skeptics claim that people who present with the appearance of alleged multiple personality may have learned to exhibit the symptoms in return for social reinforcement. One case cited as an example for this viewpoint is the "Sybil" case, popularized by the news media. Psychiatrist Herbert Spiegel stated that "Sybil" had been provided with the idea of multiple personalities by her treating psychiatrist, Cornelia Wilbur, to describe states of feeling with which she was unfamiliar
    .

    I find the disorder sad and pathetic.
     
    #6 tripod, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  7. snoozan

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    No, but I do volunteer work for NAMI and other mental health organizations that put me in contact with people with DID and other dissociative disorders very often.

    There are a lot of people who might find certain behaviors/traits of yours to be sad and pathetic. I would say to them the same thing I am going to say to you:

    Don't belittle someone else's experience when you know very little about it.

    Also, Wikipedia and a show on TV are not a authoritative resources for comprehensive information on mental illness.

    Here's something else that we're forgetting. The people who have DID believe they have it and are experiencing they symptoms of the disorder. Even if it's a manifestation of "hysteria" or attention seeking of some sort, it s still very real the people who are experiencing it. Therefore, it is real. The only real question is how to treat it.
     
  8. tripod

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    You don't have to put me down just because I don't believe in DID. You are just showing what a petty piece of shit that you are. Go take your personality disorders out on someone else who attacks you personally.

    Having a personal opinion that is shared by many people is not belittling someone else's experience, don't fucking put words in my mouth.

    Multiple personality disorders are as old as dirt... everyone knows about it, I didn't fucking learn about it on wikipedia or Showtime. Nice try

    If it is a manifestation of hysteria or attention seeking, it IS NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS or PERSONALITY DISORDER.
     
  9. xljames91

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    Maybe they all found their "ring of power", their "precious".
    xD
     
  10. jason_els

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    I've lived with two people who have had DID. That was in a half-way house for the mentally ill associated with McLean Hospital in Boston. I'm absolutely convinced DID exists because I've lived with it 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, for a year. It's a fascinating condition which many therapists who treat it believe it to be a normal and healthy response to violent abuse.
     
  11. Incocknito

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    Gillette,

    I think Mrs Sizemore is not a valid DID case also, I was just contrasting her dubious personas with her status as a prominent MPD spokesperson.

    Another curious fact is that a murderer who was also a rapist claimed that one of his alters had committed the crime(s). He said he had eleven alter egos and that some knew they had commited crimes but the others didn't.

    When he was on the witness stand, his defence lawyer brought each of these eleven witnesses out. Sizemore was a member of the jury and the man was found guilty of rape and murder. By association he was also found guilty of pretending to have MPD.

    In some cases MPD seems to be a fad. Sizemore even commented that someone she had spoken to said 'I wanna have MPD so I can be famous'.

    Snoozan:

    It wasn't a 'TV Show' that I watched. The immediate impression of the words 'TV Show' are of a drama or an otherwise fictional programme. What I watched was a live interview with Mrs Sizemore and it was all factual and explored may facets of the supposed condition of MPD.

    Would anyone who believes MPD is a valid condition be willing to conject as to why it is only a phenomenon in North America (mostly, anyway)?

    Tripod:

    I wouldn't call the condition itself sad and pathetic. I think its an intriguing concept but I understand how the people pretending to have MPD could be perceived as 'pathetic'.

    Its a similar sort of thing to 'faking' online; people creating alternate lives for themselves. For some people its just a name or a gender that they create but some people create entire life stories that are completely disparate from their own real life experiences.

    Both situations intrigue me *strokes beard*
     
  12. Joll

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    Hmm i wonder what causes this kind of response in people?

    Is it some sort of internal conflict that can't be resolved, so people subconsciously develop different 'personalities' as a way of dealing with it?

    The case mentioned (the eve white/eve black person) - i wonder if she had some sort of religious angst and created all these different people because she couldn't cope with the anxiety she felt when dealing with certain things - so developed this as a strategy to deal with it?

    I feel deeply sympathetic towards people who struggle with this kind've thing - because it can't be easy, and must feel pretty overwhelming. Hopefully some way can be found to help them deal with it.

    Not sure about whether it exists or not - but there must be some psychological difficulty there, that causes people to display these symptoms.
     
    #12 Joll, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  13. Bbucko

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    I find many of the posts in this thread to reinforce the stigma of mental illness; it saddens me, because I truly believed that some of you were more evolved in your thinking.

    What's next? Are people who live with chronic depression lazy and just need to think happy thoughts? Or maybe people with PTSD just have to get the fuck over it, huh?
     
  14. Joll

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    Sorry to give that impression man. I think mental illness is a terribly difficult thing to deal with - and people who suffer from it, in whatever form, certainly aren't making it up - and deserve support and understanding.

    If more can be done to understand/learn about these conditions - then more people can be helped.
     
    #14 Joll, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  15. tripod

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    Well, the unconscious collusion on the part of the patient and the professional paired with the result of therapist's suggestions to suggestible people can result in absolute nonsense and hysteria. Jean-Martin Charcot believed that hysteria was a neurological disorder caused by hereditary problems in the nervous system... so it's not like there is no problem even though the personalities might not actually exist.

    Right, and we all have to experience life in our own minds which can lead to one living entirely in their own brain with a subsequent loss of conscious reality. Who knows where the alternate life begins and reality ends? The sufferers of the DID disorder evidently don't and don't care to know.

    ********************************************

    I mean, we all have different personalities in different social situations... it is NORMAL to change your personality to meet the demands of the situation. It has been my experience that the people that I know that have mental illnesses are all sad sacks of shit. I am not doubting that there are plenty of people on this site that have brilliant acquaintances who have mental illnesses, it has just not been my experience.

    I feel that the medical and psychiatric industry are pulling the wool over our eyes with all of this unnecessary treatment and medications that they want us to BUY! It's a fucking scam and nothing but a way to pilfer a man's pockets on a regular basis. I don't trust the for profit medical and psychiatry industry in this country. Many people have an actual need for the services of those industries but most people do NOT. Fuck, I believe that antibiotics are waaaay over prescribed in this country and all of the fucking drug commercials make me sick to my stomach. Big Pharma wants every single citizen of this country on one medication or another.

    Perfectly normal people walk into a psychiatrist's office and come out all fucked up with a new prescription or prescriptions in hand. What a fucking scam!!!

    Don't be sad that I don't trust the medical and psychiatric industry Bbucko, they would all be out of jobs tomorrow if everybody was cured. They have a vested INTEREST in keeping everyone unhealthy and sick.

    PTSD like the variety experienced in war type situations is real. I would never compare PTSD with DID. One is a bonafide anxiety disorder and the other one is just a theory and has not been verified.
     
  16. Incocknito

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    The difference between MPD and chronic depression is that one has been empirically verified and the other has little evidence to support it and similarly has evidence that suggests it may not actually exist.

    I didn't mean to upset anyone and am only talking specifically about MPD here. Maybe it was wrong of me to link MPD with faking online and I'm sorry if that upset anyone.

    Personally I believe that many mental illnesses are very real and very traumatic for the afflicted to deal with. I just don't think MPD is one of them.
     
  17. jason_els

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    DID is usually a response to unqualified terror and an internal inability to cope with that terror. It seems to be most frequently related to sexual abuse at the hands of parents or otherwise repeated abuse from which there is no protection. The person, usually a child, is so overwhelmed by the experience that the psyche retreats into itself, creating a "personality" who can take the abuse for the victim. DID becomes a coping mechanism to protect the inner, "true" personality from what's taking place. Other personalities may develop to deal with other traumatic experiences ranging from what some may consider fairly mundane, such as going to school or to a doctor's appointment, to dealing with romance and healthy sexual outlets.

    DID is not a scary thing once you get to know the person who has it. You learn to recognize times when the person is integrated and when they're not. You come to understand trigger situations and then relate to the person in whichever personality they've adopted. The changeover can happen immediately. There are no seizures or other signals to show what's going on, but you do see an immediate change in posture, facial expression, voice, and behaviors. One woman I know had several personalities, all usually integrated, but there were two I got to know well. One alter was, "Tammy," who liked to come out and party. She'd wear revealing clothes and carry a glittery tiny disco purse. Tammy loved to dance and go to bars and get laid. She did those things because the core personality I'll call, "Hilda," couldn't yet cope with adult, healthy, sexual desires and sexual situations. "Hilda," also had her anger alter, named, "Tommy." Tommy was a 7 year old boy who appeared when Hilda became very angry and felt powerless. He would throw fits, threaten to tell on us, have his father beat up people, and stomp around. Often it is these sorts of alters who are the last to be fully integrated because they're created, in part, to deal with issues very close to the original reason for having DID: sex and powerlessness.

    Both the people I know with DID got it because of repeated abuse by family members. In both cases the father was involved, and in one case the victim was male and was made to perform sex acts with his father and brother. His father once bit his foreskin so badly that he needed to be circumcised. They blamed the dog. "Paul," is a fascinating guy and very, very, smart. His path to integration came by creating the image of a tower and had all his alters play catch with each other. The one alter who didn't, "the avenging angel," stood guard at the top of the tower. He had about 7 alters, each very different and each did different things during the day. Paul would wake-up and be "Alan." Alan went to school, got great grades, and came home. At that point Alan would go away and "Sam," would appear as the appeaser. Sam was the dutiful son who did everything his parents wanted, set the table, dressed as his mother wanted, and generally worked to keep Paul safe. "Todd," was the slut boy who appeared when his father and brother were abusing him. "Kevin," appeared after these abusive sessions to pick-up the pieces and cry and be sad. Then he'd go to sleep and wake-up and be Alan again. The avenging angel is a different alter altogether and appeared once Paul became physically big enough to defend himself from his father and brother. It was the angel that told Paul's mother and grandparents what was going on and that she had to fix it, not ignore it. It was the angel that nearly sliced his father's neck open with a kitchen knife the last time his father tried to come into his room at night, and was the alter who beat his brother so badly that he went to the hospital.
     
  18. Joll

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  19. snoozan

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    I made a very broad hypothetical statement that could apply to you or anyone else. I don't see where I "put you down." I also think you missed the part where I said I would defend your (or anyone else's) experience in the same way.

    How am I attacking you personally?
     
  20. Bbucko

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    I can only postulate that your irrational fear and loathing of the medical profession (of which psychiatry is a part) comes as a response to some hidden trauma in your life, Tripod. Perhaps someday you'll find some wisdom in trying to sort it all out.

    I owe the fact that I'm still alive to both the physical and psychiatric wings of modern medicine. I hope that someday, when you face a life-threatening condition, you'll be at a point where you see that all cures are really just indefinite remissions but are still worth pursuing.
     
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