Archive for August 9th, 2010

Ugh. I just read another article that questions whether dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a “real” disorder. You can read the short article here . The entire article is about the “Top 10 Controversial Psychiatric Disorders,” and DID is ranked at #7.

The article talks about the movie Sybil bringing DID into public awareness and then how a psychiatrist named Herbert Spiegel in 1995 questioned whether DID was “real”:

[Spiegel] believed [Sybil’s] “personalities” were created by her therapist, who — perhaps unwittingly — suggested that [Sybil’s] different emotional states were distinct personalities with names. Likewise, critics of the dissociative identity diagnosis argue that the disorder is artificial, perpetuated by well-meaning therapists who convince troubled and suggestible patients that their problems are due to multiple personalities.

The article ends by stating that DID will be included in the updated version of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is scheduled for publication in May 2013.

Articles like this really bother me. If anything, I am interacting with more and more people with DID. There are entire practices that do nothing but treat people with DID. (I am aware of one in Colorado and one in Florida. I have no idea if there are more.) That sounds like quite the conspiracy to have that many therapists trying to mess with the heads of that many clients.

DID is not something to “believe in” or “not believe in.” Whether or not Herbert Spiegel “believes” that I had/have DID does not change my experience, and it p@$$es me off whenever people suggest that, as someone with DID, I am so weak-minded that I would allow another person to tinker with my head to this degree. Why on earth would someone even want to make me believe that I have this disorder? Why would I make something like this up?

I did not tell a soul about Irate when I first “met” this alter personality. Quite frankly, I thought people would think that I was “crazy” and take away my kid. I integrated Irate long before I talked to anyone, even my therapist, about Irate’s existence. So, how would my therapist have had the opportunity to “create” Irate in my head? Also, I did not trust anyone, so why on earth would I have allowed another person to “make parts up” in my head?

When will society stop choosing not to believe in something just because they did not experience it themselves? What really bothers me is the pervasive disbelief in the epidemic of child abuse (which is the cause of most cases of DID) when 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 to 7 men were themselves sexually abused. WTF?????

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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