Multiple Personality Disorder

Does multiple personality disorder really exist?

Wow… you have some really… uhmmm… informed(?) opinions for a writer.

I am a Christian and attend an Independent Fundamental Baptistchurch; it doesn’t get much more conservative than that. I’ve never been exposed to Satanic Cult rituals, nor has anyone within my church accused me of being demon possessed.

I was terribly abused as a young child by my biological father. If that weren’t enough I was molested 3 different times, and then raped by yet another offender. To deal with that my mind isolated itself and produced other “personalities.” I have been living with Dissociative Identity Disorder since I was 16 years old. At least that’s how old I was when I realized that there was something different about me.

The way I found out I even had a situation was when I visited a counselor to discuss depression. After hearing my husband and I describe various instances of differing personalities surfacing the counselor stated that I had mild Dissociative Disorder. I didn’t know the full name, and I never saw that counselor again. I have never seen a counselor for the situation, so it’s not induced by a psychiatrist or hypnotherapy.

I have adapted to life. Recently, through research, have I realized that the steps my husband and I have taken were the appropriate ones to dealing with our situation. Since we began “treating” it one other alter has surfaced. With each alter that I learn to accept and understand, becoming co-conscious with it, I regain lost memories from my life.

I just thought that since your website is about “Fighting Ignorance” it would be unfair to allow your article to remain unchallenged. As for your statement:

That is a misconception. The goal is shared existance. In order to achieve that we must share thoughts. For me that means that a memory is typically like remembering a dream that someone has told me. As my alters come closer and closer together in understanding those memories become clearer.

So no… I’ve not be brainwashed by my church, nor have I been brainwashed by a therapist. I simply have lived it, and self treated it.


You regained lost memories? Generally, from what I’ve read and studied, recovered memories aren’t real. And it’s very easy to plant false memories in a subject.

Part of me wants to believe in this…

If I were a subject I might agree with you, but there hasn’t been anyone planting memories. Example… I have known my husband since I was 14, but we’ve only been married since I was 29. We are both divorced and hooked up again. He asked me if I remembered going for a walk with him years ago. I never did. Once I embraced the part of me that was around then the memory came back and I recited it to him, exactly as it happened.

He never told me anything about the walk, except that we weren’t supposed to have gone on it. He didn’t tell me that I lost my shoe in the mud as we were crossing a creek. He didn’t tell me that we were holding hands to help one another across. He only asked me if I remembered going for a walk with him during a church picnic.


I think you missed the point of the article. The Master was trying to build the case of where DID comes from, built it to the point that he showed many of the people who claimed to have it were, well for want of a better word, faking it. Then there are the few who cannot be dis proven or supported. The reason for this is that there are not enough legitimate cases presenting in a year, or hell, even in a decade to be able to come up with a valid and reliable. In my experience and late night bull sessions with mental health professionals, most don’t accept DID, but will diagnose as a personality disorder just because if DID does exist, and I am not saying it doesn’t, it is too rare to really put a lot of work into.
I am interested in your OP, however.

SSG Schwartz

I have to disagree with you here, and I* am* a mental health professional; specifically, I’m a psychologist.

Have you had any experience with DID? (No snark–genuinely curious about your take on this.)

Yes, as a therapist in hospital settings and as the associate of people I respect very highly who work with people with DID. Contemporary DID work doesn’t look much like what you may have seen in Sybil, for example. A lot of it is working on getting good coping strategies in place so that the person can tolerate doing the PTSD work (which is often complex and takes a lot of time) and decreasing the reliance on dissociation as a primary defense.

That’s a gross overstatement. I think it’s fair to say that recovered memories are very unreliable - your brain can easily be tricked to store memories of events that never happened, especially in certain situations, especially in a therapy kind of situation.

Google the work of Elizabeth Loftus for examples.

That’s not to say that genuine memories can’t get lost and resurface only later. I think that traumatic memories are less likely to get lost, though.

I’ve never been able to fathom how to block out memories. God knows I’ve got tons I’d love to block out. If there is something that I have blocked out, granted, I wouldn’t know it, but since I do absolutely remember sexual, physical and emotional abuse, I can’t imagine what could have been worse.

A fundamentalist church may be “conservative” in a social sense, but in terms of rational thought, it’s more “fantasy-based”.

I’d give very little credence to an extreme diagnosis given by a counselor on the basis of one visit.

So you are self diagnosed with DID based off what one counselor said that you never returned to? And you’ve been self treating it? Its possible that you have a different psychosis entirely. I had one therapist tag me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and another with OCD - I don’t think either diagnosis is correct (neither does my current therapist). Good psychological diagnosis take time and training to make.

Curt C - I would disagree. The very nature of the disorder states that what you are escaping are the traumatic events. Of course that would be blocked. If your mind splinters (not the technical word… my own) then the splintered part is what will retain that memory, not the part that escaped it.

Auntbeast - I know that many people do not. In many ways I see what I am going through as truly a blessing. It allowed me to live life seemingly “normal” and now that I’m at a place where I can handle the various things that I’ve experienced I’m able to begin pulling it all back together. Had I had to go through what you have (knowing what was happening) I don’t know what I would have done. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through.

Baldwin - Wow… I’m not even sure I want to talk to you. You’ve insulted my church, my faith and my heritage. Not really an auspicious beginning for us, nor does it encourage an open dialogue, which anyone who wishes to dispel the ignorance of life should encourage.

That said, I will respond to your second comment.

Dangerosa & Baldwin - I agree with you. In fact, I did dismiss the diagnosis. For one, the things that were happening to me were normal to me. I didn’t really care about the diagnosis. I reached a point where I began to believe it was all in my head (you know what I mean)… and so I tried to push out those extra parts of me. Things got messy. I went into a deep depression and raged at life. I was murder for my husband to live with. After that time I realized that I need those parts of me. That they are truly distinct and unique parts of me. So no, my “self diagnosis” is not based on what one counselor said. It’s based upon inner knowledge and tons of research. As for “self treating” it, we never really set out to do that. My husband and I have simply dealt with it. Upon further research, literally the last month, we discovered that we have been instinctively taking the proper steps to “treat” this.



Can you tell me, then, if what I’m saying is correct? Not looking for a diagnosis over the internet here, simply an affirmation that what I am saying fits the classic situations.


It’s not an insult, just a fact: the teachings of fundamentalist religious bodies tend to be the antithesis of critical thinking. That doesn’t mean you’re not capable of clear reasoning, but it’s not a good place to start from.

I hope you get some proper help, if that’s even possible. All this makes me wonder – what’s the difference between having DID (if it exists) and believing you have DID? No idea how to answer that.

To the best of my knowledge the prevailing opinion in the psychological community is that Dissociative Identity Disorder does exist, but that it is rare and only occurs in victims of severe abuse. However, even current DID researchers agree that it was drastically over-diagnosed in the '80s.

I can’t readily produce a cite for this, though, as my only knowledge of the subject comes from personal conversations with people in the psych community who have experience with DID. But I’m sure a journal search would turn up plenty of articles on the subject.

As “out there” as DID may sound, I don’t think it’s really that surprising that people who’ve been victims of severe physical and sexual abuse can end up with some major psychological problems.

Tim314 -

I would have to agree with you. Just as I agree that ADHD is over diagnosed, and so are many other “illnesses.” We are so quick in this society to throw a pill at an illness and call it a cure.

DID has no pill, but was a convenient excuse to lock people away in mental hospitals who should have been in prison. Taking the “it’s not my fault” route is so common. It’s my parents, or my spouse that make me the way I am. BullCrap!

A person with DID has a moral code that all within the system must accept. The “gatekeeper” won’t allow anyone within a “normal” system to violate those codes. That said, if there are homicidal tendencies within the moral code of the “host” (I hate these terms, it sounds like DID is parasitic or alien in nature!) one or more of the “personalities” could be homicidal. Still, that is not the same as saying “I’m not guilty, another part of me did it.” Regardless, the person who is the “gatekeeper” allowed it to happen, and ultimately they are responsible.

As you can see I studied this extensively. Hollywoods perceptions and description of people with this disorder frightened me. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t going to be a danger to my friends/family/children, or even to strangers.

As with most people who have DID, there is an angry part of me, and that’s a part that I don’t know yet. She has surfaced a couple of times, and once wanted to literally remove my husbands eyes from their sockets. This because we were wrestling and he had me pinned, I couldn’t move and felt like I couldn’t breathe. Apparently that is a trigger for me. Even as she raised her hand to pull his eyes out I stopped her and ran from the room.

So you see, I agree with you that it was over diagnosis, and I believe the reason for it is just plumb silliness. That said, I know it exists. I live it everyday.


If you’re happy to talk about it, i’d suggest starting an “Ask the person (well, persons, guess :wink: ) with DID” thread. I’m sure you’d get a lot of interest, and you’re certainly responding well to criticism.

In lieu of that, I do have a question. How would you like to be treated? Should we refer to you as one person, or several? Do you consider your alters to be full “people”?

Unca Cece does appear to have made one slip in the column: “…Sybil made a crucial innovation, introducing the idea that multiple personalities stemmed from trauma during early childhood.” T’ain’t so. See the corpse-kissing scene in Three Faces of Eve. Perhaps “trauma” is an editorial substitution for a more specific phrase?

Except you aren’t qualified, even with tons of research, to self treat or self diagnose. Hell, if your husband had a PhD in psychology and he had tons of experience, he wouldn’t be qualified to treat you because it would be unethical.

It sounds like you have a lot of issues to work through, and perhaps you have DID (or perhaps you have something else, the DSM-IV is complex and ever changing). But you are simply not qualified to self diagnose and you really shouldn’t self treat.