Thursday, February 6, 2014

Huffington Poop and Dispelling Myths

I was made aware of the following article in a DID discussion group on Google. Please read the article in the link then come back to read the rest of the entry.

Multiple Personality -- Is It Mental Disorder, Myth, or Metaphor?

If this doesn't raise concerns, check out the blog post linked in the article.

All set?

Good.

First, here is the response I submitted to the Comments section that did not make it past the HuffPost moderators:

"This article is but one of many reasons Huffington Post should not be considered a legitimate news organization.

The simple fact the author uses the term MPD rather than the accepted and more accurate DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) shows disrespect and bias.

I'm someone who flailed, floundered and nearly died while being misdiagnosed, over-medicated and shuffled around. I am someone whose recovery and journey toward greater emotional and mental health began after finally being diagnosed with and treated for DID. (Recovered, by the way)

As such, I find this op-ed piece disguised as scientific journalism offensive, to say the very least.

One can only assume the title Professor Emeritus means you long ago lost interest in furthering your studies in the field of psychological medicine and remain convinced of outdated and disproved theories. Given the era of the "knowledge" imparted here, I have to wonder if you believe Autism Spectrum Disorders to be the fault of the mothers, or that any person who engages in self-injurious behavior is automatically diagnosable as having Borderline Personality Disorder as well.

Check your theories, stop dehumanizing survivors in public and, while you're at it, stop trying to convince anyone you're a whistle-blower.

Though, you are undoubtedly blowing something."


Yes, I made personal statements directed at an old fart who dragged his crusty ass and ideas from retirement to spit on what has, in the last 20 years, become better understood than in the hundreds of years since it was first recognized. I could rewrite the comment but, I have so little respect for the site as a news organization, I can't convince myself it's worth kissing moderator ass to make a point. Also, this retired doctor reminds me of Stein and is therefore (in my opinion) a dick not worthy of my respectful comments.

There is an understanding within the majority of the scientific community that DID, like PTSD is a genuine, complex trauma related disorder, rather than a biological or neurochemical issue. It's understood there is more to dissociation that the popularized idea of "Many personalities in one mind". There is dehumanization, derealization, dissociative fugue states and other areas that cross the entire spectrum from the effects of say, a violent mugging, all the way to DID where repeated abusive or traumatizing events in early childhood alter the structure of a person's sense of self in such a way that it can be considered fractured, with all the broken pieces a part of the whole.

*I've let this partial post sit for days because it brings up so much outrage, it's hard to form coherent thoughts.*

More frustrating than the author's insistent usage of MPD is his idea that it's entirely a construct of False Memory Syndrome and bad/untrained therapists.

Here's an idea, douche bag: How about a therapist in training telling me he was sick of dealing with my "inner child nonsense" after sessions where he met two of my others... Then, turning around, taking the memories those "imaginary" inner children shared and leading me to believe my Dad was the culprit?

That's real. That actually happened.

Had we not moved to South Carolina, there's no telling how long I would have continued to see Larry, or how much damage would have been done to me and to my entire family.

There are more than enough events from my childhood for the development of DID.  For that matter, it was the actions of Larry that led to my sitting on the side of a highway and creating a dissociative wall to silence the voices I'd lived with since I was 3. I'd relied on that skill to survive not just the sexual abuse of childhood but the mistreatment by doctors. So in that respect, yes, you could say they contributed to my illness.

Most of my siblings (one of whom is a pediatrician) reacted to my diagnosis with "Wow, that explains a lot." My best childhood friend reacted to hearing I had DID with "Tell Reese I said hi." (That story is here and here)

For 4 years, I struggled with half-formed pictures that made no rational sense. I KNOW my Dad. He's not perfect and there were hard enough memories connected to him that never had to be uncovered. It took 4 years of nightmares, confusion and time actually spent with my Dad to realize that was never something he or any member of family is capable of doing. When I acknowledged Larry was an inexperienced person who fucked up, there was peace... peace on a gut level. (anger came later) When I could admit my vulnerability and confusion at 21 was such that a well-meaning but misguided therapist was able to manipulate my symptoms to fit his understanding of what should have been the cause, the nightmares stopped.

For that reason, I believe FMS is a real thing...

HOWEVER... I'm disinclined to throw the baby out with the bath water as this ridiculous old doctor has done. Because there have been some proven cases of False Memory Syndrome does not mean ritual abuse doesn't occur. (Not all Ritual Abuse involves *gasps* Satan either. Project Bluebird, anyone?) It doesn't mean all recovered memories are false. (I have more good than bad recovered memories because healing allowed room for them... and good or bad, they've been validated by family) It does not, by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, mean DID and related dissociative disorders are automatically bullshit.

What it does prove is that some people prefer a comfortable lie over an inconvenient truth.

Larry found it hard to believe I was sexually assaulted at ages 3, 5, 8, 9, 13 and 15 by total or near strangers without any one in my family picking up on it. It was easier for him to believe a family member had abused me than to consider my childhood bearing and eagerness to be accepted made me a virtual pedophile magnet.

Except, I have every one of those memories. Not one instance of sexual assault/abuse was EVER apart from conscious memory. Even Stein commented how odd it was I could list these events as if I were reading a shopping list. They happened. What didn't happen was the creepy crap Larry encouraged me to construct.

It took years of treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder with both a psychiatrist and an experienced therapist to get past the fear of being called a liar, and this arrogant bastard gets to call out overyone with a dissociative disorder as the weak-minded, pathetic, mental play-doh of those not as smart as he claims to be. Because if he hasn't seen it, it can't exist, right?

That Huffington Post is allowing this... person (that's about as nice as I can be about him) to spout his opinion as if it is fact infuriates me beyond rational thought. Provide more than the opinions of a few other pariahs. Provide some verifiable data to back up your statements, asshat.

So I'm here, calling him out. (using far less harsh language than I want) I'm here asking those who have the ability to be more rational than I can be to speak out against the perpetuation of the myth that DID is entirely false. Speak out against this person's posts placement in the Science category instead of Opinions/Editorials.

Too many people have known too many of me and others for all of us to be caught up in the hysteria this shit-wit claims is making a comeback. I've seen too much independently validated research that occurred between the so-called Satanic Panic and this former practitioner's choice to play whistle-blower to believe his stilted and either/or words.

Letting it sit eats at me. Ignoring it, for me, isn't an option. Playing the website's game by their rules is something I don't currently have the ability to do.

So please, if you can... speak out. Silence is passive acceptance and that is truly destructive.

***

Because I only just saw this and it's so perfect...