Diane

Dissociative Disorders - Part 15

In 1997, the issue of multiple personalities was discussed by the national media. As usual, it was not helpful at all for the millions of adult survivors of child abuse or the therapists who treat them. Paul McHugh was selected by 60 Minutes to talk about this issue, I guess because he was the Chief of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. Once again, the millions of viewers were presented with McHugh’s diatribe and insulting rhetoric about one of our trauma disorders.1

Diane

Dissociative Disorders - Part 14

The move to silence therapists and child abuse survivors in making claims about childhood abuse moved into a new direction in the 1990s. Elizabeth Loftus joined Paul McHugh in denouncing memories of survivors, especially in the area of trial law. She conducted  experiments with people, successfully convincing some that they were “lost in a shopping mall” as a young child and used films of car accidents in her research. She then blatantly stated that this naturally meant that false memories of child abuse could be implanted into client’s heads and used her “research” during lawsuits. As I told my therapist, “You’re good, but you’re not that good.”

Diane

Dissociative Disorders - Part 10

The political and sociological events and movements that I mentioned in my previous posts provided an acknowledgement of the hidden epidemic of child abuse and its link to posttraumatic and dissociative symptoms. Another such event was the Vietnam War. Despite the unpopularity of that conflict with much of the American people, it could not be denied that many of the young men who returned from battle were changed forever. As a result, the concepts of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)(formerly known as “shell shock” or “war neurosis” during previous wars) were further elucidated and defined.1

Diane

Dissociative Disorders - Part 9

Significant changes began in the early 1900s in terms of medicine and psychiatry. Laboratory science allowed scientists to explore the brain for causes of mental illness. Neurologists and microbiologists concluded that mental illness was a disorder of the nervous system. With this information, psychiatric illnesses were now viewed as medical problems. Psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud as a method of analyzing people’s lives, was used as an effective way to determine how stresses stemmed from negative influences of childhood events.

Diane

Dissociative Disorders - Part 6

The observed behaviors of people with multiple personalities as has been discussed in this series, was not new to the psychiatric community. They have been documented and referred to by many people wanting to understand this disorder. In Dr. Corbett Thigpen’s book, The Three Faces of Eve, he states: