Multiple personalities Quotes


If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

Fear and anxiety affect decision making in the direction of more caution and risk aversion... Traumatized individuals pay more attention to cues of threat than other experiences, and they interpret ambiguous stimuli and situations as threatening (Eyesenck, 1992), leading to more fear-driven decisions. In people with a dissociative disorder, certain parts are compelled to focus on the perception of danger. Living in trauma-time, these dissociative parts immediately perceive the present as being "just like" the past and "emergency" emotions such as fear, rage, or terror are immediately evoked, which compel impulsive decisions to engage in defensive behaviors (freeze, flight, fight, or collapse). When parts of you are triggered, more rational and grounded parts may be overwhelmed and unable to make effective decisions.

The individual does actually carry on a double existence: one designed to serve his own purposes and another as a link in a chain, in which he serves against, or at any rate without, any volition of his own.

Theirs was the eternal youth of an alternating self, a youth with the constant although unfulfilled promise of growing up

In a corner of my soul there hides a tiny frightened child, who is frightened by a corner where there lingers something wild.

He was so much the picture of different kinds of assimilation that it was almost a case of multiple personalities.

Those who are aware of their condition and experience themselves as "multiple" might refer to themselves as "we" rather than "I." I shall use the term "multiple" at times, in respect for their internal experience. It is important to point out, however, that I recognize that someone who is multiple is actually a single fragmented person rather than many people. On the outside, a multiple is probably not visibly different from anyone else. But that image is only an imitation: people who are multiple cannot think like the rest of us, and we cannot think like them. (In fact, since it is difficult for the multiple to understand how singletons think, some of them might think that is is
you
who are strange).
Just as a singleton cannot become a multiple at will, a multiple cannot become a singleton until and unless the barriers between the parts of the self are removed. Those barriers were put up to enable the child to tolerate, and so survive, unavoidable abuse. p20
[Multiple: a person with dissociative identity disorder (DID) or DDNOS.
Singleton: a person without DID or DDNOS, i.e with a single, unified personality]

What daily life is like for a multiple
Imagine that you have periods of lost time. You may find writings or drawings which you must have done, but do not remember producing. Perhaps you find child-sized clothing or toys in your home but have no children. You might also hear voices or babies crying in your head.
Imagine that you can never predict when you will be able to have certain knowledge or social skills, and your emotions and your energy level seem to change at the drop of a hat, and for no apparent reason.
You cannot understand why you feel what you feel, and, if you are in therapy, you cannot explore those feelings when asked. Your life feels disjointed and often confusing. It is a frightening experience. It feels out of control, and you probably think you are going crazy. That is what it is like to be multiple, and all of it is experienced by the ANPs.
A multiple may also experience very concrete problems, even life-threatening ones.

It all made sense — terrible sense. The panic she had experienced in the warehouse district because of not knowing what had happened had been superseded at the newsstand by the even greater panic of partial knowledge. And now the torment of partly knowing had yielded to the infinitely greater terror of knowing precisely

I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk."
"Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist.
"Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself."
Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him.
"Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style.
"Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here."
"No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?"
"I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me."
Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?"
"No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years..."
"No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you."
"You're kidding?"
"No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then."
Robert
This is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood.
Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it?
To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem."
The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.

Was it possible to feel nostalgic about something that had never happened to him, possible for nostalgia to be taken in by the body as a free pathogen to infect the consciousness with stray sentiments? Perhaps, in his dreams, he had traveled back in time, or even drifted into another dimension of space-time and inhabited the body, experiences, and nostalgia of another. To even envisage so allowed the trauma of those lost moments, though not his own, to draw from him a certain envy for the entity in whose memories he had basked vicariously. . .Perhaps, nostalgia was a microorganism. . .the bacterium that infected. . . Yes. . .maybe he was sick.

Janna knew - Rikki knew — and I knew, too — that becoming Dr Cameron West wouldn't make me feel a damn bit better about myself than I did about being Citizen West. Citizen West, Citizen Kane, Sugar Ray Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, Robinson miso, miso soup, black bean soup, black sticky soup, black sticky me. Yeah. Inside I was still a fetid and festering corpse covered in sticky blackness, still mired in putrid shame and scorching self-hatred. I could write an 86-page essay comparing the features of Borderline Personality Disorder with those of Dissociative Identity Disorder, but I barely knew what day it was, or even what month, never knew where the car was parked when Dusty would come out of the grocery store, couldn't look in the mirror for fear of what—or whom—I'd see.
~ Dr Cameron West describes living with DID whilst studying to be a psychologist.

Some alters are what Dr Ross describes in Multiple Personality Disorder as 'fragments'. which are 'relatively limited psychic states that express only one feeling, hold one memory, or carry out a limited task in the person's life. A fragment might be a frightened child who holds the memory of one particular abuse incident.' In complex multiples, Dr Ross continues, the 'personalities are relatively full-bodied, complete states capable of a range of emotions and behaviours.' The alters will have 'executive control some substantial amount of time over the person's life'. He stresses, and I repeat his emphasis, 'Complex MPD with over 15 alter personalities and complicated amnesia barriers are associated with 100 percent frequency of childhood physical, sexual and emotional abuse.' Did I imagine the castle, the dungeon, the ritual orgies and violations? Did Lucy, Billy, Samuel, Eliza, Shirley and Kato make it all up? I went back to the industrial estate and found the castle. It was an old factory that had burned to the ground, but the charred ruins of the basement remained. I closed my eyes and could see the black candles, the dancing shadows, the inverted pentagram, the people chanting through hooded robes. I could see myself among other children being abused in ways that defy imagination. I have no doubt now that the cult of devil worshippers was nothing more than a ring of paedophiles, the satanic paraphernalia a cover for their true lusts: the innocent bodies of young children.

The word is dissociate. There is no 'a' before the 'ss'. People invariably say dis-a-ssociate, which, if you're suffering Disso-ciative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder, can be irritating. People then want to know how many personalities I have and the answer is: I don't know. The first book about Multiple Personality Disorder to make an impact was Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil, published in 1973, which carries the subtitle: The True and Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities. Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley published the controversial The Three Faces of Eve much earlier in 1957, and Pete Townshend from The Who wrote the song 'Four Faces'. People seem to feel safe with numbers.
The truth is more complicated. The kids emerged over time. Billy, the boisterous five-year-old, was at first the most dominant. But he slowly stood aside for JJ, the self-confident ten-year-old who appears when Alice is under stress and handles complicated situations like travelling on the Underground and meeting new people. The first entity to visit was the external voice of the Professor. But he had a choir of accomplices without names. So, how many actual alter personalities are there? I would say more than fifteen and less than thirty, a combination of protectors, persecutors and friends - my own family tree.

The "apparently normal personality" - the alter you view as "the client"
You should not assume that the adult who function in the world, or who presents to you, week after week, is the "real" person, and the other personalities are less real. The client who comes to therapy is not "the" person; there are other personalities to meet and work with.
When DID was still officially called MPD, the "person" who lived life on the outside was known as the "host" personality, and the
other
parts were known as alters. These terms, unfortunately, implied that all the parts other than the host were guests, and therefore of less importance than the host. They were somehow secondary. The currently favored theory of structural dissociation (Nijenhuis & Den Boer, 2009; van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele, 2006), which more accurately describes the way personality systems operate, instead distinguishes between two kinds of states: the apparently normal personality, or
ANP,
and the emotional personality, or
EP,
both of which could include a number of parts. p21

Each alter personality had a common goal and raison d'etre, namely my survival. They didn't all realize that though, and so were at odds with each other much of the time. So I continued to be fragmented and divided.

Helping the identities to be aware of one another as legitimate parts of the self and to negotiate and resolve their conflicts is at the very core of the therapeutic process. It is countertherapeutic for the therapist to treat any alternate identity as if it were more real or more important than any other.
The therapist should not play favorites among the alternate identities or exclude apparently unlikable or disruptive ones from the therapy (although such steps may be necessary for a limited period of time at some stages in the treatment of some patients to provide for the safety and stability of the patient or the safety of others).
The therapist should foster the idea that all alternate identities represent adaptive attempts to cope or to master problems that the patient has faced. Thus, it is countertherapeutic to tell patients to ignore or get rid of identities (although it is acceptable to provide strategies for the patient to resist the influence of destructive identities, or to help control the emergence of certain identities at inappropriate circumstances or times).
It is countertherapeutic to suggest that the patient create additional alternate identities, to name identities when they have no names (although the patient may choose names if he or she wishes), or to suggest that identities function in a more elaborated and autonomous way than they already are functioning.
A desirable treatment outcome is a workable form of integration or harmony among alternate identities."
Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 12:2, 115-187 (2011)
DOI
10.1080/15299732.2011.537247

Jenny slowly awoke on the sacrificial altar to an Ethereal Light that flamed through the east wall, a radiant aura of love dispersing the frightful scene. A glow pulsating from Angeletta's body still burning in the fire pit slowly rose to join the Light. A Heavenly peace infused Jenny as she realized, "There's a man standing in the air straight above me!

The implication that the change in nomenclature from Multiple Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder means the condition has been repudiated and dropped from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association is false and misleading. Many if not most diagnostic entities have been renamed or have had their names modified as psychiatry changes in its conceptualizations and classifications of mental illnesses. When the DSM decided to go with Dissociative Identity Disorder it put (formerly multiple personality disorder) right after the new name to signify that it was the same condition. It’s right there on page 526 of DSM-IV-R. There have been four different names for this condition in the DSMs over the course of my career. I was part of the group that developed and wrote successive descriptions and diagnostic criteria for this condition for DSM-III-R, DSM–IV, and DSM-IV-TR.
While some patients have been hurt by the impact of material that proves to be inaccurate, there is no evidence that scientifically demonstrates the prevalence of such events. Most material alleged to be false has been disputed by someone, but has not been proven false.
Finally, however intriguing the idea of encouraging forgetting troubling material may seem, there is no evidence that it is either effective or safe as a general approach to treatment. There is considerable belief that when such material is put out of mind, it creates symptoms indirectly, from behind the scenes. Ironically, such efforts purport to cure some dissociative phenomena by encouraging others, such as Dissociative Amnesia.

As Mollie said to Dailey in the 1890s: "I am told that there are five other Mollie Fanchers, who together, make the whole of the one Mollie Fancher, known to the world; who they are and what they are I cannot tell or explain, I can only conjecture." Dailey described five distinct Mollies, each with a different name, each of whom he met (as did Aunt Susan and a family friend, George Sargent). According to Susan Crosby, the first additional personality appeared some three years after the after the nine-year trance, or around 1878. The dominant Mollie, the one who functioned most of the time and was known to everyone as Mollie Fancher, was designated Sunbeam (the names were devised by Sargent, as he met each of the personalities). The four other personalities came out only at night, after eleven, when Mollie would have her usual spasm and trance. The first to appear was always Idol, who shared Sunbeam's memories of childhood and adolescence but had no memory of the horsecar accident. Idol was very jealous of Sunbeam's accomplishments, and would sometimes unravel her embroidery or hide her work. Idol and Sunbeam wrote with different handwriting, and at times penned letters to each other.
The next personality Sargent named Rosebud: "It was the sweetest little child's face," he described, "the voice and accent that of a little child." Rosebud said she was seven years old, and had Mollie's memories of early childhood: her first teacher's name, the streets on which she had lived, children's songs. She wrote with a child's handwriting, upper- and lowercase letters mixed. When Dailey questioned Rosebud about her mother, she answered that she was sick and had gone away, and that she did not know when she would be coming back. As to where she lived, she answered "Fulton Street," where the Fanchers had lived before moving to Gates Avenue.
Pearl, the fourth personality, was evidently in her late teens. Sargent described her as very spiritual, sweet in expression, cultured and agreeable: "She remembers Professor West [principal of Brooklyn Heights Seminary], and her school days and friends up to about the sixteenth year in the life of Mollie Fancher. She pronounces her words with an accent peculiar to young ladies of about 1865." Ruby, the last Mollie, was vivacious, humorous, bright, witty. "She does everything with a dash," said Sargent. "What mystifies me about 'Ruby,' and distinguishes her from the others, is that she does not, in her conversations with me, go much into the life of Mollie Fancher. She has the air of knowing a good deal more than she tells.

Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33
Freyd: The term "multiple personality" itself assumes that there is "single personality" and there is evidence that no one ever displays a single personality.
TAT: The issue here is the extent of dissociation and amnesia and the extent to which these fragmentary aspects of personality can take executive control and control function. Sure, you and I have different parts to our mind, there's no doubt about that, but I don't lose time to mine they can't come out in the middle of a lecture and start acting 7 years old. I'm very much in the camp that says that we all are multi-minds, but the difference between you and me and a multiple is pretty tangible.
Freyd: Those are clearly interesting questions, but that area and the clinical aspects of dissociation and multiple personalities is beyond anything the Foundation is actively...
TAT: That's a real problem. Let me tell you why that's a problem. Many of the people that have been alleged to have "false memory syndrome" have diagnosed dissociative disorders. It seems to me the fact that you don't talk about dissociative disorders is a little dishonest, since many people whose lives have been impacted by this movement are MPD or have a dissociative disorder. To say, "Well, we ONLY know about repression but not about dissociation or multiple personalities" seems irresponsible.
Freyd: Be that as it may, some of the scientific issues with memory are clear. So if we can just stick with some things for a moment; one is that memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted no matter how long ago or recent.
TAT: You weigh the recollected testimony of an alleged perpetrator more than the alleged victim's. You're saying, basically, if the parents deny it, that's another notch for disbelief.
Freyd: If it's denied, certainly one would want to check things. It would have to be one of many factors that are weighed -- and that's the problem with these issues -- they are not black and white, they're very complicated issues.

Lucy- "Wow, no one ever fights over me."
Justin- "My multiple personalities fight over you constantly. There is a war going on inside me."
Rue- "This is for the war going on outside.

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