Thursday, October 09, 2014

THE DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER DEBATE



Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is one of the most controversial labels that a psychiatrist can give a person.  The debate about DID has been going on for years.  The discussions have been complicated by DID’s association with childhood sexual abuse and the recovered memory debate.

One of the debates high points in history surrounded Freud when he did an about face and decided his hysterical patients’ reports of sexual trauma often by their fathers was only wishful thinking on their part. Still today in some circles his turn around can cause a very heated exchange.

What you, the person reading this, or any given psychiatrist, philosopher, neuropsychologist, neurobiologist or any other person stating their learned opinion says on the subject of whether or not DID is a real phenomenon does not matter other than the fact that it does grave damage to folks who have experienced childhood sexual trauma. 

Let me be very clear.  I do not care what anyone thinks or what they have to say about how I did cope and how I now cope with the fact I was sexual assaulted repeatedly before I was of school age and it did not stop for years.  I have the right to deal with it internally anyway that works for me and so does every other victim.  There is no one way.  You cannot have a one size fits all diagnosis or treatment plan or way of talking about what is happening inside.

The debate about a name and a treatment plan in a book like DSM-5 only proves how little is known by the powers that control the system that is suppose to help.  I know a lot of work has been done on trauma informed care, but I also know where none of that knowledge and expertise has not reached.  It has not reached the vast majority of the public mental health system or the VA system.

We already don’t trust you and when lots of you say the way we explain what goes on inside of us is baloney I guess you know why we trust you even less.  We trust the people inside us more than the people outside.  Put that in DSM-5.

© Ed Cooper, October 9, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee

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