Tuesday, February 26, 2019

DID and the Brain, 2

Unfortunately, in the past, some believed that the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder were the result of suggestions by the person’s therapist (iatrogenic). Others suggested it was “all in your head,” which, of course, it is. Recently, however, brain imaging studies have corroborated identity transitions in some patients. According to Dr. Richard Chefetz (who reportedly has at least 30 patients with a diagnosis of DID in his practice, “it’s a very unusual kind of thing that the mind does to protect itself.” Some statistics estimate that 90 percent of individuals with DID have a history of severe physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. When something extremely traumatic, often painful and puzzling occurs, the child’s brain tries to make sense of it. When it cannot accomplish this task, the mind may be trying to keep the child from trying to deal with everything at once. Thus one personality may be angry because of the trauma, or sexual abuse, or another part may be aware of the pain of the trauma, still another part may be trying to take care of some of the personalities and “hiding” the memories from them, and so on. DID may actually be a protective mechanism for the abused child. More tomorrow.

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