I’m not sure how we missed this, but in February of this year, Psychology Today posted an article about Dissociative Identity Disorder by [redacted].
It wasn’t easy for me to track down this article. After its publication on the Psychology Today website, the ISSTD responded to it with a formal statement entitled Holding the Line: Battling DID Myths and Misconceptions (Christine Forner, BA, BSW, MSW).
After ISSTD’s formal response, Psychology Today then took down the article. They requested the ISSTD remove the identities of the authors, which ISSTD did in a gesture of goodwill (leaving the rest of the response intact).
It took me a while, but I finally dug up the article, and I saved it to my computer to read.
I’m not a member of the ISSTD. I’m a complex trauma survivor who deals with symptoms of PTSD and DID daily as a result of the hand I was dealt in life, beginning before I was ever born. I have no reason to offer the same gesture of goodwill.
But, as part of my healing has been learning to trust, I am leaning on ISSTD’s wisdom here, and I will follow their lead. I, too, will not divulge the identities of these authors. I know what it’s like to be tracked, stalked, and harrassed. I never wish that upon another human being. If you happen to find this article, I hope you follow in kind.
What I am going to do, however, is give you my takeaways from the information in the article.
- The article begins with an introduction of 3 quotes which set the tone for the entire article. The quotes paint Dissociative Disorders, not the result of a normal brain function used to excess, but as “fake” …. “There is no such thing…” and “artificial productions.”
- Therapists either confirm the existence of Dissociative Disorders, or they see it as “dreamed up by the minds of Hollywood.” I chuckled at this, because how silly is it to claim that the entirety of the behavioral health professional field box themselves in to only two, simplified possible outcomes on something–yes or no. Move along, move along, there’s nothing complex about being a human! (sarcasm intended)
- And then they did it. They did what I feared. They tried to make Ritual Abuse look like some bizarre circus side-show that spread due to panic; people clamoring to see the extreme trauma survivors claiming to have “more than one personality.” (yes that’s exactly how it is italicized in the article, lol)
- The whole article is extraordinarily one-sided in favor of the extreme viewpoint that “not a single patient” has ever had “a credible presentation” of a Dissociative Disorder.
- Then the authors outright lie, boldly stating that symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder do not stand up to scientific testing.
- Lastly, Trauma Disorders are trivialized by putting words in quotes for emphasis:
- The small amount of professionals dedicated to Dissociative Disorders …”devoted their entire careers to the “study” and “treatment” of the condition.”
You can read the ISSTD’s formal response in the link above, but in relation to this blog, I thought I would quote the specific response on Ritual Abuse:
People with DID are often profoundly uncared for, lied to and victimised by criminals who have a vested interest in people not believing in DID. Most clients that I have seen, who have a history of being victims of organized crime, child pornography or other trafficking situations, all describe that the criminals/perpetrators knew about DID and used it to their advantage. The criminals, who I would venture are not searching through PubMed or Google Scholar to gather research, know that DID is a valid thing. The exception is that they use it to hurt others and protect themselves.
It’s maddening that there are people, ethically bound to do no harm, in the field outright lying about Trauma Disorders. Especially when we know there are perpetrators out there who want nothing more than to discredit their victims, to keep their criminal activity a secret. There can be fatal consequences to survivors out there, if we lose access to the only advocates we have fighting for our lives.
Thank you, ISSTD, and Christine Forner, for your response to this Psychology Today article and all the hard work you do to be our voice, when there are so many out there trying to silence us.