“HYSTERIA” & MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER Acocella article: MPD rare before 1950s. “3 Face of Eve”, “Sybil” books; recovered memory movement 40,000 cases between 1985 and 1995. Initially only in North America. A resurrection of older ideas about “hysteria.” Also reflects classical/original Freudian concepts. From the standpoint of biology/evolution, why would a sexual molestation be this traumatic? Is it different from other kinds of trauma stimulation? Dubious assumption about memory. Long exposure to traumatic stimulation /events/experiences: Does this make the events hard to remember? Isn’t it the opposite? Note: our brains contain lots of information about events that we have “forgotten” (not consciously thought about) for many years. This is not an issue. But the information can usually be activated or retrieved by ordinary cues. Repression (as unconsciously motivated forgetting): no one has presented good evidence for such a process. Different from suppression. Importance of Evidence in Recovered Memory cases: (1) it is necessary to have independent evidence about the putative events. (2) Important to have evidence that MPD/DID symptoms & behavior occurred before the therapy started. (3) Many events and states of mind are difficult or impossible to verify. Example: “I didn’t think about this for 20 years.” This assumes that the person would remember having thought about it if they had. IATROGENIC DISORDERS Problem: little data available from controlled observation. Involves extreme conditions. Hypnosis doesn’t improve memory retrieval! “People who receive a diagnosis of MPD have already spent [an average of] seven years] in the mental health system.” (Acocella, p. 68). Why the emphasis on “recovered memory”? To explain why the MPD person didn’t say anything about it for so long?
Nicolas Spanos book/ Ian Hacking book on MPD/Frederic Crews book. “No tax or tax-exempt monies may be used for any of health care treatment, including psychotherapy, that has not been proven safe and effective by rigorous, valid and reliable scientific evidence by a substantial majority of the scientific community.” [ honest expert here].