Wikipedia seems to accurately convey the dissension about the diagnoses and treatment of DID. There is a lot of documented data that supports the existence and validity of DID as a Dissociative phenomenon. Although I have no doubt that people who set out to create multiple personalities in certain individuals are able to do so, that does not therefore mean that all cases are created either intentionally or unintentionally by unscrupulous psychology professionals.
In our case, both objective and subjective evidence exists to support the presence of DID long before receiving psychiatric treatment of any kind, and most assuredly before being diagnosed with MPD.
Before I was a year old my father notes in his journal that the child they picked up after being away for a period of weeks was not a child he recognized, and on the following day he exclaimed, “we have our baby back!”
There is evidence of maturation that appears and disappears throughout childhood, and skills that are acquired would disappear and reappear at unpredictable intervals.
As my own journal writing began, different handwriting styles came and went. Several styles would appear, disappear, and reappear on the same papers. My college notes show some consistency within the same subject or class, but the final two semesters show a wide range of many different handwriting styles – sentences or paragraphs that end or pick up abruptly with a change in handwriting style. I remember taking the final exam in a class I couldn’t remember ever attending – a basic clothing construction class (my mother taught me to sew when I was 9 years old and I had sewn many complex patterns prior to taking that class) yet my final grade on that exam was a 15%.
Prior to my diagnosis (and prior to beginning to see the psychiatrist who diagnosed the MPD) I had an abnormal EEG that was abnormal because the part of the brainwave that is unique to every individual (like every person has a finger print that is uniquely their own) changed in response to the attempts of the technicians to cause a seizure. It was not a seizure pattern at all, but the pattern that normally doesn’t ever change within one person.
In addition to this is the episode where I took the prescribed adult dose of a seizure medication (which was wrongly prescribed because the doctor couldn’t make any sense of the brainwave pattern changing) but my body responded as if I had taken a large overdose. It was not an accidental overdose – the right number of pills were in the pill container, and the dose had not been toxic any of the previous times I took it. The only context in which it makes sense is that a child alter took the medication (which was part of a child alter’s memory as recorded years later).
I had mentioned to the psychiatrists who treated my prior to my diagnosis all the symptoms that indicate the presence of DID, but they all ignored those symptoms, so when I first met with this new doctor I intentionally didn’t mention them to him. However, he asked me if I ever experienced them. Later, when he actually diagnosed the MPD, he asked me if I had ever heard of MPD before. When I said I had not, he wrote an order that no one was to inform me anything about it. He did this so that I would not have any suggestions or ideas presented to me that could influence my behavior. Independent of any source of external awareness or information of what MPD would look like, I exhibited clear switching of personalities which was documented by hospital staff as well as my psychiatrist. The very first time a separate personality came out in the presence of my psychiatrist, a nurse and a social worker were also present. An internal map was drawn by an alter without ever being aware that such a thing could be done or had been done by other multiples.
When different personalities switch out, many verbal and nonverbal changes occur in mannerisms, behaviors, thought processes, and cognitive abilities, to name a few. The changes that occur are consistent with the age level and maturation of the personality who is switching out.
Gretchen’s German accent is so dominant and strong that a native of Germany refused to believe Gretchen when she told the woman that she had never lived in Germany. The German native insisted that she could identify the exact region of German that Gretchen’s accent was indicative of. All this despite the fact that there has never been a person in our lives who we could have learned this German accent from.
Our medical history also confirms that the personalities are distinctive and separate even to the internal body functions and characteristics.
Just in case you have concluded that I have wandered far from the topic of Wikipedia’s definition and descriptions, I invite you to take into consideration the many facts I have listed above and apply them to the things described in Wikipedia. I am trusting these personal revelations will weigh heavily on the side of DID being a valid diagnosis that is not induced through psychotherapy – at least not in every case and most assuredly not in our case.