System Speak: Dissociative Identity Disorder ( Multiple Personality Disorder )Episode 11Season 1
Dissociation v. Psychosis
Dissociation v. Psychosis
By Emma Sunshaw • View the Website

Dr. E discusses a recent “Mad in America” article about clinical differentiation between dissociation and psychosis (link in blog). Then she invited a guest system with DID to respond to the article. The system introduces themselves, and two of them explain their own view of dissociation and multiplicity, using the social model of disability. They make a significant statement about how “coming out” empowered them to find their own voice and relieved them from so much stress and energy they had used to hide previously. They distinguishes between multiplicity and plurality, and explain why. She shares a quote about why the diagnostic label was changed from MPD to DID, as quoted from an article in the Huffington Post (link in blog). She points out when the author was talking about dissociation, the author was actually talking about the experiences of plurality.

Then we talk about community in the plural community, and why that matters. We also talk about other clinicians with DID, and how important it is for us to find and support each other outside the limited opportunity and oppressive oversight of treatment. She also shares about the trauma impact of having mental illness as a child. Closing, she makes a powerful statement about how dissociation actually protects us from psychosis. Dr. E then closes with discussion of Dr. Ross’s explanation of negative and positive symptoms, and why misunderstanding these causes dissociative disorders to be misdiagnosed as psychotic disorder. There is one mention of ritual abuse in passing (related issues not being believed and assumed to be psychosis), but no details given. There are no abuse memories or in depth discussions of abuse in this episode.

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