Apparently DID Doesn’t Exist

There was the psychology professor who tried to disprove repressed memories with the statement that it was not protective of further abuse. If he didn’t believe in repressed memories of child sexual abuse he surely couldn’t believe in dissociation? Surely he didn’t believe in me. How could he? Dissociation is the hallmark of DID.

The most shocking thing to me about his beliefs was that he felt free to inflict it on all the psychology students that went through that department. It is to horrible to endure the betrayal of trained professionals who are professional deniers of DID. They poison the future therapist pool with their denials, manipulations, and control of young adults.

When I took my first Abnormal Psychology course in college, many years ago, there was two paragraphs on MPD/DID. Many years later I took Abnormal Psychology again and DID was three and a half pages. Huge progress, I thought, but not if the professor just denies it all.

What is very disconcerting to me is that some of them work and get paid their livings with trauma clients/abuse survivors. They always seem to use non-rational reasoning in order to prove their argument/supposition/theory.

They have a code of conduct, one that says they should not do work that they are not properly trained and competent doing. If you don’t believe in a disorder, can you really work with those clients and consider yourself competent to treat them and to help them to manage their lives and to become more functioning?

If you have not educated yourself about childhood trauma, dissociation, DID, and the aftermath of child sexual abuse, how can you call yourself competent? If you don’t believe a client really exists, how can you see them when they could see someone who could help them to heal? How can you take their money and look in the mirror?

While I was at college I worked full-time as well, as an assistant manager of a video store. There was a young high school guy, a great guy, and a great person. He and his girlfriend would come in with some of their friends. They were very nice, very talkative and caring. We became friends.

It would happen a lot to me at the job. It always seemed odd when I found new friends that way, but it would happen. People would hang out to chat and it would just happen. I usually worked alone and it was lovely to have someone to talk to, being an extrovert it was very hard on me and I was able to be much more out-going at work than at school with classmates.

He graduated and the next fall went off to a college out of state. He came back during school breaks and I would gladly give him work hours. He was someone I thought very fondly and good about. One day I was able to work with him for several hours, during the busiest overlap hours where two workers were present. We had a few minutes to catch up.

He told me about his classes the past semester. One was Abnormal Psychology. I guess I should have prepared myself, but I didn’t. He told me how his professor taught them how DID doesn’t exist. I explained to him how and why they do exist. He gave me that look, like he didn’t believe me, but wasn’t going to argue with me and being resolved to humor me. So apparently DID doesn’t exist. It hurt so bad.

10 thoughts on “Apparently DID Doesn’t Exist

  1. It sucks to not be believed or have something that you know to be true completely denied. I’m sorry that some people would rather listen to strictly authoritarian figures instead of be more open and independent about their ideas. And I’m sorry you hurt.

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    • Hi,

      Yes authoritarian figures, I hate those guys. Mostly I am mad, but underneath I am still hurt. And outraged that they can make all this money off of us and not believe in survivors.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

      Like

  2. I really hate college psychology departments. They are so interested in the shit they try to replicate in laboratories, and the whole time, they discount the actual human experience of things. Laboratory experiments will never and can never replace what survivors already know about life, trauma, memory, sex abuse, etc.

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    • Hi Butterfly,

      You are so right. My college was heavy biopsychology. Even though they taught courses on violence against women, child abuse and neglect, social psychology, and the psychology of trauma and made money from those courses; the department was all about wanting mice to researach on. The school would not allow it, thank goodness, because we have enough desensitized, educated freaks out there who don’t know what an emotion is.

      I was told biopsychology means if you can’t measure it, you can’t define it, you can’t study it, then you must debunk it. So true.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  3. It wasn’t until much later in my course of therapy that I began to experience outright denial of the disorder. Anyone who denied its existence didn’t say it to me.

    One of my very first therapists told me until treating me he didn’t know if he believed in DID. He said slowly, over time with me he came to understand the complexities of it and how what he learned didn’t come close to what he was seeing. My hope is that some of these people who came across that prof of yours will have their own mind and reach their own understanding and accept the reality of the situation.

    I understand why it hurt. To deny DID is to deny the level of trauma and destructiveness abuse can cause a child. It’s almost like saying, abuse isn’t bad enough to split the mind. It is.

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    • Hi Austin,

      I’m sorry you went through that. It is hurtful and invalidating. I agree with you, to deny it is to deny the level of trauma and the destructiveness abuse can cause a child. Yes they are saying abuse isn’t bad enough. Even when it doesn’t split the mind, it is bad enough. You are incredibly insightful.

      I believe their denials hurt us all, their unfeeling and lack of compassion is a wound to all survivors and in some way it impacts our lives and our healings.

      It effects the amount and type of studies done on abuse, aftereffects, and healing. So it effects the amount of knowledge they have in the fields of psychiatry and psychology, the amount that is taught to students and practitioners and the amount that is taught to be true or false in their fields of learning. It effects the amount of money given by the government to aid the citizens affected and the amount of support and other resources given to the topic. Belief is important, but as bad as that is, it isn’t just about wounding us all, it is about the impact in our society and in our own lives, which is huge. Denial costs us all so much.

      Thank you for your insightful comments.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  4. Me again –
    several times on the show Criminal Minds there has been mention of how the FBI doesn’t recognize DID as a legitimate disorder. One of the characters on the show said that just because the FBI doesn’t recognize it doesn’t mean others don’t either. That is true. It’s also sad that an entire organization would take a stance on this issue and give that line of thinking to all who work for them. I find that incredibly invasive and controlling.

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    • Hi Austin,

      I had also heard on several shows that the FBI doesn’t believe in ritual abuse, because they haven’t found one case with evidence. Which is a lie, there are cases, with evidence.

      Thanks for letting me know what they said on the show. I have started watching some episodes of that show recently and really like it.

      I agree with you, incredibly invasive and controlling.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  5. I just posted something on the same issue. I am recovering from DID, and I’m currently getting my Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. My “DSM Class” is not covering the dissociative disorder. You can read my post if you click here. Also, I don’t go by Secret Shadows anymore. That was my blog on WordPress. I moved the blog to Typepad and renamed it Lothlorien.

    http://lothlorien.typepad.com/lothlorien/2011/03/making-a-case-for-dissociative-disorders.html

    Lothlorien

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    • Hi Lothlorien,

      Thanks. I agree with what you wrote, especially this:

      Interesting how dissociation is considered too transient to be brought into clear focus for graduate clinical social work students. No wonder there are so many clinicians out there who don’t recognize it when they see it, doubt its existence, possibly minimize its effect on treatment, or otherwise totally just don’t “get it”.

      I also agree strongly with your point that a lack of education on a dissociation and dissociative disorders is necessary in order to properly train therapists, psychiatrists, and doctors. And then denial will be harder for them to all perpetuate. Schizophrenia got a huge chapter in my college Abnormal Psychology course, which boggles my mind when you compare it against dissociative disorders’ percentages. It is obvious they aren’t practicing denial out of thin air, they are being educated to live in denial by not being educated. I wonder what we would all think of doctors who did not get trained on the circulatory system, because it just wasn’t necessary.

      I take your point. Thanks so much for this. Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

      Like

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