I’ve been noticing an aggressive internet propaganda campaign about Dissociative Identity Disorder, apparently being waged by certain members of International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), using mental health journalists – who happen not to be mental health professionals themselves – as ‘fronts’. Specifically, there are several quasi-interviews with Bethany Brand PhD – a member of the ISSTD Journal of Trauma and Dissociation Editorial Board – purporting to be concerned with “dispelling myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder”.
One example of this campaign can be found on the PsychCentral website. Titled “Dispelling Myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder” and written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., it is located here:
This article by Margarita Tartakovsky portrays itself to be a matter of public health education, intended to ‘correct’ myths and misunderstandings about DID that “the public” is supposedly confused by;
“(DID), known previously as multiple personality disorder, is not a real disorder. At least, that’s what you might’ve heard in the media, and even from some mental health professionals. DID is arguably one of the most misunderstood and controversial diagnoses in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But it is a real and debilitating disorder that makes it difficult for people to function”.
Tartakovsky & Brand begin their myth and misunderstanding expose with an obtuse Strawman;
“Why the controversy? According to Bethany Brand, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at Towson University and an expert in treating and researching dissociative disorders, there are several reasons. DID is associated with early severe trauma, such as abuse and neglect. This raises the concern over false memories. Some people worry that clients may “remember” abuse that didn’t actually happen and innocent people may get blamed for abuse. (“Most people with DID don’t forget all their abuse or trauma,” Brand said; “sufferers may forget episodes or aspects of some of their trauma,” but it’s “fairly rare not to remember any trauma at all and suddenly recover memories of chronic childhood abuse.”) It also “pries into families’ privacy,” and families may be reluctant to reveal information that might put them in a negative light”.
Innocent persons being falsely accused of sex abuse crimes against children, based on false memories, is indeed a legitimate concern in our society. However, Tartakovsky and Brand are contending that DID is a controversial diagnosis/ research subject/ treatment specialization, because DID is alleged to arise out of the trauma of childhood abuse & neglect, and “families” [readers are intended to infer “abuse perpetrating family members”] don’t want information about abuse & neglect to be revealed.
The strawman here is an insinuation that the only reason for DID to be “controversial”, is that child abusers don’t want to get exposed by adult survivors of their abuse. Extend the insinuation…DID skeptics must be child abusers! The ongoing recourse to this type of slanderous crapola by DID therapists, researchers and ‘advocates’ only demonstrates that they possess no valid evidence for the legitimacy of DID and must resort to slanderous insinuations against those who expose the truth about it.