Psychiatrists have known about these matters of social and psychological dynamics for more than 100 years.
They were brought vividly to attention by the distinguished pupil of Jean-Martin Charcot, Joseph Babinski (he of the plantar response).
Like Sigmund Freud and Pierre Janet, Babinski had observed Charcot manage patients with, what Charcot called, "hysteroepilepsy." But Babinski was convinced that hysteroepilepsy was not a new disorder.
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Being so, MPD is simply a socially-created behavioral disorder.
Since MPD works on persuasion, any diagnosis to correct this disorder should involve some form of counterpersuasion.
These complaints prompt doctors to launch investigations in laboratories, to conduct elaborate and sometimes dangerous studies of the brain or body, and to consult with experts, who examine the patient for esoteric disease.
As the investigation proceeds, the patient may become still more persuaded that an illness is at work and begin to model the signs of disorder on the subtle suggestions of the physician's inquiry.
Source: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, July 1995 v34 n7 p957(3). Mc Hugh Abstract: Multiple personality disorder (MPD) is a form of hysteria induced by therapists by asking patients about alter personalities.
Therapists resort to persuasion to influence patients to commit themselves to having MPD thus forcing them to act in a manner consistent with the role.The patients I have seen have been referred to the Johns Hopkins Health System because elsewhere they have become stuck in the process of therapy. They were mostly women who in the course of some distress sought psychiatric assistance. To begprocess of eliciting an alter, you can begin by indirect questioning such as, "Have you ever felt like another part of you does things that you can't control? At this point, you might ask the host personality, "Does this set of feelings have a name? For instance, you can ask, "Can I talk to the part of you who is taking those long drives to the country? She meets other patients with the same compliant responses to therapists' suggestions.In the course of this assistance - and often early in the process - a therapist offered them a fairly crude suggestion that they might harbor some "alter" personalities. " If she gives positive or ambiguous responses, ask for specific examples. She and the staff begin a continuous search for other "alters." With the discovery of the first "alter," the barrier of self-criticism and self-observation is breached. Countless numbers of personalities emerge over time.Babinski wrote that just as hysteroepilepsy rested on persuasion, so a form of counterpersuasion could correct it.He demonstrated that thesimproved when they were taken from the wards and clinics where other afflicted women - epileptic and pseudoepileptic - were housed and when the attention of the staff was turned away from their seizures and onto their lives.The person given the appellation "sick" by the social spokesman - the physician - was assumed by the society to respond to these privileges with other actions, i.e., cooperating with the intrusions of investigators of the illness and making every effort at rehabilitation so as to return to health.