Why We Do Not Have MPD/DID
Guest article by V of the Anachronic Army
Also, all links in this article have been fixed.
Many people have written to us and asked us why we don't call ourselves MPD/DID. Why don't we call it a disorder? Why don't we call ourselves personalities? Why not make use of the more well-known term?
I'm going to attempt to answer that question by examining what the DSM-IV says about the diagnostic criteria for DID.
There are four diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV for Dissociative Identity Disorder. I found these listed on Trauma Disorders Glossary.
The first diagnostic criterion is: "The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states".
First of all, it is derogatory to refer to us as mere identities or "personality states". Such terms are used to make multiples appear delusional. A line like this comes across as one person "thinking" they are more than one person, rather than the reality of several people being in one body.
The diagnosis of MPD was changed to DID because those on the panel deciding what should be written for the DSM-IV decided that there couldn't possibly be more than one person in a body! In some other countries other than the United States of America, the diagnosis is still MPD.
Second criterion: "At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior".
Again, there is the strong implication that there is one person with several "personality states" which take control of him or her. It implies that there is one core or real person underneath it all who is the victim of delusions. An attitude like this would cause many to see a patient as "suffering" from multiplicity, rather than it being a gift or a natural state.
The third states: "Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness".
This is one that is found in many multiples, but not all - especially after a system has been spending years working together towards coconsciousness and/or cooperation. Many multiples do not lose time as much or even at all if they work together well. Does this mean they are no longer multiple just because they are more efficient?
Finally, "The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition."
This is a given. If you become "someone else" while you are drunk or high that is not the same as sharing a body with several other people. Let's have a look at another site on MPD/DID. Psych Central: Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment.
First sentence on this site states: "Psychotherapy is the treatment of choice for individuals suffering from any type of dissociative disorder. Approaches vary widely, but generally take an individual modality (as opposed to family, group or couples therapy) and emphasize the integration of the various personality states into one, cohesive whole personality."
First of all, this paragraph is encouraging therapists to treat a multiple in therapy as one person. (I suppose this is because to do otherwise would be encouraging his or her "delusions".)
Secondly, this paragraph says to focus on integration. It is the automatic view that it is unnatural and disorderly and delusional to be multiple.
People who call multiplicity MPD/DID either do not know the implications of the diagnostic label, or they do not believe that there is any beauty and wonder in sharing a body with several others. I have some suspicions that the belief that there should only be one mind, one soul, one body is rooted in Western religion.
At one point in time, children were force to switch writing from one hand to the other if they happened to be left-handed. At one point in time, being gay was seen as a mental disorder. It is the same with being multiple. Encouraging multiples to integrate is forcing them to switch hands.
Any multiple who wishes to integrate should arrive at that decision on their own, collectively and unanimously. No therapist should pressure multiples into integration. The page also says (if you had any doubt that DID=delusional) "It should be noted that while it's convenient to talk of people who suffer from this disorder as having "multiple personalities," this is just a theoretical construct. People who suffer from this disorder believe they have multiple personalities which then take on a life of their own within the individual (perhaps reinforced by the belief)."
Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Therapists are entitled to believe that we are not real people if it helps them to sleep better at night, but it isn't our truth. We, the Anachronic Army, work efficiently and well together. Any time in the past we denied the existence of each other, it resulted in chaos.
This page also says that multiplicity is the result of abuse or traumatic events. We have met multiples with no abuse history at all, or who have abuse AFTER they existed collectively in the body. (We are in the latter category.) This major point puts us outside of the DSM-IV criterion.
In conclusion, we do not call ourselves MPD/DID because it is does not describe who we are. We were not created by abuse. We work well as a group rather than being crippled by a "disorder". We are people - not parts, alters, personalities, or ego states.
Each of us has our own hopes and dreams, our own range of feelings, our own ideals. We are not puzzle pieces of some greater whole. We are a nation. We are a people. We work full time in a job we love. We pay our bills. We have a loving relationship with a spouse who accepts each one of us as we are. What is so disorderly about that?
The only universal experience of all multiples is the experience of having more than one person in a body. Nothing more, nothing less.
V, Anachronic Army
If this article interests you, you might want to look at the ISSD Adult Treatment Guidelines. This is what doctors who treat multiples today are recommended and expected to believe and practice.
Why Multiple Personality Disorder Is Not Dissociative Identity Disorder By Dr. Ralph Allison