DID Series Post 2- An Article Review

DID Journal Review 1

Citation- Gillig, P. M. (2009). Dissociative Identity Disorder: A controversial diagnosis. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 6(3), 24-29. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

I am reviewing the article Dissociative Identity Disorder: A controversial diagnosis in this post. Above is the APA citation for this article which you can use to retrieve it for your own review. I will take this time to note my bias, I do believe this diagnosis is real and that regardless of a clinicians feeling they need to honor a client’s lived experiences and symptoms. It is a diagnosis according to the DSM and that is what we use to decide if a patient meets criteria and then how to treat the patient.

The Critical View:

In a 1988 article surveying responses clinicians had received about their patient’s who suffered for DID, formerly MPD. These reactions included forced hospitalizations, and forced discharge from care. It is suspected these reactions are from the “controversy” surrounding the diagnosis. Clinicians wonder if the diagnosis is real, a type of malingering, or something made up by other clinicians. Underneath this is the fear that criminals will use this diagnosis to get out of charges for crimes. Additionally, some case studies have been refuted due to suggestibility of patients of “social contamination”/

Moving along to a paper in 1993 it was believed that DID was a form of borderline Personality Disorder. The following Chart is based upon the Information in DSM III which would have been available when this study was published. DSM came out the year following this articles publication.

SymptomsBorderline Personality DisorderDissociative Identity Disorder
Unpredictable/Impulsive BehaviorX
Pattern of unstable/Intense relationshipsX
Inappropriate/Intense AngerX
Identity DisturbanceX
Intolerance of being aloneX
Self-HarmX
Existence of 2 or more distinct personalitiesX
Personality that is dominant determines behaviorX
Each Personality is distinctX

I don’t see it unless a distinct personality has BPD but I am a product of DSM IV and DSM 5 so I may be missing relevant information based in the time period and culture. DSM III accessed here: http://aditpsiquiatriaypsicologia.es/images/CLASIFICACION%20DE%20ENFERMEDADES/DSM-III.pdf

The Acceptance View:

Those practitioners who accept this diagnosis as valid propose that the diagnosis is born from ambivalent attachment, extreme and/or repeated abuse. There is a belief that the disorder could start with an imaginary friend which could then become a distinct personality due to the development stage practitioners assume the trauma occurred.

Practitioners assume there is a role for attachment theory, parenting theory(authoritarian), and narcissistic abuse ( parentified child relationships).

The article then reviews current studies on DID and attention, DID and memory, and the average patient. Due to the purpose of the article review I will stop here. However, I encourage all who are interested to read the article in full.

Love and Light.

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