Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder (MPD),[1] is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately control a person’s behavior, and is accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These symptoms are not accounted for by substance abuse, seizures, other medical conditions, nor by imaginative play in children.[2] Diagnosis is often difficult as there is considerable comorbidity with other mental disorders. Malingering should be considered if there is possible financial or forensic gain, as well as factitious disorder if help-seeking behavior is prominent.[2]

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DID is one of the most controversial psychiatric disorders with no clear consensus regarding its diagnosis or treatment.[3] Research on treatment effectiveness still focuses mainly on clinical approaches and case studies. Dissociative symptoms range from common lapses in attention, becoming distracted by something else, and daydreaming, to pathological dissociative disorders.[4] No systematic, empirically-supported definition of “dissociation” exists.[5][6]

Although neither epidemiological surveys nor longitudinal studies have been done, it is thought DID rarely resolves spontaneously. Symptoms are said to vary over time.[4] In general, the prognosis is poor, especially for those with co-morbid disorders. There is little systematic data on the prevalence of DID.[7] The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation states that the prevalence is between 1 and 3% in the general population, and between 1 and 5% in inpatient groups in Europe and North America.[8][dead link] DID is diagnosed more frequently in North America than in the rest of the world, and is three to nine times more common in females than in males.[5][7][9] The prevalence of DID increased greatly in the latter half of the 20th century, along with the number of identities (often referred to as “alters”) claimed by patients (increasing from an average of two or three to approximately 16).[5]Image

Dissociative disorders including DID have been attributed to disruptions in memory caused by trauma and other forms of stress, but research on this hypothesis has been characterized by poor methodology. So far, scientific studies, usually focusing on memory, have been few and the results have been inconclusive.[10] An alternative hypothesis for the etiology of DID is as a product of techniques employed by some therapists, especially those using hypnosis, and disagreement between the two positions is characterized by intense debate.[3][11] DID became a popular diagnosis in the 1970s, 80s and 90s but it is unclear if the actual incidence of the disorder increased, if it was more recognized by clinicians, or if sociocultural factors caused an increase in iatrogenic presentations. The unusual number of diagnoses after 1980, clustered around a small number of clinicians and the suggestibility characteristic of those with DID, support the hypothesis that DID is therapist-induced.[12] The unusual clustering of diagnoses has also been explained as due to a lack of awareness and training among clinicians to recognize cases of DID.

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EMILY ROSE

Anneliese Michel (21 September 1952 – 1 July 1976) was a German Catholic woman who underwent an exorcism and died in the same year because of stopping medical and psychiatric intervention; the investigation and court case which followed attracted public attention and the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on her.

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When Michel was sixteen, she had her first epileptic attack and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. She was soon in depression and was treated at a psychiatric hospital. By 1973, she became intolerant of various religious objects and began to hear voices. Her condition worsened despite taking various medications and she became suicidal. Michel and her family, was soon convinced she was possessed and appealed to a Catholic priest for an exorcism, which was rejected at first. In 1975, after much hesitation, two priests got permission from the local bishop and performed exorcism rites on her secretively. She died on 1 July, an investigation revealed that she was malnourished and dehydrated; her parents and the priests responsible were charged with negligence. It was stated that her death was due to the strain of the rites and the investigation concluded that she could have been saved if medical help was given to her even a day before. This case attracted media and public attention since the Catholic church allowed such an old rite to be performed. After a guilty verdict, the defendants were sentenced to six months in jail but given three years of probation and a fine. The case has been labelled as a misidentification of a mental illness, negligence, abuse and religious hysteria.

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The Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, “enlightened”) is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776 to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence over public life, abuses of state power, and to support women’s education and gender equality. The Illuminati were outlawed along with other secret societies by the Bavarian government leadership with the encouragement of the Roman Catholic Church, and permanently disbanded in 1785.[1] In the several years following, the group was vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed they had regrouped and were responsible for the French Revolution.

In subsequent use, “Illuminati” refers to various organizations claiming or purported to have unsubstantiated links to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, and often alleged to conspire to control world affairs by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations to establish a New World Order and gain further political power and influence. Central to some of the most widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories, the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, movies, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos.

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