Behind Closed Doors

Essay by Danielle MeyerHigh School, 12th gradeA+, December 1996

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The Correlation Between Multiple

Personality Disorder and Child Abuse

'Each day that we pretended,

we replaced reality

with lies, or dreams,

or angry schemes,

in search of dignity...

until our lies

got bigger than the truth,

and we had no one real to be'

From 'For Children Who Were Broken'

by Elia Wise

Multiple Personality Disorder

and Child Abuse

Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Throughout history the idea of not being just us has intrigued everyone from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. But imagine having no control over who you are. Imagine having 30 people inside of you, and every one of them wanting to be in control. This is the case with Multiple Personality Disorder, and it effects thousands of people in the United States alone. But why does MPD fascinate us? It has often been found quite interesting. Movies, books, and even talk shows have been made trying to show the harsh reality of the disorder, but how seriously are we expected to take Truddi Chase and the 'Troops' when they are on The Oprah Show? How worried are we for Sybil when we remember Sally Field as Gidget? As grim as this disorder is we often don't realize the severity unless we hear it from 'the voices.'

Using the psychoanalytical approach, I will show how past abusive experiences have driven some to MPD. Citing case studies from such books as When Rabbit Howls, The Truddi Chase Story, Sybil, and Jennifer and Herselves the correlation between MPD and abuse will be made. There are more similarities to these examples than just MPD, all were driven to MPD due to excessive physical, ual, or emotional abuse from a parental figure. Also, each of these studies show the cause and effects this disorder...