Disclosures of childhood sexual abuse have frequently been discredited through the diagnosis of hysteria. In this view, women/female children were seen either as culpable seducers who were not really damaged by the sex abuse or as dramatic fantasizers projecting their own incestuous wishes onto the father. I will argue that this view pervades the false-memory movement and can be found, for example, in Gardner's work (1992).
Although there are more than six million documents on the Internet addressing the issue of ritual abuse, few take as fair and comprehensive approach as this; many of the writings deny the existence of ritual abuse despite masses of evidence to the contrary. As a consequence, some victims are persistently re-abused psychologically by having to deal with the fact that organised abusers, their defenders and even police refute their realities and dismiss their reports as fantasy or mental illness. - Ritual Abuse & Torture in Australia (introduction)
FLATOW: So you would - how would you treat a patient like Sybil if she showed up in your officeBRAND: Well, first I would start with a very thorough assessment, using the current standardized measures that we have available to us that assess for the range of dissociative disorders but the whole range of other psychological disorders, too. I would need to know what I'm working with, and I'd be very careful and make my decisions slowly, based on data about what she has. And furthermore, with therapists who are well-trained in dissociative disorders, we do keep an eye open for suggestibility. But that research, too, is not anywhere near as strong as what the other two people in the interview are suggesting.It shows - for example, there's eight studies that have a total of 11 samples. In the three clinical samples that have looked at the correlation between dissociation and suggestibility, all three clinical samples found non-significant correlations. So it's just not as strong as what people think. That's a myth that's not backed up by science. Exploring Multiple Personalities In 'Sybil Exposed' October 21, 2011 by Ira Flatow
I keep moving ahead, as always, knowing deep down inside that I am a good person and that I am worthy of a good life.
Too often the mentally ill are marginalized as people who just can’t pull up their socks. If only it were that simple.
You do not need to be temperamental or upset to be a novelist. Don’t embrace the tortured artist rhetoric that any life difficulties might serve to benefit and enhance your writing. That’s damaging. Counterintuitive. Writing can be so incredibly lonely, and when you’re alone with your thoughts for long enough to produce a hundred thousand words of your own headspace, it can be scary. Suffering is not good for your art. Mental health care is. So talk to someone other than your future readers about the problems you are facing. Someone you know and trust. There is no shame in asking for help.
Like a lot of people with mental illness, I spend a lot of time fronting. It’s really important to me to not appear crazy, to fit in, to seem normal, to do the things “normal people” do, to blend in. As a defense mechanism, fronting makes a lot of sense, and you hone that mechanism after years of being crazy. Fronting is what allows you to hold down a job and maintain relationships with people, it’s the thing that sometimes keeps you from falling apart. It’s the thing that allows you to have a burst of tears in the shower or behind the front seat of your car and then coolly collect yourself and stroll into a social engagement…We are rewarded for hiding ourselves. We become the poster children for “productive” mentally ill people, because we are so organized and together. The fact that we can function, at great cost to ourselves, is used to beat up the people who cannot function.Because unlike the people who cannot front, or who fronted too hard and fell off the cliff, we are able to “keep it together,” whatever it takes.
And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven't seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.
While a psychiatric diagnosis can serve a purpose in treatment plans, it should not become a tool to discredit a person's disclosure of abuse.
Self-stigma refers to the state in which a person with mental illness has come to internalize the negative attitudes about mental illness and turns them against him- or herself.
Schizo. It didn't matter how many times Dr. Gill compared it to a disease or physical disability, it wasn't the same thing. It just wasn't. I had schizophrenia. If I saw two guys on the sidewalk, one in a wheelchair and one talking talking to himself, which would I rush to open a door for, and which would I cross the road to avoid?
It’s hard to imagine a more squarely on-the-nose example of demonizing mental illness than portraying a mentally ill man as a literal demon.
A phenomenon that might seem only backwards or silly when expressed at a social level becomes madness at the individual level.
I began to imagine orchestration where before I heard only the cacophony of randomness. Crazy people do that all the time, unless you buy into the notion that we have the ability to perceive order and connotation in ways closed off to the minds of sane people. I don't. Subscribe to that notion, I mean. We are not gifted. We are not magical. We are slightly or profoundly broken.