Taking Sides - Taking Sides Issue 4 Is Multiple Personality...

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Taking Sides Issue 4: Is Multiple Personality Disorder a Valid Diagnosis? YES: meets the standards for the three basic forms of validity (content validity, construct validity, and criterion-related validity). NO: it is a socially created behavioral disorder induced by psychotherapists. A person develops seemingly independent personalities each with unique characteristics and behaviors. Official diagnostic term changed in last 10 years to “dissociative identity disorder.” At least 2 personalities recurrently take control of person and they can’t recall important personal info. Few cases were reported in 20 th century until 1980’s when DSM-III included it. In recent decades many 1000’s have been reported. Some think the disorder could be iatrogenic – created in a patient by a psychotherapist (often through hypnosis). YES 3 main criticisms: 1) iatrogenic disorder produced by psychiatrists in their patients 2) produced by media portrayal 3) number of cases is increasing exponentially. Response to 1 and 2: why MPD? If patients are so suggestible why don’t they develop another disorder? Response to 3: other diseases show equal or faster rise in # of cases including Lyme disease, OCD, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Reflects a basic process in medicine associated w/ compilation & dissemination of syndromal profiles. Model of diagnostic validity of Robins and Guze: psychiatric diagnosis must satisfy three levels of validity. 1) content validity (ability to give a specific and detailed description of disorder) 2) criterion-related validity (laboratory tests must be consistent with the defined clinical picture) 3)construct/discriminant validity (must be delimited from other disorders). MPD has been shown to fulfill criteria. Condition is presently conceptualized with posttraumatic dissociative disorder. NO Many diseases have had a history of hysteria and suggestibility. Patients are reinforced with attention from physicians to display symptoms of a disorder. Example: Charcot and Babinski studied “hysteroepilepsy” in 1918. Patients showed increased symptoms with persuasion (focus on the disease) and decreased symptoms with counterpersuasion (focusing on other aspects of life).
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