RR #2 - 1. The main controversies surrounding dissociative...

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1. The main controversies surrounding dissociative disorders involve the question as to whether the symptoms of these disorders are artificially induced in patients by clinicians. Much of the debate has specifically centered around the diagnosis of dissociative amnesia. The idea that an individual may be able to repress the memory of a traumatic event, but then later recall that event, has become a central component in the debate over whether diagnoses of dissociate disorders are necessarily valid. Those who advocate the fact that dissociative disorder represents a valid diagnosis believe that a number of studies provide substantial evidence in support of the idea of repressed memories. Critics, on the other hand, question the validity of this evidence and believe that it may be possible for clinicians to induce or create memories in patients of events that never actually occurred. Some of the studies advocated by those who believe in the validity of the diagnosis of dissociative disorders include surveys of patients who had reported having been abused at some point early on in their childhood and also reported having completely forgotten the incident for a period of time before their eighteenth birthday. Other studies cited include those in which patients with a documented history of abuse during a specified time period could not recall those incidents when interviewed years later. Critics point out a number of facts that indicate that the results of these studies may not provide empirical support for the validity of dissociative disorder diagnoses. For example, some point out that many of the patients who had documented abuse history for a specified period in time could not recall those specific incidents, but could recall others. Critics also point out that any abuse incidents happening very early in childhood (before the age of 3) would not likely be remembered because most people do not remember much of anything before 3 years of age. Many also point out that it is possible for clinicians to induce memories in their patients. Constantly asking a patient about a specific incident may lead the patient to believe the event actually occurred, when in reality it did not. These critics backup their claims with studies in which experimenters successfully induced false memories in college students of an incident of being lost in a shopping mall when they were young. Furthermore, tests have shown that individuals who have reported incidents of dissociative amnesia have consistently misidentified words in word recall tasks, indicating they are prone to form false memories. Those who believe dissociative disorder represents a valid diagnosis answer back to critics in
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RR #2 - 1. The main controversies surrounding dissociative...

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