BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
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"
"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.
does MPD fascinate us?
It has often been found quite interesting.
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 has on
Most MPD sufferers are
, in fact female MPD sufferers outnumber men by a ratio
of nine to one (Hales, 1993).
This may be true because
will keep their
feelings of hostility toward others to themselves, whereas men would be more likely
to lash out in random acts of
For instance, Anna doesn't want to believe
that she is getting beaten, so she believes if she becomes someone else, it is not
really her that is taking the abuse.
However, it is only a matter of time before
the abuse increases or takes another form.
The effect compounds, one more
personality develops, and so on until "the voices" have consumed Anna and left her
broken, with every facet of her personality now being an independent mind.
With statistics showing that some form of abuse happens to as many as one out of