Controversy

Unfortunately, there is controversy regarding multiple personality. Some critics inside and outside the mental health profession claim that it is not a legitimate psychiatric disorder, perhaps because the idea of having multiple personality and repressed memories does not make sense to them. They may believe that this disorder is created by people seeking attention through being dramatic, caused by incompetent therapists suggesting this diagnosis to their clients, or used by people wanting an excuse for irresponsible or even criminal behavior. Some of these critics also attack the concept of recovered memories of child sexual abuse. They believe this profound loss of memory is not real and that these recovered memories are actually false memories that serve the same purposes mentioned above.

The result is that the trauma field has tended to become polarized into true believers and extreme skeptics. A balanced position has sometimes been lost. Trauma experts with a balanced view will admit that some memories are inaccurate, that some clients labeled as having DID have indeed been misdiagnosed for the reasons the critics offer, and that some therapists do a poorjob. However, these experts argue that the research base and clinical evidence supporting the existence of a distinct diagnosis called DID is strong and that the repression of memories of childhood abuse is real.

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