By Ted Schwarz, Ralph B. Allison
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Additional resources for Minds In Many Pieces: Revealing the Spiritual Side of Multiple Personality Disorder
The infant was deprived of oxygen for a crucial few moments and was born retarded. Her husband irrationally blamed her, insisting there was something wrong with a wife who would “allow” such a terrible accident to occur. Janette accepted responsibility even though she certainly had nothing at all to do with the birth injury. Feeling depressed under such circumstances would be normal for anyone. Janette’s second husband, Lee, was also one of life’s losers. He was a skilled mechanic, but he had spent most of his time drifting from area to area.
Perhaps I did understand it. Certainly they weren’t bringing me anything I hadn’t studied in the textbooks or lectures. But that was the problem; my understanding was intellectual. I had never known a real, living, · breathing human being who had had such an experience. To a degree it was embarrassing. I knew that whatever I said might affect the person’s life for years to come. I had a kind of power over my patients, and I did not like the idea of that type of control. At the same time, I wanted to help and knew that my knowledge might truly work for the patient.
The psychiatrist had been skilled and reputable, but Janette had had a personality clash with him and knew she could not continue treatment. If a patient cannot work effectively with a particular doctor, he or she should be referred elsewhere. Every psychiatrist has had this experience at one time or another. Janette sat quietly in my office, her hands folded in her lap, her head down, her long, rather stringy hair hanging limply. She was obviously severely depressed but otherwise seemed to be an ordinary housewife.