There is no "MPD" except in the minds of doctors who cannot understand that
multiplicity is as natural to us as being a singlet is to them. Calling
multiples "disordered" simply for having many selves is like calling Native Americans "disordered" for having a culture and language different from those of non-Indians. It is just as prejudicial. It is a denial of our existence.
No More... (cocoons)(labels)(words)
As I have mentioned before, the Western world attaches a stigma to "mental illness" which amounts to the ostracism of anyone who differs from a preconceived norm. An increasing number of everyday life problems and personal characteristics are labeled as disorders, until the ambience of the mental health system begins to resemble a 1930s eugenics programme.
With the current push to regulate everything "for our own good" -- from mandatory seat belts to heavy taxes on fast food -- it is entirely possible that not too long from now we will see attempts to impose further restrictions on individuals who have been diagnosed with one of these so-called mental disorders.
But we don't have a mental disorder; we're multiple, that's not a mental disorder. It's a psychoneurological fact.
A household can be in disarray, members of a household can have emotional problems, but multiplicity itself is not a disorder.
There is no "MPD" except in the minds of doctors who cannot understand that multiplicity is as natural to us as being a singlet is to them. Calling multiples "disordered" simply for having many selves is like calling Native Americans "disordered" for having a culture and language different from those of non-Indians. It is just as prejudicial. It is a denial of our existence.
But the mental health community, and the public at large, still see us as powerless, out of control, victims. A lot of people -- including doctors -- still think "multiple = "mental disorder" = "crazy". We are still seen as incompetent at best and dangerous at worst.
I feel the only answer is to demystify multiplicity by getting it out of the doctor's office.
I'm not saying discontinue therapy or even medication if they are helping you communicate, organize, and fulfill yourselves as individuals. I'm saying it might be a damned good idea if we multiples did not limit our thoughts about multiplicity in the areas where we do have some control -- our personal worlds, and our online expressions.
If we stopped using the medical terms "MPD" or "DID" to refer to multiplicity.
If we took that DSM quote off our webpages.
If we stopped portraying ourselves to the general public online as people with a mental disorder.
We have a legitimate claim to social rights as individuals. While we can show case law precedent for members of households as individual persons, we must also define ourselves in everyday society. Multiplicity must be seen, and it must lose its aura of occult mystery. It must become no more startling than differences in ethnicity, nationality, or abilities.
We are not multiple because a doctor says so: we are multiple because we are.
Other Essays by Anthony TempleMultiple Personality and the Media Why are we constantly portrayed as freaks?
Multiple Personality Is Natural We have been sold a bill of goods about multiplicity being a "mental disorder".
On Integration Why it is neither necessary nor desirable.. and may be impossible.
Removing Diagnostic Labels Multiplicity does not belong in the DSM.
Our Truth To those who would help us recover from denial.
The Kaycee Nicole Thing On the Internet, you are who you say you are. Use it wisely.
Validation and Language in Multiple Personality An answer to the often-asked question "Does this happen to anyone else?"