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Culture-Bound Syndromes: Satanic Panics, Multiple Personality Disorder & ROGD

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Culture-Bound Syndromes: Satanic Panics, Multiple Personality Disorder & ROGD Empty Culture-Bound Syndromes: Satanic Panics, Multiple Personality Disorder & ROGD

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:33 pm

On 6 September, at the District Court in Sydney, Australia, Richard Haynes was sentenced to forty-five years in prison for sexually abusing and torturing his daughter, Jeni. The case made international headlines, although not because of the depravity of the crimes which, sadly, would not usually have received that level of media attention. What was unique about this case was that when Jeni Haynes, now aged forty-nine, appeared in court to testify about the abuse she had suffered as a child, she did so while expressing several of the 2,500 personalities that she describes as living within her body.

Jeni Haynes has a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), although most people are more familiar with the older name for the condition, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)—I’ll refer to both from now on as MPD/DID. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) stipulates the following as the primary criterion for diagnosing the condition:

Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self.

These shifts in “personality states” must be accompanied by amnesia, including, crucially, an inability to recall certain traumatic memories. A sufferer from MPD/DID thus appears to have multiple people—usually referred to as alters—living within her body and will regularly switch between each of these alters, giving her access to different memories, as well as different biographies and emotional dispositions. Jeni Haynes recounts that the first distinct personality which developed in her was that of a four-year-old girl called Symphony, who would go on to testify in court more than forty years later. Over the course of many years of abuse, Haynes developed hundreds and eventually thousands of other personalities, each of which held a particular piece of traumatic memory.

Long article but fascinating


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