A man who disappeared and was presumed dead by his family was found four years later living a different life with a different name. The author interviewed and received correspondence from several sources related to the incident. While living under an alias, the man was recognized, but did not remember anything of his previous life or family. Upon awakening to his previous identity following a period of stress, headaches, and a nap, the man recognized his family members, but remembered nothing of his alias. A physician provides a theory that the alternate personality may be related to a blood clot.
“Multiple personality and dissociation, 1791-1992(2nd edition)” is a bibliography. It contains the 1st edition as well as updates through November 30, 1993. Article errors have been corrected when possible. The bibliography is divided up into the following areas: Multiple personalities, Dissociation and Amnesia, Depersonalization and Derealization, Fugue States, and Medico-legal Aspects.
This article discusses Dr. Browne’s objections to Dr. Skae’s terminology for classifying mental diseases. Dr. Browne follows the school of thought in which one classifies symptoms and not diseases, while Dr. Skae says that symptoms are not diseases and should not be treated as such. The author refutes Dr. Browne’s criticisms of Dr. Skae one by one. The author studies each Dr.’s arguments for diagnosis for certain cases before coming to a conclusion on which method of classification is best.
This case of amnesia combined with dramatic personality change is considered a result of an undetermined head injury. The physician describes an adult male, who upon hospitalization complained of pain in the left side of his head. The patient underwent brain surgery, and consequently changed handedness from left to right. The patient did not remember his personal history spanning the last fourteen years. While under hypnosis, the patient's last memories were ten years prior. After ten weeks of observation, patient had no other symptoms and was released. Yet after his release, the patient reported another episode of unconsciousness.
Dr. Mitchell discusses several well-known cases of multiple personality, including the cases of: Ansel Bourne, Felida X, Mr. Hanna, Miss Beauchamp, Louis V, Mary Barnes, Madame B, and Milly P. The doctor then goes on to discuss how these secondary personalities can be formed and how it is possible for one personality to not be aware of the other personality. Dr. Mitchell takes on the view of these patients having co-conscious personalities, his reasoning is discussed in depth.
Dr. Burnett discusses the case of a young man. The child was determined to be in the ministry at age five. Soon after this decision, the child started to suffer from various types of intense head pain, that lead to periods of a changed personality. As he grew, this also manifested itself with bouts of depression. A few episodes of violence also followed when the boy was under treatment at a sanatorium. After a session of intense mental suggestion, the patient no longer suffered from a dual personality or amnesia. He was then able to recall all actions of both sides of his personality. The article is followed by a discussion among several doctors about the case and similar ones they have encountered.
Dr. Mayo discusses the 1831 case of Elizabeth Moffat, an 18 year old that took Unguentom Lytcee by accident, and then seemed to pass into a state of double consciousness. Ms. Moffat's normal state was dull and quiet, her other state was a of extreme excitement. The excited state and the dull state remembered nothing of what the other state had recently learned. Ms. Moffat eventually returned to her normal state full time. Dr. Mayo did not believe her to be faking the excited state.
Dr. Skae discusses a case involving an individual in the legal profession who suffers from a case of double consciousness. The patient alternates days of great health and vigor with days of a state between hypochondria and mental alienation. On the poor health days the patient surrounds himself with Scriptures and Psalms. The patient has also suggested suicide when in this state. On his days of good health the patient has no recollection of these bad days, but can remember his previous good day.