“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.
The authors first define dissociation, describe it as a functionally adaptive process, and suggest that it may be an instinctive defense. The authors suggest that the absence of appropriate dissociation in the face of emotionally overwhelming events may lead to psychosis or other serious mental disturbances. The authors then describe three cases of psychogenic amnesia in previously healthy soldiers with no family or personal history of dysfunction. The first case of amnesia was observed in a soldier who witnessed a member of his company decapitated by a shell, the second in a soldier who saw his fiancee mortally wounded by a bomb, and the third in a sergeant who gave an order that led to the deaths of 122 men.
22 year old V. was raised by an abusive mother. Arrested for vagrancy, he was sentenced to a penal farm, given basic education, and viewed as “extremely intelligent”. While V. collected grapevines one day, a snake wrapped itself around his arm. The terror triggered hysterical-epileptic convulsions, leaving paraplegia. Therefore, he was trained in tailoring. Another attack occurred two months later, his paraplegia disappeared. V. forgot tailoring skills and his character completely changed. Six successive, unique conscious states emerged over a decade in which V. was alternately: (1) a full right side hemiplegic, talkative, rude, overly familiar; (2) a left side hemiplegic (trunk and limbs), reserved, polite, respectful, with no awareness of where he was; (3) a left side hemiplegic (limbs only), polite, remembering nothing of previous life except brief vineyard employment; (4) a full paraplegic, timid, remembering tailoring skills, sad, unaware of current events, unable to read or write; (5) without paralysis, agile, childlike, memories of childhood and attendant abuse recovered; (6) without feeling on left side, convulsing, hallucinating, an excellent reader who believed himself an enlisted marine. V. was committed to at least eight psychiatric/penal institutions in which he was treated with iron, steel, magnet, electrical, and transfer therapies., V., 22 ans, était maltraité par sa mère. Vagabond, il est arrêté et renvoyé dans une maison de correction, ou il est éduqué et trouver « fort intelligent ». Quand V. ramassait des sarments, une vipère s’enroule autour de son bras, et la frayeur le jette dans une série d’attaques convulsives hystèro-épileptiques, qui mènent progressivement á la paraplégie. On le place á l’atelier des tailleurs. Deux mois plus tard, une deuxième attaque, et la paraplégie disparut, mais V. avait oublié de coudre et son caractère s’était transformé. Six états s’ensuivent : (1) hémiplégie droit, ou V. est bavard, impoli, familier ; (2) hémiplégie gauche (face et membres), ou il est réservé, poli, respectueux, sans conscience d’où il est ; (3) hémiplégie gauche (membres seules), ou il est poli, se souvenant pas sa vie antérieure, sauf son travail dans un vignoble ; (4) paraplégie complète, ou V. est timide, triste, sans conscience des événements de l’époque, incapable d’écrire ni lire, se souvenant coudre encore ; (5) sans paralysie, agile, enfantin, se souvenant de son enfance et de l’abus qu’il a subi ; (6) sans paralysie, convulsif, lit très bien, se croyant soldat de la marine. V. a été renvoyé dans huit institutions psychiatriques/pénaux, éprouvant les thérapies du fer, de l’acier, de l’aimant, de l’électricité, et du transfert.
A man is accused of stealing an automobile. After the crime was committed the man had no knowledge of it in court. He was said to have suffered from automatism. The man was not considered to be insane, therefore, he was found guilty and sentenced to jail. The author compares the case to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If one personality commits a crime, can the other personality be held responsible for it?
McDougall reviews Sidis’ book “Multiple personality.” The book mainly concerns the case of Mr. Hanna. He suffered from a complete loss of memory following an accident. He began to have brief snips of his past life, mostly through dreams. He eventually regained his previous memories and was able to also remember his “new” memories. Sidis stated that the case was one of psycho-physiological dissociation. McDougall does not come to the same conclusion of Mr. Hanna’s case as Sidis does. McDougall questions to what extent the treatment brought about Mr. Hanna’s recovery. McDougall briefly covers the other contents of the book.
Dr. Myers reviews multiple cases involving altered personalities. These personalities have been brought on by a variety of means, including dreams, drug use, physical disturbance, epilepsy or hypnotism. Some of the cases involve automatic writing. Dr. Myers discusses each of these cases briefly with an emphasis on the differences between the conscious and unconscious self.
Dr. Bramwell conducted multiple experiments on multiple patients using hypnotism. In each of these experiments the Dr. hypnotized the patient and then suggested that they perform a certain task in a certain number of minutes. In most cases the patient was able to perform the task (or a close proximity) at the preappointed time (or a close proximity). The patient would have no recollection of why they felt the need to perform this task unless they were asked while hypnotized. The Dr. concludes that this was an unconscious measurement of time. Several other doctors either refute or agree with Dr. Bramwell’s conclusions.
Dr. Browne writes of the idea of personal identity. First he discusses what his ideas of personal identity are then reviews several cases. These cases take place in the awake state as well as in the dreaming state. He also reviews the idea of a state of double consciousness. Both of these states he reasons are errors of identity and need to be studied further to gain more knowledge about them.