“Breathlessly, [the media] repeated ISSMP&D speculations about MPD as a late-twentieth century epidemic. Before Sybil, fewer than a hundred people over the past two centuries had been identified in Western medical literature with conditions resembling MPD. By 1984, only four years after the condition was first listed in the DSM, an ISSMP&D leader was suggesting that 25,000 Americans suffered from it. Another leader estimated that 3 percent of the population had MPD – over seven million people.”
~Debbie Nathan, Sybil Exposed
I will be writing some blog posts in the future with more my thoughts on Nathan’s highly interesting book. It casts great doubt on the claim that MPD is a “natural kind”. The evidence indicates instead that it is a diagnosis spun purely out of the therapeutic couch and championed (i.e. pushed) onto the medical community by psychiatric quacks, enabling mentally ill patients (almost exclusively women) to unconsciously adopt this diagnosis as it is widely popularized in the mass media. This problem is worsened by how such “alters” are usually discovered: through questionable methods of psychoanalytic hypnosis, with patients often confabulating wild stories about horrific and gory parental abuse in line with the original Sybil story. Wild stuff.