Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D. Simon_Cleveland_Ph.D.'s Reviews > First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple

First Person Plural by Cameron  West
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Jul 09, 2009

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bookshelves: mental-disorder
Read in August, 2006

I've always been fascinated with the intricacies of the human mind. After completing a book about a patient with schizophrenia, I picked up for a change this book about Disassociative Identity Disorder. I've to tell you, in sharp contrast to the effort it took me to comprehension the symptoms of schizophrenia, DID required challenging- no, scratch that- almost mind-bending attempt on my behalf to comprehend how the brain could invent such a mechanism to cope with abuse.

The story spans over the course of several months and examines in detail tribulation after tribulation. The author, Dr. West, paints a picture of a painful and chaotic existence, beginning with the emergence of several male and female identities and ending with his treatment. Thankfully, readers are spared the details of his childhood abuse. And who would want to read about the worst kind of sin? Of course, it must have taken a superhuman effort on his part to complete this heartbreaking book. How could one retain control of his own fragile mind when so many identities constantly struggle to burst out in the open and retain control of his body? Truthfully, it's beyond my imagination.

Despite Dr. West's attempts to keep a level of sanity within the pages, readers should be prepared for a quite confusing narrative. As identities came out, one is forced to struggle to understand the intricate emotions of each personality. There were times when I wanted to stop reading as my interest wavered during certain dialogues. At other times I was fully captivated in the story (especially towards the end when the author finally accepts the reality of his misfortune).

For someone who wasn't very familiar with this type of psychological disorder, I found the book very informative. For those interested in learning about how the disorder manifests itself in the beginning, what impact it has on a patient, and how the person learns to cope with it, pick up a copy of the book.
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