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Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective by Frank W. Putnam
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“The reported numbers of MPD alter personality states are given great play by critics. As usual, these critics rarely consult the research. Although cases with dozens or scores of alters have been reported, the mode is 3 and the median typically 8-10 (see, e.g., Putnam et al., 1986; Coons et al., 1988; Ross, Norton, and Wozney, 1989f; Kluft, 1991).”
Frank W. Putnam, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective
“The mass media stereotype of an MPD patient is a woman harboring an internal collection of delightfully different people ranging from wide-eyed little kids to kung fu masters and nuclear physicists. Skeptics tend to focus concretely on the impossibility of there being 10 or 20 or 100 separate people inside that woman's body (e.g., Sarbin, 1995). By and large, this stereotype will not go away.

Alter personalities are real. They do exist—not as separate, individuals, but as discrete dissociative states of consciousness. When considered from this perspective, they are not nearly so amazing to behold or so difficult to accept. A fair reading of the MPD literature shows that authorities have long subscribed to this thesis: “Only when taken together can all of the personality states be considered a whole personality” (Coons, 1984, p. 53). Paradoxically, it is the critics who implicitly accept the view that the alter personalities are separate people.”
Frank W. Putnam, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective
“The differences in alter personality states' self-concepts can be striking, but authorities routinely stress that these are more apparent than real (e.g., Putnam, 1989a; Kluft, 1991). Various typologies have been offered, but few systematic data exist. Types of MPD alters, such as child-like personality states, angry alters, protectors, and persecutors, are found often enough to warrant further investigation.”
Frank W. Putnam, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective
“MPD [Dissociative Identity Disorder] is one of the oldest Western psychiatric diagnoses. We have clearly described cases dating back two or more centuries. In addition to the contributions of Pierre Janet, Monon Prince, and others, we have descriptions of early MPD cases by such important historical figures as Benjamin Rush, father of U.S. psychiatry (Carlson, 1981). Thus MPD is consistent across time and cultures; such a claim can be documented for few other psychiatric disorders. And, as this book demonstrates, MPD and other forms of pathological dissociation are found in children and have features that fit with developmental data and theories.

Criticisms of the existence of MPD often appear to be directed more at the mass media stereotype described earlier than at the actual condition.”
Frank W. Putnam, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective
“The DSM concept of pathological dissociation has evolved from the early inclusive concept of a dissociative reaction in DSM-I to five distinct dissociative disorders in DSM-IV: dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalization disorder, DDNOS, and MPD/DID [Dissociative Identity Disorder]. The first four disorders are rarely challenged, but the existence of MPD/DID has been more or less continually under attack for more than a century. I perceive many of these attacks as misdirected at a mass media stereotype that does not resemble the actual clinical condition.”
Frank W. Putnam, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Perspective