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First person plural : my life as a multiple
Cameron West
Adult Nonfiction RC569.5.M8 W44 1999

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Unlike Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil, which presented a fairly dispassionate and professional view of multiple personality disorder, now called dissociative identity disorder (DID), West's account is an intimate memoir of the pain and frustration he encountered before and after being diagnosed. In his 30s, West began experiencing symptoms of the disorder, including the presence of inner voices, periods of blackout, memory loss and the wrenching feeling that something was deeply amiss. With the expertise of a therapist and the often heroic‘and sometimes courageous‘support of his wife, West eventually identified 24 separate personalities of both sexes and various ages. These "alters" told stories of horrific childhood sexual abuse by family members, which West had erased from his conscious mind. West compellingly recounts his journey toward sanity and his decision to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology in order to better understand his illness. Illustrations from his journal, in which all alters were allowed to write, and drawings done by his child personalities give weight and detail to West's account. Occasionally, in his attempt to get at the experience of DID, West waxes melodramatic and falls back on awkward metaphors. The latter, admittedly, might very well be part of the territory: how can language describe two people passing each other within the same body without awkwardness? Readers who must cope with DID or other debilitating mental illnesses, either in themselves or friends and family, will appreciate West's honesty and insight about the subject. Agent, Laurie Fox. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

West, a psychologist, relates a deeply painful narrative of his battle with dissociative identity disorder (DID). He describes the horrors he endured, both mental and physical, as a child who was grossly abused by his mother, attributing the fragmentation of his adult life to these appalling experiences and telling how his long, happy marriage and family relationships were nearly ruined by the effects of DID. The book is not entirely dark; it provides hope and encouragement to DID victims and suggests how they can be helped through the support and understanding of others. It's also a practical guide for future clinicians, offering insight into a perplexing condition. West concludes with an epilog in which he lays out his theory that abused children can achieve a sense of wholeness through the understanding and acceptance of others and the reinvention of the self. Highly recommended for any public library.‘Yan Toma, Queens Borough P.L., Flushing, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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