FAQ 1/4

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Mar 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/15/99
Archive-name: dissoc-faq/part1
Last-modified: 1996/09/21
Posting-frequency: biweekly FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

=== 1.0 Contents/Overview

Section 1:
1.0 Contents/Overview
1.0.2 Notes
1.1 Acknowledgements
1.1.2 Copyright Notice
1.2 Purpose of Newsgroup
1.2.1 History
1.2.2 Who should post here?
1.3 Posting guidelines and etiquette
1.3.1 Spoilers
1.3.2 Flaming and Harrassing Posts
1.4 Posting anonymously to
Section 2: Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders (formal)
2.0 Overview
2.1 Dissociation
2.1.1 Definition of Dissociation
2.2 Dissociative Disorders
2.2.1 Multiple Personality Disorder
2.2.2 Psychogenic Fugue and Psychogenic Amnesia
2.2.3 Depersonalization Disorder
2.2.4 Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
2.3 Related Disorders
2.3.1 Personality Disorders
2.4 Treating Dissociative Disorders
Section 3: Dissociation and Multiplicity (informal)
3.0 Overview
3.1 An Essay on Dissociation
3.2 Problems and Issues
3.3 The Multiplicity mini-FAQ
Section 4: Abuse and other Trauma
4.0 Overview
4.1 Abuse
4.1.2 Different Types of Abuse
4.1.3 Effects of abuse
4.2 Trauma
4.3.2 Stress
Section 5: Resources
5.0 Overview
5.1 The Internet
5.1.1 Newsgroups
5.1.2 Web Sites
5.1.3 IRC
5.1.4 MUDs
5.2 Publications
5.2.1 Books on Multiplicity
5.2.2 Books on Dissociation
5.2.3 Books on related topics
5.2.4 Other Publications
5.3 Organizations

*** 1.0.2 Notes

The posting of the FAQ is broken into several parts due to its length; I
have tried to avoid breaking in the middle of subsections and will break
at the beginning of a section whenever feasible. Currently, the FAQ is
broken into 4 parts, thusly:

Part 1: Contains section 1
Part 2: Contains section 2
Part 3: Contains section 3
Part 4: Contains sections 4 and 5

Within each part, you may search for the name (or number) of a section to
go to its beginning; to do this in trn, while in an article type g, then
the word you are searching for. In tin, while in the article type a /
and then the word you are searching for. (Thanks Valerians.)

* Abbreviations

There are a number of abbreviations you are likely to see on this
newsgroup. This is a list of some of the more common ones:

DID: "Dissociative Identity Disorder"
EA: emotional abuse
IRC: internet relay chat, a world-wide network of real-time chat channels
MP: multiple personalities
MPD: "Multiple Personality Disorder"
PA: physical abuse
RA: ritual abuse
SA: sexual abuse
aar/a.a.r.: alt.abuse.recovery
aat/a.a.t.: alt.abuse.transcendence
asar/ASAR/a.s.a.r.: alt.sexual.abuse.recovery
asd/a.s.d.: usually,
asdep/a.s-dep/a.s.dep:, another support newsgroup
asdis/a.s-dis/a.s.dis:; this form is used
due to possible confusion with

=== 1.1 Acknowledgements

Primary Author and Editor: Discord (

Many people have helped, both directly and indirectly, with the writing
of this FAQ. Not the least of these have been the readers and posters
to the abuse support groups, the users of the IRC support channels, and
the users of SANCTUARY MUD. Some of these people contributed sections or
aided in their writing, while others made suggestions for things to
include within the FAQ. I appreciate all of them, but at this point to
list everyone who contributed suggestions might take a whole section in
itself (and besides, I'd forget them all).

That having been said, in the case of people contributing sections of the
FAQ, they are credited in that section, except in the case of those
wishing not to be credited. All sections not otherwise marked were
primarily written or compiled by Discord.

The book list is a compilation of many many people's suggestions for
additions, however, I would like to thank Anita Easton, who provided a
rather large section of the booklist.

The mini-FAQ on multiplicity was co-written by myself and Sapphire
Gazelles, based on my original (very incomplete) multiplicity FAQ from
ASAR. I have since edited it beyond the original co-writing, but her
(their) contributions were of immeasurable help.

Some of the information in the formal section on dissociation is taken in
part from the DSM-III-R. I do not own a copy of the DSM-IV at this time;
some of the information might therefore be considered outdated by some

*** 1.1.2 Copyright Notice

This FAQ is copyright (C) 1995 [as a whole] by Discord; the multiplicity
mini-FAQ is copyright (C) 1994 by Discord and Sapphire Gazelles.
Reproduction -in whole- via electronic means [email, newsgroups, and the
Web] is allowed provided this copyright notice remains intact. Reproduction
in part via electronic means is allowed provided that the source (this
FAQ) is credited and the copyright notice is preserved. Individuals may
produce and retain a single hardcopy for personal use only. Any
reproduction for profit without the permission of the FAQ maintainer and
section author(s) is a direct violation of this copyright.

To obtain permission to reproduce this FAQ, send e-mail to
Electronic archive maintainers: a notice of inclusion on your archive is
appreciated. Please contact me for the most up-to-date copy of this FAQ.

=== 1.2 Purpose of Newsgroup

*** 1.2.1 History

In mid-1994, I suggested (anonymously) a group for the discussion of
multiplicity (aka MPD/Multiple Personality Disorder, aka DID/Dissociative
Identity Disorder, aka multiple personalities). It had not, at the time,
occurred to me to discuss the rest of the range of dissociation, but in
discussing the need for the group, someone (I've forgotten who) brought
up the possibility. I thought that this was a very good idea, and
altered my proposal thusly; with no serious objections, the group was
created as (and my thanks to Jonathan Grobe, who
newgrouped it for me).

It is important to note that from the outset, I did not intend this to be
a discussion of multiplicity in and of itself, but rather for the
discussion of the issues surrounding multiplicity (and, later,
dissociation in general). That is to say, while the world at large might
consider the dissociation itself to be a problem, I consider that to be a
secondary issue; the newsgroup is primarily for the discussion of how to
deal with the problems that might be caused by dissociation, as well as
any other issues surrounding dissociation, even if one might not label
those issues "problems".

Other psychological states or disorders with similar issues and/or problems
will probably be mentioned here from time to time, and are welcome to be
discussed here.

*** 1.2.2 Who should post here?

Anyone with an interest in being here, of course. A more specific list is:
people with dissociative processes, including but not limited to multiple
personalities; their SOs (that's "Significant Others" btw), friends,
colleagues and the like; therapists/psychologists with insights into
dealing with problems and issues arising from dissociation, and other
interested parties.

=== 1.3 Posting guidelines and etiquette

Do not ridicule others. Because many of the posters here will be multiples,
they may come across as odd to others. Be understanding that some of the
people posting here may be letting, for instance, a younger alter post, or
one who is severely depressed, and so forth...or they may describe things
that seem unreal to you, but it is what they are experiencing.

Do not suggest that, because someone has not been diagnosed with a
dissociative disorder, that this automatically makes them wrong about what
they are going through. This rule applies to therapists/psychologists as
well as other posters. Especially for therapists/psychologists: do not attempt
to diagnose someone, unless they are asking for an opinion on what they are
experiencing. Those of us who are multiple who will be posting here don't
want to be told we are not...don't you think we'd know? [OK, it could be
something related instead, but if the multiplicity model fits us, and it
works for us, why not let us use it?]

Many people do not consider their dissociation, no matter what the
degree, to be in and of itself a problem, and for many people it is not.
It is merely a different way of dealing with the world, in their case.
They might, however, seek out a group such as this for suggestions on how
to solve issues related to their dissociation.

*** 1.3.1 Spoilers

Do not post about potentially disturbing subjects without giving some sort
of spoiler. A spoiler is a caution/warning that the contents of the post
may be disturbing for a specific reason, followed by about 20 blank lines
to make up a page of text, giving people a chance to skip that note.

When discussing the reasons that one dissociates (whether it is
multiplicity or other forms of dissociation), it is sometimes helpful to
examine the events that led to dissociation (or, with multiples, initial
splits and later splits). Some people reading this newsgroup may not be
at a stage where they can handle particularly blunt descriptions of some
of the more common incidents that lead to people dissociating. So that
people can participate even if they have a number of unresolved triggers,
certain topics should be spoilered. These topics include but are
not limited to: sexual encounters (both positive and negative), all forms
of abuse, suicide attempts, cutting/self-harm, all religious topics
(both pro- and anti-), and integration/fusion. The fact that a topic is
not listed in this FAQ does not mean it necessarily may go unspoilered;
if several people request that a topic be spoilered, these requests
should be heeded.

Please note: although on ASAR discussion of multiplicity itself is often
considered spoiler material, obviously this will not be the case here.

*** 1.3.2 Flaming and Harrassing Posts

Please try to curb your desire to flame people. If you disagree with
someone, express it in a rational manner. This is in keeping with general
USENET etiquette, but given the recent problems on ASAR, I feel it bears
repeating. At least twice.

Posts of a harrassing nature will be responded to by e-mailing the
administrator of the site of the harrassing poster, with a copy of the
harassing post, as well as a brief explanation of why I find the post to
be harrassing. A copy of the note will be cc'd to the poster.

While not considered harrassing, posts that are seriously off-topic will
be responded to with an explanation of why I feel the note was off-topic.
Repeated posts on that topic by the same person will be forwarded to the
administrator of the poster's site.

If you find a post to be harrassing, please refrain from following up to
it with a flame; if you feel you must do something about it, forwarding a
copy of the post to the administrator of the site in question is not a
bad idea, however. Following up to the note, while it may relieve your
anger/outrage, will not help the newsgroup.

If you receive harrassing e-mail due to a post on this newsgroup, my
suggestion is for you to do the same; forward a copy of the e-mail to the
administrator of the site of the harrasser.

If you are not sure who to send the post to, a note to root@<site.domain>
will usually be sufficient. Many sites have a specific news
administrator, usually news@<site.domain>.

=== 1.4 Posting anonymously to

Because of the sensitive nature of the topics to be discussed here, some
people may not feel comfortable unless they have a way to post anonymously.
With the closing of, however, the only suggestions I can offer
are the following.

Firstly, Fuzzy -- a long-time regular from ASAR -- runs,
where you can get accounts under a pseudonym. While mail sent to those
accounts is in the clear -- i.e., it does NOT anonymize sender the way
penet did -- it does protect the account holder. e-mail for information on how to get an account.

Secondly, there is twwells, information for which is posted periodically
by the person who runs the service. I personally have severe problems
with that service's reputation, but it's up to each of you whether or not
you feel it's justified, and I'm not going to go into my reasons here.
I include the information because it IS an option, despite not being one
I personally recommend.

Lastly, there are a number of remailers, which do not allow anonymous
e-mail, but will allow anonymous posting. I don't have information on
exactly how to go about using them, and the list of which ones are
actually available changes regularly, so my suggestion is that you read
through alt.privacy.anon-server and keep current that way.


Mar 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/15/99
Archive-name: dissoc-faq/part2
Last-modified: 1996/03/15
Posting-frequency: biweekly

Section 2
Dissociation and
Dissociative Disorders:
A Formal Look

=== 2.0 Overview

This section contains a somewhat formalized look at dissociation and
dissociative disorders, as well as containing information on some
disorders that the author feels are related, either symptomatically or in
their effects.

=== 2.1 Dissociation

*** 2.1.1 Definition of Dissociation

Dissociation is the state in which, on some level or another, one becomes
somewhat removed from "reality", whether this be daydreaming, performing
actions without being fully connected to their performance ("running on
automatic"), or other, more disconnected actions. It is the opposite of
"association" and involves the lack of association, usually of one's
identity, with the rest of the world.

A dissociative disorder would be one in which the degree of dissociation
(or the frequency of it) is such that one's functioning is somehow
impaired. The DSM-III-R defines a dissociative disorder, generally, as
one in which there "is a disturbance or alteration in the normally
integrative functions of idneity, memory, or consciousness. The
distrubance or alteration may be sudden or gradual, and transient or

It is important to note that a certain amount of dissociation is
considered completely normal; most (if not all) people experience
dissociation at least periodically in their life, and some mental health
workers consider dissociation to be a healthy defense mechanism, provided
the dissociation itself does not cause impairment of functioning.

=== 2.2 Dissociative Disorders

Some mental health care workers and psychological researchers disagree
with the definition of dissociative disorders as presented in the
DSM-III-R, as they feel it is an arbitrary definition; they feel that
dissociation is an aspect of many other, similar disorders. Because of
that, it is difficult to list just what is a dissociative disorder.

The DSM-III-R considers the following to be dissociative disorders:

Multiple Personality Disorder (in DSM-IV, dissociative identity disorder)
Psychogenic Fugue
Psychogenic Amnesia
Depersonalization Disorder

*** 2.2.1 Multiple Personality Disorder

Multiple Personality Disorder is defined as the existence within a person
of two or more distinct personalities or personality states, in which at
least 2 of these personalities "take control" of the functioning of the
body at given points. Each personality controls the body seperately, and
there is a memory loss for at least some personalities when others are in
control of the body.

Other personalities may have wildly different traits, belief systems,
relationships, names, and so forth. Some clinical studies have shown
that EEGs differ by personality. The personalities may themselves have
other psychological disorders, such as depression; these disorders may be
present in only one, some, or all of the personalities.

The degree of interaction and/or cooperation of the personalities varies
extremely; the degree of co-consciousness (the state of being able to
share memories of the various personalties' actions, and being able to
cooperate in the control of the body) also varies extremely.

Age of onset for MPD is usually (nearly always) in childhood. In nearly
all cases of MPD, there was childhood abuse or other severe childhood
trauma. MPD is noted in females more often than in males. The degree of
impairment ranges from minimal to extreme. No figures are available on
the prevalnce of MPD (and this is a hotly contested area).

Differential Diagnoses:

Psychogenic Fugue and Psychogenic Amnesia, while having some of the
qualities of MPD, do not have the shifts in personality.

Schizophrenia sometimes includes fragmented thought and the perception of
voices in ones head, as well as a feeling of being controlled by another
entity; however, the shift in control does not appear as it does within
MPD, and schizophrenic patients generally report their voices as being
external in origin.

Borderline Personality Disorder is marked by instability in mood, action
and thoughts; however, these different, conflicting ideas, beliefs, and
goals are resident within a single personality.

*** 2.2.2 Psychogenic Fugue and Psychogenic Amnesia

Psychogenic Fugue is the assumption of a new identity and the inability to
recall one's previous identity; it involves a complete switch in
lifestyle, including home and/or work recall. This is usually caused by
severe psychosocial stress, such as severe marital problems, being a
part of military conflict, or being in some type of natural disaster.

Psychogenic Amnesia is a sudden inability to recall important personal
information, when not due to any organic cause. Like Psychogenic Fugue,
this is usually caused by severe psychosocial stress

Both psychogenic fugue and psychogenic amnesia are sudden, and they both
are usually fairly short-lived, with a complete recovery made. They are
most common during wartime or just after a natural disaster.

Differential Diagnoses include epilepsy and other forms of amnesia; both
are also sometimes feigned (malingering).

*** 2.2.3 Depersonalization Disorder

Depersonalization disorder is either a persistent or recurring alteration
in one's perception of one's self, such as a feeling of detachment from
one's actions or thoughts, or feeling like an observer of one's own
actions. Alternatively, one may feel as if one is an automaton, without
conscious will of one's actions, or feel as if one is dreaming, rather
than actually performing, one's actions.

Depersonalization Disorder is caused by severe stress; it is not
uncommon to have a single instance of depersonalization (but this is
usually not recurrent or persistent) due to stress. It is usually found
in younger adults (late adolescence/early adulthood).

Depersonalization may be accompanied by derealization, the alteration of
one's perception of one's surroundings, which leads to the feeling that
the world is not real. It is sometimes also accompanied by dizziness,
depression, anxiety, or other similar disorders.

Differential Diagnoses include many mood disorders, organic disorders,
anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Although
not listed in the DSM-III-R as a differential diagoisis, MPD may have
similar traits.

*** 2.2.4 Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

DDNOS is a convenient diagnostic label used to mean that the disorder,
while not matching any other disorder, involves dissociation. People
with partial symptoms of the above disorders might be diagnosed as DDNOS.

Because this is a purely diagnostic category, there is no way to actually
define it; you might, however, see or hear people mention that this is
how their therapist has diagnosed them. A common use of this category
is when a person does not meet the diagnostic criteria of MPD, but
exhibits most of the symptoms and history of someone with MPD.

=== 2.3 Related Disorders

There are a great many disorders which have, at least in part, some
similar symptoms to the dissociative disorders, or result in similar

Primarily among these are personality disorders, as might not be
surprising to those who look at the name "Multiple Personality Disorder".
In particular, Borderline Personality Disorder would seem to result in
the type of issues that many multiples experience, as would identity

Some mood disorders might also result in similar functional problems.
Schizophrenia is considered by some to be similar to MPD.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) might be considered by some people
to be a related disorder, as its causes are similar to that of MPD and
other dissociative disorders (i.e., severe stress and/or trauma).

Although perhaps not clinically similar, it would seem that autism and
related disorders create similar types of disfunction to dissociative

*** 2.3.1 Personality Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder is defined as instability in mood,
self-image, and relationships, including indecision about serious issues
of identity (one's goals, sexual orientation, values/ethics/morals,
self-image, and the like). Some of the symptoms include:

* Instability in one's personal relationships
* Impulsiveness to the point of self-damage (substance abuse, impulsive
sexual activity, etc.)
* Instability of mood, such as short-term depression or anxiety/panic.
* Inappropriate or uncontrolled anger
* Recurrent attempts/threats of suicide or self-mutilation
* Identity disturbance/marked uncertainty about: one's self-image,
sexual orientation, long-term goals, and the like
* Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness
* Anxiety about and frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

Identity disorder, considered a disorder of childhoood and adolescence,
is severe distress arising from the inability to create an integrated and
cohesive (as well as acceptable) sense of self. Symptoms include severe
stress regarding uncertainty over one's long-term goals, career choice,
friendship patterns, sexual orientation, religious identification,
morals/values, group loyalties, and other important decisions, accompanied
by impairment in one's functioning due to this stress and uncertainty.

==== 2.4 Treating Dissociative Disorders
Updated 3/15/96

ISSD has published a formal set of guidelines for treating dissociative
disorders; it is now available at their site, which is at

[The following is the information that was here in lieu of formal
guidelines; these were summarized from a number of books addressing the
treatment of dissociation.]

Treatment has two goals: firstly, to allow the normal functioning of
a highly dissociative person, and secondly, to treat the underlying cause
of dissociation. These goals are generally interconnected and are dealt
with simultaneously.

Since most dissociative disorders result from extreme stress and/or
trauma, and are also exacerbated for that stress, teaching the highly
dissociative person to deal with stress is one method of treatment.
Learning to work around one's stress would seem to be essential in
reaching a plateau of functionality.

For deep-rooted trauma, hypnosis is often used to aid in the recall,
examination of, and transcendence of the past trauma. Dealing with the
memories of abuse, for instance, is vital in the recovery process.

In multiplicity, learning to communicate with one's personalities and
sharing of control and memory between the personalities is also vital.
Talking with individual personalities and encouraging them to cooperate
seems to be the easiest method of achieving this goal.

There is some debate as to whether complete fusion into one "whole"
personality is necessary to cure the disorders. For some, the goal is
instead integration into several, co-conscious personalities which
function together in the control of the body and in performing the
day-to-day functions necessary to live. For others, complete fusion
into one personality may well be necessary to achieve normal functioning.

Regardless of the course of treatment, it is usually long-term, taking
several years to achieve what the therapist considers normality.
However, once the dissociative person enters treatment for their
dissociation (as opposed to any associated disorders they may have),
treatment is almost always successful.

This FAQ is copyright (C) 1995, 1996. See section 1.1.2 in part 1
for full copyright notice.


Mar 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/15/99
Archive-name: dissoc-faq/part3
Last-modified: 1995/05/14
Posting-frequency: biweekly

Section 3
An Informal Look
>From an Insider

=== 3.0 Overview

This section deals with multiplicity from the standpoint of the multiple,
as well as the authors personal take on what dissociation really is, and
the issues that may surround the dissociative person. Some of this
directly contradicts "formal" studies of dissociation, but since it was
written from the viewpoint of a multiple, this is hardly surprising. ;)

=== 3.1 An Essay on Dissociation

You will find that many people have many different views on what
consitutes dissociation, who does it, and whether or not the simple
existence of dissociative processes in a person constitute a problem (or
when they do).

However, this is my own personal viewpoint, with some input from others
that helped me shape this section.

Consciously or not, temporarily or not, dissociation is a process in
which you assume a role or roles that are markedly different from the one
you might usually have. This includes a wide spectrum of things.

An example of an every-day dissociative process would be, perhaps not
surprisingly, actors. Actors often immerse themselves in their roles, and
while they are on stage are actually the person they are portraying.

An Example:

Joe Smith, Actor.
Joe Smith is portraying Hamlet on stage, and the play is in progress.
During this time, he is no longer Joe Smith, the actor, but instead
_becomes_ Hamlet. He is thinking what Hamlet would think, saying what
Hamlet would say, using his speech patterns, his body language, his
belief system, his views of the world. For a short period of time at
he, they _is_ Hamlet. After the play is through, he becomes Joe Smith,
actor, again. Possibly when he goes home, he becomes Joe Smith, private
person who is little if anything like "Joe Smith, actor."

While he is on stage/being Hamlet, he is using dissociation to keep Joe
Smith's thoughts, body language, etc. out of the way. He has become
Hamlet to give a truer representation of Hamlet.

Likewise, the simple act of daydreaming could be considered a form,
albeit a very minor one, of dissociation.

Most people probably dissociate to some degree or another hundreds of
times during their life. And most of those would not be reading this

So let us focus a bit more on the type of dissociative states I expect
people reading this newsgroup would have.

There are, as talked about elsewhere, multiples. Multiples are people
who have dissociated fairly extremely (although there is, of course, a
wide variance with multiples). There are people who dissociate just
enough to be able to deal with wildly different situations in a smoother
way. There are people who use dissociation as a tool, deliberately
inducing in themselves a dissociative state (possibly to the point of
multiplicity) so that they can perform in a way that their usual state of
being might not allow.

A good example of this might be people who are psychic or who perform
acts of magick. [Note to skeptics: Feel free to be skeptical. Maybe they
aren't actually performing feats of psionics or magick, but they _think_
they are, and this is the tool they use.]

In any event, sometimes the dissociation can lead to problems. What
happens if you create this dissociative process and it begins interfering
with your usual state, or with other dissociative processes you created.
What happens if this dissociation _becomes_ your "usual state"? What
happens if you no longer _have_ a "usual state"?

I'd say that means you have a problem.

=== 3.2 Problems and Issues

Please bear in mind that I am not a psychologist or therapist, nor do I
think that my suggestions are necessarily right for everyone. However, I
have also never been to a therapist, and as a multiple myself, I cope with
it just fine even without therapy. Remember that this is an informal look
of things one can do to cope with the problems and issues arising from
multiplicity and related conditions.

If you are experiencing severe problems and dysfunction/impairment of day
to day living, I _would_ urge you to seek out a therapist or psychologist
that is sympathetic and understanding of these types of disorders. If you
cannot find one easily, you could come to the Internet for suggestions,
as a stopgap measure (although some have found healing solely from the

I would like to stress to people that they should not automatically
label dissociation (yes, that includes multiplicity) as a problem. For
many people, it is not. Sometimes the dissociation opens up new issues or
causes problems for a person, but sometimes it does not.

Some issues that seem specific to multiples (but might in a way apply to
other related conditions).

* Alters with different religions, especially if one or more have
even a small amount of religious intolerance.
* Alters with different goals in life
* Alters with different sexual orientation (including no interest)
* Alters with large differences in likes or dislikes
* Alters who, themselves, have a psychological problem
* Course of healing: should it include integration/fusion?

Some issues that might well apply to all dissociative disorders.

* Recovering lost memories/lost time periods
* Re-settling into life after an abrupt change (whether via fugue or
the actions of an alter)
* Deciding on a course of action regarding exploration of issues mentioned
above (i.e., sexual orientation, uncertain goals, religion)

=== 3.3 The Multiplicity mini-FAQ
[written by Discord and the Sapphire Gazelles]

TERMS (definitions may vary somewhat)
* alter/persona: one person/aspect of the multiple.
* birth person: the alter that was present originally, before splitting
(not everybody has one)
* host: the body and/or the "main" alter (not everybody has one)
* shell person: an "outside" alter that is run by "remote control"
* MP: Multiple Personality/ies
* multiple/multiple unit: referring to a single multiple system
* multiple system: defined below
* integration/co-consciousness: refers to a degree of cooperation between
alters that includes the ability to coordinate actions between alters,
as well as communication between them and the ability to share
* fusion: merging all the alters into one

Q: "What is/are MP/MPD/multiple personalities, multiplicity?"

Multiple personalities [also known as multiplicity, MP (for Multiple
Personalities) and MPD (for Multiple Personality Disorder, something
most people who ARE multiple find insulting)] means basically
what it says: someone who has multiple persons/personalities living
inside of one body. These are referred to here as alters. (As of the
DSM-IV, this condition is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, but most
people here will probably not use the official term.)

Multiples, and people who come to deal with them, are aware of these
different alters as completely separate people, rather than
different facets of the same person. For instance, someone who was
utterly professional and cold at work but who was a rocking metal-head
partier at home would not (necessarily) be multiple just because
of the wide difference in the way they acted in different situations.
[They might, however, be considered dissociative.] In fact, some
multiple systems have within them alters who are very similar to one
another, differing so slightly that sometimes the multiples themselves
have difficulty telling them apart.

The differentiating factors can vary greatly. One of the possible ways to
tell them apart is names, but many multiples have several alters of the
same name. Some might _all_ have the same name.

The various alters can be of the same or different gender as the
body, including being of no gender at all. They often have different
likes, dislikes, tastes, etc. They often have different body language, speech
patterns, and sometimes, voices. There are cases where eye color differs.
Many have different abilities, physical and mental. They may be
of widely varying ages. Sometimes they will self-identify as having
separate racial/cultural backgrounds or native languages. Often they have
different religions. Some studies have shown that different alters have
different brain wave patterns (EEG readings), although this is a topic
under dispute.

There can be as much variance within a multiple system as there would
be in your average room full of people.

Q: "How does this differ from different moods in a singular person?"

Example: A singular person may be, at heart, a quiet, introverted person.
If sie is suddenly very chatty, there will be a reason for this, such as
extreme comfort with those around, or nervousness. Or sie may be a
chatty, extroverted person, and if sie is quiet then sie feels ill or
uncomfortable. A multiple, however, may have alters who are extroverted
and alters who are painfully shy, or even mute or autistic. The differences
you see may be/often are due to different alters, not moods.

A person who has varying states of being for various situations might
well be dissociated to some extent, but not be multiple. There isn't
really a clear dividing line between simple changes of mood,
dissociation, and multiplicity. Everyone dissociates to some degree;
one interesting theory is that in a way, everyone is multiple.

Q: "What precisely do people mean by 'the birth person'?"

The birth person is the alter that was present from the beginning,
the one born into the body, who was present before the multiple
system was created. Some multiples believe they were born multiple.
In any event, the birth person may be the host (although certainly
not always) and/or the main alter (again, certainly not always) and
therefore often goes by the name of the body, at least officially.

The birth person may be still at the age where the original split
occurred, having missed all the time in the interim. The birth person
may not be accessible to those alters who are generally out.

Q: "What is the core personality?"

The core personality is often the same as the birth personality, but we
have been informed that this is not necessarily the case. The multiple
who so informed us tells us that in their case, the core was _created_ to
be the holder of the memories and, later, the main adult alter. However,
this is not the same as their birth person.

Q: "What is the host personality?"

For some people, this is the same as their birth person and/or the same
as their core personality. For others, it is the personality which most
often runs the body, dealing with the day-to-day functioning of the
system as a whole. Some people have more than one host personality, or a
sub-system of alters who function as host personalities, either singly or
in groups.

Q: "Do all multiples have a birth person?"

Some multiples do not think they have a birth person, or consider
all alters to be part of the birth person. Whether or not this means they
do not have a birth person, or that they just aren't aware of one, I'm not
sure. However, I'm not sure it matters...what matters is how the multiple
in question views themselves.

Q: "What causes multiplicity?"

In many (if not most) cases, severe trauma at an early age (by early, we
mean before, say age 5), although there are definitely exceptions to this.
Please bear in mind that "severe" is an entirely subjective term.

In people who developed their multiplicity as a result of trauma, the
trauma was very likely some sort of abuse: physical, sexual, psychological,
emotional, or religious/magickal. Usually this abuse began at a very
early age and was long-standing.

Other trauma, such as witnessing a death, or the abuse of someone close
to you, or possibly just living in a family where there is a great deal
of negative emotion expressed, could be sufficient.

Some people who developed multiplicity as a child did so because they had
a dissociative role model, perhaps a parent.

Some people explore identity or alternate identity games, like role
playing, acting, pretending, or alternate social structures to the
point where they begin to question their original identity. In some
cases, these identities can take on aspects, experiences, and problems
which are essentially identical to those experienced by multiples who
experienced trauma. This effect seems to be most prevalent in people
who explore in their adolescence.

Some multiples are unaware of any initial trauma. Whether such trauma
exists and the memories blocked or whether no such trauma exists is
usually impossible to determine.

It is also possible to partition one's adult life so rigidly as to
create the effect of multiplicity. This sometimes happens if the
person uses multiple names, has multiple residences, multiple jobs,
multiple social contexts, or simply separates work and social life
distinctly. After a period of time, each facet grows its own
relationships, experiences, and skills which may or may not overlap
into other life contexts. This rigid partitioning can also closely
resemble the experience and presentation of multiplicity.

Q: "If abuse at an early age can cause multiplicity, why aren't all
people abused at that age multiple?"

Everyone deals with trauma in a different way. A constant among
multiples seems to be that they are intelligent and creative in
a particular sort of way. While there are people who were abused
who are intelligent and creative who did NOT become multiple,
they probably found a different way of dealing with it (repressing
the memory seems fairly common; sometimes, sadly, the way they
deal with it is "not at all").

What seems to happen in most cases is that, to escape the pain/trauma/abuse,
the multiple splits off a portion of their "self" (soul, mind, however you
would like to look at it), so that _that_ portion can deal with the
abuse/trauma and they do not have to. [It is possible that the split-off
portion may be the portion that does _not_ have to deal with the abuse;
there is at least one case like that known to the Gazelles.] This initial
split often occurs at the moment of trauma/during the abuse. The split off
portion somehow attains reality as a person, possibly through pure creative

This is not necessarily the _only_ way that initial splits happen, nor does
the split have to be into just two people...the original could fragment
into many parts, all at once, for instance.

Once the splitting mechanism is in place, many multiples split easily,
often even creating an alter for dealing with specific non-abusive people
and situations. This allows the multiple to have the "perfect" person for
each situation.

Q: "How many alters can a multiple have?"

Err...infinite numbers, I suppose.
Each alter, from the birth person on, can split again and again
into 2 or 3 or 5 or more parts, and so on and so forth. Further
stress usually causes further splits.

Some multiples seem to create alters, rather than split them off. That
is, an alter will appear who really has little in common with any of the
existing alters, and doesn't seem to have split off from them.

Sometimes the alters merge into a new (or into an old) alter, lessening
the number, either because they need to form a alter that combines the
qualities of others, or because the degree of separateness is no longer
needed, or for no reason at all.

The highest number of alters within a system we are aware of is something
around 700, and we have heard claims of multiple systems with alters in the
thousands. The lowest is, as you might expect, 2.

Many multiples fall in the double-digit range, that is, 10 to 99. It seems
it is rare to have less than 5 alters. There are a number of multiples that
have a count in the lower hundreds (100, 200, maybe 300), but it also seems
to be rare to have more than that.

Q: "I've heard of something called a 'walk-in person', what's that?"

Despite the lack of belief many people have for this, there are a large
number of multiples who have what seem to be alters that did not originate
via a split or creation by the multiple system, but rather came in from the

It seems that, when one or more of the alters need help that the
system itself cannot provide, sometimes an outside source (a ghost,
a spirit, a "mythical" beast) shows up, moves in, unpacks, and says
"Where can I start?"

You don't have to believe it. But think of it as a kind of guardian
spirit, only this one lives inside the mind. (And try not to let your
skepticism get in the way.)

Q: "What's an internal landscape?"

An internal landscape refers to how the multiple "sees" the inside
of hir mind. It's where the alters live. It can vary greatly
both from multiple to multiple as well as from alter to alter
(for instance, one alter might live in a castle with a moat
and a drawn draw-bridge, whereas one "right next door" might live
in a city block). These are their internal homes, where they go when
they are not helping run things, or when they are hiding, or whatever.

Some people think that their internal landcape is actually a link to the
Astral Plane. Some people don't believe there is any such thing. I'm not
sure it matters.

Not all multiples have an internal landscape. (For that matter, not
everyone with an internal landscape is multiple.)

Q: "Can you explain how the various alters run the body/interact/etc.?"


Oh, sorry. This differs so much from multiple system to multiple
system that I don't know where to start.

For some, each alter takes turns experiencing and performing
actions and talking and so forth, sometimes without the others knowing
that it is happening. For some, the alters can jointly run
the body, either in tandem (picture two or more alters sitting
around in a control room, discussing rapidly what to do/say and
sharing the feelings), or by partially merging/overlaying.

For those who have alters who are co-conscious, the degree of consciousness
experienced may vary by alter, by situation, or just by whim. The alters
sometimes may choose how much they feel/decide/interact.

The alters not currently helping run things may or may not retain
memories, emotions/feelings, and so forth. They further may or
may not have any access at all to such, either vicariously (like
watching a video) or more personally (accessing the memories and
feeling as if it DID happen to them) or something in between.
They might talk to one another, they might not.

Q: "Isn't this confusing?"

Yes. :)

When several alters are out at once, they may talk at the same time,
causing incredibly garbled sentences to emerge. Or they may listen at
the same time, causing, for example, each of two alters to catch every
other word in a sentence. When this happens, neither of them will
understand what was said.

Additionally, switches may cause disorientation, even within multiples
that are co-conscious to some degree.

For multiple systems that are particularly integrated/co-conscious, it may
be difficult to have a sense of self at times. It is possible to not be
sure who was "doing", and who was just watching. This seems to be
exacerbated with greater similarity between alters.

People who are dissociative but not multiple probably find themselves
with similar feelings to those who are somewhat integrated/co-conscious.

Q: "Who has the ultimate control in the body? Is it the host person?"

This (like everything) varies from system to system. In many systems,
the alter with the veto power is the core, the host, or both. Sometimes
guardian alters have the most control.

Sometimes everyone has control; anyone can wrest control away from anyone
else. This, as you can imagine, has its downside, but it works fairly
well for a number of systems.

In a well-integrated system (co-conscious), things are often decided by
a set number of alters, through a strictly democratic system, or
something similar to that. There may or may not be alters with effective
veto power in these cases.

Q: "How do you communicate with other alters?"

This varies.

Sometimes it's through what would be speech if it were outside the body;
telepathy might be a reasonable word for hears the words the
other alter speaks.

Sometimes it's through a sort of telepathy without words--you just know
what the other alter is trying to convey. This can either only happen
when the alter wishes to communicate things or happen when you wish to
find things out ("mind-reading" of a sort).

Sometimes this mind-reading/telepathy is accompanied by insight into the
alter's feelings (empathy). Some alters communicate solely through

Sometimes the various alters take turns controlling the body so as to
physically speak.

Sometimes it's a mix of all of this.

In the case of "mind-reading" and "empathy", sometimes it is not possible
to shut out the alters thoughts or feelings when communicating with them.
Feelings sometimes "bleed over" into the various alters communicating.
Some systems teach the various alters how to shield their feelings and
thoughts from other alters so that communication is strictly deliberate.

Q: "Do I have to lose time/have complete amnesia between alters to
be multiple?"


Despite what the DSM publishes, many multiples do not lose time, or only
some of their alters do. Often, it is only the alters who are out the
least often who miss periods of time. Particularly in the case of
integrated/co-conscious multiples, even alters who do not experience a
particular act as their own can be in some way made aware of the passage
of time and the actions during that time.

Q: "What is 'switching'?"

Switching refers to a change in the configuration of who is "out",
"up front", or "in control" in a multiple system.

Switching may be as drastic as a complete switch between two alters,
where the new alter has no idea where sie is or how sie got there. It
may be as mild as a shift in the configuration, where one of the several
alters currently out departs and a new one emerges.

For some, switching involves little or no effort, nothing is lost during
the switching, and switching out of control does not necessarily mean the
alter doing so will lose anything either. For others, switching involves
anything from a brief fuzziness of recent memory or a small perceptual jump
to a complete sense of disorientation/fugue including time loss, not
knowing where one is, or what one was doing.

Q: "Isn't schizophrenia the same as multiplicity?"
[or: Some things "the average person" might mistake multiplicity for.]

Schizophrenia: It's not. Although some of the symptoms may look the same,
both to outsiders and the multiple. For a more detailed discussion on this,
see Section 2 of the FAQ.

Manic/Depressive, Bipolar, or Cyclic Disorders: Commonly referred to as
mood swings. Multiplicity may involve what looks like mood swings if the
alters are not in similar states of mind, and one or more alters may
themselves have mood swings, but it _is_ a seperate disorder.

Other forms of dissociation: These are so close to multiplicity that
there is a large grey area between them. However, there are people who
are dissociative who do not in any way consider themselves multiple.

Q: "How can I tell if I'm multiple?"

NOTE and CAUTION: We (Discord and the Sapphire Gazelles) do NOT claim to
be able to diagnose a multiple in 3 easy steps. However, these are some
classic symptoms/signs that one is multiple. This is not meant to be a
complete list, nor does the absence of a symptom from this list mean you
are not multiple. If in doubt, and it is of concern to you, you may wish to
discuss this with a therapist.

A brief listing of some common symptoms:

* losing time/being in a new place or situation with no memory of how
you got there
* feeling "little"/like a child
* sudden disorientation/feeling as if you missed something
* memories seen as happening to someone else
* memories available only sporadically, possibly including non-abuse and
recent memories
* inadvertent use of the word "we" to refer to self
* frequent out-of-character actions that surprise even you
* actions that are overset with a haziness, as if you aren't really in
control of what's going on; feeling removed from one's actions
* other people noting one or more of the above in you
* likewise, other people discussing with you things they say you did/said
but that you yourself have little or no memory of, provided that you
were not under the influence of any sort of drug at the time

Q: "What is an inner child? Is this the same as being multiple?"

An inner child is a portion of oneself that retains a sense of being a
child to some extent or another. In Discord's opinion, people who have
this inner child are dissociative, but not necessarily multiple. Some
peole think that everyone has some sort of inner child, even if it is
a rather dusty and disused portion of the self. Some people might
disagree that the inner child is a dissociated part of one's self.

**** Dealing with multiples, a suggestion.

When dealing with someone who is multiple, remember that each
of those alters are *different* people. They just happen to
be wearing the same body. One may do or say something, and
another may either disagree or not even remember what happened.
Some alters have very specific jobs and you will only see
them when they need to do those jobs (or you may never see
them if they have internal jobs). Some may not even be aware
that the others exist. You may like some, and dislike others.
Nevertheless, try to some extent to keep in mind that you are dealing with
separate people. Sometimes its hard, but it *is* possible.

Psychology teaches that the people within are not seperate people
and that may, when it comes down to it, be the case. Even if they are
write and I (and other multiples) are wrong, it still would seem
courteous to treat them as if they were, keeping in mind the varying
likes and dislikes, the varying actions and beliefs, etc.

This FAQ is copyright (C) 1995. See section 1.1.2 in part 1 for full
copyright notice.


Mar 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/15/99
Archive-name: dissoc-faq/part4
Last-modified: 1997/10/19
Posting-frequency: biweekly


Section 4
Abuse and other Trauma


=== 4.0 Overview

In discussing dissociation, it is important to note that most
dissociation is a result of trauma or stress. (The exceptions are
usually those people who deliberately/consciously dissociate for
reasons other than stress or trauma.) Because of this, I wanted to
include a brief section on abuse, stress, and trauma.

=== 4.1 Abuse

Abuse comes in all sorts of different types, results in different
effects, and is both perpetrated by an experienced by people from every
age group, racial/ethnic group, religious group, country, gender, and
sexual orientation. Abuse may be more common in some of these groups, as
well as more commonly perpetrated by people from some groups, but anyone
can abuse, and anyone can be abused.

A simplistic definition of abuse would be any action that is done to
someone without their full, informed consent. I call this simplistic in
part because it fails to define what constitutes consent.

Generally speaking, abuse is harmful. There are some actions that some
people may consider abusive, that subjectively may not seem harmful (to
either the perpetrator or the victim of the abuse).

It is thought that nearly 1/4 of all people in the U.S. have been (or
will be at some time in their life) abused in some way. Since abuse is
often hidden both by the perpetrator and the victim, there is not
currently a realistic way to measure just how much abuse occurs, the
usual length of the such abuse, the gender of abused and abuser, and so
forth; many studies have been done on the issue and they have turned up
many conflicting answers.

*** 4.1.2 Different Types of Abuse

Abuse may be physical, emotional/verbal, sexual, ritualistic in nature,
religious, financial, or some combination of these.

Physical abuse is straight physical harm: beatings, whippings, punching,
hitting, kicking, scratching, slapping, and the like. (Non-consensual, of
course; the author wants to differentiate this from consensual whipping,
scratching, biting, and so forth.)

Sexual abuse is sexual actions done without one's partner's consent.
This ranges from feeling someone up without their consent to sexual
intercourse. Sexual abuse is often combined with physical abuse, as in
violent rape.

Some people believe that all sexual contact with children is
automatically sexual abuse. The definition of "child" in this case
varies, but it would seem most people agree that any pre-pubescent
individual is a child.

Some people believe that discussing sex in an inappropriate way,
particularly with a child, is sexual abuse; I might be more inclined to
call it emotional abuse, but it can in fact be abuse.

Sexual contact between two relatives is incest and is a form of sexual
abuse in some cases, such as a parent and its child.

Emotional/verbal abuse is somewhat harder to define, but a simplistic
definition would include name-calling, put-downs, and the like.
Consistently telling someone that they are worthless is emotional abuse,
for example. Telling someone they are not worthy of love is emotional
abuse. Withholding of affection is also emotional abuse. Manipulation
of someone so that they do precisely what the manipulator wants is
emotional abuse. ("If you loved me, you'd do x." "If you don't do this,
you are worthless.")

Ritualistic abuse, usually for religious reasons, is said by many not to
exist; however, the author fully believes that it does. Ritualistic
abuse is physical, sexual, or emotional abuse used in the context of a
religious rite, such as raping someone as part of the rite.

Religious abuse is not just ritualistic abuse, but also such things as
using religious tenets to excuse physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Excusing one's physical abuse because the abuse victim is "evil", for
instance, would in this author's opinion be religious abuse as well as
physical abuse.

Financial abuse is controlling, through whatever means, someone's
financial resources, including money for food, clothing, shelter,
luxuries, and the like. It is often accompanied by some other form of
abuse; for instance, forcing someone to sign their check over to the
perpetrator by beating that person.

*** 4.1.3 Effects of abuse

Abuse can leave both physical and mental scars on the victim.

Some physical effects include visible scars and mutilation, the inability
to bear or father children (or danger in bearing children), limps, and
even such extremes as missing limbs, blindness, or paralyzation. The most
extreme physical effect of abuse is death, and that does happen.

The mental effects are endless.

Most common are a low self-esteem and depression, sometimes short-lived,
other times pervasive and long-lasting. Survivors of long-term abuse
also frequently experience anxiety/panic attacks, memory loss, flashbacks
of the abuse; the inability to form permanent, healthy relationships;
impaired sexual functioning; extreme fear and (self-imposed) social
isolation. Dissociation is also a common effect of abuse, whether this
be mild or extreme. Other neuroses and psychoses also have their root in

Childhood abuse, even when not particularly extreme, is often
subjectively much worse than abuse experienced as an adult. Freqently,
abused children live much of their adult life disfunctional, due to the
depth of depression, extreme low self-esteem, and sometimes the extremity
of dissociation so common to abused children. These children often grow
up to have little or no sense of self-worth, and frequently turn to
self-mutilation, self-destructive behaviors such as addiction or the
(often subconscious) seeking out of abusive partners, excessive unhealthy
sexual behavior, and sometimes suicide.

=== 4.2 Trauma

Other types of trauma can lead to psychological problems; there is a
well-defined link between dissociation and trauma.

Traumatic events are purely subjective; what one person might be able to
deal with will send another into hysterics. However, some common forms
of trauma include:

* Death of a lover/spouse, close friend, or family member.
* War, either as a soldier or a civilian.
* Destruction of one's home and possessions.
* Witnessing a violent crime, especially one perpetrated on
someone close to you.
* Being the victim of a violent crime.

Like abuse, trauma can result in severe depression, extreme dissociation,
amnesia, flashbacks, anxiety/panic attacks, and the like. Depending on
the type of trauma (abuse being a specific subset of trauma, for
instance), other psychological disorders may develop. Addiction to a
drug (including alcohol) is fairly prevalent in people who have suffered
a traumatic event. PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a
long-lasting and severe effect of traumatic events.

*** 4.3.2 Stress

While most people can deal with a fairly large amount of stress without
lasting psychological problems, it is possible for extreme and/or long-
lasting stress to produce problems similar to those experienced by people
who have suffered from trauma.

I mention stress here only because it is known that extreme and/or long-
lasting stress can lead to dissociation in some degree; in fact, even a
small amount of stress can lead to mild, short-lived dissociation.

Section 5

=== 5.0 Overview

The following are various resources on dissociation, abuse, and other
topics covered by this FAQ.

=== 5.1 The Internet

The Internet offers a fairly large number of support groups on various
topics, including abuse, depression, and other things that might be of
interest to readers of There are also some
places to go for information about these subjects.

*** 5.1.1 Newsgroups

There are a number of newsgroups that are, in some way, related to this
one; the abuse support groups, due to the large number of dissociative
people who have suffered abuse; the other support groups due to the
people who have other difficulties besides their dissociation.

* alt.sexual.abuse.recovery, commonly known as ASAR, is primarily for
survivors of sexual abuse. Survivors of other forms of abuse have been
welcomed there, and discussion of non-sexual abuse is often found,
although many of the people there have suffered more than one typ eof
abuse. The group also has SO's of people who have been abused, and even
a few people who have not been abused at all, but have some other
interest in reading the group. PLEASE read the FAQ before posting to
ASAR, at least the section on posting etiquette.

* alt.abuse.recovery is for survivors of all forms of abuse, as well as
other people with abuse-related concerns. To my knowledge there is not
currently a FAQ.

* alt.abuse.transcendence is for survivors of all forms of abuse, but is
modeled differently than ASAR and aar. The newsgroup is very blunt and
discusses non-traditional approaches to dealing with the effects of
abuse. Newcomers should be warned that a.a.t. does NOT use any spoilers
of any kind. There is a FAQ in progress for the group.

* is a group for SOs of abuse survivors, who
have a unique set of issues of their own.


I include these because of the large number of multiples (and abuse
survivors) who experience these difficulties.

* is a new group, currently of rather low
traffic, for people with personality disorders. It would seem that BPD
(borderline personality disorder) is a common topic there. People who do
not have personality disorders but who are dissociative may still find
the group to be of use to them.

Other groups in the* hierarchy may be of use to readers of
this group; a complete list is maintained by Jonathon Grohol and is
posted every 2 weeks to the support groups, including this one.

Groups outside of the* hierarchy:

* sci.psychology is general discussion of psychology

* sci.cognitive is discussion, among other things, of memory and
reasoning, and might be at least of academic interest to dissociatives
and/or abuse survivors.

* is a general support group for people experiencing
psychological difficulties.

I urge you to read a group for several weeks prior to posting to it,
as well as reading the FAQ for the newsgroup.

* **5.1.2 Web Sites

This section sucks rocks. Eventually, I _will_ have a list of Web sites
here, I promise. In the meantime, my own web pages have a slowly growing
link to psychological and/or abuse related information at the URL:

*** 5.1.3 IRC

#asar2 is the general ASAR channel, however, it is keyworded. I will not
publish the keyword here, but if you are an ASAR reader, you should be
able to get someone to give it to you by posting on ASAR.

#aat is the probably defunct alt.abuse.transcendence channel.

#asar is also an ASAR channel, that is generally not keyworded, but
almost no one goes there.

#dissoc is the channel, although I don't know if
people still use it, frankly.

*** 5.1.4 MUDs

Yes, believe it or not, there _is_ a MUD that is appropriate for listing
here. A MUD, for those of you who do not know, is a "multi-user
dungeon", and generally refers to a game of some sort; this, however, is
no game. SANCTUARY MUD is a gathering place for abuse survivors, their
SOs, and other concerned parties; information on it can be found

SANCTUARY is reachable by telnetting to 3333 (which is also 3333)

=== 5.2 Publications

I make no claim as to the validity of the opinions presented in the books
and other publications that follow, but all of them have information on
the topic under which they are found. Some of them may not be useful to
you, some of them may. This is by no means a complete list of the
publications available, but it should get most people started.

*** 5.2.1 Books on Multiplicity

Clinical Perspectives on Multiple Personality Disorder by Richard P.
Kluft and Catherine G. Fine
Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder (Foundations
of Modern Psychiatry) by Frank W. Putnam
I'm Eve [sequel to The 3 Faces of Eve], Chris Sizemore
Katherine, It's Time by Kit Castle and Stefan Bechtel
Living With Your Selves: A Survival Manual for People with Multiple
Personalities by Sandra J. Hocking
More Than One by Terri A. Clark, M.D.
Multiple Personality Disorder From the Inside Out by Barry Cohen,
Esther Giller, and Lynn W.
Multiple Personality Disorder: Psychiatric Classification and Media
Influence (Oxford Monographs on Psychiatry, No. 1) by Carol S. North,
Daniel A. Riu, Jo-Ellen M. Ryall, and Richard D. Wetzel
Multiple Personality Disorder: Diagnosis, Clinical Features, and Treatment
(Wiley Series in General and Clinical Psychiatry) by Colin A. Ross
Multiple Personality Gift: A Workbook for You and Your Inside Family
by Jacklyn M. Pia
Multiple Personality, Allied Disorders, and Hypnosis by Eugene L. Bliss
People in Pieces: Multiple Personality in Milder Forms and Greater Numbers
by Alana Marshall
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
The 3 Faces of Eve by Corbette H. Thigpen, M.D.,
and Hervey M. Cleckley, M.D.
The Family Inside: Working with the Multiple by Doris Bryant,
Judy Kessler, and Lynda Shirar
The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality
by Joan Frances Casey with Lynn Wilson
The Fractured Mirror: Healing Multiple Personality Disorder by C.W. Duncan
The Osiris Complex: Case Studies in Multiple Personality Disorder
by Colin A. Ross
The Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder (Clinical Insights
Monograph), Edited by Bennet G. Braun, M.D.
Thirteen Pieces: Life with a Multiple by Mary Locke
Through Divided Minds: Probing the Mysteries of Multiple Personalties
--A Doctor's Story by Dr. Robert Mayer
Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder by Braun
United We Stand: A Book for People with Multiple Personalities
by Eliana Gil
When Rabbit Howls by The Troops for Truddi Chase
When the Bough Breaks by Mercedes Lackey and Holly Lisle (FICTION)

*** 5.2.2 Books on Dissociation

Trauma and Survival: Post-Traumatic and Dissociative Disorders
in Women, by Elizabeth A. Waites

*** 5.2.3 Books on related topics

Please Don't Let Him Hurt Me Anymore: A self-help resource guide for
women in abusive relationships by Alexis Asher

Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic
by Donna Williams
Somebody Somewhere by Donna Williams

*** 5.2.4 Other Publications

** Publications about/for Dissociatives

* Many Voices (which I've been asked to add multiple times, but keep
forgetting), PO Box 2639, Cincinatti, OH, 45201-2639

* Dissociation, a quarterly journal; details below under ISSD information.

** Publications about/for Abuse Survivors

* S.O.F.I.E. (Survivors of Female Incest Emerge!)
* Truth about Abuse
[posted to a.s.dis, I forget by who]

S.O.F.I.E. is a bi-monthly newsletter
for men and women who were sexually abused as children by women. Created
in 1992 as a support resource, it is the only one devoted to the subject
of women abusing children. Our regular articles include "Ask the
Therapist" a question and answer column for survivors; "Female Perps in
the News" focuses on current cases around the country of women abusing
children and it's our most popular column; articles reviewing the current
research in the field and; survivor stories, artwork and poems.

We also offer a penpal service for survivors to network with each other
and find support. There is a one-time fee of $2.50 ($3.00 foreign) to

Annual subscription rates are $30.00 U.S., $32.46 Washington State
residents, $36.00 Foreign (in U.S. Funds only). Sample copies are $5.00
U.S. and $6.00 Foreign. Writers guidelines are available upon request
with an SASE.

Truth about Abuse is a bi-monthly newsletter devoted to the repressed
memory controversy. Each issue has a feature article written by a
professional in field that explores the nature of the controversy and the
research in the field of sexual abuse. It also has letter's to the
editor, survivor articles, and our popular "Eye on the Media" which
reports on what the media is saying about the backlash. The goals of the
newsletter are to fight back against the media disinformation campaign; to
provide accurate, documented information about the long term affects of
child sexual abuse; to validate survivor memories and histories, and help
the therapeutic community in treating survivors.

Subscription rates are $21.00 U.S., $22.72 Washington State residents,
$27.00 foreign (in U.S. Funds only). A free sample copy is available for
an SASE (while supplies last).

To subscribe or for more information write to: S.O.F.I.E./Truth about
Abuse, P.O. Box 2794, Renton, WA 98056, fax line (206) 277-0327.

* The Cutting Edge
[provided by someone else]

For self-harmers. TCE, P. O. Box 20819, Cleveland, OH 44120.

=== 5.3 Organizations

* The Sidran Foundation (e-mail:
[updated URL, 10/19/97]

The Sidran Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization devoted
to the advocacy, education, and research on behalf of persons with
psychiatric disabilities. One of the focuses of the organization is
survivors of trauma, and they therefore focus on such issues as PTSD,
and dissociation (including multiple personalities).

The Sidran Press publishes texts about dissociative disorders, and by
contacting the e-mail address above you can request informative
literature and a catalog of their publications.

Their web site URL is:

* ISSD: International Society for the Study of Dissociation
[provided by Peter Barach] *Updated 3/15/96

This is an organization whose focus is the study of dissociative
disorders. They have an annual conference whose location rotates among
various US locations; in addition, the ISSD may hold other conferences
outside of the US from time to time. The organization has about 2500
members. Membership is open to degreed professionals and also to "lay
people" who have an interest in dissociation (which includes a number
of nontherapists who have dissociative disorders). The organization
publishes a quarterly journal, DISSOCIATION, which includes scientific
articles on the topic, a membership directory, and a bimonthly
newsletter. It's not a support group or an advocacy group for MPs.
Therapists, though, seem to find it supportive of their work in the
field. ISSD has a Web page ( that includes,
among other things, "Guidelines for Treating DID in Adults."

For information about membership, write ISSD at:
International Society for the Study of Dissociation
4700 West Lake Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025-1485
Tel: 1-708-375-4718
Fax: 1-708-375-4777

This FAQ is copyright (C) 1995, 1997. See section 1.1.2 in part 1
for full copyright notice.

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