The Memoir Of Robert B. Oxnam, A Fractured Mind : My Life With Multiple Personality Disorder

The Memoir Of Robert B. Oxnam, A Fractured Mind : My Life With Multiple Personality Disorder

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The memoir that I chose was the autobiography of Robert B. Oxnam, A fractured mind: My life with multiple personality disorder. The book is the account of a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID, once referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is characterized by a person having more than one personality identity. This means that an individual person has separate minds within his/her brain. These different personalities, sometimes also referenced as alters, identities, or multiples, exist together and are thought to be a result of either physical or sexual abuse in early to mid childhood. The validity of the disorder has been criticized, but is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and is published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). I had and have some skepticism toward DID but I wanted to read this memoir to have a better understanding of a person who has been diagnosed with DID.
I want to first express my skepticism toward DID but this captivating, and at some times horrific account, by the author helps me sympathize. I use the word sympathize rather than empathize because I think that cannot truly comprehend what he is experiencing. I think that only a person who has DID could sincerely understand and feel the author’s anguish and struggles. By that said before reading this book I had doubts about the specifics of DID. I had seen movies about DID and episodes on television that had a person with DID, so I was vaguely aware of the symptoms. By doing more research on it, I thought more to myself about the reality of the situation with DID. Being a person without DID I could not imagine a different person experiencing his or her own thoughts in ...


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... a strong woman and partner for Robert she at times is hurt by the statements made by Robert’s other personalities.
After reading this book I think I have a better understanding of what a person with DID goes through. I cannot fully comprehend the frustration or the abuse but I now think that the symptoms are real. Before reading this book I had some skepticism about the symptoms and diagnosis and whether they were valid or not. Through the harrowing personal narrative that Robert B. Oxnam tells I know think that a person would not make up these symptoms. However, I am still skeptical about the diagnosis. I still cannot tell if the personalities are more of a psychosis or if one mind is fragmented into multiple minds. I think that in either case it is important to know that Robert sought treatment and people with DID can live happy, productive, and fulfilled lives.

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