...written by a man who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder...a candid and moving memoir.
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A singular first-person account of the much-debated condition now known as dissociative identity disorder (DID)formerly termed multiple personality disorderby a man who professes to have 24 separate personalities, or ``alters.'' West was a successful businessman when he began hearing the voices that led him to a psychologist's office and eventually to the diagnosis of DID. Although he had no memory of childhood sexual abuse by his mother and grandmother, his alters did, and as his psychologist explains, their existence was his mind's way of coping with those experiences. Introductory thumbnail sketches of his 24 alters help the reader to keep straight this extensive cast of characters. Most memorable are Clay, an eight-year-old whose untimely appearances put a damper on Wests' lovemaking, and Switch, another eight-year-old, whose knife attacks on West send him repeatedly to the emergency room. Now a would-be novelist, West exercises his fledgling narrative skills here, not only relating his own strange tale briskly, but adopting an all-seeing eye for scenes where he was not present, e.g., his wife at a DID support meeting or with an admirer whose attentions threaten their marriage. While West's story is primarily about his bizarre condition and how it changed his life (he sold his Massachusetts home and business and moved to California, earned a Ph.D. in psychology in order to better understand DID, spent time in psychiatric hospitals, and gradually came to accept as true the sexual abuse memories of his alters), it is also the story of a married couple dealing with one partner's mental breakdown and of how they handled the subject with their young son. The volume is illustrated throughout with pages from West's journal showing his alters' childish scrawls and drawings. DID skeptics may view this as an ingenious bit of fantasy; for those who found Sybil or The Three Faces of Eve believable and engrossing, this account will be even more so. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.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.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro Pan Macmillan Australia Pty, L, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110732909783