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Re: Anxiety vs Dissociation

Posted by Craig on April 6, 1999, at 4:06:02

In reply to Re: Anxiety vs Dissociation, posted by Elaine on April 5, 1999, at 21:00:00

Elaine, it is more than just isolated instances of floating out of my body while driving. I basically live in a trance state, "parts" included. I'm missing a lot of years of memories since childhood. However, I have structured my life now in a way that is much less stressful than it was when I was working full-time while going to college. I think those were the years when things were most out of control. Yet, I also think that chronic major depression could account for some of my memory problems. (You know how people post-ECT complain that ECT destroyed their memory? I think their depression caused more damage than people realize. But, I've never had ECT.)

After several years without a doctor, I started seeing one for my depression around 1976-77. After awhile, he began telling me that I was dissociating (duh!), even though I never brought it up. I had my reasons why I didn't want him to know. The turning point came in March 1980, the day John Hinkley shot President Reagan. Apparently, I spent that night watching the assassination attempt over and over on TV. I went to work the next morning and, as I was later told, all I did was stare at my desk and repeatedly say, "No one should die on the street in the rain." Since I worked in a hospital, it didn't take long before I was transferred to the Crisis Center and admitted to the psych unit. I was so shattered that the doctors decided they would conduct a series of amytal interviews to find out what was going on. With a mega-dose of IV amytal coursing through me, I was in no position to fight them and they now possessed the keys that opened Pandora's box. They had no doubts about diagnosing me with MPD. I still feel like they stole this information from me; I didn't voluntarily give it to those doctors. I'm still angry that they put me in a room with a one-way mirror so that I'd be viewed as part of Grand Rounds. A room (and later an auditorium) packed with complete strangers learned more about my life than I knew. I'm a very private person and that still bothers me. Since I worked in another hospital, I didn't know whether I'd run into these people at some point and they'd be thinking, "Hey, that's the guy with multiple personalities."

For my reasons against hypnosis, I suggest you read the June 1998 online edition of Chicago Magazine at and read the article titled Dangerous Therapy by
Cynthia Hanson beginning at

Pat's history and treatment bears little resemblance to mine, but this article gives an overview of how hers went tragically wrong. I know her because she and I were hospitalized at the same time and we still correspond via e-mail. (I had no idea about the "cult" aspect at the time I first met her and I'm thankful that I didn't know then or I really think I would have freaked out.) For an update on what's happening to Dr. Braun, I found info at that describes what the State of Illinois is trying to do in May 1999 regarding his medical license.




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