A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder

An account of DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, (formerly MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder), written by Robert Oxnam, who is himself the sufferer. Told from this point of view rather than by the doctor, it illuminates the painful and disorienting personal experience of the condition and the havoc it wrecks on relationships in a particularly intimate and dramatic way. The language is not always overly descriptive, especially when the childhood abuse is dealt with (I don’t think we need to know the details)—but you’ll eves drop on internal conversations between alters and vicariously freefall as the metaphorical rug is pulled out from beneath the subject who time and time again experiences complete lack of control over what his body is doing and comes face to face with thoughts and feelings he doesn’t comprehend.

In an epilogue by psychiatrist, Jeffrey Smith, the reader receives the point of view of the medical professional. Although in this piece, Dr. Smith states that therapy is difficult but the results are usually good, it is interesting to note that here, as in other recorded cases, some dissociation remains in the end. This volume reads like a novel rather than a textbook and offers extraordinary insight into the condition.

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