The Myth of Sanity

Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness (2002)
The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness (2002)

Explores the prevalence of Dissociative Identity Disorder, popularly known in its most extreme form as multiple personality disorder. Dr. Stout, a psychological trauma specialist, conveys how small things we interpret as distraction, spacing out, or situational fatigue are physiologically and behaviorally not different from an abused individual’s experience of dissociation or hypnotic trance. Events in our life that we may not quantify as abusive or traumatic affect us; our brains catalog traumatic experiences and trigger "dissociative" coping strategies even for things we may label as insignificant. The “severity” of an event is irrelevant; the presence of fear, for whatever reason, and a desire to escape it causes our brain to develop coping mechanisms. Future feelings of fear that our brain processes as similar trigger those mechanisms and, consequently, end those feelings. Stout’s explanation and accounts of this idea are fascinating reading.

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