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Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder

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Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder

Joan Acocella

ISBN: 978-0-787-94794-1 August 1999 Jossey-Bass 224 Pages

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Description

From 1985 to 1995 an estimated 40,000 Americans, most of themwomen, were told they suffered from multiple personality disorder.Feminists, fundamentalists, and a substantial portion of the mentalhealth community Andorsed this "Sybil-ing" of America.Sensation-seeking television talk shows took up the MPD rallyingcry. In Creating Hysteria, Joan Acocella tells a riveting tale oftherapists betraying their patients, of a psychotherapy professionat war within its own ranks, and finally of expatients rising upand putting an And to the MPD scandal.

"Creating Hysteria exposes one of the most frightening mentalrollercoaster rides taken by thousands of people in modern times.Joan Acocella brilliantly illuminates how the mental healthprofession spearheaded, perhaps inadvertently, a fin-de-sieclehysteria, the fallout from which will take us into the nextmillennium. Anyone who has ever been interested in mental healthshould read this book."--Elizabeth Loftus, president, AmericanPsychological Society
One Woman's Story.

The History.

The Epidemic.

The Therapy.

The Science.

The Crisis.

The Attack.

The Retrenchment.

The Effects.

The Intellectuals.

Women.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

About the Author.
"At long last we have a volume that takes a hard look at the"epidemic" of multiple personality disorders and comes up with somesurprising conclusions." (Aaron T. Beck, M.D., University Professorof Psychiatry, Department of Medicine, University ofPennsylvania)

"Creating Hysteria exposes one of the most frightening mentalroller coaster rides taken by thousands of people in modern times.Joan Acocella brilliantly illuminates how the mental healthprofession spearheaded, perhaps inadvertently, a fin-de-sieclehysteria, the fallout from which will take us into the nextmillennium. Anyone who has ever been interested in mental healthshould read this book." (Elizabeth Loftus, president, AmericanPsychological Society)

"A remarkable expose of an embarrassing and mischievous epidemicinstigated by a small group of 'multiple personality' proponents.This book provides ample warning for patients and therapistsalike." (Herbert Spiegel, pschiatrist, expert on "Sybil"case)

"Multiple personality disorder is both fascinating and sad, but thestory of its recent social evolution is deeply disturbing. CreatingHysteria tells a gripping tale that will captivate anyoneinterested in the pathology of the human mind and the culturalforces that shape it." (Daniel L. Schacter, professor and chair ofpsychology, Harvard University)

"As Acocella makes devastatingly clear, MPD was a diseaseessentially created by unethical or incompetent therapists andimposed upon their vulnerable female patients. Creating Hysteriatells a sorrowful, infuriating story that compels and deservesattention." (WAndy Kaminer, public policy fellow, RadcliffeCollege)