DID books by and about real people and their lives

Before 1900

1940 – 1960

  • The Three Faces of Eve – the popular press version of Cleckley and Thigpen’s misrepresentation of Chris Costner Sizemore (which was originally an academic article), Chris actually had significant early trauma that she only recalled years later, eventually developed 22 alters and published her full story in 1977
  • The Bird’s Nest (Lizzie) – Shirley Jackson – written by a psychiatrist, a film for this was released in the same year as the movie for The Three Faces of Eve. The five personalities in the book are shown as only three personalities in the movie.
  • Strangers in My Body / The Final Face of Eve – James Poley, “Evelyn Lancaster” (Chris Costner Sizemore) – Chris was prevented from telling her full story by her ex-therapists so ended up fudging parts of this, publishing her full story in 1977.
  • The Chris Costner Sizemore papers – selection of letters, diaries etc, covering 1950s to 1980s – held at Duke University

1960 – 1980

  • Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities – Flora Rheta Schreiber – A Times bestseller in the 1970s, Schreiber writes about Shirley Ardell Mason and her therapist Cornelia Wilbur – the book led to 2 TV mini-series, a number of follow on books, and a rather bizarre and sensationist book trying to blame DID symptoms on anemia during the 1990s backlash against abuse survivors
  • The Final Face of Eve – Elen Sain Pittillo, Chris Costner Sizemore – Chris’s full story including domestic violence in her first marriage, suicidality, finally getting a good therapist, and life after integration
  • The Five of Me – Henry Hawksworth
  • Paperclip Dolls – Annie McKenna

1980 – 2000

  • Michelle Remembers – Michelle Smith and Lawrence Padzer (her psychiatrist). A later backlash against ritual abuse discloses places considerable blame on this book.
  • Therapist when Rabbit Howls – Truddi Chase and the Troops (her alters) wrote this together, and took her story of incest and abuse public
  • Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out – edited by Cohen and Giller, accounts from many different people living with DID
  • Prism : Andrea’s World – Jonathan Bliss, Eugene Bliss – based on “Andrea Biaggi”, a Silician-American
  • The Lives of Billy Milligan – Daniel Keyes – Milligan sold his story after being sent to a locked psychiatric hospital following his trial for a 3 week crime spree involving multiple rapes and thefts by several of his alters
  • Voices – Trula Michaels Lacalle – by a psychologist
  • Beyond Integration: One Multiple’s Journey – Doris Bryant, Judy Kessler
  • I’m Eve/A Mind of My Own: The Woman Who Was Known as “Eve” Tells the Story of Her Triumph Over Multiple Personality Disorder – Chris Costner Sizemore – her last book
  • Shatter : The True Story of Kathy Roth’s Eight Separate Personalities and Her Struggle to Become Whole – Nancy Hughes Clark
  • Through Divided Minds: Probing the Mysteries of Multiple Personalities – Robert S. Mayer – written by a psychoanalyst
  • Katherine, It’s Time: The Incredible Journey into the World of a Multiple Personality – Kit Castle, Stefan Bechtel
  • Becoming Kate – Theodore J. Jansma
  • Suffer the Child – Judith Spencer – about “Jenny” whose poetry is included
  • 37 to one: living as an integrated multiple – Phoenix (formerly Sandra) J. Hocking – she wrote a self-help book and a book for loved ones before this
  • Abused Beyond Words: The Healing Journey of Reclaiming Our Inner Power and Peace by Speaking the Unspeakable Truth – Moriah S. St. Clair
  • Jennifer and Her Selves – Gerald Schoenewolf – by a novice therapist
  • The Family Inside: Working with the Multiple – Doris Bryant – a self-help book with a study of someone with DID
  • Moira – Martin Obler
  • The Laid daughter : A true story – Helen Bonner
  • Thirteen pieces : life with a multiple – Mary Locke – written by a partner after the end of a relationship
  • The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality – Joan Frances Casey
  • Telling without talking : art as a window into the world of multiple personality – Carol Thayer Cox and Barry M. Cohen – art therapists include 180 pieces of art by people with DID
  • Broken Child – Marcia Cameron
  • Silencing the voices: one woman’s experience with multiple personality disorder – Jean Darby Cline
  • First Person Plural – Cameron West, one of the few men with DID to describe incestuous abuse
  • Silencing the voices : one woman’s triumph over multiple personality disorder – Jean Darby Cline and Jeff Darby Cline
  • Diary of a survivor in art and poetry – deJoly LaBrier
  • Rag Doll: A Journey of Healing and Integration – Alayna
  • Nightmare : uncovering the strange 56 personalities of Nancy Lynn Gooch – Nancy Gooch
  • Childhood’s Thief: One Woman’s Journey of Healing from Sexual Abuse – Rose Mary Evans – written by a therapist
  • Becoming One: A Story of Triumph Over Multiple Personality Disorder – Sarah E. Olson
  • Magic Castle: A Mother’s Harrowing True Story of Her Adoptive Son’s Multiple Personalities — and the Triumph of Healing – Carole Smith
  • Sorority of survival : memoirs of a multiple – Katherine A. Newman
  • The Magic Daughter: A Memoir of Living with Multiple Personality Disorder – Jayne Anne Phillips
  • Welcome Home Stranger: An Account of Multiple Personalities – Matthew Daniels, author from New Zealand

2000 – 2020

  • Looking Inside: Life Lessons from a Multiple Personality in Pictures and Words – Judy Castelli – misdiagnosed with schizophrenia for 20 years
  • Body Scripture : A Therapist’s Journal of Recovery from Multiple Personality – Barbara Hope – a therapist with DID
  • Big Marcia H – Lisa Heibner
  • Beyond these walls : The true story of a lost child’s journey to a whole life – Hanna Gabriele
  • I Am More Than One: How Women with Dissociative Identity Disorder Have Found Success in Life and Work – Jane Hyman
  • Carol Rutz – A Nation Betrayed
  • Safe Eyes – A Story of Healing – Deborah Hall Berkley
  • The Shining man with hurt hands – Ellis H. Skolfield
  • From ghetto to glory : a memoir – Monique Douglass-Andrews
  • Unshackled: A Survivor’s Story of Mind Control – Kathleen M. Sullivan
  • Not Otherwise Specified: A Multiple Life in One Body – Leah Peterson (DDNOS) – Leah was a consultant for the TV series The United States of Tara
  • A God Called Father: One Woman’s Recovery from Incest and Multiple Personality Disorder
    – Judith Machree
  • Lina in search of Lina : The history and treatment of a patient with multiple personality disorder – Rolando I. Haddad
  • Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed To Kill For Their Country – Cheryl Hersha – mostly about experiences with MK-Ultra and other abuse, with DID resulting
  • A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder – Robert B. Oxnam – read the excerpt 
  • Am I a Good Girl Yet?: Childhood Abuse Had Shattered Her. Could She Ever Be Whole? – Carolyn Bramhall, DID including ritual abuse
  • Fire and Water: A Safe Journey Through Multiple Personality Disorder – Anna Thomas
  • 5010 – The One Who Flew Into the Cuckoo’s Nest by Kathi Stringer
  • Anne’s Multiple World of Personality – Anne Garvey
  • Today I’m Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind – Alice Jamieson, describes the British NHS psychiatric system at the time
  • Fractured: Nine Lives To Escape My Own Abuse – Ruth Dee, written under a pseudonym by a former headteacher
  • Hell Minus One – Anne A. Johnson Davis
  • Five Farewells – A Southern Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder – Liz Elliott
  • Switching Time / A Life in Pieces: the Harrowing True Story of a Woman with Multiple Personality Disorder – Richard Baer – psychiatrist writes about treating someone with DID, includes letters and parts she wrote describing integration in detail, also available on audio CD
  • A Shattered Mind – Dauna Cole
  • As if it Didn’t Happen: A memoir of abuse, multiple personalities, and hope – Maggie Claire
  • Coming Present: Living with Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder and How My Faith Helped Heal Me – Caroline Lighthouse
  • Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder – Herschel Walker – by an African American athlete
  • All Of Me: My incredible true story of how I learned to live with the many personalities sharing my body – Kim Noble
  • The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor’s Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder – Olga R. Trujillo – also available in Spanish
  • Sybil in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings – Patrick Suraci – by her friend (a former psychiatrist), including some of Shirley Mason’s notebooks, art and photos from her cousin – interview with Suraci  
  • After Sybil… From the Letters of Shirley Mason – Nancy Preston writes about her friend “Sybil” – see Sybil (the original)  
  • Mother Had a Secret – Tiffany Fletcher – writing about her mother with DID and the impact on her life
  • Us – Matthew Mckay – writing about someone else
  • I Am WE: My Life with Multiple Personalities – Christine Pattillo
  • We Are Annora – P. S. Marrow
  • In Out of Ice/Glass: Living With Dissociative Identity Disorder and Chemical Dependency – Sarah Smith
  • Which One Am I?, Multiple Personalities and Deep Southern Secrets – Thomas S. Smith, James Darrell Williams – jointly written by a loved one and someone with DID
  • Twenty-two Faces – Judy Byington – about Jenny Hill
  • The Rape of Eve – Colin Ross – a psychiatrist describes the manipulation of Chris Costner Sizemore by her previous psychiatrist, Chris contributed to this book before she passed away
  • Fractured Mind: The Healing of a Person with Dissociative Identity Disorder – Debra Bruch

2020 – present

  • Coming soon

Photo of some books with the words Dissociative Identity Disorder true stories

DID in history: oldest accounts of multiple personality

Before 1900

Most written accounts are fairly short, and many attribute behaviors or alter personalities to a form of religious possession, or link mental illness with belief in demons.
However some longer accounts were published by “physicians” and some historians found other accounts.

Many ordinary people couldn’t read and books were expensive rather than today’s mass-produced paperbacks and ebooks about DID.

An incomplete list of some of the historical cases of dissociative identity disorder…

  • 1580s: Jeanne Fery: A sixteenth-century case of dissociative identity disorder – van der Hart, Lierens and Goodwin (1997)


  • 1790 – 1952: Multiple personality before “Eve” – Adam Crabtree (1993), a short summary of the psychology of the times and recognition of DID
  • 1790: a woman from Stuttgart described by Eberhard Gmelin speaks different languages depending on which personality is in control at the time


  • 1802: Three cases described by Dwight who publishes them in 1818, with one likely to be multiple personality disorder and the others likely to be dissociative amnesia or fugue (Hacking, 1991), Dwight describes a female with “two souls, each occasionally dormant and occasionally active, and utterly ignorant of what the other was doing”
  • 1815-1875 Double consciousness in Britain 1815-1875 described by skeptical historian Ian Hacking (1991)
  • 1816: Mary Reynolds is described by Mitchill, and later by M. Kenny (1986)
  • 1823: Dewar published the first case of a teenager with DID, a 16 year-old Scottish girl
  • 1823 to early 1900s – Adolescent MPD in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – Elizabeth Bowman (1990)
  • 1834: “Estelle” is treated by Charles Antoine Despine (also described by Catherine Fine, 1988)


  • 1845: Mayo describes an 18 year-old English girl with two personalities, “misconduct in her relatives ” is mentioned
  • 1846: Ward refers to other boys with “double consciousness” whose “nervous system has been weakened by excess, terror or cerebral excitement” which Hacking believes suggests trauma
  • 1860: Mary Reynolds is described by Plumber


  • 1876: “Félida X” is described by Eugène Azam as “double personality” or ”doublement de la vie
  • 1876: “double consciousness” is now referred to as “double personality” according to Hacking (1991)
  • 1887: Barret describes a 17 year-old English boy with two personalities of different ages , with different handwriting. Barret attributes the symptoms with the stress of applying for a scholarship to Cambridge University – his symptoms delay his admission to Cambridge.
  • 1880s: Louis Vivé/Vivet in France – originally described by Bourru and Burot in 1885, 1886, 1887, and in Variatons de la personnalité (1888/95); Camuset in 1882; Mabille and Ramadier in 1886; and Voisin in 1885 and 1887.
    The 19th century DID case of Louis Vivet: New Findings and Re-evaluation (1995/1997) – Henri Faure, John Kersten, Dinet Koopman and Onno van der Hart
  • 1880s: V.L. and his six personalities are treated by Bourru and Burot in France, as described by Sidis and Goodhart in 1904.
  • 1887: Pierre Janet describes “dissociation” as demonstrates that some people have multiple “psychic centers” that he describes as multiple “personalities”, rather than dual or alternating states
  • 1858: Ansel Bourne – Wonderful Works of God: A Narrative of the Wonderful Facts in the Case of Ansel Bourne of Westerly, Rhode Island, Who, In The Midst of Opposition to the Christian Religion Was Suddenly Struck Blind, Dumb, and Deaf, and After Eighteen Days Was Suddenly and Completely Restored In the Presence of Hundreds of Persons, in the Christian Chapel At Westerly, on the 15th of November, 1857. Bourne also describes his father’s death when he was seven, severe poverty following the death, and being forced from school into work at thirteen due to poverty
  • 1881: Ansel Bourne is described as having dissociative fugue episodes and an “alternate personality”.
  • 1894: Peter Scott is described by Dana
  • 1894: Mollie Fancher is described by Abram H. Dailey in Molly Fancher: Brooklyn Enigma; An Authentic Statement of Facts in the Life of Mary J. Fancher, 1894. She is described in The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery – Michelle Stacey – A much newer and confusing account of the story of Fancher including hysteria/hysterical paralysis and the fame surrounding people claiming to not need to eat in Victorian times.
  • 1884: Charles L. Dana publishes The study of a case of amnesia or ‘double consciousness’ about a 24 year-old man with no “hysteria, epilepsy, or organic disease”.
  • 1899: Theodore Hyslop describes different types of “double consciousness”

1900 – 1919

  • 1900: From India to Planet Mars by Théodore Flournoy describes Catherine-Elise Muller under the name “Hélène Smith” as a spiritualist with multiple personalities. Flournoy, a psychology professor, realizes that the “martian” language used by one of them is based on French.
  • 1900: Ottolenghi, an Italian , refers to ”sdoppiamenti el le transformazioni della personalitá”
  • 1901: Sally Beauchamp (Clara Norton Fowler) is described by Morton Prince as having multiple personalities
  • 1904: “Alma Z“, from 1894, is described by Boris Sidis and Simon P. Goodhart (also known as S. Philip Goodhart) in Multiple Personality: An Experimental Investigation into the Nature of Human Individuallty. as having three personalities. Alma Z’s personalities are referred to as No. 1, Twoey and The Boy, and have some co-consciousness. They describe the “dissociated personalities” as “well-defined”.
  • V.L., who was cared for in the late 1880s by Bourru and Burot, is also described by Sidis and Goodhart who ever to him as a “manifold personality”. V.L. is a 17 year-old boy with an unknown father, unmarried and promiscuous mother, who is wandering and begging on the streets from a very young age. V.L. becomes a thief and is sent to a reformatory as a child, develops conversion disorder with paralysis after a fright with a snake, and is then looked after in an asylum (a general term meaning place of rest). His is described as having 6 “states”, each with different memories, skills and a distinct personality.
  • 1904: Thomas Carson Hanna is described in the New York Times as an “Instance of Multiple Personality” being treated in New York by Boris Sidis, and Sidis’ book is referred to be the journalist. Hanna is described as developing a second personality after an accident with a head injury, and then switching between the two until they eventually merge.
  • 1904: Reverend Thomas Carson Hanna is described by Boris Sidis as developing a second personality after a head injury, they eventually merge
  • 1905: Prince publishes the book ”The Dissociation of a Personality’‘ about “Miss Beauchamp” describing three personalities
  • 1906: Burnett describes a 16 year-old American boy who has had problems since early childhood. He He attributes the different personalities to epilepsy.
  • 1906: Gordon reports a 19 year-old American with two personalities and a third state who struggle over control of the body. Gordon describes the boys “delusion belief” about having two ego states and calls it “epileptic psychosis”. Problems continue for at least 9 years despite epilepsy medication.
  • 1907: A young girl from London is reported to the British Psychical Research Society as having ten distinct personalities, and is mentioned in the New York Times in an article called ”A Girl’s 10 Minds” and ”A case of hysteria”. The personalities become apparent after she nearly dies from a severe case of flu, after ten years of treatment they fuse together, at age 22. She is treated by Dr Albert Wilson has presented the case to a skeptical Medico-Psychological Association, who come to believe it is genuine.
  • 1909: My life as a dissociated personality by B.C.A. – Morton Prince persuaded Clara Norton Fowler and her alters to write this
  • 1909: Charles van Osten is reported as having multiple personalities, with symptoms appearing after a head injury. Van Osten has gone missing from hospital. The New York Times quotes Prof. Diefendorf as saying that Van Osten was distressed by the Slocum disaster, and may be looking for his wife and child. ”HYPNOTIZED, FINDS HOMES.: Van Osten, Without Hesitation, Takes Doctor to New York Addresses. Special to The New York Times” (20 May 1909).
  • 1916: After around 12 years of treatment Doris Fischer‘s five personalities are described by Walter F. Prince and Theodore Hyslop (1915), Hyslop (1917), and Walter F. Prince (1923). Together they publish over 2,000 pages about her symptoms and treatment. Doris links her violent, alcoholic father to developing different personalities and describes her mother encouraging her to dissociate, with problems beginning at age three and a half, after an assault by her father. The case is reported in the press.
  • 1919, 1920: Grace Oliver and her alter personality “Spanish Maria” are described in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.


These years are the aftermath of World War I.

  • 1926: Bernice R. is described by Henry Herbert Goddard in “Two Souls in One Body?”; Bernice describes incest which Goddard regards as a hallucination.
  • 1926, 1927: A 19 year-old American woman “Norma” is described by Goddard with a four-year-old alter personality “Polly” and severe conversion disorder causing episodes of paralysis and mutism. Her history includes the deaths of her twin sister and three other siblings before age 11, paternal incest at age 14, the separation from her surviving siblings and emotional abuse by relatives, and the death of both parents by age 17. Goddard calls the incest a transference hallucination and believes her traumatic history has resulted in a daydream-like escape. The two personalities gradually merge.
  • 1933: John Charles Poultney is described in Persons One and Three: A Study of Multiple Personalities – Shepherd Ivory Franz, Poultney gets a severe head injury during World War I and starts switching back and forth between two personalities

1940 onwards

These years involve World War II, with further understanding of trauma and dissociative amnesia, the introduction of the American DSM psychiatric manual and the World Health Organization equivalent, and the impact of Vietnam war veterans leading to the creation of PTSD as a separate diagnosis.

All years

  • Multiple personality and dissociation, 1791-1990 : a complete bibliography – Philip M. Coons, George B. Greaves and Carole Goettman


Picture of a pile of old books with Dissociative Identity Disorder historical cases on the right

“Crazy” thoughts and feelings – Dissociative Identity Disorder and Psychotic spectrum symptoms

Can someone have both Schizophrenia & Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Yes, this is possible, or another psychotic or schizophrenia spectrum condition can exist with DID. It isn’t a particularly common combination (compared to, for example, Borderline Personality Disorder or an Anxiety Disorder existing alongside DID).

What are the key differences between Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia?

Some people with DID find their symptoms are never confused with the psychotic symptoms found in Schizophrenia – but others may be misdiagnosed with Schizophrenia, or diagnosed only with Schizophrenia when DID is also present. Experiences like ‘hearing voices’, ‘seeing things which aren’t there’ (pseudo-hallincinations caused by flashbacks) can cause a lot of confusion.
The DSM-5 (full version, p297) gives some limited guidance on differences:

  • Individuals with dissociative identity disorder experience these [psychotic-like] symptoms as caused by alternate identities, do not have delusional explanations for the phenomena, and often describe the symptoms in a personified way (e.g., “I feel like someone else wants to cry with my eyes”).
  • Persecutory and derogatory internal voices in dissociative identity disorder associated with depressive symptoms may be misdiagnosed as major depression with psychotic features.
  • Chaotic identity change and acute intrusions that disrupt thought processes may be distinguished from brief psychotic disorder by the predominance of dissociative symptoms and amnesia for the episode, and diagnostic evaluation after cessation of the crisis can help confirm the diagnosis.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is also a dissociative disorder, meaning that symptoms are primarily dissociative in nature – even when it was known by the name Multiple Personality Disorder, DID was classified as a Dissociative Disorder; Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder, meaning in involves one or more of: delusions, hallucinations, disor­ganized thinking (speech), grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (including catatonia), and negative symptoms (flat emotions or severe lack of will).

Survivors of organized or ritual abuse may have some highly unusual beliefs which are not caused by any kind of delusions or psychosis, but result from the highly unusual abuse they have survived – including abuse designed to discredit survivors who tell.

Elizabeth Howell explains:

Kluft reported that patients with DID endorse 8 of the first-rank Schneiderian symptoms (Schneider, 1959, as cited in Kluft, 1987a) that are considered pathognomonic of schizophrenia.
These symptoms are voices arguing, voices commenting on one’s action, influences playing on the body, thought withdrawal, thought insertion, made impulses, made feelings, and made volitional acts.
In DID, rather than as indications of schizophrenia, the hallucinated voices and the made actions are understood as due to the activities of a dissociative identity. The psychotic person is more likely to attach a delusional explanation, such as “The CIA has implanted a chip in my brain.” In contrast, the person with DID, although probably unaware of the source, often knows that these experiences are not normal and does not seek to explain them in a delusional way (Dell, 2009c). In addition, the person with DID—as opposed to someone who is psychotic—often has the ability to be in two states of mind at once: While the person experiences the self as having the “crazy” thought, the person is able to hold the tension and know that it is just that, a crazy thought.
Of course, this knowledge that one is having thoughts that others would consider crazy only tends to contribute to the highly dissociative person’s fear or belief that he or she is crazy!


The phenomena of full and partial dissociation are highly confusing to the person with DID as well as to those who notice them. Unlike someone who suffers primarily from depression or anxiety and who can label the problem, the person with DID generally suffers from amnesia about the very symptoms experienced and often cannot specfically identify the problem…
Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder, Elizabeth Howell (2011)

CIA, Dissociative Identity Disorder and Ritual Abuse Survivors
While high profile organizations like the C.I.A. are often referred to by people who are experiencing psychotic symptoms (e.g., delusions of persecution), many people are unaware that the CIA has historically been involved in child abuse, including child abuse with the purpose of creating dissociative identity disorder. The involvement of the CIA in these human rights abuses is not a ‘conspiracy theory’ but is well documented, with hearings in the U.S. Senate held in the 1970s to investigate this, and other related abuse.
Karl Douglas Lehman and Ellen Lacter have produced guidelines to help clinicans differentiate between Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder which may be helpful, see Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century (2008) – chapter 4.

Alison Miller, a psychotherapist specializing in therapy for ritual abuse survivors, comments that that one lie about abuser’s power and knowledge (that children are told) is that “There is a microchip implanted in the survivor’s body that tells the abusers where s/he is and / or what s/he is thinking” Healing the Umimaginable, p122

Miller also points out that even if such as object was found, “that does not mean it is capable of collecting complex information and sending it back to abusers, or even sending them signals, for twenty or more years, as some survivors belief.” (p205)

Diagnostic and Screening Tools
A variety of different diagnostic and screening tools are available to help determine if a person has Schizophrenia or Dissociative Identity Disorder. Diagnostic interviews can give a definite diagnosis, and determine whether both or neither are present, for example the Structured Clinical Interview for Dissociative Disorders, or the Dissociative Disorder Interview Schedule, but these can only be carried out by clinicians (both involve a degree of observation).

Two screening tools which can be used to determine if a dissociative disorder is likely to be present are the SDQ-20 and the Dissociative Experiences Scale – both of which are mentioned in the Dissociative Identity Disorder Treatment guidelines for adults. Both of these questionnaires give a typical score for Dissociative Identity Disorder, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified and other conditions – but they are actually intended to highlight of a clinical diagnostic interview is likely to be helpful rather than giving a specific diagnosis. Both questionnaires result in a single score, making it impossible to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of Schizophrenia in people likely to have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder awareness items in teal – teal lapel pin badge. silicone wristbands

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder awareness items in teal - teal lapel pin badge. silicone wristbands

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How childhood trauma could be mistaken for ADHD

Could this be ADHD, trauma, or both?
(please bear in mind that some children with ADHD do not have behavioural problems)

ACEs Too High


[Photo credit: woodleywonderworks, Flickr]

Dr. Nicole Brown’s quest to understand her misbehaving pediatric patients began with a hunch.

Brown was completing her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, when she realized that many of her low-income patients had been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

These children lived in households and neighborhoods where violence and relentless stress prevailed. Their parents found them hard to manage and teachers described them as disruptive or inattentive. Brown knew these behaviors as classic symptoms of ADHD, a brain disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and an inability to focus.

When Brown looked closely, though, she saw something else: trauma. Hyper-vigilance and dissociation, for example, could be mistaken for inattention. Impulsivity might be brought on by a stress response in overdrive.

“Despite our best efforts in referring them to behavioral therapy and starting them on stimulants, it was hard to get the symptoms under control,”…

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