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Cover of: Creating hysteria | Joan Ross Acocella
About the Book

In Creating Hysteria, Joan Acocella tells how, over the past three decades, thousands of women seeking help for various psychological problems were told that they had multiple personality disorder and were sucked into this nightmarish therapy. In session after session, under their therapists' prompting, they produced "memories" - and screaming reenactments - of childhood victimization. Asked to search within themselves for hidden personalities, they came up with entire squadrons: children, harlots, angels, devils." "This book describes how a group of reckless therapists used hypnosis, drugs, and sheer persuasion to mold their patients' symptoms into multiple personality disorder." "Creating Hysteria analyzes the forces that fed into the MPD epidemic: media sensationalism, Christian fundamentalism, the culture wars, and feminism. (Though ruinous to women, this diagnosis was endorsed by many feminists.) Money was another factor. MPD, the experts said, took years to cure. An MPD diagnosis was one way of getting around the new restrictions placed on psychotherapy by managed care." "Eventually, victims of this cruel hoax discovered what had happened to them and began suing their therapists. As a result, the MPD empire is now crumbling. Acocella describes the damage this bizarre craze did to the profession of psychotherapy, to the child-protection movement, and to women's rights.

2 editions First published in 1999

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Creating Hysteria
Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder
August 27, 1999, Jossey-Bass
Hardcover in English
Cover of: Creating hysteria
Creating hysteria: women and multiple personality disorder
1999, Jossey-Bass Publishers
in English - 1st ed.

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