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June 15th, 2012 11:18 am

Maybe you or someone in your family has recently been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder commonly known as multiple personalities.  Or maybe you have been wondering what could explain your partner’s apparent ability to completely change into someone totally different.  It might seem that this person suddenly becomes childish to get out of their responsibilities or they just won’t focus long enough to finish a task.  Just when you figure them out there is a change and the person in front of you has no recollection of what you are complaining about.

In fact a person with DID is often hard working, talented and successful in their career but in some strange ways not always. He or she often has a complex inner life and works hard to keep the rest of the world from knowing anything but the successful self.  It takes so much energy to deal with the chatter in their head; to keep alters from blurting out embarrassing comments and to cover-up their own confusing disorientation. There is a constant worry that they might switch, lose time or do something inappropriate in front of their families or colleagues. As a result exhaustion and anxiety are prevalent.

Whenever I have a client whose family members are willing to support their loved one through the healing journey I know my job will be easier.  My clients need a safe home surrounded by people who understand and accept the diagnosis.  Acceptance is not easy for either the client or the family member but the journey includes educating yourself, nurturing a support system and a great big dose of humor.

A diagnosis of DID is just a model for understanding unexpected changes in behavior, thoughts and emotions.  It is really a survival skill, honed in childhood trauma that continues in strange ways for the grown adult.  As wild as multiple personalities may seem it is actually full of potential for change and recovery.  Keep your sense of humor and go with the flow!

Who Do Kids Need More: Moms Or Dads?

June 14th, 2012 8:16 am

Researchers looked at 36 studies from around the world involving some 10,000 participants and found a common theme. They found that consistently, when children feel rejected from their parents they become more anxious, insecure, hostile, and aggressive toward others. Here’s how co-author of the review, Ronald Rohner explains it.

In our half-century of international research, we’ve not found any other class of experience that has as strong and consistent effect on personality and personality development as does the experience of rejection, especially by parents in childhood.

And whether the father’s love matters more than the mother depends on how your child sees you. Psychologists working on the International Father Acceptance Rejection Project (yes, someone is doing that!) think that children pay more attention to the parent they think has more prestige or interpersonal power.

So if Dad has a more dominant personality in the home his love — or lack of love — with matter more to his kids than their mother’s love. It’s a sobering thought. We don’t need science to tell us that. Except that we kind of do, because people still end up blaming moms for how kids turn out.

And it goes the other way. Dads should get more credit when they’re emotionally present. Props to you good dads who shower your kids with love and attention. Your love matters just as much as moms’.

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