7/4/21

Probing the enigma of multiple personality (Published in the New York Times)

Notes: 

  • This might just be the most mind blowing article I have ever read. I think it should be required reading for every medical student. 
  • It discusses cases of patients with multiple personalities. These personalities alternatively gain control over a single body.
  • When a given personality is in control, the body may exhibit certain reactions that are not present when another personality is in control. 

Excerpts: 

  • “When Timmy drinks orange juice, Timmy has no problem. But Timmy is just one of close to a dozen personalities who alternate control over a patient with multiple personality disorder. And if those other personalities drink orange juice, the result is a case of hives. The hives occur even if Timmy drinks orange juice and another personality appears while the juice is still being digested. What’s more, if Timmy comes back while the allergic reaction is present, the hives will cease immediately, and the water filled blisters begin to subside.”
  • “In people with multiple personalities, there is a strong psychological separation between each sub-personality: each will often have his own name and age, and often some specific abilities and memories. Frequently, for example, personalities will differ in handwriting, artistic talent, or even knowledge of foreign languages.”
  • “For more than a century, clinicians have reported isolated cases of dramatic biological changes in people with multiple personalities as they switched from one to the other. These include the abrupt appearance and disappearance of rashes, welts, scars and other tissue wounds; switches in handwriting and handedness; epilepsy, allergies, and colorblindness that strike only when a given personality is in control of the body.”

 

Excerpts From My Journal 

Why do you believe what you believe? Often, because of the assertions of people and organizations that are supposedly trustworthy. I often find it’s worth drilling down to see the evidence upon which their assertions are based. When I do so, I sometimes find that the evidence is not nearly strong enough to justify the certainty with which the assertions were made.

Would you rather chop a given amount of wood for four hours, or spend an hour sharpening your saw and chop the same amount of wood over the course of two hours?

Your reactions are excellent indicators of the level of consciousness that you have attained.

Experiences create beliefs, beliefs determine choices, choices create destiny.

The happiness you’ll get from having a large house will probably wear off a lot more quickly than the unhappiness that you’ll get from having a large mortgage.

 

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