Multi-personalities, sounds good, lets all catch it!

by free2beme 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • free2beme

    I was in a congregation in California at one time growing up, and there was this weird thing that happened. This woman in the congregation started saying she had multi-personalities. Basically, she had names for all these people living in her mind and she would change into them at time. It was not so weird that she had this disorder, as it is a real disorder, it was that it seemed to be catchy. As within a six month period, no less then twelve other woman in the congregation said they had this disorder too. It was a real example of jumping on the band-wagon. The elders had there hand full, as we all know psychologist visits are not looked to very highly. So they were trying to sit in, and one admitted to me that the elders felt it was a form of demon possession. Who needs all those years of medical training, when you can have the local gardener telling you it is all demons! Anyway, it was just crazy. Woman were saying this all over the place, within a short time my friendships tripled and yet the amount of people at the gettogethers were the same.

    Was this a cry for attention, or do you think this rare disorder was really common in the local Kingdom Hall?

  • Scully

    Whatever happens to be the sexy new malaise du jour, you can bet your sweet bippy that JW women are going to "catch" it. In the 80s, all the Sisters™ were having hair samples tested by this new $peciali$t and ended up being treated for hypoglycemia. Then in the 90s it was a rash of people coming down with multiple environmental allergies after someone was given a legitimate diagnosis. It was all they could talk about at the time.... comparing symptoms at the KH, using it as an excuse to avoid going in the same car group as someone else whose perfume they didn't like.

    Now in the 21st century, you see JWs suffering from chronic depression. Only this time, there must be something to it, because they don't talk about being depressed or being on anti-depressants... unless they want to be ostracized by their congregation.

  • free2beme

    I was a Witness in the 1990's and remember our congregation counseling woman to not wear perfume to the meetings. To many people were having allergic reactions. Must have been along this same line.

  • Confession

    There was one sister in a congregation near ours who told my wife and I that she had "Environmental Disease." She calmly asked my wife if she always wore so much powerful perfume.

    Later I befriended her husband. He would describe the details of her condition and often comment about how changes should be made in the ventilation systems, carpeting and perfume policies at the Kingdom Halls. I recall being very sympathetic to her condition. But once, in speaking to her husband about what her problem was really like, he discussed how there were smells that made his wife nauseated. The smells, it appears, were everywhere. He talked about how they made his throat constrict--and how it made him ill.

    Wait a minute. Did he say he was having this problem? I thought it was his wife with the disorder. Well, yes, but apparently he had a touch of it too. Hmmm. How shockingly coincidental.

    Some years later, his wife was found to have a troubling mental disorder, which was the true culprit in her supposed "Environmental Disease" and (from what we heard) a few strange behaviors.

    This is not to say that such a condition doesn't exist. I just got a kick at how such a rare immune system disorder was "caught" by her husband.

  • justice for all
    justice for all

    Multi-personality disorders and issues with perfume in my hall... Yep... sounds familiar

  • bigmouth

    "within a short time my friendships tripled and yet the amount of people at the gettogethers were the same."
    "malaise du jour"


    I can remember the time when ANYTHING inexplicable was demonic.Mental unwellness was never something you'd see a doctor about,but the crusty old elders would come and pray over you like exorcists.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    I agree that the malaise de jour can be a real issue among JWs. As Scully said it can be a way out for many.

    But there might actually be some truth to this one.

    People may have picked up on the cult personality.

    ak this computer is crazy i will come back later

  • wednesday

    I can see that it is popluar to belittle illlness that some doctors may not quite understand yet, and have no cures for. Just b/c the doctor can't fix it, does not mean a person is not ill. Yes I have seen it all, hypoglycemia, chemical sensitivites, "the yuppie flu" (chronic fatigue syndrome) or fibromyalgia, adrenal stress. . These are real illness and they are painful and those that have them suffer . It is so difficult to be ill ane made sport of at the same time.

    I do agree the sisters tend to 'catch" these things. I believe this just stems from stress. They are all so stressed. It is no wonder one or more body stytems starts to fail them.I have noted myself and number of the sister to have MS. MS is a solid disease, but does have a stress component.

    As far as multiple personalites, -they do exist. Sometimes persons have dissociative disroders, and confuse it with MPD (which is called DID now, I believe) They can seem very similar, as can PTSD (posttraumatic stess disorders. These all fall under Stress disorders. So with the stress the average jws lives under, it is no wonder some develop some of these disordes.

    It was popular and intertaining in the 90's to have persons on TV that had MPD, but after all the lawsuits over false memories and such, you don't see much of that today.

    These illness exist. You cant catch them as far as I know. Of course people ar suggestable and sometimes when they hear another person talk about how they feel, they realize they too have been feeling the same way. And sometimes it turns out to be a mental illness. A mental illness is a legitimate illness that needs care and the suffers need support and respect.

    I guess some may tend to make sport of what we don't understand

    Just as a side comment, I see a great number od jws in my area who consult alternative medicine. Of course we know the WTS has been are odds with the medical profession since it began.


  • PoppyR

    A close friend of mine while serving at Bethel got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (we called it ME here at the time) and a local hospital told her it was much higher among the witnesses at Bethel than in any other group he had observed.

    Incidentally I'm not making fun! She was really ill, and it took her years to recover. What I'm saying is this doctor said it was becasue the witnesses just could not rest properly, they'd get a cold and be expected to carry on going, especially at Bethel, and this is what contributed to it developing so the body just shut down.

    However then CFS did get 'trendy' and many people would develop it and give it a name, then I'd see them out dancing or whatever and feel very upset for my friend who could often not even get dressed without feeling so weak she had to get back into bed.

    Poppy... (but I'm liking the multiple personality thing, today I might be mata hari )

  • rebel8

    Funny you should mention this...........I used to work in an inpatient facility that had a MPD program (now known as DID). I worked there for years and I am completely skeptical of this disorder to this day. There were a lot of fakers and I had ways of catching them in the act (long story), and as you experienced, it was "contagious". The fakers would get their idea from one patient and then suddenly come up with a case of it but much "worse" or more dramatic than the first patient. The fakers would compete to see how many personalities they could invent and how much attention they could get from the staff. I even caught them several times by eavesdropping on their conversations and hearing them strategize. Those people were sick (borderline personality disorder) but treating them with an MPD program was just making their problems worse. Once we started a program for borderline personality disorder, lo and behold much of the faking and competition stopped.

    There were also a lot of people who were genuinely ill, though I do not believe MPD was the problem. The ones who were genuinely ill I believe were suffering from severe PTSD, a few with psychosis; they were told by their physicians that they had MPD so that's what they believed. They were genuinely hurting from trauma and abuse. IMO nothing the program did to treat MPD was at all helpful. The strategies to treat PTSD were much more helpful to them.

    So faking or not, I always found the best treatment was not the adult play therapy etc. like the MPD program offered, but instead normalization and symptom reduction.

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