OK I'm back and I hope the keyboard is working better Yup so great
I have worked with people who have DID. None of them were JWs but they had all been severey abused as children. Of the 20 or so people I saw only about 2 may have been faking it. But whether they were faking it or not the goal of therapy was to help them to develop healthier coping skills and learn ways to protect themselves just as Rebel said.
The issue with JWs is slightly different. The recruitment process of JWs is controlling but not traumatic in the sense of severe sexual, physical and emotional abuse that my clients experienced. But the WTS recruitment is designed to maximize behavioral, emotional and cognitive controls over a person. In essense the true person winds up sublimated to the "new personality" that the WTS wants to impose on the indvidual. I'm sure all you JWs are well acquainted with the "new personaily" talks.
A person is expected to do things (like going door to door for example) and preach to people - which is most likely something they would never do of their own accord. Shunning family and frienmds would also fall into this category - not a normal part of how a person would react to demands from others to avoid family and friends). Intelligent people with a full capacity to think, feel and behave in normal ways are coerced into the abnormal.
I remember seeing this so clearly when a few years after I left the JWs I ran into an elder's wife. Her husband had died and I wanted to offer my condolences. I was stunned to watch this mature woman regress to a child-like behvior afraid to be caugth talking to me over a rack of items in a store. The transition was astounding.
As Wednesday about pointed out there are a wide variety of dissociative disorders. They fall along a continuum of dissociation. One, daydreaming, is familiar to most people. Another is what is called "highway hynosis" - driving or walking from one place to another but not even being aware of the trip or the turns you have to make to get there. This is the normal end of dissociation. It isn't a disorder because it is normal.
But the other end of dissocialtion is the full blown DID with a wide range of "personailites" with very few knowing of the existence of the other parts. The studies I have seen state that this end of the continuum always stems from severe child abuse/trauma that occurs under the age of 5. This type of dissociative disorder almost always interferes with the adult's ability to function in healthy protective ways with the world around them.
But in between these two extremes there is a vast range of dissociative disorders. And my suspicion is that the WTS 'new personality" falls much closer to the "normal" end of this continuum than the end where full blown DID exists.
Now those who might be faking it? Yup they definitely exist. But there are many people who have a wide range of other disorders often brought on by unrelieved stress. I know when I was a JW I had many psychosomatic disorders. The doctors always managed to find something to explain it but as soon as one got taken care of another would take its place. The final solution for me was to leave the JWs. And what do you know. They all disappeared. Life outside the WTS was a lot less stressful than life as a "happy" JW.