Monday, April 14, 2008

Herschel Walker - Pro Football Legend - Multiple Personality Disorder

My phone rang this morning around 7:15 and my friend, Wendy, was on the line telling me that they were going to be talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly know as Multiple Personality Disorder) on Good Morning America. I had seen the ads on television of Friday and I was curious so I pulled myself out of bed to see.

Mostly I was curious because I wanted to see what Herschel Walker identifying with Multiple personality Disorder was going to look like. I wanted to know if this was going to be another circus that makes multiples look bad or was it actually going to be something that helps bring useful attention to a diagnosis that many professionals still don't even want to accept.

I thought I had remembered news releases about Walker pulling a gun on his wife a while back. I knew that wouldn't make us multiples look good. It seems the only multiples that seem to get attention are those that are the extreme. Knowing that Walker pulled a gun on his wife doesn't make it look good for multiples being "normal" people with just a little bit different kind of problem.

Those professionals who do treat multiples believe that there are many multiples out there functioning just fine. No one would even notice or question because they are so high functioning. They think it's only when some kind of trauma happens that the system can get tipped out of balance and then therapy is required.

For Herschel Walker evidently that trauma was when he quit playing football. His whole life was wrapped up in that profession. When it came to an end the real problems started.

Also from the interview, it didn't sound like he really knows anything about the childhood trauma that cause him to dissociate in the first place. I wonder if the book will shed light on that subject.

That would be a good thing if he can pull it off. Because this ex pro football player is known by most Americans, he could be really helpful or do us all even more damage depending on whether or not those people believe him or not. Or whether they see him as sympathetic. If he comes off like another Mike Tyson bully athlete just trying to make excuses, he's not going to help the image of multiples. But if the public believes him and can empathize with him at all, it will sure help educate people.

My guess is many of his friends are now scratching their heads and thinking, that's what that was all about. I should have known. According to Walker the reason for the book was to help other multiples, to make people aware and help multiples be accepted.I guess for me the jury is still out. I will have to read the book. What do you all think?

Why can't some "normal" multiple like me get a book contract and tv time? I'm pretty sure the world would be surprised to see a multiple out of therapy, breeding, raising, training and showing my Arabian horses. I'm pretty sure those people in my industry would find my life to be pretty normal. A success story for a multiple is long over due if you ask me.


Patches said...

I wrote a bit about it on our blog. I want to read the book before I say more.
I liked how his x-wife said it made sense, I liked ow she was mad at the idea that DID doesn't exist.

It really bugged me that other than the controversy about the validity of the diagnosis, much of the report was about the times there was violence.

I loved how Mr. Walker didn't care that others may not believe him.

I completely agree with you that this could either help us or hurt us, as multiples. Sadly though, the truth is that people will always doubts us, always say we aren't multiple, always say it doesn't exist.

Cheesemeister said...

"Normal" people aren't exciting enough--you need some sort of wild story that could make the TV movie of the week!
But actually I think your story is very interesting and you could publish it. Most of the big publishing houses won't even look at an unknown, but I used Outskirts Press and I have been quite pleased. You could check them out.

Kahless said...

Mostly the popular stories are the sensational ones. The memorable stories are the ones more reflective of real life. Keep plugging away.

katy said...

Hi RR just want to let you know that I am taking a break for a while, hope to be back, till then byeeeeeeeeeeee x

jumpinginpuddles said...

still pisses us off that the topic is so widely discussed to such varying degrees by people who are either clueless or ignorant or dissociative or healing or whatever, rarely is DID discussed in positive terms becasue it seems its the only mental illness that has the most stigma attached.

Rising Rainbow said...

patches, you are right. There will always be those people who don't believe. But hopefully some people will change their minds and begin to accept the reality we live with.

cheesemeister, you are right about wild and exciting. I think my history is probably wild enough.

Thanks for the tip on Outskirts Press, I will check it out. I really need to get to writing the darn thing instead of just talking about it, however.

kahless, I'm afraid that my remark probably doesn't really fit my book, however. My history is pretty sensational. I do need to get working on the book though.

katy, I will miss you. Hurry back!

jip, I'm not sure it has the most stigma because the schizophrenics are pretty high up there on the list. But I do think we have the corner on the market for sensational.

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

I agree....would love to see a success story published or put on tv!

April_optimist said...

Oh, gosh! Herschel Walker was at the University of Georgia when my then husband was teaching there. No one knew he was MPD.

Why does he get a contract and not a "regular" MPD? Because that's how publishing works. They want to know they can sell a minimum of 10 to 20 thousand hardcover books right out of the gate. So the author needs to be a celebrity or such a strong hook that the sales are guaranteed.

Lynn said...

Hi, RR. I think the reason that the extreme or violent behavior of multiples is highlighted in stories might be to illustrate the different ways of being in a way that will really impact people and make them understand how things 'change' for those who are effected. I wonder, too, if it's not to help convince skeptics that it exists at all?

If your book were to be published, I would most definitely purchase a copy. Not everyone really needs tales of the wild and the extreme to hold their attention. From what I have read on your blog, I think your story would be very well told.

kïrstin said...

i had to laugh when you said cats are bossy. that they are. with a few exceptions. still, they are most entertaining ...

i get what youre saying here too. at the clinic where i work, they used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, but there were so many fakers that the staff there is now quite jaded on the subject. i happen to believe it is a real Dx, but i have seen the fakers as well.

as with many things, i suppose.

the problem with fakers is that they tend to do it for selfish benefits at the cost of others, and they usually are liars about most everything else as well. this creates a really bad taste in peoples mouths. makes them want to throw the baby out with the bath water.


keepers said...

the media doesn't want "normal" people, has to be a celeb like cheesemiester and apriloptimist said, if Herschel Walker was henry Smith he wouldn't be on Tv or on the bestseller list either.


Kahless said...

In the uk a drama on the bbc has just featured a man with DID. the story centred around him being a serial killer.
I have never seen someone on the tv with DID portrayed otherwise. i am sorry about that. It is wrong. Because as I think you have said before a person with DID is no more likely to be a criminal that someone without DID.
Unfortunately the TV just promotes sutle prejudism. No wonder people with DID like to keep it hidden.

BTW, it has just occured to me that I havent come across a male blogger with DID. Is it more prevalent in women because women are more likely to be abused?

Or is it because women are tougher and are more able to adapt and create coping mechanisms to survive? (Because I see DID as a mechanism of strong persons.)

Rising Rainbow said...

frazzled farm wife, maybe someday that will happen.

april_optimist, I think my therapy story should be sensational enough for them. Truddi Chase's story was a best seller and even got published in paperback. So I would think if I could just get my foot in a door, I'd be OK in that regard. It's getting that foot in that seems to be my problem.

I think with a story like mine no one expects to see someone living a normal life at the end of it. Truddi Chase was secretive about what her life is like now so that left folks thinking she's still "crazy". (lol I just can't resist throwing that word around, it's use for defining multiples is so ignorant!) I think it would be helpful for people to know that "normal" is possible.

lynn, I don't know why they portray multiples the way they do. I think mostly it's affected by what they think will give them ratings and people are intrigued by multiples for some reason so they figure ratings are a given with the subject.

I hope I will get my book thing off the ground but I will have to warn you it will be graphic and emotional. What happened to me was horrific and the book will tell the story in all it's horror.

kirstin, you are right about that. Their sure have been enough fakers trying to use MPD as a defense for criminal activity. Don't even get me started on that topic. I'm sure that has made it harder for some to believe but I think the others wouldn't believe it if it was a train and ran them down.

keepers, I get that Herschel Walker had a instant hit because of who he is but Truddi Chase wasn't anyone famous before her book. She managed to get a book published. I'm not going to give up!

kahless, Most times the criminals with DID they do stories about are male. I've read a couple of books about male multiples but they were written by someone else.

I suspect that men don't share their problems with others the way that women do and that might be why you don't see men blogging about it. I know from a couple of books written by therapists that the proportion of men to women multiples is relative to the proportion of men to women victims.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read his book but I had the same thought as you. I'm normal and I want to publish a book.

My memoir is finished and I'm currently writing a novel. But normal is what normal does.