Friday, November 5, 2010

How does the doctor know?

When someone is in treatment for multiple personality disorder, how does the doctor know that the personality they are curing to is the right one?

Granted, if I had personalities like the following:

  • Detailed & humorless electrical engineer
  • Rocket riding space cowboy
  • Superman
  • Burlesque dancer should be pretty easy to pick the right one. But what if I had the following:

  • Detailed & humorless electrical engineer
  • Sloppy & funny mechanical engineer
  • Living in 1984 former football could-have-been-a-star
  • Greedy wall-street tycoon
  • Grumpy guy that yells at kids taking a short cut across his lawn on their way home from school. can the doctor say with all integrity that the personality he chooses is 100% the right one? Isn't there a chance that he could be wrong and at the end of treatment, the patient ends up being someone completely different than who they really are?

I imagine the doctor would rely heavily on family and friends to determine who the person was before they split into several. I shudder at the thought of my wife being the main source of who I am.

"Mrs. Geilman, tell me about your husband when you first met," says Dr. Spaceman.

"Well, he was thinner, had more hair on his head and less on his back. His jaw was more defined-"

“No, no Mrs. Geilman, not what he looked like but what he was like – you know his traits and characteristics. Things he would do, etc…”

“Oh, well he always made me laugh, was happy in his work,” Anna would say and as she spoke she would realize the wonderful opportunity that was laid before her, “and he always said I was the most precious thing in all the world and his entire life was devoted to showing me he meant it. He bathed, fed, and dressed the kids every day. Did all the laundry and cooked every meal. He gave me back rubs every night and every other Saturday surprised me with diamonds. On the off Saturdays, he mixed it up with other precious stones. He made his own clothes so that I would have more money to buy things for me and never, ever complained when I asked him to get a second job to cover my newest hobby. He promised to buy me a Mercedes before he turned thirty three next year and was also going to build a closet just for my purses. He loved dusting and cleaning windows, watching everything on TLC and looked forward to watching ‘Gilmore Girls’ with me every afternoon. Oh, and most importantly, he firmly believed that carnal desires were still wrong even in the bonds of marriage and would only act on them for the purpose of procreation and two kids was the perfect number.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Geilman. This will be very helpful,” says Dr. Spacemen as he scribbles furiously on his yellow pad.

“Oh, my pleasure. I just hope you can help him be the man he was again,” Anna says sweetly. “If I think of anything else, can I email you a list?”

“Yes, yes. That would be fine.”

Terrifying, isn’t it? I guess for the sake of saving my real self in case I ever suffer from multiple personality disorder, I should probably start keeping a secret journal. Or maybe a fake secret journal where I detail my exploits as a rocket riding space cowboy.

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