False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

November 6, 2014 Comments Off on False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

Research

The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992. Research has shown that most delayed memories of childhood abuse are true. In general, it has been shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with some studies showing rates as low as one percent and some studies showing slightly higher rates. It has been found that children tend to understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced. http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome
http://goo.gl/t1oTue

Dallam, S. J. (2002). Crisis or Creation: A systematic examination of false memory claims. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse,9 (3/4), 9-36. “A review of the relevant literature demonstrates that the existence of such a syndrome lacks general acceptance in the mental health field, and that the construct is based on a series of faulty assumptions, many of which have been scientifically disproven. There is a similar lack of empirical validation for claims of a “false memory” epidemic.” http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/6.html

Memory, Abuse, and Science: Questioning Claims about the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic
Kenneth S. Pope http://www.kspope.com/memory/memory.php

False Memory Syndrome Facts Website http://fmsf.com/media.html

Memory & FMS https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/

Recovered Memory Data https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/

Hall, J., Kondora, L. (2005) “True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 10 p. 1339-1359 DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012 “The notion of false accusation is often raised in cases where physical evidence is not available and a period of time has passed or when there has been a delay in recall of the events by a survivor of child sexual abuse. This is not to imply that false memories are not possible. This article outlines how rare they must be, however, based on historical factors and a phenomenological analysis of memory itself….Most scientists investigating traumatic memory doubt that memories of abuse could be planted.”
http://abs.sagepub.com/content/48/10/1339.full.pdf+html

“The hypothesis that false memories can easily be implanted in psychotherapy…seriously overstates the available data. Since no studies have been conducted on suggested effects in psychotherapy per se, the idea of iatrogenic suggestion of false memories remains an untested hypothesis.  Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).” Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5

False Memory Syndrome : A False Construct by Juliette Cutler Page “The concept of “recovered memory”, that is, memory of a traumatic event that had been forgotten for some period of time, has been variously explained by such mechanisms as repression, amnesia, and dissociation. However, there are over 100 years of reports and descriptions of recovered memory in the literature, including instances from times of war, torture, bereavement, natural disasters, and concentration camp imprisonment. (HOROWITZ) Many corroborated cases have been documented in instances of recovered memory of sexual abuse…”

Legal Information

Ground Lost: The False Memory/Recovered Memory Therapy Debate, by Alan Scheflin, Psychiatric Times 11/99, Vol. XVI Issue 11, “The appearance in the DSM-IV indicates that the concept of repressed memory is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. This satisfies courts following the Frye v United States, 293 F.1013 (1923) or Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993) rules regarding the admissibility of scientific testimony into evidence in court.” And “Although the science is limited on this issue, the only three relevant studies conclude that repressed memories are no more and no less accurate than continuous memories (Dalenberg, 1996; Widom and Morris, 1997; Williams, 1995). Thus, courts and therapists should consider repressed memories no differently than they consider ordinary memories.” At http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991137.html

The “False Memory” Defense: Using Disinformation and Junk Science in and out of Court
Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., F.A.S.A.M. “This article describes a seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous “false memory” defense, and compares it in a brief review to what the science says about the effect of trauma on memory. Child sexual abuse is widespread and dissociative/traumatic amnesia for it is common.” http://web.archive.org/web/20070914163211/http://childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield1.phtml

Commonwealth vs. Paul Shanley.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, decided Jan. 15, 2010
The Leadership Council submitted an amicus brief in to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advising the court on scientific knowledge regarding dissociative memory loss. On February 7, 2005, Paul Shanley was convicted of sexually abusing a child. The abuse occurred between 1983 and 1989 when the victim was attending classes at the church where the defendant served as a Catholic priest. Shanley appealed his conviction saying that it was based on recovered memory. His defense team contended that “…’repressed memory’ is a pernicious, unreliable, junk science notion without scientific verification.”

The LC submitted a brief explaining why this position regarding scientific acceptance of dissociative memory loss is inaccurate, and why the Court’s determination that testimony on dissociative memory loss and recovery is admissible was correct. The Court affirmed the conviction and held that ” the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature.”
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/ShanleyBrief.pdf

Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors
As a victim of child abuse who proved my claims in a landmark civil suit, there have been many attempts to silence and discredit me. This article provides an overview of my court case and its effects.
DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_3  Jennifer Hoult  pages 125-140
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a918444285
http://www.fmsf.com/ethics.shtml

Ralph Underwager….Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Anna Salter, Et Al., Defendants-Appellees., 22 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 1994) http://vlex.com/vid/36092881


Media and Information

Originally published in Moving Forward, Volume 3, No. 3, pp 1, 12-21, 1995. The Highly Misleading Truth and Responsibility in Mental Health Practices Act: The “False Memory” Movement’s Remedy for a Nonexistent Problem by Judith M. Simon “Over the past few years, the “false memory” movement has manifested primarily as a media presence that discounts sexual abuse survivors as first-hand witnesses to their own experiences.” http://web.archive.org/web/20050906011329/http://members.aol.com/conch8/antiTRMP1.html

False memory syndrome proponents tactics – False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view. Harassing debate opponents, misrepresenting the data in the field and controlling the media.
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/false-memory-syndrome-proponents-tactics/

U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997
“Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter.”  http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp

Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2  Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/confessions-of-a-whistle-blower-lessons-learned/

Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
http://goo.gl/vvNq6f

Battle Tactics
http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/historymatters/papers/NoelPackard.pdf

Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory Brian Moss, MA, MFT
https://ritualabuse.us/research/did/disinformation-and-did-the-politics-of-memory

Survivors of abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland asked to come forward, Honoring the Truth: A Response to the Backlash from The Courage to Heal

August 23, 2013 Comments Off on Survivors of abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland asked to come forward, Honoring the Truth: A Response to the Backlash from The Courage to Heal

Survivors of abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland asked to come forward

Inquiry into child abuse over 74-year period seeks survivors now living in the United States
By JANE WALSH, IrishCentral Staff Writer Sunday, August 11, 2013

A major inquiry into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland is launching an international appeal for victims and survivors to come forward. The inquiry seeks to investigate child abuse which occurred in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 74-year period, from 1922 up to 1995.

The Inquiry recognizes that there has been considerable migration from Northern Ireland to various parts of the United States and is anxious to encourage any survivors who suffered childhood abuse in Northern Ireland institutions but who now live overseas to get in touch….

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Survivors-of-abuse-in-residential-institutions-in-Northern-Ireland-asked-to-come-forward-218869881.html

HONORING THE TRUTH: A RESPONSE TO THE BACKLASH

by ELLEN BASS and LAURA DAVIS

from THE COURAGE TO HEAL: A GUIDE FOR WOMEN SURVIVORS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE  THIRD EDITION, 1994 published by HarperCollins

“Honoring the Truth” is a response to the current backlash against adult survivors of child sexual abuse. If you’ve watched TV, listened to the radio, or read newspapers or magazines in the past two years, it’s likely that you’ve heard about the “false memory syndrome” and have witnessed attacks on survivors’ memories and credibility. It is these attacks we are responding to here.

As in the rest of The Courage to Heal, we have included the experiences of survivors as well as practical self-help information. Unlike the rest of the book, however, we also incorporate here the work of therapists, researchers, and other experts—and more than a hundred footnotes—to place this backlash in a historical and political perspective….

A LITTLE HISTORY
Since 1860, child abuse has been discovered and then discredited every 35 years by the most visionary clinicians of the day, each faced with the alternative of denouncing the discovery or succumbing to scorn and
disgrace. 6 —Roland Summit

This is not the first time survivors of child sexual abuse have been told they were lying, misguided, vindictive, imagining it, wanting it, or just plain crazy.

Early in his career, Sigmund Freud identified child sexual abuse as the cause of much mental and emotional illness in adulthood. By listening to his patients (a revolutionary idea in itself), he learned that many of the women and men he was treating had been sexually traumatized. 7

Many had initial amnesia for the trauma, but when they were able to recall the events and talk about them, their contemporary symptoms subsided. When he put forth this discovery, Freud was criticized and ridiculed by his colleagues. Ultimately he recanted, and proposed instead that his patients had either fantasized the sex or had desired it. 8 Thus scientific knowledge was put on a fast train backwards, and sexually abused children—and the adults they grew up to be—were left bereft. 9….

In 1870 Josephine Butler campaigned against child prostitution, comparing the traffic in young girls to the slave trade. She was harassed by the London police and assaulted by the owners of brothels. Although her cause was supported by other prominent crusaders in Europe and in the United States, it wasn’t until 1910 that the U.S. Congress passed the Mann Act, forbidding the transport of women and children across state lines for sexual exploitation.1….

In 1937 Loretta Bender and Adam Blau wrote, “These children undoubtedly do not deserve completely the cloak of innocence with which they have been endowed by moralists, social reformers and legislators.” Referring to the children’s “unusually charming and attractive . . . personalities,” they went on to conclude that “the child might have been the actual seducer rather than the one innocently seduced.”1….

And in 1953, Alfred Kinsey and his fellow researchers documented the prevalence of child sexual abuse but minimized its impact. In a sample of over one thousand women, one in four reported sexual abuse. Eighty percent of these said they had been frightened by the encounters, but Kinsey and his colleagues discounted their accounts, writing, “It is difficult to understand why a child, except for its cultural conditioning, should be disturbed at having its genitalia touched.” They went on to express their belief that penalties for perpetrators were overly harsh: “In many instances the law, in the course of punishing the offender, does more damage to more persons than was ever done by the individual in his illicit sexual activity.”1….

As late as the 1970s many clinicians were still taught that incest was extremely rare, affecting only one in a million children.20….

The advances of the past twenty years are a direct outgrowth of the women’s liberation movement that gained force in the 1970s. Women courageously spoke out about rape and battering, wrote books analyzing the ways in which our society condoned such violence, and worked to establish battered women’s shelters and rape crisis centers.

Simultaneously, a few pioneering clinicians and researchers, both men and women, were beginning to study child sexual abuse and set up models for treatment. It was from this visionary thinking—and grassroots activism—that the curren t movement to end child sexual abuse was built.
21

We began to insist that children be protected, survivors be supported, and perpetrators be held responsible for their acts. This monumental advance in our willingness to be aware, to care, and to respond has come about only in the past two decades—most visibly in the past decade. This
is the first time in history that children and adults who were sexually abused have been listened to, respected, and believed….

The current backlash is in direct response to the activism of survivors. It was not until survivors started challenging and changing the laws regarding the accountability of perpetrators—and suing their abusers—that claims of “false memory syndrome” started
to appear….

Why do so many journalists present one-sided, erroneous accounts? The subject is dramatic and controversial. It sells papers, improves ratings, makes great sound bites. It grabs the attention of even the most jaded reader.

The appeal of these stories, however, goes far beyond our national obsession with sex, violence, and broken families. Anti-survivor propaganda has found a receptive audience with the public at large. People read about the “false memory syndrome” and are readily convinced. Why? Because denying the reality of child sexual abuse appeals to a basic human need: the need to distance ourselves from human cruelty….
http://www.fsa-cc.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/HONORING-THE-TRUTH.pdf

Websites with information on programming and survivor issues. https://survivorship.org/programming/

Researchers Find Link Between Childhood Abuse and Age at Menarche

July 31, 2012 Comments Off on Researchers Find Link Between Childhood Abuse and Age at Menarche

Researchers Find Link Between Childhood Abuse and Age at Menarche

ScienceDaily (July 27, 2012) — Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found an association between childhood physical and sexual abuse and age at menarche. The findings are published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers led by corresponding author, Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at BUSM, found a 49 percent increase in risk for early onset menarche (menstrual periods prior to age 11 years) among women who reported childhood sexual abuse compared to those who were not abused. In addition, there was a 50 percent increase in risk for late onset menarche (menstrual periods after age 15 years) among women who reported severe physical abuse in childhood. The participants in the study included 68,505 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a prospective cohort study.

“In our study child abuse was associated with both accelerated and delayed age at menarche and importantly, these associations vary by type of abuse, which suggest that child abuse does not have a homogenous effect on health outcomes,” said Boynton-Jarrett.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120727121413.htm

Renée Boynton-Jarrett, Rosalind J. Wright, Frank W. Putnam, Eileen Lividoti Hibert, Karin B. Michels, Michele R. Forman, Janet Rich-Edwards. Childhood Abuse and Age at Menarche. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.06.006

….Results
Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported some form of physical or sexual abuse in childhood. We found a positive dose–response association between severity of sexual abuse in childhood and risk for early menarche. Compared with women who reported no childhood sexual abuse, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for early menarche in women who reported childhood sexual abuse was 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10, 1.37) for sexual touching and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.34, 1.66) for forced sexual activity. Severe physical abuse predicted early menarche (AOR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.37). Childhood physical abuse had a dose–response association with late age at menarche: AOR 1.17 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.32) for mild, 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.33) for moderate, and 1.50 (95% CI: 1.27, 1.77) for severe physical abuse. Sexual abuse was not associated with late menarche.

Conclusions
Childhood abuse was prevalent in this large cohort of U.S. women. Severity of childhood sexual abuse was associated with risk for early onset of menarche, and physical abuse was associated with both early and late onset of menarche.   http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X%2812%2900227-3/abstract

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain

February 15, 2012 Comments Off on Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain

Child Abuse Leaves Mark on Brain
Jennifer Welsh  Live Science Mon, 13 Feb 2012

Childhood abuse and maltreatment can shrink important parts of the brain, a new study of adults suggests.

Reduced brain volume in parts of the hippocampus could help to explain why childhood problems often lead to later psychiatric disorders, such as depression, drug addiction and other mental health problems, the researchers say. This link could help researchers find better ways to treat survivors of childhood abuse.

“These results may provide one explanation for why childhood abuse has been identified with an increased risk for drug abuse or psychosis,” study researcher Martin Teicher, of Harvard University, told LiveScience. “Now that one can look at these sub-regions [in the brain], we can get a better idea of what treatments are helping.”

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of 193 individuals between 18 and 25 years old, who had already undergone several rounds of testing to be qualified. They then analyzed the size of areas in the hippocampus and compared the results with the patient’s history. They saw that those who had been abused, neglected or maltreated (based on well-established questionnaires) as children had reduced volume in certain areas of the hippocampus by about 6 percent, compared with kids who hadn’t experienced child abuse.

They also had size reductions in a related brain area called the subiculum, which relays the signals from the hippocampus to other areas of the brain, including the dopamine system, also known as the brain’s “reward center.” Volume reduction in the subiculum has been associated with drug abuse and schizophrenia, as well….

The study was published today (Feb. 13) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
http://www.livescience.com/18453-child-abuse-brain.html

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults

October 12, 2011 Comments Off on Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study –

American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume 14, Issue 4 , Pages 245-258, May 1998

Vincent J Felitti MD, FACP, Robert F Anda MD, MS, Dale Nordenberg MD,    David F Williamson MS, PhD, Alison M Spitz MS, MPH, Valerie Edwards BA,     Mary P Koss PhD, James S Marks MD, MPH

Abstract

Background: The relationship of health risk behavior and disease in adulthood to the breadth of exposure to childhood emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, and household dysfunction during childhood has not previously been described.

Methods: A questionnaire about adverse childhood experiences was mailed to 13,494 adults who had completed a standardized medical evaluation at a large HMO; 9,508 (70.5%) responded. Seven categories of adverse childhood experiences were studied: psychological, physical, or sexual abuse; violence against mother; or living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or ever imprisoned. The number of categories of these adverse childhood experiences was then compared to measures of adult risk behavior, health status, and disease. Logistic regression was used to adjust for effects of demographic factors on the association between the cumulative number of categories of childhood exposures (range: 0–7) and risk factors for the leading causes of death in adult life.

Results: More than half of respondents reported at least one, and one-fourth reported =2 categories of childhood exposures. We found a graded relationship between the number of categories of childhood exposure and each of the adult health risk behaviors and diseases that were studied (P < .001). Persons who had experienced four or more categories of childhood exposure, compared to those who had experienced none, had 4- to 12-fold increased health risks for alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and suicide attempt; a 2- to 4-fold increase in smoking, poor self-rated health, =50 sexual intercourse partners, and sexually transmitted disease; and a 1.4- to 1.6-fold increase in physical inactivity and severe obesity. The number of categories of adverse childhood exposures showed a graded relationship to the presence of adult diseases including ischemic heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease. The seven categories of adverse childhood experiences were strongly interrelated and persons with multiple categories of childhood exposure were likely to have multiple health risk factors later in life.

Conclusions: We found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.

….However, our estimates of the prevalence of childhood exposures are similar to estimates from nationally representative surveys, indicating that the experiences of our study participants are comparable to the larger population of U.S. adults. In our study, 23.5% of participants reported having grown up with an alcohol abuser; the 1988 National Health Interview Survey estimated that 18.1% of adults had lived with an alcohol abuser during childhood. Contact sexual abuse was reported by 22% of respondents (28% of women and 16% of men) in our study. A national telephone survey of adults in 1990 using similar criteria for sexual abuse estimated that 27% of women and 16% of men had been sexually abused.

http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2898%2900017-8/fulltext

Convicted Serial Killer Anthony Sowell – child abuse victim

August 11, 2011 Comments Off on Convicted Serial Killer Anthony Sowell – child abuse victim

Sentencing day 6: Anthony Sowell trial
08/08/2011 by Jen Steer, newsnet5.com

A Cuyahoga County jury will continue to hear from witnesses in the sentencing phase for convicted killer of 11 Anthony Sowell.

Last month, that same jury found the 51-year-old guilty on 82 of 83 counts, including aggravated murder. Now, jurors must determine if Sowell gets life in prison or the death penalty.

“It’s not normal for an 11 year old to have sex with 10-year-old niece,” social worker Lori James-Townes said. “There were high levels of promiscuity that are also red flags.” She also indicated that Sowell grew up in a house full of drug use, sexual abuse, incest and physical abuse….

“Essentially, he has indications of brain dysfunction,” said Dr. Watson, a forensic neuropsychologist. Dr. Woods, who is a forensic psychiatrist, said Sowell suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and psychosis….

Sowell is on the witness stand, answering questions from his defense attorney John Parker. He will not be cross-examined by the prosecution.

“She sexually abused me,” Sowell said, after an much older relative. “No, I don’t want to talk about that… There was a lot of sexual activity going on there.”

…”And it’s because of this abuse and this miserable, sad life he murdered 11 women?” assistant prosecutor Pinkey Carr said.

“That’s not just the only reason… There are multiple reasons,” James Townes said. She continues to emphasis the need for context, saying that abuse was just one of the factors over the course of Anthony Sowell’s life that resulted in murder. She points to sexual abuse, a strained relationship with his mother and witnessing other children being abused among the cause. The sexual abuse in the home reportedly started when some of the children were just 10 or 11 years old.

“It’s extremely underreported, I can’t say that enough,” James-Townes said. “The children were afraid. The children, the ones who did tell were beaten.”

…”When children are growing up in this type of situation, it impacts them in a variety of ways,” Lori James-Townes said. “It makes him susceptible to violence later in life.”

“There should be an assessment made when you see certain risk factors,” she said, referring to Anthony Sowell’s school records….

“Childhood abuse is the biggest red flag for adult criminal behavior,” James-Townes said. “The sad thing about this is trauma is extremely treatable… The problem comes in when they don’t get treated.” She said that telling the story is one of the most helpful ways to treat someone who has suffered trauma.

“We know that most people in prison, men or women, has suffered some sort of abuse,” she said. According to James- Townes, there is no therapy in prison, but they focus on reprogramming the individuals….

According to James-Townes, research shows that child abuse is severely underreported and that it’s not uncommon for people to not talk about the abuse until they are adults. She said she used a genogram to help explain the risk factors in Sowell’s childhood. A genogram is a visual depiction and a snapshot of a person’s family.

While pointing to the chart, James-Townes explains that Sowell’s paternal side of the family had a history of substance abuse and heart disease. The genogram goes back four or five generations, which James-Townes said is very uncommon to find those kinds of records.

On his mother’s side, the chart shows that Anthony Sowell was 17 years younger than his sister, Patricia. She said there were pregnancies when female family members when they were 12 and 15. Other risk factors include epilepsy, sexual abuse and mental problems….

James-Townes said that they need to pay particular attention to the trauma and abuse he suffered growing up, and the the abuse that people around him went through. Based on interviews with family, she said that Sowell kept to himself as a child and was isolated, despite going to school nearly everyday.

“It’s not normal for an 11 year old to have sex with 10-year-old niece,” she said. “There were high levels of promiscuity that are also red flags.”

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/crime/bodies_found/Sentencing-day-6-Anthony-Sowell-trial

WI lawmakers look to pass “Caylee’s Law”, Trauma and Dissociation in China

August 1, 2011 Comments Off on WI lawmakers look to pass “Caylee’s Law”, Trauma and Dissociation in China

“There is virtually no popular or professional knowledge of dissociative identity disorder in China, and therefore professional and popular contamination cannot exist.”

“Dissociative disorders were diagnosed in 24 respondents by structured interview, and 15 respondents fell into the dissociative taxon on the Dissociative Experiences Scale.”

Trauma and Dissociation in China

Am J Psychiatry 163:1388-1391, August 2006
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.8.1388
2006 American Psychiatric Association

OBJECTIVE: In order to determine whether pathological dissociation occurs in China, the authors conducted a survey among psychiatric inpatients, outpatients, and the general population in Shanghai, China. There is virtually no popular or professional knowledge of dissociative identity disorder in China, and therefore professional and popular contamination cannot exist.

METHOD: Chinese versions of the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule were administered to 423 inpatients, 304 outpatients, and 618 factory workers in Shanghai by Chinese psychiatrists working at the Shanghai Mental Health Center.

RESULTS: Dissociative disorders were diagnosed in 24 respondents by structured interview, and 15 respondents fell into the dissociative taxon on the Dissociative Experiences Scale. The outpatients reported the highest rates of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse and of pathological dissociation.

ONCLUSIONS: Pathological dissociation can be detected readily among psychiatric outpatients in China but is much less common in the general population. Pathological dissociation is more frequent in more traumatized subsamples of the Chinese population. The findings are not consistent with the sociocognitive, contamination, or iatrogenic models of dissociative identity disorder.
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/163/8/1388

Trauma and Dissociation in China
Zeping Xiao, M.D., Heqin Yan, Zhen Wang, M.D., Zheng Zou, M.D., Yong Xu, M.D., Jue Chen, M.D., Haiyin Zhang, M.D., Colin A. Ross, M.D., and Benjamin B. Keyes, Ph.D.
Am J Psychiatry 163:1388-1391, August 2006
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.8.1388
2006 American Psychiatric Association

quotes:
“China is a country in which there is little public or cultural
awareness of dissociative identity disorder or other forms of chronic, complex, pathological dissociation. We are not familiar with any representation of the disorder on television, in film, in novels or plays, or in popular folklore. The trauma model of dissociation is not taught at medical schools in China, and dissociative disorders are very rarely
diagnosed by mental health professionals. China, therefore, is virtually free of cultural or professional contamination concerning dissociative disorders.”

“The results of our study support the epidemiological
prediction of the trauma model of dissociation and are not
consistent with the sociocognitive model. Pathological dissociation was reported by Chinese respondents, despite the lack of contamination, role demands, and iatrogenic suggestion in China.”

“As shown in Table 1, there are hints in the secondary features of dissociative identity disorder that full or partial
forms of dissociative identity disorder could affect more
than 2.3% of the Chinese outpatient sample (the sum of
the frequencies of these two diagnoses on the Dissociative
Disorders Interview Schedule). For instance, 3.6% of the Chinese outpatients said that they have another person
inside of them.

The outpatients reported more childhood trauma than
the other two groups. The outpatients had more dissociative
disorders on the Dissociative Disorders Interview
Schedule, more members of the dissociative taxon on the
Dissociative Experiences Scale, higher average scores on
the Dissociative Experiences Scale, and more secondary
features of dissociative identity disorder on the Dissociative
Disorders Interview Schedule. Thus, the outpatients
were more dissociative than the other two groups on four
different ways of assessing dissociation. The fact that they
also reported more childhood abuse is consistent with the
trauma model of pathological dissociation.”

“China provides an example of a culture largely uncontaminated by popular or professional
knowledge of dissociative identity disorder and therefore
is suitable for testing the epidemiological predictions of
the trauma and sociocognitive models.”

full text at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/163/8/1388.pdf

WI lawmakers look to pass “Caylee’s Law”
Jul 31, 2011  By Megan Wiebold

Eau Claire (WQOW) – After the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the death of her daughter, Caylee, many lawmakers clamored to create a law that would punish  parents for failing to alert police when their son or daughter is missing. Wisconsin is just one of nearly two dozen states that are looking into creating a measure that would be called “Caylee’s Law”.

2-year-old Caylee Anthony had been missing for 31 days before police knew about her disappearance. Wisconsin lawmakers say they’ve gotten hundreds of e-mails and phone calls about creating a law to punish parents who do not report their child missing.

….There are currently no laws in Wisconsin that punish parents for failing to report a missing child. Lawmakers say it’s an issue that’s been discussed for years.
….Currently, there are two versions of the law being drafted.

http://www.wqow.com/story/15182706/wi-lawmakers-look-to-pass-caylees-law

Traumatic memory: memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia

June 23, 2011 Comments Off on Traumatic memory: memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia

The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory.

Included are cases involving survivors of childhood abuse, survivors of the Holocaust, and war veterans.

In addition to supporting the phenomenon in general, these articles also counter the argument that recovered memory is (a) no more than a recent cultural “fad” and (b) specific to false accusers of sexual abuse.

http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/traumatic-memory/

excerpts:
Bremner, J. D., Krystal, J. H., Charney, D. S., & Southwick, S. M. (1996). Neural mechanisms in dissociative amnesia for childhood abuse: Relevance to the current controversy surrounding the “false memory syndrome.” The American Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 71-82.

….CONCLUSIONS: John Nemiah pointed out several years ago that alterations in memory in the form of dissociative amnesia are an important part of exposure to traumatic stressors, such as childhood abuse. The studies reviewed here show that extreme stress has long-term effects on memory. These findings may provide a model for understanding the mechanisms involved in dissociative amnesia, as well as a rationale for phenomena such as delayed recall of childhood abuse.

….Briere, J., & Conte, J. R. (1993, January). Self-reported amnesia for abuse in adults molested as children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 6(1), 21-31.

….A sample of 450 adult clinical subjects reporting sexual abuse histories were studied regarding their repression of sexual abuse incidents. A total of 267 subjects (59.3%) identified some period in their lives, before age 18, when they had no memory of their abuse. Variables most predictive of abuse-related amnesia were greater current psychological symptoms, molestation at an early age, extended abuse, and variables reflecting especially violent abuse

….Chu, J. A., Frey, L. M., Ganzel, B. L., & Matthews, J. A. (1999, May). Memories of childhood abuse: Dissociation, amnesia, and corroboration. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(5), 749-755.

….Childhood abuse, particularly chronic abuse beginning at early ages, is related to the development of high levels of dissociative symptoms including amnesia for abuse memories. This study strongly suggests that psychotherapy usually is not associated with memory recovery and that independent corroboration of recovered memories of abuse is often present.

….DeWind, E. (1968). The confrontation with death. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 49, 302-305.

Excerpt: “Most former inmates of Nazi concentration camps could not remember anything of the first days of imprisonment because perception of reality was so overwhelming that it would lead to a mental chaos which implies a certain death.”

….Durlacher, G. L. (1991). De zoektocht [The search]. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff.

Dutch sociologist Durlacher, a survivor of Birkenau, describes his search for and meetings with another 20 child survivors from this camp. Excerpt: “Misha….looks helplessly at me and admits hesitantly that the period in the camps is wiped out from his brain….With each question regarding the period between December 12, 1942 till May 7, 1945, he admits while feeling embarrassed that he cannot remember anything….Jindra…had to admit that he remembers almost nothing from his years in the camps….From the winter months of 1944 until just before the liberation in April 1945, only two words stayed with him: Dora and Nordhausen

….Elliott, D. M., & Briere, J. (1995, October). Posttraumatic stress associated with delayed recall of sexual abuse: A general population study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 8(4), 629-647. (Child Abuse Crisis Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA.)

Abstract: This study examined delayed recall of childhood sexual abuse in a stratified random sample of the general population (N = 505). Of participants who reported a history of sexual abuse, 42% described some period of time when they had less memory of the abuse than they did at the time of data collection. No demographic differences were found between subjects with continuous recall and those who reported delayed recall. However, delayed recall was associated with the use of threats at the time of the abuse.

….Feldman-Summers, S., Pope, K. S. (1994, June). The experience of “forgetting” childhood abuse: A national survey of psychologists. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 636-639.

Abstract: A national sample of psychologists were asked whether they had been abused as children and, if so, whether they had ever forgotten some or all of the abuse. Almost a quarter of the sample (23.9%) reported childhood abuse, and of those, approximately 40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse. The major findings were that (1) both sexual and nonsexual abuse were subject to periods of forgetting; (2) the most frequently reported factor related to recall was being in therapy; (3) approximately one half of those who reported forgetting also reported corroboration of the abuse….

Herman, J. L., & Harvey, M. R. (1997). Adult memories of childhood trauma: a naturalistic clinical study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10(4), 557-571.

Abstract: The clinical evaluations of 77 adult psychiatric outpatients reporting memories of childhood trauma were reviewed. A majority of patients reported some degree of continuous recall. Roughly half (53%) said they had never forgotten the traumatic events. Two smaller groups described a mixture of continuous and delayed recall (17%) or a period of complete amnesia followed by delayed recall (16%).

….Krell, R. (1993). Child survivors of the Holocaust: Strategies of adaptation. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 38, 384-389.

Excerpt: “The most pervasive preoccupation of child survivors is the continuing struggle with memory, whether there is too much or too little….For a child survivor today, an even more vexing problem is the intrusion of fragments of memory—most are emotionally powerful and painful but make no sense. They seem to become more frequent with time and are triggered by thousands of subtle or not so subtle events

….Kuch, K., & Cox, B. J. (1992). Symptoms of PTSD in 124 survivors of the Holocaust. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 337-340.

Potential subjects with confirmed or suspected organicity, bipolar or obsessive compulsive disorder were excluded. One group (N=78) had been detained in various concentration camps for greater than 1 month. A second group (N=20) had been detained in Auschwitz and had been tattooed. A third group (N=45) had not been in labor camps, ghettos, or had hidden in the illegal underground. Psychogenic amnesia was found in 3.2% of the totals sample, in 3.8 of the general concentration camp survivors, and in 10% of tattooed survivors of Auschwitz. 17.7% (N=22) of the total sample had received psychotherapy.

….Loftus, E. F., Polonsky, S., & Fullilove, M. T. (1994, March). Memories of childhood sexual abuse: Remembering and repressing. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18(1), 67-84. (University of Washington, Psychology Department, Seattle, WA.)

Abstract: Women involved in outpatient treatment for substance abuse were interviewed to examine their recollections of childhood sexual abuse. Overall, 54% of the 105 women reported a history of childhood sexual abuse. Of these, the majority (81%) remembered all or part of the abuse their whole lives; 19% reported they forgot the abuse for a period of time, and later the memory returned.

….Melchert, T. P. (1996, October). Childhood memory and a history of different forms of abuse. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 27(5), 438-446. (Texas Tech University, Department of Psychology, Lubbock, TX.)

Abstract: A widespread professional and public controversy has recently emerged regarding recovered memories of child sexual abuse, but the prevalence and nature of these memories have received limited empirical examination. This study (N = 553 nonclinical participants) found that very similar proportions of those with histories of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse reported that they had periods without memory of their abuse (21%, 18%, and 18%, respectively).

….Musaph, H. (1993). Het post-concentratiekampsyndroom [The post-concentration camp syndrome]. Maandblad Geestelijke volksgezondheid [Dutch Journal of Mental Health], 28(5), 207-217.

Amnesia exists for certain Holocaust experiences, while other experiences are extremely well remembered.

….van der Hart, O., Bolt, H., & van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Memory fragmentation in dissociative identity disorder. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 6(1), 55-70. (Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.)

Abstract: This study examined the quality of self-reported memories of traumatic experiences in participants with dissociative identity disorder (DID) and compared them with their memories of non-traumatic, but emotionally significant life experiences. Systematic interview data were gathered from 30 DID patients in The Netherlands. All participants reported a history of severe childhood abuse; 93.3% reported some period of amnesia for the index traumatic event, and 33.3% reported periods of amnesia for significant non-traumatic childhood experiences. All participants who had been amnestic for their trauma reported that their memories were initially retrieved in the form of somatosensory flashbacks. This suggests that, like PTSD patients, DID patients at least initially recall their trauma not as a narrative, but as somatosensory re-experiencing.

….Wagenaar, W. A., & Groeneweg, J. (1990). The memory of concentration camp survivors. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 4, 77-87.

Abstract: This study is concerned with the question whether extremely emotional experiences, such as being the victim of Nazi concentration camps, leave traces in memory that cannot be extinguished. Relevant data were obtained from testimony by 78 witnesses in a case against Marinus De Rijke, who was accused of Nazi crimes in Camp Erika in The Netherlands. The testimonies were collected in the periods 1943–1947 and 1984–1987. A comparison between these two periods reveals the amount of forgetting that occurred in 40 years. Results show that camp experiences were generally well-remembered, although specific but essential details were forgotten. Among these were forgetting being maltreated, forgetting names and appearance of the torturers, and forgetting being a witness to murder.

….Williams, L. M. (1994, December). Recall of childhood trauma: A prospective study of women’s memories of child sexual abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62(6), 1167-1176. (University of New Hampshire, Family Research Lab, Durham, NH.)

Abstract: One hundred twenty-nine women with previously documented histories of sexual victimization in childhood were interviewed and asked detailed questions about their abuse histories to answer the question “Do people actually forget traumatic events such as child sexual abuse, and if so, how common is such forgetting?” A large proportion of the women (38%) did not recall the abuse that had been reported 17 years earlier. Women who were younger at the time of the abuse and those who were molested by someone they knew were more likely to have no recall of the abuse.

….Yehuda, R., Schmeidler, J., Siever, L. J., Binder-Brynes, K., & Elkin, A. (1997). Individual differences in posttraumatic stress disorder symptom profiles in Holocaust survivors in concentration camps or in hiding. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, 453-465.

46% of 100 survivors report amnesia on PTSD measures.
http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/traumatic-memory/

brain differences in DID/MPD patients, child abuse changes the brain

June 12, 2011 Comments Off on brain differences in DID/MPD patients, child abuse changes the brain

Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder
The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment
Recent findings regarding brain development and childhood abuse/adversity
Does Child Abuse Permanently Alter the Brain?
The Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (including physical and sexual abuse)

Hippocampal and Amygdalar Volumes in Dissociative Identity Disorder
Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D., Christian Schmahl, M.D., Sanneke Lindner, M.Sc., Richard J. Loewenstein, M.D., and J. Douglas Bremner, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 163:630-636, April 2006
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.630….

METHOD: The authors used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala in 15 female patients with dissociative identity disorder and 23 female subjects without dissociative identity disorder or any other psychiatric disorder. The volumetric measurements for the two groups were compared.

RESULTS: Hippocampal volume was 19.2% smaller and amygdalar volume was 31.6% smaller in the patients with dissociative identity disorder, compared to the healthy subjects. The ratio of hippocampal volume to amygdalar volume was significantly different between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with the presence of smaller hippocampal and amygdalar volumes in patients with dissociative identity disorder, compared with healthy subjects.
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/163/4/630

full text
“The patients with dissociative identity disorder in our study showed a 19.2% smaller hippocampal volume and a 31.6% smaller amygdalar volume, compared with the healthy subjects.”
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/163/4/630

The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment
Martin H. Teicher, Susan L. Andersena, Ann Polcarib, Carl M. Andersona, Carryl P. Navaltae, and Dennis M. Kima

Abstract
Early severe stress and maltreatment produces a cascade of neurobiological events that have the potential to cause enduring changes in brain development. These changes occur on multiple levels, from neurohumoral (especially the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal {HPA} axis) to structural and functional. The major structural consequences of early stress include reduced size of the mid-portions of the corpus callosum and attenuated development of the left neocortex, hippocampus, and amygdala.

Major functional consequences include increased electrical irritability in limbic structures and reduced functional activity of the cerebellar vermis. There are also gender differences in vulnerability and functional consequences. The neurobiological sequelae of early stress and maltreatment may play a significant role in the emergence of psychiatric disorders during development.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763403000071

Dr. Martin H. Teicher – Recent findings regarding brain development and childhood abuse/adversity
https://drteicher.wordpress.com/

https://drteicher.wordpress.com/2010/11/
Keynote: Pierre Janet memorial lecture ISSTD
Does Child Abuse Permanently Alter the Brain?
Martin H. Teicher, M.D., Ph.D. (PowerPoint)

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
New York Academy of Sciences June 1997
Volume 821 Psychobiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, The Pages xi–xv, 1–548
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.1997.821.issue-1/issuetoc
includes:
Psychobiological Effects of Sexual Abuse : A Longitudinal Study (pages 150–159)
FRANK W. PUTNAM and PENELOPE K. TRICKETT
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48276.x

Preliminary Evidence for Abnormal Cortical Development in Physically and Sexually Abused Children Using EEG Coherence and MRI (pages 160–175)
MARTIN H. TEICHER, YUTAKA ITO, CAROL A. GLOD, SUSAN L. ANDERSEN, NATALIE DUMONT and ERIKA ACKERMAN
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48277.x

Implicit and Explicit Memory for Trauma-Related Information in PTSD (pages 219–224) RICHARD J. MCNALLY
DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48281.x

Trauma, Dissociation, and Memory (pages 225–237)
DAVID SPIEGEL DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1997.tb48282.x

 

Biological Links Found Between Childhood Abuse and Adolescent Depression

April 22, 2011 Comments Off on Biological Links Found Between Childhood Abuse and Adolescent Depression

Biological Links Found Between Childhood Abuse and Adolescent Depression – ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011)

Kate Harkness has found that a history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood substantially increases the risk of depression in adolescence by altering a person’s neuroendocrine response to stress. Adolescents with a history of maltreatment and a mild level of depression were found to release much more of the stress hormone cortisol than is normal in response to psychological stressors such as giving a speech or solving a difficult arithmetic test.

“This kind of reaction is a problem because cortisol kills cells in areas of the brain that control memory and emotion regulation,” explains Dr. Harkness, a professor in the Department of Psychology and an expert in the role of stress and trauma in adolescent depression. “Over time cortisol levels can build up and increase a person’s risk for more severe endocrine impairment and more severe depression.”….
Dr. Harkness recently presented her findings at the International Society for Affective Disorders Conference in Toronto. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110420125506.htm

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