Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Joan Acocella, 214 pp, $25, ISBN 0-7879-4794-6, San Francisco, Calif, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999.
In Creating Hysteria, Joan Acocella relates the modern history of multiple personality disorder (MPD), which is now known as dissociative identity disorder. Acocella asks why the diagnosis of MPD exploded from 1985 to 1995, then fell suddenly to the level of an unusual, rare disorder. At the risk of revealing too much of the plot, I will summarize the chronology of this medical, psychological, and sociological thriller:
1957: Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley publish The Three Faces of Eve. The Academy Award-winning movie comes out the same year, and "Eve White," "Eve Black," and "Jane" capture the interest of the American public.
Multiple PersonalityCreating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder. JAMA. 2000;283(19):2585-2586. doi:10.1001/jama.283.19.2585