Showing posts with label Hershel Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hershel Walker. Show all posts

December 1, 2022

Hershel Walker and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Hershel Walker and Dissociative Identity Disorder

By Hal Brown

Introduction:

'Thought he was going to beat me': Herschel Walker hit with disturbing claims by yet another accuser

 This is the comment I posted on the RawStory article, above, which led me to repost my blog stories about Herschel Walker and his claim that he suffered form Dissociative Identity Disorder, perviously called Multiple Personality Disorder.

I was a psychotherapist for 40 years and treated about five patients with the diagnosis, dissociative identity disorder (DID) - aka multiple personalities which Walker claims he was cured of (by a therapist that believes in demon possession). This is alway caused by severe prolonged childhood trauma, usually sexual abuse, and far more common in women than men. A hallmark of DID is that when one personality is in control the other often have amnesia for that that personality does. Another is that there are one or more personalities (called alters) that identify with the past abuser and are dangerous to the other personalities and sometimes other people.

Walker's abuse seems to be that he was bullied as a child. This doesn't fit the diagnosis. "Cure" means that all the personalities have been integrated into one. It means there are no amnesias.

DID is extremely difficult to cure. If, a big if, Walker really had DID, I believe he still has it. This would explain his saying he didn't do thing others attest to his having done. It means that another personality did it. The personality denying it might not remember doing it.

My updated original story:

Herschel Walker, or one part of him, may be telling the truth 

By Hal Brown

About the "therapist" Jerry Mungadze who Walker claims cured him.  He believes in demonic possession, the occult, exorcism and gay conversion therapy.

Breaking story:

‘Train wreck’: Herschel Walker criticized for new ad claiming God helped him ‘overcome’ mental illness


One does not "overcome" a serious disorder like he claims to have had with help from God.

Here's my original story:

During my 40 year career I have treated five patients with dissociative identity disorder of DID. I could write a book about them and my experiences in trying to help them avoid engaging in the self-destructive behavior which was caused by one or more personalities, or alters, trying to hurt or even kill the others. In some cases these alters didn't know that killing the body of another alter or alters would also end their lives. The belief system of such alters sometimes didn't include a recognition that they resided in the same physical body as the other alters. In fact when in control these alters often had far greater physical strength than the others and didn't experience pain.

This being said I have come to a conclusion about Hershel Walker claiming that allegations of his paying for an abortion or abusing his ex-wife are lies may be the truth as he knows it, or at least as the Walker saying this knows or remembers it. 

The best way to understand Hershel Walker may be to consider his own book about how he suffered from dissociative identity disorder (which until it was renamed it was called multiple personality disorder or MPD). You can read a good summary of it here.

To quote the article:

Everyone has various facets that make up his or her personality -- assertive, angry, comforting. But, experts explain, in DID, these various parts -- known as alters -- don't come together as one cohesive single personality. Instead, one or the other part of the identity takes over and determines one's behavior. Video

Asked how many different personality facets, or alters, he has, Walker replied: "To be honest, I have no idea." But in the book, Walker talks about a dozen. They're described by their roles or function: the Hero, the Coach, the Enforcer, the Consoler, the Daredevil, the Warrior, to name a few.

Some of these alters did a lot of good, he said. But others led to some extreme and violent behavior, most of which Walker said he doesn't remember. As a result, the disorder, or DID, led to the breakup of his marriage. "I lost the person that was like everything to me," he said. "I lost my wife and that's totally, totally devastating to me." 

Walker said a competitive alter caused him to be a danger to himself, playing Russian roulette more than once. In the book he describes another incident, the very late delivery of a car, that made him so angry he had thoughts of killing someone. It was the moment he realized had to seek help, he said, which ultimately led to his diagnosis.

 

There are two crucial sentences above:

  • Some of these alters did a lot of good, he said. But others led to some extreme and violent behavior, most of which Walker said he doesn't remember.
  • Walker said a competitive alter caused him to be a danger to himself, playing Russian roulette more than once.

In the first sentence what is most important to note is that he admits to amnesia. In the second sentence he refers to a competitive alter engaging in suicidal behavior. Calling this merely a competitive alter minimizes the fact that this alter was dangerously self-destructive and malevolent. Having such an alter is, if not a universal trait in DID at least is very common. It is a personality that in order to protect the core personality or personalities identified with the aggressor.


The following is based on my own experiences with DID patients, extensive reading, and attending workshops presented by experts.

DID develops as a way to cope with extreme childhood abuse. It is usually sexual abuse of a female by an adult male in the family, usually a father, step-father, or other caregiver. DID in males in less common. The most well known case of a male with DID is Billy Milligan. 

For reasons not known, some victims are capable of creating alter personalities which experience the abuse and then instead of developing totally amnesia for it create, through a kind of self-hypnosis, another personalty which has no memory for it. 

In DID a patient can have only two personalities, one with the abuse memories and one with no memory of them. Other patients may continue to create new alters to deal with other incidents of abuse, and then use this ability to continue to spin off alters to deal with other life stress.

Sometimes they never seek treatment because despite periods of amnesia they don't feel much distress.

It is an unfortunate aspect of the disorder that in the worst cases the patient has an alter that identified with the authority figure who abused the actual patient who is perceived by this alter as a different person. While originally a protector they can develop to be a destructive force in the patient's life.

A hallmark of DID is amnesia.  During many of the times when certain alters are in control other alters have no memory of what was happening. 

Here's a clinical example from my own experiences (with all names changed). This client died about 15 years ago, officially ruled a suicide although it is possible that he aggressive malevolent alter attempted to kill all the other alters believing he would survive:

One of my patients first came to me with the presenting problem being that she was losing things, and when I pressed her to explain she reluctantly told me she was also losing track of time, sometimes entire days. In that first session I said matter-of-factly "is there someone here who'll tell me what happens when Alice doesn't remember what is going on. Alice was very puzzled by this question but I told her to bear with me and I asked again three or four times. She then changed her facial expression, looked me directly in the eyes, and said in a slightly different voice, "she's so stupid she doesn't keep her valuables in a safe place." I asked who I was talking to and my patient said "I'm Denise." Then I went on to talk to Denise and when I realized I was dealing with a full-blown case of DID I also ended up "meeting" the malevolent and dangerous personality who I eventually had to tell with in almost all of our sessions. This was George who eventually was created as a protector when Alice was being sexually abused by her father but when she was an adult also became her most destructive alters.

Successful treatment of someone with DID usually means working with the healthier alters to form alliances among them so they can resist having the dangerous alters take control. All of the therapy involves with these alters must be conducted with the therapist knowing that the dangerous alter is aware of your intervention and observing the session. That personality sometimes takes over so the therapist has to deal with him (with females it is usually a male) and works both an advocate for the vulnerable alters and tries to create a relationship with the dangerous alter. There are times when the therapist "makes deals" with the dangerous alter. 

Curing DID is exceedingly difficult and those therapists who claim they have done this may be deceiving themselves. A complete cure means that all the alters have integrated into one, that the memories of being abused have been dealt with in therapy, and there are no incidents of present day amnesia. The reports of amnesia with someone with DID means that another alter or alters were in control during the period of lost time.


Back to Herschel Walker -

If Walker really had DID it would mean that at some point in his life he suffered severe abuse and that this was most likely prolonged and came from an authority figure. It could have been a family member or someone in the community like a church leader or coach.

If he now is a mostly functional individual who still has unresolved issues with DID, perhaps with several personalities present at different times but with the destructive  personality dormant, he would still have amnesia for things that personality did in the past.

If Walker had DID it is likely he still has it. He identified several different alters in his book. If Georgia voters elect the body and the brain that contains them they are electing all of them to be their senator. He could also create new alters as needed once he is a senator. This isn't deliberate in the way we understand someone consciously developing a persona. People with DID sometimes have alters who create alters because there isn't one central psychic entity. They don't exist as one person, they exist as a group of people/personalities some of which have no knowledge of the existence of the others. They live their lives in a way unique to people with DID.

There are a number of celebrities who claimed or are reputed to have or had DID. Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears, Lady GaGa, Mel Gibson, and Roseanne Barr are among them. Here's a list which does include Hershel Walker.


October 8, 2022

Hershel Walker's therapist, Jerry Mungadze

 About Hershel Walker's therapist. 

He's the one that along with God Walker says cured him.

His name is Jerry Mungadze. He believes in exorcism, the occult, and demon possession.

by Hal Brown

There's a Santa Snowman's chance in Hell that Herschel Walker is fit to be a U.S. Senator. It isn't because he's mentally ill per se, it's because he may be more than one person.
I added the background to the above illustration.

For the purpose of this story I am taking Walker at his word, i.e., that he suffered from dissociative identity disorder.

Comment on this story on Twitter or on Facebook


Every Republican of note supporting Herschel Walker and everyone in Georgia thinking of voting for him should at least read this article from the Dallas NBC station website, this article from a 2013 story in HuffPost, and this blog story of mine.





In his 2008 book Hershel Walker says he was cured of dissociative identity disorder, referred to as DID, (which used to be called multiple personality disorder).

This is what the Amazon description says about Walker's dissociative identity disorder:

While some might have taken this diagnosis as a setback, Herschel approached his mental health with the same indomitable spirit he brought to the playing field. It also gave him, for the first time, insight into his life's unexplained passages, stretches of time that seemed forever lost. Herschel came to understand that during those times, his "alters," or alternate personalities, were in control. 

Born into a poor, but loving family in the South, Herschel was an overweight child with a stutter who suffered terrible bullying at school. He now understands that he created "alters" who could withstand abuse. But beyond simply enduring, other "alters" came forward to help Herschel overcome numerous obstacles and, by the time he graduated high school, become an athlete recognized on a national level.

There's no way to determine whether Walker ever had dissociative identity disorder. It is more common in women, and generally the result of prolonged sexual abuse by a parent, caregiver, or trusted individual in the child's life. A person developing the disorder as a result of being bullied as Walker said happened to him doesn't ring true with me as someone who has treated five patients with this disorder and done considerable research into DID.

During my 40 year career I have treated five patients with dissociative identity disorder of DID. I could write a book about them and my experiences in trying to help them avoid engaging in the self-destructive behavior which was caused by one or more personalities, or alters, trying to hurt or even kill the others. In some cases these alters didn't know that killing the body of another alter or alters would also end their lives. The belief system of such alters sometimes didn't include a recognition that they resided in the same physical body as the other alters. In fact when in control these alters often had far greater physical strength than the others and didn't experience pain.

I  found an article with considerable information about the counselor who, along with help from God, cured this exceeding difficult to treat let alone cure, made him whole again, that is, mentally healthy with only one not a dozen alters (or discrete personalities) each with their own memories. In his book Walker describes about a dozen alters. They're described by their roles or function: the Hero, the Coach, the Enforcer, the Consoler, the Daredevil, the Warrior, to name a few.

This is what the article says about Jerry Mungadze:

Mungadze, a licensed therapist who holds a doctorate in philosophy, diagnosed Walker with dissociative identity disorder, following a separate 2001 episode in which Walker says he sped around suburban Dallas fantasizing about executing a man who was late delivering a car he had purchased. The two became close friends.

A former pastor, Mungadze's professional and academic writings lean heavily into the occult, exorcism and possession by demons, which he has called a "theological and sociological reality."

In one method of analysis he has pioneered, which experts have singled out as unscientific, patients are asked to color in a drawing of the brain, with Mungadze drawing conclusions about their mental state from the colors they choose.

He was also featured in a 2014 British TV documentary as a practitioner of gay conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited practice that attempts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people.

"It's really disturbing that a prominent individual like Walker would be seeing someone who just looks like the most dubious caregiver," said Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine.

If Walker no longer has alters taking control of him and has integrated them into one identity he would also have the memories of everything done while the alters were in control in the past. This would mean he'd remember all the incidents about the abortions he paid for or his girlfriends told him about.

People with DID engage in a unique form of self-hypnosis as they create new alters to deal with specific life stresses. The memories of the abuse remain with the alter or alters that endured the abuse. This is different from how an abuse victim represses memories of the incident or incidents and has amnesia for what happened. Instead of amnesia someone with DID has the ability to spin off new personalities and  does this instead and the memories remain with the victim personalities.

Because people with DID can engage in this kind of self-hypnosis they are very suggestible and a therapist like Mungazde can either deliberately or inadvertently make what are really make hypnotic suggestions and this can result in what looks like successful therapy. 

Mungazde may believe he actually "cured" Walker when in fact all he did was hypnotize him. He may think he "exorcized Walker's demons" when what he did was what exorcists throughout history have done by using powerful hypnotic suggestion to bring out "demons" and force them not to "begone" but to be very deeply repressed into the person's unconscious.

This may be what he did with Walker. 

If Walker currently has DID and if he ends up as a senator the voters will have elected more than one person. There'd be no way to be assured that a repressed and dangerous alter wouldn't reemerge. 

The following is based on my own experiences with DID patients, extensive reading, and attending workshops presented by experts.

DID develops as a way to cope with extreme childhood abuse. It is usually,  but not always, sexual abuse of a female by an adult male in the family, usually a father, step-father, or other caregiver. DID in males in less common. The most well known case of a male with DID is Billy Milligan. 

For reasons not known, some victims are capable of creating alter personalities which experience the abuse and then instead of developing totally amnesia for it create, through a kind of self-hypnosis, another personalty which has no memory for it. 

In DID a patient can have only two personalities, one with the abuse memories and one with no memory of them. I had one patient like this. She believed the malevolent alter watched her through a third eye on her forehead. My co-therapist and I once actually saw this "eye" a[pear as a red raised circle on her forehead.  After several years of intensive therapy we integrated the personalities.  I ended up hiring her to work as an aide in the day treatment program at the mental health center I was in charge of. She did very well and had no setbacks.

Some patients may continue to create new alters to deal with other incidents of abuse, and then use this ability to continue to spin off alters to deal with other life stress. Sometime alters create sub-alters. One of my cases had so many alters and sub-alters that I lost count after 100.

Sometimes people with DID never seek treatment because despite periods of amnesia they don't feel much distress.

It is an unfortunate aspect of the disorder that in the worst cases the patient has an alter that identified with the authority figure who abused the actual patient who is perceived by this alter as a different person. While originally a protector they can develop to be a destructive force in the patient's life.

A hallmark of DID is amnesia.  During many of the times when certain alters are in control other alters have no memory of what was happening. 

Here's a clinical example from my own experiences (with all names changed):

One of my patients first came to me with the presenting problem being that she was losing things, and when I pressed her to explain she reluctantly told me she was also losing track of time, sometimes entire days. In that first session I said matter-of-factly "is there someone here who'll tell me what happens when Alice doesn't remember what is going on. Alice was very puzzled by this question but I told her to bear with me and I asked again three or four times. She then changed her facial expression, looked me directly in the eyes, and said in a slightly different voice, "she's so stupid she doesn't keep her valuables in a safe place." I asked who I was talking to and my patient said "I'm Denise." Then I went on to talk to Denise and when I realized I was dealing with a full-blown case of DID I also ended up "meeting" the malevolent and dangerous personality who I eventually had to tell with in almost all of our sessions. This was George who eventually was created as a protector when Alice was being sexually abused by her father but when she was an adult also became her most destructive alters.

Successful treatment of someone with DID usually means working with the healthier alters to form alliances among them so they can resist having the dangerous alters take control. All of the therapy involves working with these alters and must be conducted with the therapist knowing that the dangerous alter is aware of your intervention and observing the session. That personality sometimes takes over so the therapist has to deal with him (with females it is usually a male) and works both an advocate for the vulnerable alters and tries to create a relationship with the dangerous alter. There are times when the therapist "makes deals" with the dangerous alter. 

I once wondered out loud whether one of my DID patients had an alter that remembered everything that happened no matter which alter was in control. A new alter emerged who did but never took control herself except as time went on in therapy when I asked her for help. I don't know whether or not my suggestion created this alter but she turned out to be very helpful in my understanding on several occasions. Eventually the malevolent alter basically banished her and she disappeared.

Curing DID is exceedingly difficult and those therapists who claim they have done this may be deceiving themselves. A complete cure means that all the alters have integrated into one, that the memories of being abused have been dealt with in therapy, and there are no incidents of present day amnesia. The reports of amnesia with someone with DID means that another alter or alters were in control during the period of lost time.


Back to Herschel Walker -

If Walker really had DID it would mean that at some point in his life he suffered severe abuse and that this was most likely prolonged and came from an authority figure. It could have been a family member or someone in the community like a church leader or coach. I doubt being bullied by several boys cursed this, but it is possible.

If he now is a mostly functional individual who still has unresolved issues with DID, perhaps with several personalities present at different times but with the destructive  personality dormant, he would still have amnesia for things that personality did in the past.

If Walker had DID it is likely he still has it. He identified several different alters in his book. If Georgia voters elect the body and the brain that contains them they are electing all of them to be their senator. He could also create new alters as needed once he is a senator. This isn't deliberate in the way we understand someone consciously developing a persona. People with DID sometimes have alters who create alters because there isn't one central psychic entity. They don't exist as one person, they exist as a group of people/personalities some of which have no knowledge of the existence of the others. They live their lives in a way unique to people with DID.

Various stories and some newAS IT BREAKS:


This one isn't political but I post it as someone who enjoyed a tasty Prime filet mignon dinner which I cooked at home last night who also has lots of vegan friends. Seared in a cast iron pan on the stove-top and baked to your preference in the same 400 degree oven used to make bake potatoes, USDA Choice filet mignon is delicious but if you can fine USDA Prime it is better than most of what you can get in an expensive restaurant.


Now for something completely different for this blog, going into biology, here's some research that makes me wonder whether the results may apply to humans.

Abstract

Long-term memory formation involves the reorganization of brain circuits, termed system consolidation. Whether and how a prior fear experience influences system consolidation of new memories is poorly understood. In rats, we found that prior auditory fear learning allows the secondary auditory cortex to immediately encode new auditory memories, with these new memories purely requiring the activation of cellular mechanisms of synaptic consolidation within secondary auditory cortex. Similar results were obtained in the anterior cingulate cortex for contextual fear memories. Moreover, prior learning enabled connections from these cortices to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to support recent memory retention. We propose that the reorganization of circuits that characterizes system consolidation occurs only in the first instance that an event is learned, subsequently allowing the immediate assimilation of new analogous events in final storage sites.

Now let's take a trip to outer space...

If there's life on Europa I hope it is more intelligent than MAGA-life on Earth:

New high-resolution photos of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa show the surface is covered with something akin to highways rather than craters, and they go on for miles. Europa is believed to be the most likely spot in the solar system to find life outside of Earth — but it would be aquatic, not land-dwelling. NASA’s Juno mission captured the photos Sept. 29 during a rare flyby that got within about 256 miles of the surface, and scientists admit one photo “of the moon’s heavily fractured icy crust” is puzzling.

Even further out in outer space here's a stunning photo from Hubble


Enlarge

The two interacting galaxies making up the pair known as Arp-Madore 608-333 seem to float side by side in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Though they appear serene and unperturbed, the two are subtly warping one another through a mutual gravitational interaction that is disrupting and distorting both galaxies. Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys captured this drawn-out galactic interaction.


October 4, 2022

Elon Musk put a Tesla in space, now he wants to end a war, and other stories

 Elon Musk put a Tesla in space, now he wants to end a war, and other stories

by Hal Brown

You've probably been keeping up with this story:

I don't have any particular insights into his motivations for advocating for this plan in a series of tweets (here).

Here are a few replies to the tweets (click to enlarge image):




While it prompted lots of replies on Musk's Twitter feed, it also led Zelenskyy to post his reaction in a tweet of his own:

Other Ukrainian officials also responded on Twitter:




I don't think it's an outlandish assumption to think Musk believes that being the world's richest person he may have the world's biggest brain (we've heard that before).

Why not, then, shouldn't he be able to come up with an idea that will end the war of Russian aggression in Ukraine?

No dummy, 

Linus Pauling duped America into believing vitamin C cures colds...

and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry  had no background in medicine or medical research.

I suppose in a world where on one extreme we have a former game show host and rule breaking real estate developer becoming a mentally imbalanced woefully uniformed president and on the other extreme we have a comedian becoming a heroic  president of another country everyone's idea should be judged on their merits.

 Other news of the day 

This story is also related to Ukraine though in a very different way:

Deleted tweet proves the GOP’s Putin propaganda knows no bounds


The Conservative Political Action Conference parroted pro-Kremlin propaganda about Ukraine in a since-deleted tweet, fitting a disturbing pattern in the GOP.

Below: Let's hope dog lovers in Pennsylvania not supporting Walker, where some people may still decide to shoot their dogs when they are unable to hunt anymore, decide that they can't vote for someone who tortures dogs and other animals. They may be able to say let bygones be bygones for paying for his girlfriends abortions or not be bothered by reports that he was a wife beater but hopefully they draw the line at cruelty to animals.


Salon image augmented by Hal Brown

While on the subject of totally unqualified Senate candidates, how about the breaking news about Hershel Walker denying he ever paid for a girlfriend's about claiming this is a total lie? As you may have read in his book he revealed he suffered from multiple personality disorder:

He may be telling the truth as he knows it, or more specifically as he remembers it. In my 40 year career as a psychotherapist I treated five clients with this disorder, currently called dissociative identity disorder. A hallmark of this disorder is that among the various personalities, called alters, there are various kinds of amnesia. In many if not most cases certain personalities can take over with other personalities not having and awareness of what they are doing.

A true cure for this disorder come about when all the identities or alters are integrated into one and there are no amnesiac experiences when one personality is in control and the others aren't and in fact are totally unaware of what is happening. 

Walker claims he's been cured but there's no way to prove this. It is an exceeding difficult disorder to treat let alone achieve cure. In my experience the best a therapist can do is try to keep the self-destructive or dangerous personalities from acting on their impulses or desires.

It is quite possible that the personality or personalities that arranged for and funded the abortion blocked the memory from the other personalities. Unless all the personalities are now integrated along with all of their memories, there is a chance Walker is telling the truth as he knows it about the abortion.


RawStory paraphrases profanity in this title of this story:
Click below to enlarge:

Excerpt:

Trump, who plainly did not want to lose his top economic adviser, told Cohn he should feel free to publicly voice his disagreement, and encouraged him to go to the briefing-room podium and say whatever he needed to."

"You’ll do the right thing," Haberman writes that Vice President Mike Pence said, while putting an arm around Cohn like some kind of mafia movie. 

"Cohn said he would complete his efforts to pass a tax bill, which had been his passion throughout the year, and not stay much longer," the book continues. "'But you should assume I’m done,' Cohn said. He still had his resignation letter in hand, undelivered and unaccepted. As Cohn left the Oval Office, Kelly whispered to him, 'If I were you I’d have shoved that paper up his f*cking ass.'"




Excerpt:

"Increasingly core to a lot of people in the Christian faith, and particularly in the white evangelical world, is politics and culture," Wehner said, "and in a sense, faith is engrafted. It’s a secondary issue. A friend of mine uses the term 'hood ornament — that faith becomes a hood ornament: It validates these pre-existing attitudes and ideologies. But the way it’s being done is that people are unaware of it, because they’re going through and, in my experience and in my observations, is they’re proof-texting their preordained political, cultural, sociological beliefs, and then saying this is what the Bible says."

Totally out of left-field...

 ... because Portland is my adopted hometown I thought I'd share a lesson learned by some crooked strip club owners here. You may know that Portland is known for it's many strip clubs, some of which vie for the title of the quirkiest:

I suspect that these businesses take in a lot of cash, not only because patrons stuff greenbacks into the performers g-strings, but because men don't like to pay using credit cards for obvious reasons. Since I've never been to one I can't say I observed this in person.

Here's the local story about how trying to avoid paying taxes on cash can come with serious consequences:




 

Does the GOP choice boil down to being between a psychopathic fascist or a sane one?

 By Hal Brown, MSW, Caricatures by DonkeyHotey Click above to enlarge.  The DoneyHotey caricatures show DeSantis looking sane  and Trump loo...