Far be it from me –

DID in history: oldest accounts of multiple personality

on June 25, 2020

Trauma and Dissociation

Before 1900

Most written accounts are fairly short, and many attribute behaviors or alter personalities to a form of religious possession, or link mental illness with belief in demons.
However some longer accounts were published by “physicians” and some historians found other accounts.

Many ordinary people couldn’t read and books were expensive rather than today’s mass-produced paperbacks and ebooks about DID.

An incomplete list of some of the historical cases of dissociative identity disorder…

  • 1580s: Jeanne Fery: A sixteenth-century case of dissociative identity disorder – van der Hart, Lierens and Goodwin (1997)

1700-1799

  • 1790 – 1952: Multiple personality before “Eve” – Adam Crabtree (1993), a short summary of the psychology of the times and recognition of DID
  • 1790: a woman from Stuttgart described by Eberhard Gmelin speaks different languages depending on which personality is in control at the time

1800-1849

  • 1802: Three cases described by Dwight who publishes them in…

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