Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2005

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A Fractured Mind - My Life With Multiple Personality Disorder
by Robert B. Oxnam
Hyperion
ISBN 1-4013-0227-0
Published October 2005 - Hardcover - 285 pages - $23.95

I've always found the subject of multiple personalities fascinating so it was with great intrigue that I began reading this book.  Imagine having eleven other people living inside your head for most of your life and not even knowing about them!  At the age of 38 he became the president of the Asia Society ("...responsible for leading American public education about all the countries and cultures of the Asia Pacific region".) and travelled extensively with presidents and the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.  It wasn't until he entered treatment for his rage and alcoholism and bulimia, as a result of a family intervention, and the excellent work by his psychiatrist, that they discovered he wasn't "alone".  This was around the age of 50!  He started not being able to recall certain periods of time and becoming obssesed with sailing when he felt like a different person.  He attempted suicide twice - this from a successful (but troubled-and-didn't-know-it-at-the-time) businessman.  We get to "meet" the different personalities: people like Bob, the dominant one; Tommy the angry boy, and Robbey, among others.  The scary thing is that Professor Oxnam didn't know about any of these other personalities even though they knew about each other and each influenced his life.  It's rather eerie to "listen" to their sides of the story (some only came out once to Dr. Smith, his psychiatrist) and how they all lived in one body.  I had to go back a couple of times to make sure I had it right as it's a little confusing, if not bizarre to the average person.  Each had their individual roles, as it were, and as complicated and hard to believe as this is, they all lived together.  Dr. Smith's job was to merge all the personalities together - astonishing.  So much of MPD has been sensationlized in the media, and I'm not surpized, as it's a difficult concept to grasp.  Fascinating, but different.  And scary.  The reasons behind this particular afflication, are abominable.
Conclusion - I'm sure this story would make a great movie.  Incredibly interesting.


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