At the peak of his professional career, after having led the Asia Society for nearly a decade, Oxnam was haunted by periodic blackouts and episodic rages. After his family and friends intervened, Oxnam received help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffery Smith, and entered a rehab center. It wasn't until 1990, during a session with Dr. Smith, that the first of Oxnam's 11 alternate personalities, an angry young boy named Tommy, suddenly emerged. With Dr. Smith's help, Oxnam began the exhausting and fascinating process of uncovering his many personalities and the childhood trauma that caused his condition.
©2005 Robert B. Oxnam; (P)2005 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
"This touching and powerful account of the 'inner world' of the disorder, the power struggles and dialogues among the fractured parts of a person's mind, provides valuable insight into a courageous man's struggle." (Publishers Weekly)
Several years ago, as a psychiatrist in training, I listened to this audiobook with some skepticism: Multiple Personality Disorder (now Dissociative Identity Disorder--or DID) is controversial, even among mental health professionals. Still, it was in my field, and I had a download to spare...
Several months after listening to this book, I had a patient's family tell me (details changed) he had numerous "voices", and that he would "be like a little kid, sometimes". He entered therapy, with me, and it became clear he had severe DID, with at least 5 different personalities, and nearly impenetrable amnestic barriers, between them.
Oxnam's audiobook helped me treat this patient (who, alas, dropped out of therapy) with a more human understanding of how someone can be so very divided, yet still be one cohesive being. It's a difficult thing to get your mind around, and seeing it in front of me made me realize that this book did a very good job describing DID.
This audiobook is well written and narrated. To those who were put off by Oxnam's "ego", I invite you to ask yourselves this: "Doesn't a man who was terribly abused as a child, suffered a severe, crippling disintegration of his personality structure, battled long and hard to re-integrate his personalities and then had the wherewithal to write a lucid autobiography about it deserve to be a little "full of himself"?
Although difficult to keep track of the different personalities at times, I thought reading this book was a priceless experience. Unless you suffer from MPD yourself, I don't think you'll ever get a better insight to what it actually is like to live with this disorder.
I disagree with reviewers who said that the author boasts his accomplishments - I felt that it was all necessary to show the incredible power of the mind to have such an organized 'outside' life, while dealing with such a troubled 'inside' life.
Although the author discusses his own Christianity, I felt that he did it to express the personal choices he made, not as an attempt to convince his readers.
If you know someone who suffers from MPD, or if you have a liking towards human psychology, I highly recommend this book.
This was a well read audio book complete with various voices. The author did a great job of bringing us into his world as a multiple. DID/MPD was really made clear and explains the conflict as well as the cooperation involved.I have read several books on the subject and found this biography well written and understandable.
There are many similarities with my normal mind and the multiple personalities portrayed by the fractured mind in this book. This book caused much rethinking of myself, who I am, which changes depending on circumstances. French writer Montagne is supposed to have said a person is wavelike and varying rather than having a constant personality. I subscribe to this belief. The many personalities are like me when I have acted in a very different manner than my usual self, except that I remember the instances when I have stepped outside of myself.
The subject matter was interesting but I eventually got tired of Oxnam's fascination with himself, his accomplishments, his intelligence, his sophistication. Afet the wedding in the park with the poetry reading and the Indian ceremony and the horse and carriage, I'd had enough. A little more about the subject matter and less about Oxnam himself would have helped. I do believe some people with a great interest in personality disorders might like this though.
I found this story to be fascinating. There is so much we don't know about the human mind. Unlike a previous reviewer,I thought the reader was perfect for this book, and I did not feel that Christianity was put down. The author found his spiritual support from other sources. I am not a "multiple" but was able to empathize with much of Mr. Oxnam's process of integration. Psychotherapy is hard work and he has stuck with it for many years. Kudos to Dr. Smith. I would definitely recommend this book to any who are interested in human nature and how we function.
The narrator's voice was boring as was the content. The author was too high on himself throughout the book. I would have liked more history of what his childhood was like and who abused him. It was not very believable.
I can really relate in my own personal life experiences with the authors account of multiples. I struggle with many of my own.
I was not impressed with the narrator. He did not have the right voice for the job. It was boring to me. Sorry. It was a most interesting story but I was totally let down when the author seemed to indicate that Christianity was dirt under his feet. And that had turned me off. In this I was offended at his ignorance. I do not think I would recommend this book. 2 stars is being generous.
Report Inappropriate Content