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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Week of April 29, 2002

    Question: I am doing research on Multiple Personality Disorders (DID) and cannot find any information regarding how the brain reacts. Which part of the brain causes a person to block out the past and become these other personalities? Can you give me some information of the effects of DID on the brain, rather than the causes?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: Do people in fugue states spontaneously recover their memory? Do they lose all memory? For example, if they played the piano before, would they still remember how to play? Do they substitute a false past for their own? For isntance, what do they do about family, who their parents were and where they live? Do they realize that something is not quite right with them? What kind of things might trigger their memory to return? What is it like for them when they suddenly realize they've been living a life that has no connection with their past?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: My facility currently uses the Beck questionnaire to assess for depression with cardiac rehabilitation patients. Can nurses administer this questionnaire or is it better to have a psychiatric professional administer it?    Dr. Pies' Answer