Taking Sides Essay

647 words - 3 pages

Sabre Thompson
PSY-100
May 31, 2009
Mr. Caruso
Taking Sides Paper

Who is Billy Milligan? No one seems to know Billy Milligan these days, not that anyone ever did. Born in Miami Florida in 1955 as William Stanley Milligan, he was a criminal or a victim; an expert actor or so disturbed that his mind fractured into at least 24 personalities. Shortly after moving to Circleville, Ohio in 1960 with his mother, Dorothy, he helped plan a Lancaster drugstore robbery in early 1975. Not much later, Lancaster police arrested him, and he pleaded guilty to robbing the store. He was sentenced to at least two years in prison and paroled in April 1977. Six months later, the OSU campus-area rapes started where he kidnapped three women from the Ohio State University campus area in 1977, raped them and said that part of him did it for affection.
The first rape was on October 14, 1977. Milligan pointed ...view middle of the document...

Doctors examined Milligan, and even the skeptical ones saw what Boxerbaum had described (Phillips, 1988). In the course of preparing his defense, he underwent a psychological examination by Dr. Willis C. Driscoll, who diagnosed Milligan with schizophrenia. He was then examined by psychologist Dorothy Turner of Southwest Community Mental Health Center in Columbus, Ohio. During this examination, Turner concluded that Milligan suffered from multiple personality disorder. Milligan's public defenders, Gary Schweickart and Judy Stevenson, pleaded an insanity defense and he was committed until such time as he regains sanity. Milligan was the first person to be found not guilty based on an insanity defense.
After doing research on Milligan’s case I feel that he should not be held fully responsible for his actions. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control (NAMI, 2000). It is said that the person with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is unaware of their condition until seen by a doctor. A very common complaint in people with DID is episodes of amnesia or time loss. These types of people may be unable to remember events in all or part of a proceeding time period. They may repeatedly encounter unfamiliar people who claim to know them, find themselves somewhere without knowing how they got there, or find items that they don't remember purchasing among their possessions. (NAMI, 2000). Even though it was wrong in many ways with what Milligan did, he had no control of what was going on in his mind. Retrieving and dealing with memories of trauma is important for the person with DID because this disorder is believed to be caused by physical or sexual abuse in childhood. It has been said that Billy Milligan was abused through out his childhood by his father, which could have caused a lot of the mental problems. With that being said I feel what Milligan did was wrong, but in a way he really could not help himself.

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