From the moment when the heroine of this story (let’s call her initials – BT) last saw something, it took more than a decade.After an injury the doctors diagnosed a young woman cortical blindness – it arises from the destruction of the occipital lobe of the brain, which prevents the brain to make correct or interpret the signals received by the optic nerve. Therefore, BT I began to walk around with a dog-povodyrёm. Blindness was not the only problem BT Inside the women lived more than ten different personalities who fought for control of her body. During attempts of doctors to relieve her from this disorder to a woman his sight. But not seen 37-year-old German woman and a teenager, she sometimes gets. Switching between individuals is instantaneous, and at the time of transition or a woman begins to see, or plunged into darkness. According to her doctors, the case described in the journal PsyCh, blindness could be caused by trauma – ie the initial diagnosis can not be true. The problem was psychological, not physiological. The case of BT It shows the extraordinary ability of the brain to control what we see and what we are.
To understand what is happening to B.T, her doctors, German psychologists Strasburger Hans (Hans Strasburger) and Valdfogel Bruno (Bruno Waldvogel), studied the history of the disease from diagnosis – cortical blindness. According to records, the woman has passed serious tests for vision – including tests using lasers, special glasses included in the room lamps – and all of them showed her total blindness. Since the eyes were not damaged, the doctors decided ten years ago that the vision loss is caused by damage to the brain during an accident – what it is, history is silent. It Valdfogelyu BT I came thirteen years after the accident, but because of other diagnosis – “dissociative personality disorder.” The patient struggled for the right to possess her body ten individuals of different sex, age, habits, temperament. They even spoke different languages - some in English, some – in German, while others – in both languages. BT as a child she lived in Germany, and then – in an English speaking country.After four years of psychotherapy something strange happened. After another reception BT I saw the words on the cover of the magazine. It was the first word that she had seen in seventeen years. At first she saw only whole words, when a certain person was involved. The individual letters, she did not take. But this ability has improved over time – at first she began to read, and then – to recognize individual letters. Later, most of the individuals began to see most of the time. When you switch between personalities vision could abyss. Valdfogel doubted the causes of vision loss BT It is unlikely that this type of brain injury could heal itself through seventeen. And even if the self-healing has occurred, it could explain why the sight is turned on and off.Obviously, the reason is something else, but not injury. The first option – the patient all seventeen deceived about his blindness.The electroencephalogram showed inadequacy of this explanation. When BT was in one of his two “blind” personalities, her brain showed no electrical responses to visual stimulation, even when her eyes were wide open and staring at the source of stimulation. Sighted people EEG these signals demonstiruyut. Valdfogel and Strasburger convinced that blindness B.T – psychological disorder rather than physical. Something happened and caused the woman to respond to loss of vision. Even two of her personality completely blind, they continue to use this mechanism is unknown. Strasburger notes that in some cases a particularly strong emotional stress of the patient may wish to be blind – not to see what is happening. The human brain is able to get into the eyes, even when the eyes are functioning normally. If the eyes see different images, the brain cuts out one of them – to avoid confusion. Also, the brain interferes with the visual image processing, when you’re trying to focus on certain objects in your field of vision. The responsibility for blindness may lie in the lateral geniculate body of the brain – the brain structures is the link between the nervous system, processing coming from the retina of the data, and visual cortex. The most interesting thing in this story is that the dissociative personality disorder can affect vision. A patient is not just pretending to deceive himself – his brain does not carry out signals when a person “blind”. Dissociative identity disorder used to be called”hysteria” with a number of other diseases. This name suggests, as patients with this diagnosis might be treated by doctors.Modern critics point to the fact that the television mini-series in 1976, “Sybil” called “epidemic” of such diagnoses. In the 1990s in the United States have been cases of lawsuits, when patients spoke about the questionable methods of treatment of dissociative personality disorder, who is said to these patients, they did not have. Presented Strasburger and Valdfogelem case shows that a dissociative personality disorder can be passed on basic, biological level. Doctors have seen using elektroentsefallogrammy what happens in the brain during the monitoring of each of the individuals.