Inside Karen’s Crowded Mind

22 10 2007

Inside Karen’s Crowded Mind

In a new book, a psychiatrist details his most challenging case, a woman with 17 personalities.

Even for a psychiatric patient, Karen Overhill seemed unusually devoid of hope on the day in 1989 she walked into the Chicago office of Dr. Richard Baer. As weeks of therapy grew into months, antidepressants didn’t help her, at least not consistently. She was suicidal—and the flat, emotionless way she stated her wish to die made Baer fear that she might actually follow through. Eventually, Karen began to volunteer stories of childhood abuse. And she mentioned odd memory lapses. She would find herself in strange places with no awareness of how she’d gotten there. She couldn’t even remember having had sex with her husband, although she must have, since they had two children….




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