A 37-year old blind woman called 'B.T' regained her ability to see when she was a 13-year old boy. B.T suffers from a dissociative identity disorder (also termed the multiple personality disorder).
An Accident Turned Her World DarkB.T wasn't blind from childhood but her medical records suggest that an accident resulted in her blindness. This traumatic accident that occurred when she was 20 years old damaged visual processing centers in the brain and resulted in cortical blindness according to reports by doctors. Doctors at that time subjected her to various eye examinations involving special glasses, laser and moving light. However, there was no response from her indicating her blindness, though there was nothing wrong with her eyes. The doctors stated that it could be due to brain damage as a result of the accident.
‘Psychological interruptions are as important as physiological in effective brain activity.’
AdvertisementShe has been using a blind dog to help her and has trained herself to be independent in the dark.
The world would have continued to remain in darkness if a sudden revelation hadn't occurred.
Multiple Personality DisorderB.T suffered from a multiple personality disorder, which is a psychological condition in which the individual has separate personalities. The personalities are often unique and are united by a common emotion like anger, fear or even hatred.
In B.T's case, she assumed 10 different personalities, some of whom spoke only in English while others were fluent in German. B.T is a German who lived in Britain during her childhood days.
Her Therapy ClassesMultiple personality disorder (MPD) is 'treated' by psychotherapy sessions with a trained psychologist with repeated sessions every week. The individual is encouraged to 'come out' with the different personalities and the therapist try to 'solve' their issues.
A high rate of MPD is noticed among Americans and this could be due to the over indulgence of psychotherapists and psychologists.
In B.T's case, her therapy classes could have helped her 'see' again. Her therapists, Hans Strasburger and Bruno Waldvogel, believe that she regained her sight suddenly when she read a word from a magazine when she was present as a 13-year old boy. She slowly began to recognize words but couldn't discern individual letters initially.
Her 'sight' was restricted to only a few of her personalities while she continued to remain blind as other personalities.
Testing to Prove She Was Indeed BlindB.T could see again when she was a German boy but was unable to when she assumed the personalities of two more identities. This puzzled the doctors initially as her eyes remained open and there was no physical trace to suggest that she was blind.
Doctors then attached electrodes to her brain to study brain activity. It was found that there was no brain activity corresponding to sight when B.T assumed the two 'blind' personalities while there was normal sight associated activity when she assumed other personalities.
'It's All in the Mind'The curious case of B.T shows conclusively that the mind has the ability to shut off and on mechanisms, even involuntary functions like sight, leaving the world in darkness.
Doctors now state that her initial diagnosis of brain damage may not be true and that her condition may have been more a result of a directive from the brain, making it psychological rather than physiological.
This news reiterates the power of the brain to heal and a realization of how there could be areas of the brain that are yet untapped, storing mysteries and hidden talents which ought to be unleashed in every individual.
2. Strausburger, Waldvogel; "Sight and blindness in the same person: Gating in the visual system", Psych J, 2015