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 Dark
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.’
She has been
using a blind dog to help her and has trained herself to be independent in the
world would have continued to remain in darkness if a sudden revelation hadn'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
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 Classes
Multiple 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.
high rate of MPD is noticed among Americans and this could be due to the over
indulgence of psychotherapists and psychologists.
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.
'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 Blind
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
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'
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.
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.
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.
Waldvogel; "Sight and blindness in the same person: Gating in the visual
system", Psych J, 2015