A Fractured Mind

  • by Robert B. Oxnam
  • Narrated by William Dufris
  • 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1989, Robert B. Oxnam, the successful China scholar and president of the Asia Society, faced up to what he thought was his biggest personal challenge: alcoholism. But this dependency masked a problem far more serious: Multiple Personality Disorder. At the peak of his professional career, after having led the Asia Society for nearly a decade, Oxnam was haunted by periodic blackouts and episodic rages. After his family and friends intervened, Oxnam received help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Jeffery Smith, and entered a rehab center. It wasn't until 1990, during a session with Dr. Smith, that the first of Oxnam's 11 alternate personalities, an angry young boy named Tommy, suddenly emerged. With Dr. Smith's help, Oxnam began the exhausting and fascinating process of uncovering his many personalities and the childhood trauma that caused his condition.


What the Critics Say

"This touching and powerful account of the 'inner world' of the disorder, the power struggles and dialogues among the fractured parts of a person's mind, provides valuable insight into a courageous man's struggle." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A solid look at a rare disorder

Several years ago, as a psychiatrist in training, I listened to this audiobook with some skepticism: Multiple Personality Disorder (now Dissociative Identity Disorder--or DID) is controversial, even among mental health professionals. Still, it was in my field, and I had a download to spare...

Several months after listening to this book, I had a patient's family tell me (details changed) he had numerous "voices", and that he would "be like a little kid, sometimes". He entered therapy, with me, and it became clear he had severe DID, with at least 5 different personalities, and nearly impenetrable amnestic barriers, between them.
Oxnam's audiobook helped me treat this patient (who, alas, dropped out of therapy) with a more human understanding of how someone can be so very divided, yet still be one cohesive being. It's a difficult thing to get your mind around, and seeing it in front of me made me realize that this book did a very good job describing DID.

This audiobook is well written and narrated. To those who were put off by Oxnam's "ego", I invite you to ask yourselves this: "Doesn't a man who was terribly abused as a child, suffered a severe, crippling disintegration of his personality structure, battled long and hard to re-integrate his personalities and then had the wherewithal to write a lucid autobiography about it deserve to be a little "full of himself"?
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- Omar

Educational & Enlightening

Although difficult to keep track of the different personalities at times, I thought reading this book was a priceless experience. Unless you suffer from MPD yourself, I don't think you'll ever get a better insight to what it actually is like to live with this disorder.

I disagree with reviewers who said that the author boasts his accomplishments - I felt that it was all necessary to show the incredible power of the mind to have such an organized 'outside' life, while dealing with such a troubled 'inside' life.

Although the author discusses his own Christianity, I felt that he did it to express the personal choices he made, not as an attempt to convince his readers.

If you know someone who suffers from MPD, or if you have a liking towards human psychology, I highly recommend this book.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-14-2005
  • Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.