Susan Hyland, North Shore Services:
Ms. Hyland did a complete psychological evaluation of Holly Collins. “Diagnosis DSMIII R Axis 300.40 (Dysthymia) & 309.89 (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) I did not find any clinical data to support an eating disorder, personality disorder or multiple personality disorder.” Susan Hyland
Dr. Rhudick. Independent Evaluation:
Reality testing is adequate. It does show, however a woman who tends to be overly naïve and overly trusting and to project idealistic interpretations onto the world around her. As a result, she is chronically disillusioned and disappointed and depressed which is largely denied. Some of the depression reflects some guilt feelings and she is quite ambivalent. Of importance is the absence of negative feelings such as anger and hostility which are internalized and directed inward resulting in the depressive trends described previously. They are signs of interpersonal anxiety as well. Holly Ann is extremely sensitive to even mild criticism or ridicule and feels devastated. As a result she often retreats into her own world of fantasy which is exceeding complex.
Fred Emilianowicz Health & Family Services:
“Holly Ann states that she has been physically and emotionally abused all her life. The abuse began as a child at the hands of her mother and stepfather and continued into her marriage. This time the abuse was from her husband. She has described incidents where she was beaten badly enough to require medical attention. Out of fear of her husband and shame, these incidents were not reported to the police or medical authorities. When asked by doctors how she came to be injured, she explained the injuries away as accidents. It is quite common for battered women to protect their husbands by lying about their injuries. Especially is the woman was abused as a child or was a witness to family violence. The battered woman assumes that this is the way things are.
Battered women cannot go to their family for help because the family is likely to explain the husbands’ behavior away as he’s under a lot of stress or if you were a better wife he would not bat you. If Holly Ann parents were to take her side they run risk of being discovered as abusive parents. It is common in cases of family violence for the victim’s family to take the side of the batterer, in this case Mr. Collins.
To illustrate this point at the present time Mrs. Collins is fighting her mother in a Massachusetts court over vitiation and her ex-husband in Minnesota court over visitation. Holly Ann’s only goal is to protect her children from further abuse at the hands of their father and any possibility of abuse form the maternal grandmother. She goes on to say that they (her mother and ex-husband ) are attempting to portray her (Holly Ann ) as “crazy” it is quite common for the batterer to attempt to manipulate the system into believing that the victim is crazy’ man times the victim seems ‘wild eyed’ crazy’ and ‘emotional’ while the batterer appears calm.
Holly Ann reports and presents many of the symptom s and behaviors that are associated with being a battered woman. She reports taking beatings from her ex-husband that were intended for one of the children. She has described being beaten and ‘not feeling the blows.’ This is a dissociative stat that battered women commonly report once they enter treatment. Further more she has states on several occasions that her ex-husband has treated to abduct the children and on one occasion took Jennifer for a three hour period of time without informing her. I believe because we are in the early stages of the treatment process that Mrs. Collins in under reporting or minimizing he full extent of the violence she has experienced at the hands of her ex husband. I do believe hat this woman has been the victim of considerable domestic violence.”
After custody was reversed and my mother was accused of having personality disorders even though the judge claimed to not know what they were, my mother immediately submitted to another independent psychological evaluation with the same psychologist who testified in the hearing.
Psychologist Cathy Skrip M.S
An independent licensed Psychologist diagnosed Holly Collins: (April 12 1993)
"Axis I: 300.40 Dysthymia 309.89 (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Provisional)
Axis IV Psychological stressors: loss of custody of Zachary and Jennifer (acute, 5-extreme) Recent birth of Christopher and need to prove pregnancy and effective parenting (acute to Enduring 4-severe)
“Ms. Collins depressive symptoms are characterized by chronicity rather than being of an episodic nature… Ms. Collins’ dysthmia is most characterized by insomnia, low self esteem, fatigue, lack of appetite and periodic feelings of hopelessness….
Ms. Collins is under so much current stress due to the court decision to reverse custody that it is difficult to fully assess her level of ‘post traumatic stress’ at the current time. From the time of childhood, Ms. Collins has experienced a number of events that have been outside the range of normal experience and that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone. Her recurrent and distressing recollections and dreams of past experiences are not taking somewhat of a backseat to her recurrent and distressing thoughts related to her current experiences. She has experienced flashbacks, and she does report feeling intense psychological distress at exposure to events that symbolize or resemble personally traumatic events. For example she reported ‘freaking out’ during a soap opera in which a man was threatening a woman by running a knife across a wall. Her friends who were watching with her did not react to this scene. Ms. Collins reports efforts to try to avoid situation that arouse recollections of pervious trauma. She does exhibit some restriction of affect and is specifically unable to express anger, although as previously mentioned, some of this restriction is directly related to her current situation. She sometimes feels detached or estranged from others and especially since loosing custody, has a sense of a foreshortened future. Other persistent symptoms of increased arousal include difficulties sleeping, hyper vigilance and an exaggerated startle response.”
After the court suggested that our mother may have a mental disorder Holly Collins was ordered to see Dr. Julia Davis.
Dr Julia Davis, Court Appointed Psychologist, April 6 1993:
“In providing feedback to her about her behavior with her children, I am generally satisfied with her ability to adjust to the instructions hat constrain their interactions: she has, as the report indicated, consistently avoided eliciting or even responding to her children’s reports of abuse.”
(After the custody reversal we were still reporting that our father was abusing us. Our own mother had to ignore our cries for help. It was devastating.)
“My understanding of this case is that I am to treat Holly Ann as if she suffers from Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy although no one has specifically diagnosed her as having this disorder. Susan De Vries suggested that it may be present and recommended evaluation by a psychiatrist in her report and the court first found her to have MSbP and then softened this to may have. No where in the materials I have read including family court service documents, does anyone clearly diagnose this disorder nor is any one diagnosis specifically endorsed. This is a serious omission that needs clarification in order to set criteria for Holly Ann’s treatment progress”
Julia Davis, Court Appointed Psychologist to GAL, May 24 1993:
“I do believe that her experiences as abused by her mother and ex-husband are the driving force behind her current anxieties and behavior. The delays and confusions and in some ways the unresponsiveness of the system to me as well as to holly only exacerbate her anxieties unnecessarily... One important factor in increasing Holly Ann’s distress has been ease with which her mother has obtained access to the children despite the history of her mother as an abuser to Holly Ann in the presence of her children… It appears that the professions are colluding in her mother’s threat that Holly Ann would loose her children to her mother.
I understand from these documents and from the meeting (with the GAL) that Holly Ann’s children were removed from her custody and placed in the custody of their father and stepmother because of the courts perception that the children were at risk for serious emotional and physical harm in their mothers care. The risk to the children demonstrate symptoms of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) This is indeed the perspective communicated to me by ms DeVries and Ms. Rojer in virtually every contact we have had concerning this case . this is also the perspective communicated in Judge Davis court documents. It was so important to this thinking that he stated that Holly Ann demonstrated this rare and serious disorder as a finding of fact in his court order of December 22 1993 despite the absence of any diagnosis by a qualified professional and only later in his amendment spoke of it as a possibility.
You indicated to me on the telephone that the issue of MSbP was ‘irrelevant to you interested in the case and that “we are beyond that now.” I beg to differ from you. For two reasons: her diagnosis is of primary concern in developing her treatment goals and the course of treatment for this family…
Dr Cline has thus far been unwilling to allow family therapy between Holly Ann and her children based on his stated concerns about her diagnosis. However, it is my understanding that no definitive diagnosis has been made. Susan De Vries who first formally introduced the possibility that MSbP is a possibility in this case recommended evaluation by a psychiatrist to resolve the issue, but I understand that this has not been done. It is imperative however to have a clear understanding of the diagnostic issues before a sound treatment plan can be established…
The facts of the case as established in the court documents of last December do find that Holly Ann was abused by her ex-husband mark Collins. I believe then that there should not be any disagreement that some of the most important factors in her psychological make up are the result of marital abuse or battering additionally she has described a history of child abuse by her mother that has been substantiated at least in part by court actions in the state of Massachusetts… I find it deeply troubling that professions should be quick to believe that which has not been establish in fact (MSBP) and yet disregard that which has been found to be true by the court (spousal abuse) … I do believe that Holly Ann was repeatedly victimized first by her family and subsequently by her ex-husband…. I should note that in my supervision with Dr Hegion who has experience with MSbP cases her primary concern in this case was the damage to the attachment process of the children in limiting their access to their mother particularly without the support of therapeutic contact.”
Julia Davis, Court Appointed Psychologist to GAL, June 5 1993:
“I understand that my request for an independent review of the diagnostic materials in this case is denied. I asked for this because some of the diagnostic questions extend beyond my areas of expertise, eg. I am not an expert in the diagnosis of MSbP. You stated that the diagnostic question on MSbP is no longer and issue and that the standard for Judge Davis’ decision was the emotional and physical endangerment of the children and not MSbP… you informed me that I am not to communicate with the judge in the case because to do so is ex-partie communication… I have been informed that as a therapist I am not one of the legal parties in the case and therefore not subject to this rule unless specifically so instructed by the judge…
You informed me that you will not permit Zachary and Jennifer to attend the christening of their new brother Christopher…
You informed me that you will do nothing to increase visitation between Holly Ann and her children until you ‘see evidence that she is improving.’”
Julia Davis, Court Appointed Psychologist,June 29 1993:
“MMPI -2… taken on 6/11/93 was taken under supervision by Joel Peskay, phd… it should be noted that Dr Peskay is a respected psychologist and also a practice associate of Susan De Vries now of family court services.”
The mmpi-2 of 6/11/93 was valid and within normal limits showing an absence of previously noted pathology… (a psychologically normal profile)”
Dr. Hegion, MSbP expert: May 1993:
The Court Appointed Psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Davis requested an MSbP expert who to revaluate the case but was denied by the GAL stating the “MSbP was not an issue.”
Dr. Peskay: June 11 1993…
A respected psychologist and practice associate of Susan DeVries (family court services) conducted an independent psychological evaluation and concluded that Holly Collins had “a psychologically normal profile”