Dissociative Identity Disorder (did): What is It

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Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in—and alternately take control of—an individual. D.I.D previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a really sensitive yet beguiling mental disorder. But Hollywood doesn’t understand the sensitivity and continues to exaggerate and manipulate D.I.D as a mental sickness in movies/dramas which not only fuels the stigmatization and myths associated with D.I.D in the minds of the people but also greatly affects and offends the people suffering from this mental disorder. D.I.D patients are often mistreated because of the myths associated with this mental sickness and have to suffer both physically and mentally because of this unfair treatment by the people around them.

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“Our culture has dissociated dissociative. Profound aggressor/victim themes and psychodynamics, along with the narcissist, the sadistic or psychopathic coloring of such patients run deep in our culture. DID are often blamed and shamed.” (Braun, 1986) Malcolm Rivers develops a homicidal personality within himself who kills and tortures people for practically no reason at all. (Mangold, 2003). Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man suffering from D.I.D kidnaps and terrifies three young ladies to sacrifice them to let the final personality ‘The beast’ come ‘into the light’ (take control). ‘The beast’ viciously kills two of the young girls and supposedly turns into a ‘monsters’ which one have never heard of. (Shyamalam, 2016). The worst part is that D.I.D is still unacknowledged in many parts of the worlds as a mental sickness and is considered only as a fictional mental disease. Resulting in patients being mistreated medically for years.“Because DID has erroneously been thought to be rare (because the disorder is often hidden), assessing and treating clinicians have often missed the diagnosis. Research has shown that a DID patient normally spends between 5-10 years in a mental health system before receiving a correct diagnosis.” 

 Cha Do Hyun, the son of a businessman develops D.I.D and when he is found to be suffering from this mental disorder, he is sent to a mental asylum to seek treatment. The worst thing that one can do to a D.I.D patient as stated by Dr. Braun, is to send them to mental asylum assuming that they would get “better”. Instead of getting better, they turn to self-harm and most of them end up committing suicide. That’s because D.I.D patients get overwhelming flashbacks and memories when in isolation which can trigger them to suicide. Hence they need constant attention and emotional support from a loved one. Upon the discovery of Do Hyun being a D.I.D patient, he is forced to quit his job because assumingly ‘he is no longer in a stable mental condition to perform his duties. 

D.I.D patients are more than just ‘monsters’ as depicted by the media and in some literature as well. They have one of the brightest minds and with the help of alters, they can do extraordinary stuff that normal humans are not capable of. Kim Noble is a fine example of that. She is not only an artist, an author of the book “All of Me: How I Learned to Live with the Many Personalities” but also a mother to a beautiful 21-year daughter of hers. She has shown the world what D.I.D patients are capable of. In the world of 3D animation, this topic of D.I.D has yet to be discovered but there is some work done on this topic in Japanese 2D animation. Lucy suffering from D.I.D is held captive in a research laboratory where she is maltreated and as a result, develops a murderous alter named Elfen who viciously kills everyone even her savior at the end of the anime to take control over the world. 

In conclusion. Dissociative Identity Disorder doesn’t make the patients violent. As a child, they went through some traumatic experience or abuse which makes them passive and introverted to some extent, and hence in the majority of cases, they would never commit any vicious crime as shown in many movies. So the negative portrayal of D.I.D patients in movies as ‘monsters’ and killers is opposite to the reality and the facts. Through my text, I want to eliminate these negative stereotypes associated with this mental disorder and built a positive image of D.I.D suffers in the minds of the masses which is important not for the patients but also the society as a whole.

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