What is Dissociative Identity Disorder? Where have we heard the phrase “split personality” from? Do we really know what D.I.D. is? Split personality is another way of saying DID.
In 2016, the Hollywood movie “SPLIT” was released. It reached a great amount of attention due to its psycho-thriller genre. The protagonist of the film portrays a character with dissociative identity disorder (exploring 23 alter egos.) He ends up kidnapping 3 teenagers and the film builds tension by following through this dramatic story line of the 24th “dangerous” ego. As this was the first time that mainstream society had heard of DID, it left the impression that people living with DID had “dangerous” alter egos.
Encina Severa – the woman living with DID
Encina Severa is a woman that lives with DID and she did a 1 hour interview with Med circle explaining her disorder. In addition, Encina tells the viewers her daily struggles with DID. As she explains her story, she gives a fantastic metaphor on what living with DID feels like. On camera, one of her alter ego is shown. Here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0kLjsY4JlU
DEBATE: are people with DID acting or do they really have DID?
There is a negative stigma surrounding split personality. Some say that people that are diagnosed with DID are “faking it” or “acting” whilst others say that there are social predispositions that actually cause the effects of split personality.
If you watched the video of Encina explaining DID, you will know that DID is caused during the early stages of childhood. So, if the child experienced a traumatic event, they’re more likely to develop DID. As children imagine to embody the role of a princess, a soldier, a dragon, a doctor – we get older and our personality starts to merge into one. However, someone with DID is unable to merge those personalities and those personalities remain split.
There is a massive misconception that people with DID are dangerous because of their alter egos but Encina breaks down this negative stigma and in turn makes the viewers empathise with her situation – how it effects her day to day life and the struggles that she faces with DID.
Science behind DID
There isn’t much scientific research around the specific biological causes of DID, however, there are research that involves DID. Click here for examples of research.
Overall, DID is a complex disorder that we, as humans, still do not understand much of.