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Misconception About Mental Health: Split (2016)

Camillia is a therapist intern working on her hours to be a licensed therapist. She enjoys writing and watching movies.

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What is dissociative identity disorder?

According to the DSM-5, someone who has a dissociative identity disorder has multiple personalities. A person with the disorder has amnesia and gaps of time where they cannot recall what happened. Some of these times the person does not recall are traumatic situations. This disorder is one of the rarest disorders in the DSM-5 which means that most seasoned therapists do not come into contact with a client who suffers from this disorder. This means that most people have not come into contact with someone with this disorder. This leaves a lot of people feeling uncomfortable not knowing how this type of person acts which can result in a lot of fear for those with dissociative identity disorder.

The Big Assumption

There is a big misconception in media that those with a mental disorder are likely to hurt or kill someone else. This assumption has made people with mental disorders hide and feel shame for having a disorder. So when you add the fact that not many people have met a person with dissociative identity disorder there is a possibility that people will be afraid of something they do not understand. The media makes us believe that oh someone on TV has bipolar, they must be the psycho killer. It is ideas like this that result in a lack of empathy as well as a lack of understanding that the person with this disorder is actually suffering from it. Recently there have been Tik Toks of people who pretend to have dissociative identity disorder. They make the disorder out to be something interesting and fun when in reality, it is torture to not remember events that have happened and the person feels powerless in their life. Because of this new phenomenon, many teenagers and adults believe they have multiple personalities when it is one of the least common mental health disorders.

Split (2016)

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Split (2016): The movie about misconceptions

Split is about a man, Kevin with a dissociative identity disorder with about 23 distinct personalities. He is found to be pretty normal when we first meet him in Split until he kidnaps a girl and his other 23 personalities come out. It is easy to see that Kevin is the antagonist of the movie. It is when the audience finds out that, spoiler one of Kevin's personalities is a sociopath and cannibal with inhuman strength and abilities. This leads a lot of people to believe this is what these people are like in real life and that can be damaging for a small population of people that need help.

Here are the straight facts about dissociative identity disorder:

  • People with this disorder DO NOT have superhuman abilities. They are not superman. They are normal people like you and me.
  • These people are suffering from their condition are NOT having a fun time jumping from one personality to the next
  • They are likely to have amnesia and forget events that happened in their lives
  • People with a mental disorder are more likely to hurt themselves more than others
  • We may meet people with this disorder and not even know this
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What can you do to break the mental health stigma?

Help break the stigma associated with dissociative identity disorder by:

1. Being aware of the facts instead of what the media tells you

2. Be kind to those around you because you do not know the battles others are facing

3. People with these disorders are like you and me and are not monsters


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