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Article - From Split to Psycho: why cinema fails dissociative identity disorder

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#1 morph


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Posted 13 January 2017 - 04:39 PM


#2 TDX


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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:29 PM



So why the untruths about DID? And why the denial by so many 'professionals' and people in our society that it even exists?


Some days ago Elliott, me and some others had a chat with inferialpolice. He is a nice guy and it's my impression that he wants to do good, but if all people in the dissociative disorders community share his beliefs I can understand why many psychiatrists don't believe in DID. I also find it very difficult, because of all the bullshit that surrounds this topic and have not yet decided whether it really exists or not.


For the very same reason I'm against putting Depersonalization Disorder into the same drawer.

#3 Billy D.P.

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:31 PM

Good article and good point in the end. It's unfortunate but you can't expect Hollywood to portray mental illness or DID accurately. That's not what they do. That's not their business. And most importantly, that's not what makes money. It's nice there's growing awareness about this subject but I wish it was more in the realm of public policy, government and schools rather than in Hollywood. 


I've also always found it baffling how some "experts" refuse to acknowledge certain conditions. I just don't understand how people who've devoted their lives to helping others aren't willing to listen to those people whom they're trying to help. It's beyond crazy to me. 

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#4 Chicane


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Posted 14 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

What I hate about dissociation in the media is that they always have a field day with the most extreme example they can dream up. The Split movie has a pretty absurd premise to begin with, and although it's possible to have a multitude of personalities, the degree to which the main guy experiences all of them is clearly ridiculous. It's like that show, Criminal Minds. The people they track down in it always have a "psychotic break" and become instant serial killers, because clearly, that's what all those who experience psychosis become.  :roll:


To me, Hollywood and TV studios have done nothing except contribute to and exacerbate the social stigma that accompanies mental disorders. I get that having a guy who's maybe just a little mentally off wouldn't make for a great film, but I kind of think mental illness should be treated with a little more reverence. It's not like we're bad people, we don't choose to have poor mental health. 


I think it's contributed to a lot of people fearing that they may have something like schizophrenia too. Because we only ever hear of the worst possible cases. There are numerous people with schizophrenia who have semi-normal, productive lives who aren't batshit crazy and don't hurt people. They take medication and get on with their lives the same as anyone else. But you'd think it was an unmanageable crazy person death sentence the way it's portrayed in the media. 

#5 Guest_Phantasm_*

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:12 AM

Perhaps one issue with the disbelief in genuine DID is that it is used as a legal defense when someone has committed a serious crime in order to avoid responsibility for their actions. Sometimes this is a tactic and bogus, and it's not hard to see why some people are cynical in those instances. Those tend to be rare and sensationalized examples, but sadly those tend to be the ones that shape popular opinion.


Although I think it's always difficult to place a person's mindscape into a convenient model and describe it accurately, I think that DID likely does exist, if you choose to describe it that way. Different thoughts/memories/triggers access different states - of being and awareness if you like - so if you believe, as I do, that mental illness is just a question of degree, then if you take it to the extreme it could certainly appear that someone is switching from personality to personality - again, if you choose to describe it in those terms.


As for the movie, Shyamalan has had a very mixed career and made some real stinkers, but as pure entertainment it looks like it might be worth a watch!    

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 08:48 AM

Watched it last night, great performance by James McAvoy, went from meek to intimidating in an instant. It is bull in psychological reality (or is it??) but was entertaining.

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