Lately, many friends recommended watching the American psychological horror movie Split. It has received generally positive reviews and was a massive financial success, grossing USD 274 million worldwide on a budget of USD 9 million.

The movie is about three young women, who are kidnapped from a parking lot; they wake up finding themselves locked up in an underground cell. Eventually, they come to find that their kidnaper “Kevin” suffers from Disassociate Identity Disorder (DID) with 23 personalities, in addition to the deadly 24th disorder. Every time he walks into the cell, they have to work out the personality they are dealing with.

Disassociate Identity Disorder, also known as Split Personality or Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is defined as a severe condition, in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in and alternately take control of an individual.

Symptoms of DID include:

  • Experiencing two or more distinct identities; each with its own enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self.
  • Changes in sense of self, sense of control, and in behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and motor function.
  • Frequent gaps are found in memories of personal history; including people, places, and events, for both the distant and recent past. These recurrent gaps are not consistent with ordinary forgetting.
  • Suicide attempts and self-injurious behavior is common among this population. Treatment is crucial to improving quality of life and preventing suicide attempts. 

The causes of DID appear to be complex. People with such disorder tend to have personal histories of recurring, overpowering, severe, and often life-threatening traumas before the age of nine, which is thought to be a key developmental age. Also, it may happen due to extreme neglect or emotional abuse, or due to a natural disaster, such as war.

While there is no cure for Dissociative Identity Disorder, long-term treatment can be helpful, with the goal of deconstructing the different personalities and uniting them into one. Effective treatment includes talk therapy or psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and adjunctive therapies, such as art or movement therapy.

There is no doubt that mental illness is a rich source for movie plots; however, it does not have to be placed in horror genre. Feeling that your brain no longer follows your commands, and that you are at the mercy of internal forces, which you cannot comprehend or control, could be a nightmare sprung to life!



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