“Split”, Mental Health and Stigma

There are some articles written about the stigma surrounding this movies’ portrayal of dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously called “multiple personality disorder”. Despite their being many articles on this very subject, one more never hurts right?

So “Split” is a psychological thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan starring James McAvoy, and is based off of the true story of Billie Milligan. The film itself has been shown at a couple of screenings during 2016 and will be released January 20th, 2017.

Kevin (James McAvoy) has 24 distinct personalities, 23 of them are present and the 24th is “asleep”. Now I haven’t seen it, but the trailer really drives home the idea of violence is associated with DID. The opening scene is Kevin just randomly entering a car with three teenage girls and proceeds to kidnap them. Then we see a whole bunch of horrific scenes that scream that a DID sufferers are NUTS.

Mental Health and disability has always been negatively portrayed in film. Did you know that the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of crimes rather than commit crimes themselves? It’s sad that so many aren’t exposed to mental health other than it’s depictions in cinema.

Despite “Split”s’ negative stigmatization of DID, I’m still going to see it. It looks cool, and really with my knowledge of DID and Mental Health I know how to enjoy things still; also, it’s a movie they have to make the story appealing.

I’ll just have to talk about the negative stigmatizations in the movie.

Here’s the trailer – Split trailer


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