New to box offices on Jan. 20, “Split” has been a hit. So far, the film has made $104 million dollars worldwide. “Split” is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars James McAvoy as Kevin, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Kevin has 23 “alters,” or different, distinct personalities. While some of Kevin’s alters are calm, many are extremely violent. Kevin’s alter Dennis kidnaps three girls to be sacrificed to Kevin’s 24th alter: the Beast.
Mistakenly called Multiple Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID) is a psychological illness in which an individual creates separate personalities to survive traumatic events. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), “these personality states demonstrate marked discontinuity in sense of self and/or agency, accompanied by changes in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning.” Additionally, those with DID also suffer from dissociative amnesia, a condition in which they forget the events that occur when a different alter takes control.
Personally, I do not support this movie. “Split” inaccurately portrays Dissociative Identity Disorder. Those with DID are not a risk to those around them. In some cases, certain alters are suicidal and will attempt to harm the person. Other alters try to run away or escape from centers where the patient is being treated. In all of these cases, the alters never try to hurt others.
AP Psychology and Psychology teacher at Betten