As Split is released today, our update (👉please share for awareness👈)
I know it’s everywhere at the moment because it’s released today (in the UK) but I just wanted to turn an ask we got into our updated position on Split. I feel the need to do this because there’s so many people still saying “it’s just a movie” and “it’s just fiction”. Also after reading an article @thelabyrinthsystem shared about the lack of research James McAvoy did to prepare for this role (hope you don’t mind us tagging you lovely, the reblogged post is here: http://snorlax-and-co.tumblr.com/post/156122788993/split-personality-sufferers-refuse-to-talk-to )
James McAvoy admits the role wasn’t well researched at all, claiming that he “couldn’t find anybody that would sit and talk with me” about DID. Instead, he simply learnt about DID through YouTube. This feels like excuses covering up his role in this sham of a movie. It seems ridiculous to us because so many people (with DID or not) are standing against this movie. We would have talked to him and I’m sure there are thousands of others all over the world who would have happily shared their experiences for a better representation of DID.
As we mentioned earlier this week, in an interview James McAvoy said he thinks the part he is playing is a “badass avenging angel”, whilst joking and laughing with the interviewer. It’s hard to watch so we haven’t seen the full interview but he just came across as he didn’t understand DID at all, and thought people with DID would be “pleased” with his role in Split. Trauma survivors do evolve and grow but not in the way Split suggests - we don’t become as bad as our abusers, and we certainly don’t have shape shifting skills like his shown in the trailers!
Just for clarification I have not seen the full movie - I am undecided whether to watch it (to almost be aware of what we’re up against, no other reason). I’m not sure we’re strong enough right now but if there are other systems who are thinking along similar lines I would just urge you to stay safe and if you do decide to watch this movie maybe try and find a copy online or something, to avoid any money supporting the movie.
Our major issue with this movie is that it is hurting many people with DID, like myself, who have been through awful trauma in childhood. We have been preyed on and abused by the adults who were meant to protect us. To then flip it and make the individual with DID into a predator who kidnaps young girls is what is extremely distressing to us.
Yes, there may be “bad” people who happen to have DID, but that could be said about any disorder, as well as mentally “healthy” people. The point is for the most part it is this kind predator who often caused DID in the first place. DID (dissociative identity disorder), for those who don’t know, is caused by chronic (ie over long periods of time) trauma (many different forms of abuse) in early childhood (age 6-9 at the latest). You cannot develop DID as an adult. It is often made worse by the lack of support and dysfunctional attachment in the aftermath of the trauma.
In every trailer we have seen of Split they seem to make a point of mentioning DID by name. If you want to have some kind of super villain who can shape shift like shown in the trailers then make up a disorder, a fictitious one, as this is meant to be fiction. Don’t use an established mental illness that thousands of people struggle with on a daily basis.
Some people will understand that this is not an accurate representation of DID but there will also be thousands who have never heard of DID, don’t know that this is not what people with DID are like, will assume people with DID (and mental illness in general) are dangerous and to be feared. If these people then meet someone with this diagnosis and their only reference is this movie, well you can imagine how people might react.
This will in turn make it difficult for people to:
1) accept their own diagnosis (trust me we often think very poorly of ourselves and don’t need anyone else making us feel bad about ourselves).
2) open up to get support from people who think DID is one of those scary dangerous mental illnesses.
On a personal note despite being diagnosed with DID we have had a mental health professional (a psychiatrist) say that DID doesn’t exist, and is “the stuff of Hollywood movies” to quote him. This was whilst inpatient due to a mental health crisis. Anyone who thinks this kind of stigma doesn’t have real life implications, you are unfortunately wrong. And it’s not just uneducated people that stigma of this kind affects - that was from a fully qualified psychiatrist ie even professionals are influenced by stigma from movies - another example would be Sybil.
These are just a few of our issues with this movie and we’ve already seen the damage it has caused. It is just the latest in a long line of movies that stigmatise mental illness. It is an overused stereotype.
M. Night Shyamalan and the production team have purposely exploited DID for entertainment value. Mental illness gives them the “twist” Hollywood is after to make profit, which is clearly more important to them than the lives of those who actually live with this condition.
Please reblog and to those with DID (and other mental illness): this movie does not reflect who we are. We aren’t monsters, we are survivors and the world needs to see that.