Dissociative identity disorder in popular culture
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Dissociative identity disorder (DID, also referred to as multiple personality disorder or MPD) has been popularized in many works of fiction throughout the world, most often in murder mysteries as a red herring plot device. This article provides a partial list of references to DID and MPD in fiction, omitting any which originate through supernatural, paranormal, or pseudo-scientific causes.
- The 1957 film Lizzie, based on the 1954 novel The Birds' Nest by Shirley Jackson, stars Eleanor Parker as Elizabeth, with two other selves: wild party girl Lizzie who sends threatening letters to Elizabeth, and gentle, refined Beth who is "the person she should have become". She became multiple as a teenager after being raped.
- In the 1957 film The Three Faces of Eve, Joanne Woodward portrays Eve White, who has two additional identities: Eve Black (a wild, party girl with a violent streak), and Jane (a stable personality that knows about the other Eves).
- Norman Bates in the 1960 film Psycho (adapted from Robert Bloch's 1959 novel) can be said to have dual personalities, since he has internalized his dead mother.
- In 1967's Indian Bollywood film Raat Aur Din, directed by Satyen Bose, the lead female role played by Nargis Dutt suffered from dual personality disorder. Nargis, for her role, was awarded with National Film Award for Best Actress.
- In the 1975 television film Trilogy of Terror, the second segment concerns the rivalry of two sisters who turn out to be sharing a body.
- In the 1976 television film Sybil, based on the novel by Flora Rheta Schreiber, a young woman is found to have at least 16 separate personalities. The fictionalized case of "Sybil", loosely based on the life of Shirley Ardell Mason, has become the iconic image of MPD/DID for most of the American public.
- The 1992 film Raising Cain is about a child psychologist who turns out to be harboring several personalities in stereotyped fashion. The cause of his mental disease is said to be mind control experiments performed on him as a small child by his father.
- The 1993 Indian horror film Manichitrathazhu, centers on Ganga, a woman who develops split personality disorder during a period of stay at her husband's family house.
- The 1994 film Color of Night, starring Bruce Willis, the 1996 films Primal Fear and Shattered Mind, 1995's Never Talk to Strangers and 2001's Session 9, and the 2003 thriller Identity feature multiple personalities and explore the idea of responsibility for another personality's actions. The multiples in these films are characterized stereotypically as meek, peaceful people housing violent, psychopathic alternate personalities.
- Never Talk to Strangers (1995) features a psychologist who is terrorized with death threats and bizarre "gifts", her cat being killed, etc. The culprit is a second personality created from the frequent abuse she suffered as a child, and she spontaneously integrates after murdering both her lover and her abusive father.
- The 1997 Indian tele-serial made in Tamil, Marmadesam, features the protagonist to be having two different personalities - the normal himself and an assumed personality of the village god. The later personality takes control when somebody does a mistake in the village and slays them with a sword. This tele-serial was inturn made from a Tamil nouvel Vittu Vidu Karuppa! (English:Leave me my God!) written by Indra Soundar Rajan.
- The 1999 film Fight Club features an unnamed narrator with dual personalities.
- The film Saimin (1999) plays on this idea with one personality's being a demonic possession by a malevolent incarnation of the Monkey King.
- Me, Myself & Irene (2000) starring Jim Carrey as Charlie Baileygates and Hank Evans, is a slapstick farce about a man who becomes a "split personality" after suppressing angers and frustrations for years, his new personality 'Hank' actively seeking confrontation where Charlie avoided it, their relationship culminating in the two literally struggling for control over parts of their shared body.
- Session 9 is a 2001 American psychological horror film, directed by Brad Anderson and written by Anderson and Stephen Gevedon. The plot focuses on the growing tension within an asbestos removal crew working at an abandoned mental asylum, which is paralleled by the gradual revelation of a former dissociative identity disorder (DID) patient's disturbed past through recorded audio tapes of the patient's hypnotherapy sessions. It turns out that one of the workers was that patient, and the tapes trigger a recurrence of his evil personalities, one of whom goes home and murders his entire family, including the dog.
- The 2003 film Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance) ends with a "killer multiple" revelation.
- The 2003 film Identity features a group of strangers being killed off one by one while stranded at a motel during a storm, until they discover they are the multiple personalities of a DID-patient undergoing treatment.
- In the South Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), the protagonist Su-mi suffers from DID after the death of her sister and mother. This was remade in the US as The Uninvited (2009), which should not be mistaken for the The Uninvited (1944 film) with Ray Milland which is about a haunting.
- Mort Rainey in the 2004 film Secret Window (adapted from Stephen King's novella) has dual personalities, coexisting with John Shooter.
- The 2005 Indian psychological thriller film Anniyan, portrays Ambi, who has developed DID as a result of witnessing his sister's death.
- Robert De Niro plays David Callaway in Hide & Seek (2005). Shortly after his wife's suicide, his disturbed daughter (Dakota Fanning) speaks of becoming friends with the mysterious and unseen Charlie, whom David assumes is an imaginary friend she has created. Charlie is soon found to be psychotic, who torments David in gruesome ways such as drowning the family cat. It is eventually revealed that Charlie is a split personality of David himself, created by David's anguish when he caught his wife cheating on him. In the film's finale, De Niro finally portrays Charlie as he goes on a murderous rampage.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), mutant Jean Grey is described as having developed a split personality as a result of mental barriers placed in her mind by her mentor, Professor Xavier. This "creature" represented all her primal urges, and called itself "Phoenix". (The original Dark Phoenix saga did not mention DID or use it as a plot device.) In X-Men: Evolution, two characters are subject to DID at some point in the series. Rogue, capable of absorbing the powers and personalities of others, suffers from DID after her accumulation of psyches overwhelms her and she loses her sanity. Legion, or David, Xavier's son has multiple personalities, each with a particular mutant ability.
- In the 2009 film, Pandorum Lt. Peyton is also Corporal Gallo, who was responsible for mass murders upon the ship.
- The 2010 film Frankie and Alice depicts a woman with DID who loses time (experiences fugue states).
- The 2010 film The Ward depicts a young woman in an institution with a resident killer ghost. Similar to Identity, as she attempts to escape, she discovers that the other killed patients and the ghost are alternative personalities she created in order to deal with a violent abduction in her childhood.
- In the 2013 film, Planes, the character, Franz is an Aerocar who has an alter ego called Von Fliegenhosen who appears when he is in plane mode.
- The title character of the 2013 Filipino drama series Rhodora X exhibits symptoms of DID with two distinct and opposite personalities.
- The character Bad Cop of the 2014 film The Lego Movie has a split personality known as Good Cop.
In manga, anime, comics, and video games
Manga, anime, comics, and video games are forms of media that frequently use the idea of dual or multiple personalities to emphasize the struggle between good and evil, but these depictions are not truly examples of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Often characters with alternate selves have done so through supernatural, magical, or chemical means, while real DID is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a mental disorder which is thought to originate in childhood trauma. Prominent examples of characters exhibiting psychiatric DID include:
(Alphabetical by series title)
- In Batman:
- The villain Harvey Dent developed the criminal personality known as Two-Face, after having acid thrown in his face during a trial.
- Batman himself is revealed to have a backup personality, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, created so that he can continue crime fighting even if his mind is overwhelmed by psychological trauma.
- In the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops, the main character Alex Mason develops DID after being brainwashed in Vorkuta Gulag, a Russian prison camp. Mason begins mentally projecting Viktor Reznov, a Russian soldier he befriended in Vorkuta, it is revealed that Reznov brainwashed Mason, and that Reznov died in Vorkuta.
- The protagonist in the manga Change 123 develops three alternative personalities.
- In the Shadowline comic Cowboy Ninja Viking, patients who have been diagnosed with DID are recruited to a government program which modifies some personalities into assassins.
- In the third incarnation of the DC Comics series Doom Patrol, Kay Challis (Crazy Jane) had numerous (at least fifty-one) alternate personalities, each with their own superpower, after severe early child sexual abuse caused profound Dissociative Identity Disorder. She later becomes involved with Cliff Steele (Robotman).
- The character Launch, from the anime and manga Dragon Ball, changes from a sweet and caring person to an angry criminal (and vice versa) every time she sneezes.
- In the anime series Elfen Lied, protagonist Lucy develops an alternative personality after being shot in the head with a .50 BMG round during her escape from a government facility. Her alter, Nyuu, has a childlike personality and infantile knowledge of the world, and lacks spoken language skills, being able to say only "Nyū" and "Kouta" most of the time.
- In the video game Final Fantasy VII, the protagonist Cloud Strife, due to traumatic experiences, creates an alternate persona based on his dead best friend Zack Fair.
- in the series of manga and anime Saint Seiya the Gold Saint Gemini Saga has two personalities, one good and one evil. The good part is described as a good man, good heart and a follower of righteousness, the evil side like a cruel and power-hungry, which he manages to kill the previous Pope in order to take his place and establish a reign of terror over all the world.
- In the video game "Silent Hill 2", the character Maria takes the form of a sexualized double of protagonist James Sunderland's wife, Mary.
- In the webcomic Headspace, Oren Otter chronicles his adventures with his alternate personalities as they interact in a surreal internal environment. The comic also includes other characters with multiple personalities, such as the Mouse Brothers. Two of Oren's alters also have split personalities of their own.
- The webcomic Cracks of Sunshine also features a group of DID alters as they communicate and address issues of gender identity and orientation.
- Marvel Comics' Hulk is a prominent example inspired by the concept of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with the three most prominently displayed Hulk personalities representing stages of Bruce Banner's life" the "Savage Hulk" is a childish but strong figure representing the child-Banner's desire to be strong enough to protect his mother, the Gray "Joe Fixit" Hulk represents the surly teenager Banner never was, and the "Professor Hulk" is the combination of the first two Hulks and Banner to reflect his adult experience.
- In Inazuma Eleven, Fubuki Shirou developed DID when his family, including his younger brother Atsuya, died in an avanlanche. Due to this trauma, he developed the personality of his younger brother, who acted as Forward, while Shriou acted as Defender. The trigger is when he goes from the defense line to offense.
- In the comic book King of RPGs, the main character Shesh Maccabee develops a split personality in which he reanacts as the character he was playing in an RPG. This is trigger when someone says "My character".
- The character Wolfgang Grimmer, in the manga/anime Monster, as a result of psychological experimentation in his childhood, had developed another personality: an aggressive fighter who protects him when he is under stress (similar to the Incredible Hulk), whom he called the Magnificent Steiner, after a television show he watched as a child.
- In the machinima Red vs. Blue, the fragmentation of the Alpha A.I. is similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder and is compared to DID by the series' creator Burnie Burns in reply to a comment in a journal entry discussing Theta's debut, when questioned as to why the A.I. fragment, Theta, was so childlike.
- Remember 11: The Age of Infinity's Inubushi Keiko possesses more than ten personalities.
- In the anime Serial Experiments Lain, the protagonist Iwakura Lain dissociates (experiencing amnesia as well as out-of-body feelings) and develops two other personalities besides her usual, timid self: one that is more bold/assertive, and one that tries to harm Lain and her friends.
- Fumika from Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed, who developed two personalities (Fumi & Mika) after shooting her father.
- Soulcalibur III introduced Tira, a deranged girl who develops two distinct personalities which alternate randomly, affecting her fighting style.
- The video game Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (2004) features a supernatural character with genuine traumatic DID. Twins, Therese and Jeanette Voerman, inhabit the same body. After being sexually abused by her father, Therese, the original personality, murdered him. The trauma created the alternate, Jeanette, as a coping mechanism.
- Shinobu Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho, developed seven personalities after a traumatic event in his youth.
- In the video game Dangan Ronpa, Touko Fukawa swaps between her usual abrasive and self-conscious personality and the serial killer Genocider Syo after sneezing or fainting upon seeing blood. Her sneeze-induced change is a reference to the character Launch from the anime and manga Dragon Ball.
- In the video game Heavy Rain, the protagonist, Ethan Mars, suspects himself of being a schizophrenic, but the symptoms he describes are actually more typical of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
- In the video Game Xenogears, the protagonist, Fei Fong Wong, has a second, wild personality called "Id". That he created to endure the pain of the experiments conducted on him during his childhood.
- In the comic book series X-Men, the anti-hero Legion, the son of Professor Xavier, suffers from severe mental illness, most notably dissociative identity disorder. Each of his multiple personalities possesses a different superpower, making Legion one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel universe.
(Alphabetical by artist)
- Rapper Eminem frequently invokes the alter ego Slim Shady, a caricature who is excessively controversial, crude and violent.
- In the song "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" by progressive metal band Dream Theater, one of the movements, titled "Losing Time", appears to describe a Sybil-like multiple.
- The Genesis concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is about Rael's search for his brother John. At the end of the album, it's revealed that Rael and John are actually the same person.
- Marina and the Diamonds seems to explore the use of personalities in lyrics of her songs and is reflected in her music.
- "Sweating Bullets" by American heavy metal band Megadeth is about a man in an insane asylum holding conversations with multiple versions of himself. The video features lead singer Dave Mustaine in a small and dirty room being harangued and antagonized by other versions of himself.
- Nicki Minaj has written several songs that invoke several of her claimed "alter egos" in a DSD-type fashion. However, they are not fused as one individual and are used instead in order to enhance the musical narrative within each song.
- The album Quadrophenia by British rock band The Who is about a mod named Jimmy who embodies the personalities of the band members.
- "Multiple Myselves" by Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse is about Violent J's multiple personalities that are both describing themselves to the listener while at the same time arguing with themselves.
- "Ten-Faced", a Japanese Vocaloid song using the Vocaloid "Gumi", is about a girl, seemingly Gumi, with 10 personalities that all fall in love with the same man, who tells each identity that he can only love one of them.
In books and short stories
(Alphabetical by author)
- In Joe Abercrombie's fantasy series, The First Law Trilogy, a character named Logen Ninefingers occasionally succumbs to a darker alternate personality interested only in killing, which is called the Bloody-Nine.
- Pat Barker's 1993 novel The Eye in the Door deals with numerous "splits" in the human life and psyche during wartime.
- Mary Higgins Clark's 1992 novel All Around the Town is about a young woman who is believed to have committed a murder. Psychiatric sessions reveal that she was kidnapped and molested as a girl, and as a result she has DID.
- In Max Brook's novel World War Z Paul Redeker developed an alternate personality named Xolelwa Azania.
- Hervey Cleckley and Corbett Thigpen's 1957 book The Three Faces of Eve is loosely based on the true story of Chris Costner-Sizemore (who later told her own story in the non-fiction books I'm Eve and A Mind of My Own).
- In Ted Dekker's 2003 novel Thr3e, the main character has three different personalities: himself, a childhood friend, and the villain.
- Science fiction author Philip K. Dick's novels often include themes concerning alternate personalities sometimes intertwined with alternate realities and universes. Notable examples are his 1966 short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale", on which the movie Total Recall (1990) is loosely based, and his 1977 novel A Scanner Darkly, which was also turned into a film.
- In William Diehl's novel Primal Fear and its sequels Show of Evil and Reign in Hell, a main character, Aaron Stampler, appears to suffer from DID but is later revealed to be an act.
- In Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel, The Double, the protagonist begins to perceive multiple twisted versions of himself. Although his symptoms could be deemed more indicative of schizophrenia, the vague nature of the narrative and the protagonist's preoccupation with identity could indicate that he suffers from DID.
- In Ellen Hopkins' 2008 novel Identical, Kaeleigh Gardella suffers from DID and believes she is sometimes her late twin sister, Raeanne, who died in a car crash at age nine, which triggered her father to become sexually abusive.
- Shirley Jackson's 1954 novel The Birds' Nest is about a young woman with multiple personalities. Jackson created the character by interviewing a local psychiatrist who had treated a client with DID.
- In Stephen King's book series, The Dark Tower, one of the main characters, Susannah Dean, has stereotypical split personalities.
- In Yusuke Kishi's debut novel, Isola: Persona 13, the main character named Chihiro Moritani developed 12 personalities rooted from her childhood trauma. In addition, after she suffered from an earthquake, she developed a thirdteenth personality named Isola, a vengeful personality that can seemingly leaves Chihiro's body to kill off people threatening her.
- In C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, at least two of the ghosts have good and evil personalities that have become physically distinct.
- In Shana Mahaffey's Sound's Like Crazy, a voice actress, Holly Miller has developed a Multiple Personality Disorder because of a terrible past.
- In the Monster High toy line and book series, there is a character named Jackson Jekyll with an alternate personality named Holt Hyde (DJ Hyde in the books). The two personalities are unaware of one another's existence.
- John R. Maxim's novel Mosaic is about a government experiment that uses people with DID in an attempt to create the perfect assassin.
- Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novel Fight Club revolves around the bizarre relationship between the mild-mannered protagonist and his radical, anti-consumerist, anarcho-primitivistic alternate personality. The book presents a very idiosyncratic version of MPD in which the identity manifests itself either conterminous to the multiple (as an audiovisual hallucination) or as a more realistic version that manifests while the protagonist believes he is sleeping.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, begun in 1983, includes characters who manifest more than one personality; this is portrayed as a mere idiosyncrasy, not a serious psychiatric disorder. One of the most prominent characters is the beggar Altogether Andrews, who has multiple distinct personalities—none of which are named Andrews—each with their own memories and manner of speaking. Other characters with more than one personality include Agnes/Perdita in the "witch series" and Miss Pickles/Miss Pointer in Thud.
- Paul Quarry's 2012 novel Wolf in the Head has characters with DID.
- In Tamil novel Vittu Vidu Karuppa!(English:Leave me my God!) written by Indra Soundar Rajan, the protagonist Rajendran suffers from DID.
- Lloyd Rose's 2002 Doctor Who novel, Camera Obscura, is built around the idea of multiple selves, both psychological and physical.
- Matt Ruff's 2003 novel Set This House in Order concerns two people with classical MPD on a journey of self-discovery.
- Sidney Sheldon's 1998 novel Tell Me Your Dreams is about a woman named Ashley who has two other selves named Toni and Alette. A string of vicious murders seems to follow Ashley, and the police must work hard to find out who is behind them.
- Robert A. Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil, is a story about an old man from the future who transfers his biological brain into that of his attractive young secretary's body in a bid to beat death, but discovers that her persona has survived and inhabits his new female body with him.
- Robert Silverberg's 1983 short story "Multiples" describes a future where people with multiple personalities form a subculture similar to the modern gay community. In the story, a "singleton" (a person with one personality) fakes having DID to attract a DID partner and ultimately attempts to fragment her personality in order to become multiple herself.
- In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll artificially separates his good and evil natures, causing him to switch between two separate personalities through the consumption of a potion of his own creation. The novella has been adapted many times since publication into a variety of different forms of media, including a Broadway musical (Jekyll & Hyde (musical)), a television mini-series (Jekyll (TV series)), a video game (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (video game)) and more than 30 feature films.
- The character Gollum from Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books seems to display this disorder.
In television series
Various episodes of popular television series such as Judging Amy, Psi Factor and The X-Files use the idea of multiples with a hidden "killer personality". Specific episodes and storylines of other shows that use the theme of characters with DID are listed below.
(Alphabetical by series title)
- In the episode "The One That Got Away" of the animated television series American Dad, one of the characters Roger the alien temporarily develops dissociative identity disorder as a result of his guilt over getting a woman named Judy fired from her job at a department store.
- The Babylon 5 episode "Divided Loyalties" (1993) postulates a hidden killer personality programmed into the mind of a telepathic woman and triggered by a telepathically sent password.
- The popular sitcom Barney Miller guest-starred Stefan Gierasch as a multiple in the episode "Power Failure", which initially aired December 9, 1976.
- In Mexican soap opera Barrera de amor, Veronica, who is insecure and shy, suffers from DID. Throughout the soap opera, she develops two other personalities: Violeta, who is a sensible and down-to-earth girl and Vera, who is evil and materialistic.
- In the animated series Beavis and Butt-head, Beavis has a separate identity, the Great Cornholio, who usually surfaces when he consumes a large amount of sugar or caffeine, or occasionally in moments of extreme anger.
- French Stewart played a multiple in an episode of the sitcom Becker entitled "Papa Does Preach".
- In the BBC series Being Human, the vampire Hal Yorke (introduced at the start of the fourth season) has two distinct personalities. Despite his supernatural nature, the dissociation appears to be an entirely psychological reaction to the horrific urges created by his "addiction" to blood - part of his nature revels in his monstrosity, while another part is repulsed by it. The two "take it in turns to claw their way to the surface" (Hal's Prequel), with a switchover occurring approximately every fifty years. "Good Hal" tries his utmost to resist drinking blood and to avoid harming other people, by remaining isolated from society (but in the company of trusted companions - without this support, Hal is usually incapable of fighting his blood-addiction for long) and occupying himself with strict routines and rituals (reminiscent of OCD or Asperger's Syndrome); "Bad Hal" is a remorseless, ruthless, sadistic mass-murderer (and drinks copious quantities of blood), one of the most important and notorious vampires on Earth, who enjoys manipulating and destroying other people and appears to be incapable of love or friendship. An impending change is usually indicated by "Bad Hal" beginning to take a benign interest in other people and feel sympathy (Hal's Prequel), or by "Good Hal" becoming less controlled and more tempted by blood (drinking blood will not automatically cause a switch, but will increase the likelihood).; however, on at least one occasion the switchover was instantaneous (Season 5, Episode 4). During the buildup to a changeover, the emerging personality may take over for very short periods of time (Season 5, Episode 4). A switch to "Bad Hal" will usually result in a massacre as "Bad Hal" re-establishes himself and sates his bloodlust (Season 4, Episode 8; Season 5, Episode 6); a switch to "Good Hal" will begin with several years of painful withdrawal from blood.
- In Criminal Minds, several episodes deal with criminals who have DID, most notably Tobias Hankel who, in the show's second season, kidnaps Dr. Spencer Reid under the influence of two additional personalities.
- The CSI: Miami season 9 episode, "Paint it Black", concerns an art student with DID who is investigated for her roommate's murder.
- In the online flash series Happy Tree Friends, the character Flippy has a violent dark side(affected by bad experiences during his years in the army) that's usually unleashed whenever he sees anything that is/resembles anything war-related like gun shootings or flares.
- In the ER episode "Jigsaw", and in the Nip/Tuck episode "Montana / Sassy / Justice", patients are portrayed with stereotypical dissociative disorders.
- In the television series Family Matters, Jaleel White plays a character suffering from DID with two main personalities: intelligent nerdy Steven Urkel and suave sophisticated Stefan Urquelle.
- In the animated series Garbage Pail Kids, the character Split Kit has one side that is good and the other that is bad.
- Kelly Sullivan plays Kate Howard and her alter/name she was born with Connie Falconeri on ABC's General Hospital.
- The NBC television series Heroes features a character, Niki Sanders with two other selves referred to as Jessica and Gina, implied to have been the result of her abusive childhood. Later in the series, the main villain, Sylar, develops multiple personalities as a side effect of the use of the shapeshifting ability when used in combination with his acquired psychometry; his mind has begun to fracture into the different personas of those whom he has shapeshifted into.
- In the television series Jam & Jerusalem, Rosie Bales (Dawn French) is a factory worker who has an alter named Margaret, a stern and demanding older woman. It is hinted that this alter was created during a sexual trauma earlier in her life.
- On India's NDTV Imagine's popular soap opera Jyoti, Sudha Sharma exhibits dual personality, morphing into the confident and brazen character "Devika" by night.
- In the television series Lie to Me, Cal works on a case of a woman who claims to have had a vision of murder only for it be discovered she has multiple personalities and the Lightman group must work out if the personality who witnessed the crime is a witness or the murderer. The personalities include a college student, prostitute, the silent protector and the original personality that the team inadvertently awaken during hypnotherapy.
- An episode of the television series Magnum, P.I. concerns the rivalry of two sisters who turn out to be sharing a body.
- In the 1990s soap opera Melrose Place, Dr. Kimberly Shaw suffered from what was called multiple personality disorder. She was also variously characterized as psychotic and possessed by a demon.
- In the television series Murdoch Mysteries, the suspect in the season 3 episode "Me, Myself, and Murdoch" has two personalities.
- Multiple personalities are a catalyst for numerous storylines on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live since its premiere in 1968. Specifically, Erika Slezak and Bree Williamson play mother daughter Viki Lord and Jessica Buchanan and their various alters.
- In an episode of the USA Network series Psych (2006), the main character confronts a murderer with typically theatrical split personalities.
- The Robot Chicken sketch called "Twist Endings" is a fictionalized version of the Jack and Jill movie, in which Jack's alternate personality is his dead sister Jill.
- Rhodora_X, a Filipino suspense melodrama by GMA Network.
- Shattered (2010 TV series) featured a police detective with DID.
- In the animated series South Park, it is revealed in the episode "City Sushi", that Tuong Lu Kim, the owner of the Chinese restaurant City Wok, is actually an alter-ego created by an ex-therapist named Doctor Janus, who suffered from various MPD disorders; the episode concluded with the police deciding to force Janus to assume the Lu Kim personality their view because is that janus alter-ago is Asian despite is original personalty is caucasian and he owns the only Chinese restaurant in South Park. Other characters who may have aspects of DID (MPD) are Herbert Garrison and Eric Cartman, as Mr. Garrison possesses various hand-puppets like Mr. Hat and Mr. Twig who are perceived to be extensions of his own personality from his sexuality, and Cartman has been shown to treat his stuffed toys and even his own hand as separate identities which half it eventually cure in later seasons.
- Latka Gravas, one of Andy Kaufman's characters from the sitcom Taxi, was characterised as having multiple personalities. The normally shy Latka sometimes presents as womanizing Vic Ferrari. In at least one episode, he assumes the personality of the main character of Taxi, Alex Reiger.
- In an episode of The Mod Squad, Carolyn Jones played a woman with two personalities, one of which was the stereotypical passive "good girl", while the other was a psychotic who had put out a contract on the "good" one.
- In the animated series Total Drama, one contestant, Mike, suffers five different personalities, each personality will appear in certain conditions, Svetlana, the Russian queen of gymnastics (appears every time when Mike is in near, or hear anything athletic), Vito, the tough hot guy (appears when Mike lose his shirt), Chester, the bad-temper narcissistic old man persona (appears when Mike feels frustrated), Manitoba Smith, the Indiana Jones type explorer guy (trigger when Mike wears a fedora) and lastly Mal, the manipulative former con who got Mike thrown in juvenile detention (triggered by unknown means). However, in the episode he is eliminated in, he cures himself of his DID by fighting his personalities in his mind but after Mike conquers his other personalities, for a brief moment, a small shadowed Mike with a mischievous, and yet angry, face appears in midair in the background. It may show that Mike is temporarily cured from his multiple personality disorder and Mal is introduced in Total Drama All-Stars. The character soon became the popular character out of all the new cast. However, Mike's portrayal of MPD is widely considered offensive to people who have MPD.
- The Touched by an Angel episode "Loser" states that multiples are possessed by demons.
- In the animated series Transformers Animated, the Decepticon Blitzwing has three separate personalities and faces to match.
- Showtime's United States of Tara is about a mother of two who is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, and whose alters appear regularly when she is under stress.
- Jacqueline Hyde, a villain in the game show Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?, is a teenager with (as usual) a sweet, innocent personality and an insane, evil personality.
- In an episode of (The Amazing World of Gumball)"The Name" Gumball finds out his real name is Zach, he then makes up a persona, that finally takes over, and Gumball fights back and forth wit Zach to get all of his memories and life back, in the end, he finally changes his name to Gumball, and Zach is gone
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