Dissociative Identity Disorder: 6 Famous Examples

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), is a psychiatric identity disorder characterized by having at least two separate and relatively permanent personality states. The condition is characterized by memory gaps above what is described by common forgetfulness. DID is connected with overwhelming childhood trauma or violence.

There is a history of childhood trauma in about 90% of cases, while other cases are related to war experiences or surgical treatments during childhood. It is also suspected that genetic and biological influences play a part. If the condition is treated with drugs, has seizures, or involves other mental health problems, creative play of youth, or religious convictions, the diagnosis cannot be made. In this article, we tried to compile the most famous people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Although it’s not very common in history, there are cases and examples of multiple personalities that attract attention. Some of the people who had been diagnosed with this personality disorder were infamous rapists and suicidal people. Let’s get to know the most recognized cases of multiple personalities in history.

Louis Vivet

First Case of Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder): (Theft – Partial truth)

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The first record in the medical history of dissociative identity disorders belongs to Louis Vivet. Louis Vivet’s mother was a sex worker. Born on February 12, 1863, this French boy was neglected throughout his childhood. When he was 8, he committed his first crime.

Vivet, who started working in vineyard, encountered a viper. Although the snake did not sting him, he suffered some kind of paralysis at that moment. Vivet, who could not walk for 1 year, stayed in a nursing home during this time. He left the nursing home at the age of 18 and could not stay away from the nursing homes for a very long time.

In this period, differences began to emerge in Vivet’s character. He had a darker and colder character. The young man who was frequently hospitalized for many years was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder in 1980. Young man had 10 different characters. In the following years, doctors claimed that Vivet had 3 characters.

Juanita Maxwell

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(Murder and Robbery)

Juanita Maxwell is 23 years old. In 1979 she killed Inez Kelle, a 72-year-old hotel guest. Juanita Maxwell was arrested as Kelle’s murder suspect who was bitten, beaten and strangled. When Juanita Maxwell was in court, she claimed that she did not remember anything.

Juanita was seeing psychologist during the trial, then they realized she had dissociative identity disorder. Juanita had 6 different alters (different sub-personalities), one of them was dominant.

It was one of her personalities, Wanda Weston who defended herself during the trial. Seeing the obvious difference between the two alters, the judge was convinced that Maxwell had this identity disorder. Because Juinata was a calm person who spoke quite softly, Wanda had a very angry and aggressive character. Wanda laughed at the story of the murder and managed to scare everyone in the hall.

Juinata remained in a mental hospital until 1988, complaining that she could not receive the right treatment. After carried out two armed bank robberies, the young woman argued that Wanda did those deeds. Wanda took control of Juinata, who said the stress of living outside was too much.

Judy Castelli

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(Suicide / Self-harm / Artist)

Judy Castelli has been physically and sexually abused for a long time thus she was battling deppression for a long time. In 1967, when she started the university, school psychologist suggested her to stay home. In the years that followed, Castelli began to hear voices telling him to harm herself. Listening to these voices, she cut almost all of her face, lost an eye and almost became unable to use one of her arms. The young woman attempted suicide numerous times and was taken to hospital many times. Each time Castelli was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia.

In the 1980s, Castelli began singing in some of the locations in Greenwich Town. During this period, Castelli performed in some Broadway shows. She also produced very successful sculptures and works of art made by glass.

In 1994, Castelli began to receive therapy again and the doctors revealed that she had 7 different personalities. During the period of theraphy, 44 more Castelli’s personalities emerged. After having multiple personality disorders, she pursue a career as an artist. Castelli also directed people with psychological disorders to artistic activities.

Truddy Chase

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( Book author )

Truddi was physically and sexually abused by her stepfather when she was 2 years old and was subjected to her mother’s emotional abuse until she was 12 years old. After becoming an adult, Truddi, who had a very stressful job, decided to go to a psychologist because of her problems. As a result of the psychologist’s therapy, it is revealed that Truddi had 92 different personalities.

The youngest character, Lamb Chop, was a 5-6 year-old girl. Another character, Ean, was a 1000-year-old Irish poet and philosopher. These characters, who were not aware of each other, had no interaction with each other.

She wrote an autobiography named When Rabbit Howls which she talked about her experiences as a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Shirley Mason

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Source: csicon

Born on June 25, 1923, Shirley Mason had a very difficult childhood.

Mason received therapy for different psychological disorders and was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder following an incident in 1955. Finding himself in different cities, hotel rooms and unable to remember how she got there, Mason also went to the shops and damaged the products. Unable to remember why and when she did this, different characters of Mason began to emerge in therapies in a short time.

Her life was published as a book and it was among the bestselling books. The book was also adapted for a television that was very popular on television at that time.

What makes Sybil, or Shirley Mason, quite popular is some of the mysteries about her. Many people believe that Mason has a mental health condition that made her fall in love with her psychiatrist. Since her psychiatrist diagnosed her with dissociative identity disorder, other people think that this diagnosis was made because her psychiatrist needed a story to sell. Mason acknowledges this in 1958 with a letter to her doctor. But her doctor thinks that Manson did this to deny that she was completely ill. Therefore, Manson and her doctor continued therapy for many years and 16 different personalities appeared during the therapy.

Billy Milligan

(The most famous Case, Killer and Rapist)

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Source: pinimg.com

Billy, an alcoholic and a gambler, lived with his mother and his mother’s new husband after his father’s suicide. This was the second marriage of Chalmer, who had two daughters from his other marriage.

When he was 20 years old, he was tried for rape and armed robbery. About 7-8 months after his release, he raped three more women on a university campus. “Billy was acting like a 3-year-old kid” said one of his victims. Moreover, Billy was not content with this and he involved in three kidnapping cases, three robberies and four rapes. He was then admitted to the correctional facility again. Billy was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder by the psychologist. During his stay in the mental hospital, he had 10 to13 different personalities.

His attorneys demanded the acquittal because according to his doctors it was the alterers who committed the crimes, most of them unaware of each other. They claimed Billy wasn’t responsible for any crime.

After 36 years of hospitalization, Billy did not get involved in any crime. In 2014, at the age of 59, he died of cancer in a nursing home.

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Billy’s interesting story didn’t go unnoticed by the Hollywood. Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and John Cusack starred in the film about his life. However, the project which was shelved 15 years ago due to financial deficiencies, is now on the agenda again. Leonardo Di Caprio, who has been waiting for playing this role for 20 years, will play Billy in the project.

Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Lucas Berg


1 thought on “Dissociative Identity Disorder: 6 Famous Examples”

  1. The pronoun usage in this article is awful, and occasionally misleading. The details in the Billy Milligan portion are especially incorrect.

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