This is one time when I wish I had already upgraded my WordPress membership to a Premium account. Then I’d be able to link to YouTube videos too. But, the alters really want to get this post out now, so here goes…
TV as a distraction & affirmation of Good winning over Evil most of the time
I admit it. I love watching certain procedurals and investigative TV shows. They remind me that the justice system really does work more often than not, and that some police and/or law enforcement are trustworthy.
What I am not comfortable with is how many of these shows portray people with DID as serial killers, murderers, victims of their mental illness, or violent criminals while not portraying how they could also be victims of crime, witnesses, or minor suspects who end up helping solve the case instead.
So why discuss this now?
Because we’ve been binge watching/listening to Criminal Minds Seasons 1-12 and watching episodes of Hawaii 5-0 as background noise to distract from a noisy neighbor. In Hawaii 5-0 only one alter in the system was a murderer. But the way the psychologist described how the different alters appear to people seemed off. Not all of hosts are submissive or appear submissive. Not all of the protectors are violent or take on the worst characteristics of their abusers. And I’m not sure that in every case of DID, the host is not responsible for what the other alters say or do.
And generalizing like that could cause more damage to how people with DID are treated in the outside world than anyone realizes. As for Criminal Minds, the diagnosis is used as information in the profiles with respect and sensitivity, but most of the characters with DID end up being murderous or some other type of dangerous criminal/victim.
What We All Wish for
That these procedural shows and others treat DID and other so-called trauma-based mental illnesses with the respect, acceptance, and sensitivity NICS has done with PTSD and PTS for civilians, active duty military, and veterans on its show. Not that NCIS is perfect because it’s not. But many of the recent episodes dealing with trauma and trauma-related issues have been treated with care instead of being disregarded or looked down on or considered unreliable witnesses, etc.
On the Other Hand….
We are all grateful that shows like these are addressing issues of trauma, anxiety disorders, and other issues that usually get brushed off in mainstream television. In spite of some errors or (in my opinion) erroneous generalizations, these shows also portray main characters with abusive or traumatic incidents in their pasts as admirable, compassionate, strong, ethical, successful individuals at work, in intimate relationships, and with family.
While I am upset about how people with DID get characterized in many of these shows, I am grateful that people are interested enough in learning about the disorder to use it as part of their episode plots.
Darkness and Silence really wish we could upgrade sooner instead of later because then they can FINALLY write their post about SSA Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. For any male survivors of sexual assault/abuse, you might want to look up his story line and watch Season 8, Episode 18 in particular.
Thanks for reading