Dissociative Identity Disorder & Actors/Actresses

Dissociative Identity Disorder is formerly known as “Multiple Identity Disorder”. It exists when one person exhibits different tendencies and reactions to the same situations. My question is, “what is the difference between actors/actresses and people with dissociative identity disorder?” My answer is simple: NOTHING.

I recently thought of this question when I came across an article (link below) discussing how Leonardo DiCaprio is going to star in “The Crowded Room”, a movie based on a true story in which he is going to be a young man with 24 personalities. With the recent reading that we did on Hegel, it seems to me that the identity of an actor compared to that of a person with dissociative identity disorder is pretty much the same. I will call these people with dissociative identity disorder “patients” for simplicity. Our knowledge of actors is really similar to the knowledge we have on these patients. They show different tendencies, reactions, and emotions to different circumstances. Yes, one can argue that actors just do their jobs, and those emotions and actions are only fabricated; their true personalities are the ones they show in real life. So, let me ask you one question: how can you be so sure that those actions in real life truly reflect who they are? I mean, you believe and are touched by their on-screen performances, so they can also make you like them by acting those “ideal personalities” in real life as well. Thus, it is nonsensical to like some actresses more than others because some celebrity magazines report their “cute” or “kind” sides in real life.

Like Hegel says about sense-certainty, it is what we see via our senses. However, we don’t know what we think we know. So, the next time you are going to let the news about your favorite/most dislikes actors/actresses give you a mood swing. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to be that emotionally involved with some people that you have no true knowledge of who they actually are?


Link: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/03/12/what-is-dissociative-identity-disorder

5 responses to “Dissociative Identity Disorder & Actors/Actresses

  1. I think that you bring up an interesting point. I’m not 100% sure that I agree with all of your ideas, though. Because it’s impossible for us to ever really know what other people thinking and their motivation for what they do, for all we know actors and actresses could just be very perceptive individuals who are talented in imitation. They could just be so conscious of the people around them that they can mimic to the point of seeming as if they have multiple personalities, as they can adopt different characters at whim. Because we cannot be sure of who other people truly are, I don’t think we can make any real assumptions about character or why they do what they do. Therefore, I do not believe that your question of can we be sure of who actors and actresses are has an answer. I think we have all experienced times in our lives when people we thought were one way turned out another. I think that due to this great uncertainty the only way in which to ascertain some sense of someone’s character is whether their actions follow through with their word. If people do what they say, there is a better chance that we can figure out who they are and what their motivation is because they follow through with what they set out to do.

  2. Dissociative identity disorder sounds like an interesting topic, but I believe that this is more in the line with Locke’s view of identity. Locke believed that our identity was maintained by the same “consciousness”, which means that we have to able to remember out actions and thoughts to retain our identities. According to Locke, if I am unable to remember my past thoughts, I am no longer the same person. Also, if somehow I can understand your memories, I will share your identity even though we have a different body.
    I also agree with Lindsay that actors cannot be generalized as having dissociative identities. This could mean that anyone who is good at imitation has an identity disorder. In addition, I don’t think that actors are the only people guilty of faking their emotions, as all of us have been able to get away with lying at some point in our lives. Does this mean that everyone has a dissociative identity?

  3. I understand what you are trying to say, but I don’t completely agree with you. I don’t believe that people with multiple personality disorders are acting, because they truly believe that they are those people. Also, I don’t believe that actors that play many different types of characters throughout their career have multiple personality disorder. Many times, actors and actresses are interviewed about a character that they played and they say that they don’t act like that character at all; they just portrayed that character to an audience. So, to me, there is a HUGE difference between people who are actors and people who have multiple personality disorder.

  4. I think that comparing actors and people suffering from multiple personality disorder is a comparison that is difficult to make and prove. Actors are actors because they can do just that, they are terrific at acting. Actors are capable of assuming the role of another person, even if that person is a polar opposite to their true selves. They are able to consciously able to form the new “I” in order to perform the specific role, but, throughout their assuming of the role, they still maintain their I.
    People suffering from multiple personality disorder have multiple I’s, and by assuming the I of their alter identity, they lose the previous I and assume the role of the new I. This is a major difference- the loss of the I- that dfferentiates actors from those suffering from multiple personality disorder, although I can see what you are trying to say.

  5. Ok, all of you misunderstood what I was trying to convey. First of all, I never claimed that people with dissociative identity disorder are acting. Second of all, I never claimed that actors/actresses suffer dissociative identity disorder. Thus, these two groups are obviously not the same. However, my point is that: the way you view actors/actresses should not be different from the way you view people with dissociative identity disorders. Why? You don’t really know someone without interaction. So, like Lindsay says, only interaction with people over along period of time can provide us insights into someone else’s true identity.

Leave a Reply