Culture Feature

Don't Listen to Trisha Paytas' Nonsense: What to Watch Instead

Known for her outstandingly ignorant comment on trans issues and mindless content, the 31-year-old has received a backlash for her new claims to have DID.

YouTube personality Trisha Paytas has ignited new controversy with her new self-diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Known for her outstandingly ignorant comments on transgender issues and mindless content like "making out with my couch," the 31-year-old has received a backlash for her new claims to have DID. Her recent video, "MEET MY ALTERS | Dissociative Identity Disorder," has been viewed 851,000 times as of this writing, and her following video, "My Alters SWITCH (Caught on Camera) LIVE FOOTAGE!" received 275,000 views within the first 14 hours. While it is no one's place, other than her doctor's, to judge whether or not Paytas has the disorder, she admits that she has never been diagnosed by a professional. The influencer then goes on to spread alarmingly incorrect–and outright dangerous–information about DID.

Formerly known as "multiple personality disorder" (a generally inaccurate term that has not been used by mental health professionals for decades), DID is a complex disorder that's often been misrepresented in the media. As Harvard-trained psychologist Dr. Robert Muller writes, DID is very real: "DID is formally recognized as a psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-V. The patient must show at least two identities/personalities, also known as alters which routinely take control of the individual's behavior along with an associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness."

But too often, mental illnesses have been used as dramatic plot devices with little regard for scientific accuracy or their stigmatizing effects on society, from the best-selling book and '70s TV miniseries Sybil to the 2017 superhero movie Split. In reality, Sybil was based on a sensationalized story that was later revealed to be fabricated, while Split is a damaging representation of DID that implies "alters" (the "altered states of consciousness" that manifest with DID) can be homicidally dangerous and criminally insane. In truth, people with DID are no more likely to be violent than any one else; in fact, they are more likely to become the victim of a crime due the brain's responses to trauma.

In the last decade, representations of DID in the media have become especially common. From 2009 to 2011, Showtime's United States of Tara starred Toni Collette as an average suburban mother who struggles to accept and cope with her disorder while raising a family. The award-winning 2010 film Frankie and Alice stars Halle Berry as an exotic dancer who discovers she's developed, among others, an alter of a racist young woman named Alice. Both Collette and Berry were nominated for a Golden Globe for their performances. However, individuals diagnosed with DID had mixed views, pointing out inaccuracies and general dramatizations of the disorder and denouncing press coverage that negatively described individuals with DID as "deranged" and "damaged." Conversely, FX's Mr. Robot has been generally praised for its accurate depictions of dissociative states. Rami Malek plays a troubled young man whose past trauma has induced retrograde amnesia, causing him to hallucinate fantastical clues about his past. In an anonymous essay titled "I Am Mr. Robot," a writer with DID commended the show's "fantastic job of theatrically reproducing the experience of navigating interactions with dissociative 'parts.'"

It's because of that history of misrepresentation and stigmatization of mental disorders that Trisha Paytas isn't just another clickbait YouTuber desperate for attention; she's dangerous. Her recent videos claiming that she has DID and spreading misinformation about the disorder have been widely debunked, both on

YouTube and by mental health professionals. Among her factual errors, she referred to the condition as "multiple personality disorder" and inaccurately defined what an "alter" is. As an individual with nearly 5 million You Tube followers, using that platform to describe a mental disorder as "crazy" while spreading misinformation only further stigmatizes that disorder and undercuts all activism that works to destigmatize all mental health issues.

So rather than giving her more revenue for clicks (and rather than contributing to the outrage or calling to "cancel" her), why not walk away from the mayhem and tune in to one the following sources about DID:

1. Anthony Padilla

Padilla's trending video is what prompted Paytas' announcement that she had DID. However, unlike Paytas, Padilla uses his platform to speak to individuals diagnosed with DID and highlighting their voice to describe their own experiences.

Highlights include:

  • The first recorded case of DID was in 1791.
  • An estimated 1 - 3% of the world population has DID (which is the same percentage of people who have red hair).

I spent a day with MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

2. The Many Sides of Jane (Hulu)

A&E's docuseries follows Jane Hart, a single mother of two boys, who was recently diagnosed with DID.

Highlights include:

  • Different "alters" develop in order to fulfill specific needs
  • DID develops as the result of sustained and repeated childhood trauma (Trigger Warning for Childhood Abuse and Vague Descriptions of Sexual Assault).

Many Sides of Jane | Premieres January 22nd at 10/9c | A&E

3. Multiplicity and Me (YouTube)

As a prominent voice within the active DID community on YouTube, a young woman named Jess uses 360 video technology, scripted monologues of real conversations between her actual alters, and actors to create a visual depiction of what life with DID is like.

Highlights include:

  • Alters work together to manage daily life and process trauma from the past.
  • Different alters hold different memories from the past.

Dissociative Identity SIMULATION | 360° video!

4. DissociaDID (YouTube)

As one of the individuals featured in Anthony Padilla's video, "I spent a day with MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES," DissociaDID was criticized by name in Trisha Paytas' video. The channel is run by a young English woman named Nin (formerly called Chloe), who posted her reaction to Paytas and debunked the misinformation and factual errors in the video. The entire channel is dedicated to destigmatizing DID, as well as other related mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.

Highlights include:

  • There is no one "original" personality. All alters are parts of one whole
  • "Alters" are whole personalities–whole people–by themselves.

Meet SIX Alters! THE GIRLS OF DISSOCIADID | Meet The Alters | Dissociative Identity Disorder

Music Lists

Slept On: New Underground Releases from Drakeo the Ruler, Dreezy & More

Protest music aside, there is a slew of good underground music out today

An invigorating slew of protest music hit the shelves today.

Detroit-based emcee Tee Grizzley collaborated with Queen Naija and the Detroit Youth Choir to craft a melodic ballad that attempts to open up a dialogue with police. Meanwhile, alt-Jazz pioneer Terrace Martin took a different approach in his collaboration with Denzel Curry, Daylyt, G Perico, and Kamasi Washington, with "Pigs Feet" being more of an angry f*ck you than an attempt at communication.

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Culture News

Woody Allen's Memoir Will No Longer Be Published

Hachette employees walked out on Thursday in protest of Woody Allen's no-longer-forthcoming memoir.

Update: Woody Allen's memoir will no longer be published.

This news came after a public outcry against the book. On Thursday, over 100 protesters gathered in Rockefeller Plaza outside of the publishing company Hachette's offices.

They were there to make three demands of Michael Pietsch, the chief executive: First, that he rescind his decision to publish Woody Allen's memoir, second that he apologize for approving its publication in the first place, and third that he "recognize that Hachette employees have the ability to speak up about books they disagree with without fear of reprisal," as The New York Times reported.

"This afternoon, Grand Central Publishing employees are walking out of the Hachette New York office in protest of the publication of Woody Allen's memoir," said employees in an email. "We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow, and survivors of sexual assault."

Woody Allen has been the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, and most notably he was accused of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow in the 1990s. Though Allen has denied the accusations and was never convicted, Farrow has stood by her statements and has been supported by her brother, Ronan. On Tuesday, the two released passionate statements in protest to news of the book's release.

Allen's memoir, Apropos of Nothing, was slated to come out on April 7. In response to the protest, a Hachette spokeswoman wrote in a Thursday evening email, "We respect and understand the perspective of our employees who have decided to express their concern over the publication of this book. We will engage our staff in a fuller discussion about this at the earliest opportunity."

"At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly," she said on Friday. "We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books," she continued, but last minute listening sessions had led "to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible".

While of course these employees all had the right to protest, there is some debate over whether or not the memoir should've been published.

According to Suzanne Nossel, the chief executive of PEN America, "We believe everyone — including authors and publishing employees — has the right to express their opinions and raise their voices in protest. That said," she noted, "we also are concerned about the trend of pressuring the withdrawal of books from publication and circulation, depriving readers of the chance to make their own judgments and disincentivizing publishers from taking on contentious topics. While we don't take a position on the editorial judgments in question, we think that once a book is slated for publication, it should not be withdrawn just because it's controversial or gives rise to vociferous objections."

It all comes back to the classic question: Can you separate the art from the artist, and at what point are they inextricable? When does a critique based in social solidarity or ideology become censorship? And aren't the biases inherent in the publishing industry their own forms of censorship as these biases tend to favor certain voices and faces (namely, established voices who will make money) above others? Perhaps this will all lead to a deeper conversation on both sides about who has the right to tell what story.

In the end, it's important to remember that although Woody Allen's memoir was pulled from the shelves, the man is still doing just fine, while abuse survivors continue to suffer even if their abusers are brought to justice.

This article was updated from an earlier version on Friday, March 6.