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
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:
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.
- 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) youtu.be
A&E's docuseries follows Jane Hart, a single mother of two boys, who was recently diagnosed with DID.
- 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 youtu.be
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.
- 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! youtu.be
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.
- 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 youtu.be
Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
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