Debunk the Truth of D.I.D.


Hailee Clark, Journalism 1 Writer

A man’s DNA found at the scene of the crime but it wasn’t him who committed the tragic incident. Many criminals will deny their crimes to avoid punishment, but what if they actually had no recollection of committing the crime? This is exactly what has happened to people like Billy Milligan, Billy Joe Harris, Juanita Maxwell, and others. They aren’t just denying their crimes, they really had no idea they committed them.

They were soon decided to be evaluated when they had to go to trial and the results were diagnostic of dissociative identity disorder. Maxwell, who worked as a maid at a Fort Myers hotel, was charged with murdering a woman in 1979 at the hotel, where the victim lived. Maxwell took the stand and was questioned by Alan Klein, a clinical social worker who had her as a client at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. He asked her whether she drank, smoked or used drugs. She replied, ”No, sir,” in low tones each time, speaking with her head bowed. Klein asked her about the killing. She said she remembered very little about it. Then Klein asked to speak with Wanda, her alternate personality. She identified herself as Wanda Weston, and said she had, knocked on the door and went into Kelly’s room. ”She told me to get out of her room. So I picked up the lamp and beat her with it,” she said. In 1981, Maxwell was absolved of the murder: she had dissociative identity disorder.

Even though lots of health professionals don’t believe in this disorder, believing instead that it’s just a form of schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder is developing independent alterations within one person to cope with trauma.  1-3 percent of the population will experience identity disorder at least once without having to be diagnosed. The host of the body is unaware of the change and typically experiences amnesia. However, some hosts may be aware of their alters, and they are escaping from reality into a dissociation to deal with the pain.

There’s never a dull moment when living with someone with dissociative identity disorder: “Before my feet hit the floor, my mood betrays me, and the anxiety starts surging through my body with no warning, no reason, and no explanation. My fists pummel my head trying to beat, beat, beat the anxiety out of my body. I pull my hair. I pull it hard but nothing consoles me, so I offer anxiety something that will dull her meanness and stop the bedroom wall from absorbing my head blows. I swallow the medicine and wait for it to do its magic. It’s a long wait. Finally, I give up. Anxiety wins. While I’ve been seeing my therapist for years, today is one of those days I forget the route I take to his office, so I GPS my way to the correct course while berating myself for being so stupid and forgetful. In the evening I hear the other headmates voice concern that too much was said in therapy. Our safety was compromised. Now there will be consequences, self-destructive consequences, to pay for a loose tongue,” said Becca Hargis, who has the disorder.

What it must be like to have several beings and personalities living within one person cannot even be imaginable to the ordinary person. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy getting in contact with someone who has multiple personalities disorder, the irregularity itself is so intriguing and how the mind works is a big mystery just waiting to be discovered.