Does Mr. Robot have Dissociative Identity Disorder?

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In this blog, we will explore whether Mr.robot has dissociative identity disorder, what is dissociative identity disorder (DID), symptoms of DID, causes of DID, risk factors, complications associated with DID, treatment of DID, and also answer some frequently asked questions

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Does Mr. Robot have Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Yes, Mr. Robot seems to have Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID) and we will explore it in detail in this blog. 

What are dissociative disorders?

Dissociative disorders are mental illnesses marked by a break in the continuity of ideas, memories, environment, activities, and identity. Because people with dissociative disorders abandon reality in unmanageable and unhealthy ways, they cause issues in everyday life.

Dissociative disorders are a kind of psychosis that occurs as a result of trauma and aids in the eradication of traumatic memories. Depending on the sort of dissociation disorder you have, symptoms can range from amnesia to alternate identities. For a brief amount of time, stress can increase symptoms and make them more obvious.

Talk therapy and medication may be used to treat dissociative disorders. Despite the difficulty of treating dissociative disorders, many people develop new coping mechanisms and go on to have healthy, productive lives.

What is dissociative identity disorder?

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a mental illness. People with DID often have two or more identities and these identities have a variation in their levels of control at different points in time. Every identity has its own unique characteristics, background, likes, dislikes, etc. DID can often cause hallucinations and memory lapses.

DID was earlier referred to as multiple personality disorder or split personality disorder. 

What are the symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?

Depending on the type of dissociative disorder you have, you may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Significant stress or difficulties in your relationships, employment, or other critical aspects of your life 
  • There is a memory loss which is different than normal forgetfulness and this is not caused by other medical conditions
  • Two or more identities are present in the person that are completely different from each other. 
  • Inability to cope adequately with emotional or professional stress 
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and actions 
  • A distorted sense of self 
  • Significant stress or difficulties in your relationships, employment, or other critical aspects of your life 
  • Two or more voices seem to be living in your head.
  • Each identity has its own name, age, personal background, characteristics, voice, gender, etc. 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

What are the causes of DID?

Trauma, abuse (sexual or physical abuse) as a child are the most typical causes of DID. It can also be brought on by a natural disaster or other stressful events, such as combat. The condition is a coping mechanism used by the person to distance themselves from a terrible incident and prevent emotional discomfort.

What are the risk factors associated with DID?

Dissociative disorders are more common in people who have been subjected to long-term physical, sexual, or emotional abuse as children.

Other traumatic situations, such as war, natural catastrophes, kidnapping, torture, or extended, stressful, early-life medical operations, may also cause similar disorders in children and adults.

What are the complications associated with DID?

People with dissociative disorders are more likely to experience complications and related issues, such as:

  • Self-mutilation or self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation and behaviors
  • Sexual dysfunction is a common problem.
  • Substance abuse like alcohol and drugs
  • Anxiety and depression-related disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders
  • Nightmares, insomnia, and sleepwalking are also common
  • Eating disorders like Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia, etc. 
  • Lightheadedness or non-epileptic seizures are examples of physical symptoms.
  • Major issues in personal and professional relationships

How to diagnose DID?

There is no single test that can diagnose DID. A healthcare provider will examine your symptoms and personal medical history. They may perform tests to rule out underlying physical causes of your symptoms, such as brain tumors or head injuries.

DID symptoms are most common in children between the ages of 5 and 10. Parents, schools, and healthcare practitioners, on the other hand, may miss the indications. DID can be mistaken for other behavioural or academic issues that affect children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (ADHD). As a result, DID is rarely identified until maturity.

What is the treatment of DID?

Certain drugs can help with DID symptoms including despair and anxiety. However, psychotherapy is the most effective treatment. A mental health professional with specific training, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, can help you find the correct treatment. Individual, group, or family therapy may be beneficial to you.

The focus of therapy is on:

●    Recognizing and dealing with past trauma or abuse.

●    Managing unexpected behavioural shifts.

●    Combining multiple identities into a single one.

Is DID preventible?

Children who have been mistreated physically, emotionally, or sexually are more likely to suffer mental health problems including dissociative disorders. Seek support if your child’s treatment is being influenced by stress or other personal difficulties.

●    Speak with a trustworthy person, such as a friend, family member or your doctor.

●    Inquire about parenting support groups and family therapists,

●    Look for parenting workshops offered by churches and community education organisations that can help you adopt a healthier parenting technique.

●    If your child has been mistreated or has gone through another traumatic event, you should seek medical help right away. Your doctor can refer you to a mental health expert who can assist your child in healing and developing appropriate coping mechanisms.

Mr. Robot Dissociative Identity Disorder

Mr Robot is a TV series available on Amazon Prime. It revolves around a man named Elliot (Christian Slater), a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.

Towards the end of Season 1, we discovered that Mr. Robot wasn’t real; he was a personality Elliot constructed based on his own father, Edward Alderson. Elliot had (and has) Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Here’s a short version of what happened. Elliot was sexually molested by his father when he was a child. He hurled himself out of a window, terrified, in an attempt to flee, and constructed a new personality to shelter himself from the anguish. That was Mr. Robot, his father’s idealized version, the one who never mistreated him and never would. Mr. Robot has remained with him ever since, taking over whenever things became too frightening or dark for Elliot to handle. He didn’t have to bear the anguish because Mr. Robot did.

Elliot’s mother, although not his true mother, was the second personality… While Mr. Robot hid his pain, this other personality — The Persecutor — filled in the blanks, blaming Elliot for the abuse and making him believe it was all his fault. Was this meant to inspire him? Is it appropriate to punish him? Uncertain, but this led to the third identity, Young Elliot, who was designed to take the abuse he couldn’t manage.

Elliot essentially reconstructed his family; not an ideal version, but one that could exist only in his memory, keeping him secure and cold. He wouldn’t have to suffer the excruciating pain of the ugliness his father imposed on him if they existed as distinct entities.

All of this leads us to The Mastermind, the character we’ve been following throughout the show. He’s the hacker superhero Elliot never imagined he’d become: tougher, angrier, and capable of bringing down corporations while saving the world.

Analyzing Mr. Robot’s Elliot Alderson from a Psychologists perspective

Did a single trauma incident lead to the development of dissociative identity disorder in Elliot or was it a result of many factors?

In the actual world, a single occurrence would never be enough to explain something like this. Because this is a work of fiction, something like this happening in this manner is equally unlikely. Here’s why people think he has schizophrenia, if I had to make up a diagnostic image to make this make sense: He has what appear to be hallucinations, talks to people who aren’t present, and appears to be paranoid. That’s understandable. The problem is that visual hallucinations are nearly never experienced by schizophrenics. Almost all of them have auditory [ones] only, or they might have other things, like paranoia or magical thinking.   Until proven differently, visual hallucinations are associated with another severe issue – usually medical, or drug intoxication or withdrawal.

Beyond the hallucinations, he has retrograde amnesia, which means he has forgotten a substantial portion of his past. He’s seeing things from his past in different ways, so if I had to make up a narrative for him, I’d say he suffers from a severe dissociative disorder. Dissociative disorders are probably only found in the general population, and they come in a variety of forms that can cause problems. A conversion disorder is a similar condition. A classic case is hysterical blindness, in which a female witnesses her partner being shot and then goes blind so she doesn’t have to witness the tragedy. It’s not a long-term solution. It’s the disconnection of a part of the brain in order to be able to think clearly.

Can you sympathise with his dissociative habits, almost as if they’re an ingrained coping strategy that’s started to cause more harm than good?

Absolutely. This detachment in a conversion disorder is adaptive, according to the paradigm, which has been removed from the most recent DSM. It’s making an effort to cope with the trauma. Elliot is keeping this past hidden because all of the things about his father are too painful for him to bear, so he’s dividing it up and attempting to hide it.

Conclusion

It can be perplexing and intimidating to have a loved one with DID. You might be unsure how to react to their many alters or behaviours. You may help by doing the following:

●    Understanding DID and its symptoms.

●    Offer to accompany your loved one to family counselling or support groups.

●    Maintaining a calm and helpful demeanour when unexpected behaviour changes occur.

Living with DID can be made easier with a solid support system. Ascertain that your healthcare providers, family, and friends are aware of and understand your illness. Don’t be scared to ask for help and communicate openly and honestly with the people in your support system.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Does Mr. Robot have Dissociative Identity Disorder?

What mental disorder does Mr. Robot have?

Mr. Robot has Dissociative Identity disorder and Mr. Robot is not even a real person, it is an identity created by Elliot. 

Was Elliot abused in Mr. Robot?

Yes, Elliot was sexually abused by his own father Edward Alderson during his childhood. 

How can you tell if someone has dissociative identity disorder?

You might notice a shift in their attitude or conduct. Family members may watch people with dissociative identity disorder forget or deny saying or doing things. When a person “switches,” family members can usually tell. Transitions can be abrupt and surprising.

What are the 5 dissociative disorders?

There are only three types of dissociative disorders:-

Dissociative Identity Disorder, Depersonalization/derealization disorder, and Dissociative amnesia. 

Is Elliot’s sister real?

Yes, Elliot actually has a sister who is real and alive. His sister’s name is Darlene but since the entire show is through Elliot’s narration, we cannot really say if she is real or an imagined figure as he also keeps on forgetting she is his sister. 

What famous person has dissociative identity disorder?

Famous people with dissociative identity disorder:

Roseanne Barr

Adam Duritz

Herschel Walker

References

https://www.vulture.com/2015/08/mr-robot-elliot-alderson-psych-evaluation.html
https://decider.com/2019/12/22/mr-robot-series-finale-explained-elliot-alderson-the-mastermind/
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9792-dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dissociative-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20355215
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/dissociative-disorders/what-are-dissociative-disorders
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4158110/plotsummary

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