Top 10 Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

Childhood abuse and trauma has been known to be the root cause of several psychosomatic disorders. Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or split personality disorder, has its origins in disturbing childhoods and perturbing upbringings. There are cases where people are said to have three or even 100 separate personalities. Much research and discussion have taken place over MPD. Let us find out the 10 most shocking cases of split personality disorder.


10. Lurancy Vennum:

Lurancy Vennum was given the name ‘Watseka Wonder’ for alleged spiritual possession. The study of this case by psychiatrists several years later concluded that it was perhaps one of the very first accounts of Dissociative Identity Disorder. She is believed to have been possessed by the spirit of her neighbor, Mary, who had died some time back. She lived for a few months as Mary at a stretch and later had no recollection of it. After that she had occasional “messages” from Mary and is believed to have led a normal life.

Lurancy Vennum -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

9. Roseanne Barr:

Roseanne Barr is an American actress who in her blog, Roseanne’s World, divulged the fact of her being diagnosed of Dissociative Identity Disorder. She also claimed to have been abused as a child that resulted in her developing the multiple personality disorder. Her claims, however, were dismissed by her family. But she later admitted to have developed a personality that just wanted “to drop a bomb” on her family.

Roseanne Barr -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

8. Billy Milligan:

Billy Milligan was charged with having committed several felonies including armed robbery, and later arrested for three rapes on the Ohio State University campus. His defense pleaded that Milligan suffered from split personality disorder and the crimes were actually conducted by two of his alternate personalities. He was actually the first person who used this disease as a defense. He is believed to have had about 24 personalities.

Billy Milligan -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

7. Christine Beauchamp:

Christine Beauchamp was the pseudonym of a 23-year-old woman was one of the first persons diagnosed as having Dissociative Identity Disorder. American neurologist Morton Prince, a noted American physician, studied her between 1898 and 1904. The multiple personalities materialized first during hypnotherapy and later during consciousness. She is believed to have had three different personalities which Prince treated by reconciling into each other.

Christine Beauchamp -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

6. Robert Oxnam:

He is a Chinese scholar who led financial-cultural tours of China for Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and former US President George H.W. Bush. In his 2005 autobiography, ‘A Fractured Mind’, he revealed that he suffered from dissociative identity disorder. Once during his session with his psychiatrist, Oxnam thought that the session had just started when he was told that the session had been in progress for about an hour when he had talked to the doctor as Tommy.

Robert Oxnam -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

5. Herschel Walker:

Herschel Walker is a former American college and professional football player. In his autobiography, ‘Breaking Free’ he revealed that he is suffering from split personality disorder. In fact as a result of the disorder his memory of the season he won the Heisman Trophy is blank. Still undergoing treatment for the disease, he is also believed to have held a gun to his head in a fit.

Herschel Walker -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

4. Chris Costner Sizemore:

Chris Costner Sizemore was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder in the 1950s. She had witnessed a horrifying accidental death and two serious non-fatal accidents within three months as a small child. The doctors attributed that as the reason behind her multiple personalities. The book ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ by her psychiatrists depicted her case which also made into a film by the same name. She had as many as 20 personalities which presented themselves three at a time.

Chris Costner Sizemore -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

3. Kim Noble:

Kim Noble, who lives near London, is a woman who has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. She has about 100 personalities among who are Salome, a devout Catholic; Ken, a depressed gay man; and, Judy, who believes that she is an overweight. A mother of a 14-year-old daughter, Kin claims she had a disturbed childhood.

Kim Noble -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

2. Truddi Chase:

Truddi Chase was a woman who had developed 92 distinct personalities. She has a history of being brutally abused by her step father while her mother neglected her during the formative years if her life. Her autobiography ‘When Rabbit Howls’ (1987) details her experiences. What was more shocking was the fact that the abuse she was subjected to started when she was just two years old. Certainly one of the most heart touching cases with multiple personality disorder, Truddi Chase was also a guest in The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Truddi Chase -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

1. Shirley Ardell Mason:

Shirley Ardell Mason was an American psychiatric patient who rose to prominence due to her multiple personality disorder. Having been abused by her mother, she had a mental breakdown resulting in multiple personalities as a coping mechanism. She had developed a total of 16 personalities during the period of her therapy with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur. Her case was made popular by the 1973 book ‘Sybil’ that was based on her life. It was her case that suddenly led to multiple personality disorder diagnosis become widespread. Though there are several controversies surrounding her, nevertheless she is certainly the most shocking case of all.

Shirley Ardell Mason -  Shocking Cases of Split Personality Disorder

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