Jennifer Martinez 

media character critique

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Element 1:

Description of your character (name, media piece, their symptoms/behavior, and proposed diagnosis).

The character that I decided to write about is in regard to one of my absolute favorite Netflix shows, that has sadly been discontinued now. The name of the show is “United States of Tara” the character’s name is Tara Gregson. Her symptoms are more so behavior wise because Tara was diagnosed with D.I.D or Dissociative Identity Disorder. Tara has about 7 personalities and they all come out when she is under a lot of stress, because she has dealt with D.I.D for years she knows how to control them a little bit more. A few of her personalities are, “T” who is a 15-year-old that loves to drink, shop, she is a rebel, throws tantrums and does drugs. A second alter is “Buck” who is a redneck veteran, very manly and macho smokes and drinks, wears trucker hats and cut off plaid shirts. The actual character Tara however does not smoke cigarettes but her alter Buck does. Another alter is Alice, who is a 1950’s sophisticated housewife that loves baking and cooking. The fourth is “Gimmie” who is more of an animal like alter who breaks things, and curses people out. Chicken is a 5-year-old version of Tara, Showshawna is based on a psychologist that Tara admires, she isn’t her worst alter in fact she isn’t bad at all. Bryce is Tara’s brother the evil and abusive alter who is the one who raped her as a young girl. When her alters take over she does this thing where she stops whatever she is doing and her eyes close for a little bit, then when they open her alter comes out.

Element 2:

Discuss Your Character’s Backstory: 

provide context as it relates to the symptoms they are experiencing (history, risk factors, sufficient and reinforcing contributory causes – Chapters 3 & 4). If no backstory is given, you may outline possible risk factors, causes, and a plausible backstory using the information in your text.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a rare psychological disorder in which two or more personalities with distinct memories and behavior patterns exist in one individual. in USoT Tara was raped as a young girl by her older brother Bryce. That unfortunate event eventually led her to find an escape, and that is where her alters came into her life.

Element 3:

Accuracy of Media Depiction:

If the character you chose has a proposed diagnosis (or you proposed they may have one), discuss the symptoms and behavior you observed and answer:

D.I.D involve problems with memory, identity, emotion, perception, behavior, and sense of self. Dissociative symptoms can disrupt areas of mental functioning. Some examples of symptoms of D.I.D include experiences of detachment or feeling as if one is outside one’s body, loss of memory and amnesia. Dissociative disorders are frequently associated with traumatic events.

DSM-5 has a criteria for Dissociative identity disorders.

1. Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and self.

2. Amnesia must occur, define as gaps in the recall of everyday events.

3. The individual must be distressed by the disorder or have trouble functioning in one or more major life areas because of the disorder.

4. The disturbance is not part of normal cultural or religious practices.

5. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance.

I believe that USoT does meet the DSM 5 criteria because for one Tara has more than two personalities or alters. Two, she does have amnesia or forgets certain events that occur during the time that her alters are present. Three Tara is distressed by her disorder because she has trouble functioning with her life events such as attending college, her everyday life, being a wife and mother. Four, her disorder is not part of her religious practices or anyone’s religious practices. Tara’s symptoms also are not due to effects of a substance, rather than due to a traumatic event that occurred at a young age.

Element 4:

Conduct A Stigma Screen:

Did the media representation perpetuate harmful views or stereotypes of psychological illness or fuel stigma? Did it do the opposite? Examples of harmful portrayals: People with mental illnesses are criminals or violent, look different from others / strange or odd in some way, are childish, silly, or weak, all mental illnesses are severe or all are alike, psychiatric hospitals cause more harm than good, psychological treatment is vague and ineffective, people with mental illness cannot recover.

I do not feel as if the media represented the series as harmful or as stereotypical. I believe that it was raw and real, I say that because not everyone who may be diagnosed with D.I.D will have the same issues with personalities. Some may have only 2 or 3, others may have more than 8. Every personality will be different, which is why I believe that the media did a great job in representing this psychological disorder. Tara was taken to an inpatient treatment facility towards the end of the show, I believe that is promoting healthy ways to assist one with a source of help.

I have had experience in working with individuals with personality disorders. I used to work at a group home, and I worked one on one with individuals who suffered bipolar disorders, dissociative disorders and I actually saw the different personalities that they suffered from.

Hooley, J.M., Butcher, J.N., & Nock, M. (2017) Abnormal psychology, 17thed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Tracy, N. (2015, May 13). Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) DSM-5 Criteria, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 14 from

Wang, P. (August 2018) What Are Dissociative Disorders?

Maxine Alvarado 

Discussion two


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Element one:

Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” Mental disorder: Stockholm syndrome and Schizoid personality disorder.

Element two:

In the Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast” The setting takes place in France as well would call it as a “small provincial town.” The setting also takes place in an enchanted castle. Disney portrays Belle as a beautiful, independent, and headstrong bookworm who is seen as “odd” from all of the townspeople. Her father goes to an inventory competition and stumbles upon a castle when he was being chased by a pack of wolves. The father horse gets away and returns home. When Belle sees the horse without her father she goes looking for him.

     Then finds him being held as a prisoner in the Beast castle. She then gives up her freedom for her father. Later on in the film, she falls in love with her Master the Beast. It is no surprise that she developed a mental disorder while being captive…Stockholm syndrome.

Element three:

But, what about her mental disorder before the beast? According to the DSM-5 Schizoid personality disorder has seven indicators of the seven you must have four or more to have this disorder. The seven indicators are….1. Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family. 2. Almost always chooses solitary activities. 3. Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person. 4. Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities. 5. Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives. 6. Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others. 7. Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity (Hooley, J. M., 2017).

Belle has four of the seven indicators 1. almost always chooses solitary activities, 2. lacks close friends or confidants other than first degree relatives, 3. takes pleasure in few, if any, activities, and  4. has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person (Miller, M. B., Useda, J. D., Trull, T. J., Burr, R. M., & Minks-Brown, C. 1970,544).

She has no friends other than the animals ( the animals at home)  and sharing her feelings to animals outside her household ( singing to the goats about her favorite book ). Prefers to read a book at her home than to socialize with the townspeople. When she is in town her walks around with her book wide open ( when she get her favorite book for the library). The only other person she really talks to is her father. Her father asks her if she had a good time in town today and she replies “I got a new book” then, asks him if he thinks she’s odd. He replies to her “where do you get an idea like that?” She tells him she does think she “fits in here”  “there’s no one she can really talk to.” He brings up Gaston” he’s a handsome fellow” and she says “he’s handsome alright, rude, conceded,… oh papa he’s not the one for me”

Speaking of sexual relationship she refuses to be with Gaston throughout the film he literally throws himself at her. Asking her to marry him countless times she stays firm and refuses to entertain him and his ideas. This may come to us as a Disney princess as being honorable but, this is more likely to be exemplifying the quintessential behavior of someone who has no interest in sex at all (Ethereal, 2011). People with Schizoid personality disorder are more likely to have stronger intimacy with animals than humans. So, it shouldn’t surprise us to find Belle having feelings towards the beast instead of a man.

    Is all of this stigma or stereotypes? I believe all of this is more stigma than stereotype. During Belles time the average stereotyped women was young, pregnant with many children, cleaning the house and waiting for her husband to come home. Gaston made it very clear in the movie of what Belle should be. But she was nothing like that plus her mental disorder before the beast and the new one she developed after meeting him is very clear it’s stigma.


Hooley, J. M. Abnormal Psychology. [Chegg]. Retrieved from

Miller, M. B., Useda, J. D., Trull, T. J., Burr, R. M., & Minks-Brown, C. (1970, January 01). Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders. Retrieved July 16, 2019, from Etheral. (2011, December 21). Belle from Beauty and the Beast has SPD : Schizoid Personality Disorder Forum. Retrieved July 16, 2019, from

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Crystal Cane 

Kevin Wendell Crumb


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Kevin Wendell Crumb is a character in the movies Split and Glass, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Kevin displays symptoms of having multiple personalities. Situations of stress cause him to portray different personalities that assist him with handling these situations. The various personalities he exhibits are both male and female and depending on the situation will determine which personality he portrays. Kevin sees a therapist and has been diagnosed with Dissociative identity Disorder. Dissociative Identity Disorder, which was formerly Multiple Personality Disorder, is described in the text as “a condition in which a person manifests at least two or more distinct identities or personality states that alternate in some way taking control of behavior” (Hooley, Butcher, Nock , & Mineka, 2017). In the movie, Kevin displays 24 multiple personalities that very rarely allows his host identity or his original personality to interact or “come to the light” as described in the movie.

Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID, is almost always brought on by childhood trauma. In an article written by David Gleaves, he describes this disorder “conceptualized as being a posttraumatic condition resulting from overwhelming childhood experiences, usually severe child abuse” (Gleaves, 1996). For Kevin Crumb, he was raised by his mentally-ill mother who was extremely physically and mentally abusive to him during his childhood. Kevin’s father had passed away in an accident leaving him to be raised alone by his mother. The severity of Kevin’s disorder was affected by how traumatic his abuse was. For example, Kevin was often burned with irons and was beaten by metal hangars which went on for years.

In order for the individual to be diagnosed with D.I.D., they must meet certain criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition or also known as the DSM-5. First their identity must be disrupted by two or more distinct personality states. The text describes this as a “disruption in identity involves marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and or sensory-motor functioning” (Hooley, Butcher, Nock , & Mineka, 2017). In regards to Kevin, he was affected by 23 other personalities in which he meets this criteria. Recurrent gaps in the recall of everyday events is also a criteria and Kevin had no idea of the date whenever he came to the light. The DSM-5 also requires that the symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in their daily lives and in Kevin’s case, one of his personalities, Dennis, had kidnapped and murdered 3 girls which here he meets the criteria as well. The behavior from D.I.D. must not be abnormal and a part of what is widely socially and culturally accepted. Here in the United States, Kevin’s behavior is deemed abnormal. The final criteria for D.I.D. is the symptoms cannot be brought on by the effects of a substance. For example these episodes of dissociation cannot be triggered by taking pills, alcohol or things of that nature. In Kevin’s case, they were triggered by childhood trauma.

   In this portrayal of D.I.D., the movie exaggerated the severity of this disorder. Even though this disorder is very severe there hasn’t been a case in which an individual with this disorder murdered innocent people and had 24 different personalities. Although his character was exaggerated for sake of entertainment, the severity of his abuse is not exaggerated and unfortunately, childhood trauma onsets this disorder. I believe this movie did bring awareness to this disorder, it could’ve given individuals a stigma in which individuals who suffer from this disorder are insane and could be potential murderers.


Gleaves, D. H. (1996). The Sociocognitive model of Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Reeaxmination of the Evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 120, 42-59.

Hooley, J. M., Butcher, J. N., Nock , M. K., & Mineka, S. (2017). Abnormal psychology. Boston: Pearson.

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