YouTuber draws criticism over controversial self-diagnosis

Trisha Paytas is no stranger to controversy, but her latest video is facing an especially massive wave of backlash.

In a 20-minute video titled “Meet My Alters,” the YouTube star claims to have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and “multiple personalities.” She then explains each of those personalities, which she named T, Trixie, Tyson, Tierney and Tobolter, to her 4.92 million subscribers.

According to Psychology Today, DID was known as multiple personality disorder until 1994. The name was then changed to reflect the fact it is characterized by the fragmentation of one identity, not the growth of separate personalities, as Paytas claimed in her video.

In addition to using incorrect terminology to describe her “alters,” Paytas admits that she has never been formally diagnosed with the disorder.

“Honestly, I’ve never been diagnosed with anything,” she says in the video. “The closest thing that I have is self-diagnosed myself with, I guess, is multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder.” 

DID is no joke — the disorder has many diagnostic criterias and requires long-term treatment overseen by a professional. There is no known cause of the disorder, but many people with the condition say they experienced a traumatic event during their childhood. 

Because of the serious nature of the disorder and the traumas often linked to the diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic urges anyone who suspects they might have DID to consult a doctor, contradicting Paytas’ method of self-diagnosis.

Commenters were quick to criticize the inaccuracies in the video.

“All of this is scientifically incorrect,” user Ella Beecher wrote. “This is damaging and offensive.” 

In addition to these inaccuracies, she also called fellow YouTuber Chloe Wilkinson, who has a channel that aims to erase the stigma surrounding the disorder, “crazy” — even after repeatedly saying she didn’t want to “offend or make fun of anyone.”

Wilkinson responded in a 40-minute video of her own.

“Trish is obviously not very educated on the subject or has misunderstood,” Wilkinson says in her video. “It’s hard to sit here and watch someone … call me crazy and spread information that’s very incorrect and damaging about our community.”

Though she would not comment on the validity of Paytas’ self-diagnosis and whether she is “faking,” Wilkinson did correct many of her claims throughout the video, calling Paytas’ perspective on DID “outdated.” 

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