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Is Marvel’s Moon Knight A Superhero With Mental Illness?

Marvels Moon Knight Superhero Mental Illness

Does Moon Knight have DID or dissociative identity disorder? Moon Knight, the latest superhero to arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is making a lot of waves, thanks to the interesting portrayal of the character, ancient Egyptian mythology, and mental illness.

Before we delve into the psychology behind Moon Knight’s mental illness, kindly note that the following may include some mild spoilers for the show. Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Moon Knight’s mental disorder.

Does Moon Knight have DID?

Does moon knight have DID?
Is Marvel’s Moon Knight A Superhero With Mental Illness?

In Marvel’s Moon Knight, actor Oscar Isaac plays the character Marc Spector (Moon Knight), a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder (DID). Marc has multiple personalities or alters, most prominent being Steven Grant (Mr. Knight) & Jake Lockley. Marc and his alters are involved in a mystery surrounding ancient Egyptian gods, like Khonsu, the Egyptian god of the Moon.

Although the show is still about a superhero trying to save the world, the show, and the story primarily revolve around Marc’s struggle with a dissociative identity disorder. The interesting thing is, that Moon Knight has been struggling with DID for over 20 years in Marvel comics lore.

Related reading: What Is Splitting? Why We Love Jekyll And Hate Hyde

What is dissociative identity disorder (DID)?

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a psychological condition where the sufferer has two or more personalities or multiple separate ‘selves’ in a single body. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare disorder associated with severe behavioral health symptoms,” explains a 2021 study. Many myths surround this rare & complex mental illness thanks to inaccurate media representation in movies like Fight Club & Shutter Island.

But does Moon Knight have DID? It seems so. DID involves distinct ‘fragmentation’ of a person’s awareness, identity, memory & perception into different personalities. Many people commonly identify this condition as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Split Personality Disorder.

Related reading: Dissociative Identity Disorder

How DID affects someone

The sufferer, known as a ‘host’, develops two or more alternate personalities or identities, known as ‘alters’. These ‘alters’ are separate from the main personality and have unique identities, mannerisms & attitudes. The ‘host’ may lack ownership over the ‘alters’.

The host may or may not be aware of the presence of any ‘alters’ or that they are suffering from DID. On the other hand, the ‘host’ may be aware of the condition but have no knowledge about their ‘alters’ or what they do and how they behave.

The ‘alters’ are autonomous of one another and can function independently. On the contrary, the ‘alters’ may be fully aware of each other and in direct conflict. When the ‘host’ or an ‘alter’ is not in charge that identity can be totally unaware of the latest occurrences in the person’s life.

How DID is portrayed in Marvel’s Moon Knight

Does Moon Knight have DID? Yes, and this is how Moon Knight’s mental disorder is explored in the MCU series. In the show, currently streaming on Disney+, Moon Knight’s multiple personalities have depicted some common symptoms of dissociative identity disorder, such as  –

  • Having two or more personalities or alters
  • Memory loss
  • Feeling detached from self
  • Periods of dissociation
  • Experiencing distress in work, relationships & personal life
  • A distorted sense of people and situations

Related reading: What Is Dissociation And How It Is Related To Trauma

Not only Marvel’s Moon Knight explored how this mental condition can affect the sufferer’s relationships and life, it also focused on how the different alters are not necessarily aware or co-conscious of each other. However, the show also showed how the different personalities can be aware of the other’s existence and can be helpful in some ways. 

The Disney+ show also accurately depicts how different alters or identities have different personalities, backgrounds, abilities, and skills. While Steven Grant is a shy, timid man doing an ordinary job and living a normal life, Marc Spector is a highly confident and courageous mercenary with impressive combat skills who is able to survive multiple dangerous situations.

Things you should know about DID

Is Marvel’s Moon Knight A Superhero With Mental Illness?
Is Marvel’s Moon Knight A Superhero With Mental Illness?

Mental disorders are a serious topic and people who struggle with mental illnesses need to be treated with respect and care. Although Marvel’s Moon Knight put in a lot of effort to depict dissociative identity disorder (DID) as practically as possible, there are still several things that we need to be aware of about this complex psychological condition. 

Here are a few things you need to know about DID –

  • Children can suffer from DID as it can develop at any age.
  • Women are diagnosed with DID more than men.
  • The ‘alters’ do not typically ‘merge’ together spontaneously.
  • Most sufferers have a history of trauma or abuse in childhood.
  • Sufferers can have around 2 to 10 alters on an average. 
  • The highest number of ‘alters’ recorded in a patient was 100.
  • Misdiagnosis is common as symptoms are similar to other mental conditions.
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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts