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8 Movies and Shows Like ‘The Crowded Room’ about Dissociative Identity Disorder

An image of Tara Gregson and her daughter from the TV show “United States of Tara” | An image of Steve Grant from the Marvel series “Moon Knight” | Source: Facebook/UnitedStatesofTara | Youtube/Marvel Entertainment

Shows like “The Crowded Room” that highlight dissociative identity disorder (DID) have grabbed the audience’s attention. What adds interest to these TV shows and movies about DID is that they are often based on real-life events.


Mysterious characters, mind-boggling scenes, and shocking plot twists are the well-known recipes for thriller shows and films, often accompanied by portrayals of mental health conditions like Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID.

It’s important to note that some productions may sensationalize or misconstrue the disorder, perpetuating harmful stereotypes. Nevertheless, there are also shows like “The Crowded Room” that offer alternative viewpoints on this condition.

Amanda Seyfried, Tom Holland, and Emmy Rossum attend the premiere of Apple TV+'s "The Crowded Room" at the Museum of Modern Art on June 1, 2023, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Amanda Seyfried, Tom Holland, and Emmy Rossum attend the premiere of Apple TV+’s “The Crowded Room” at the Museum of Modern Art on June 1, 2023, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


Why ‘The Crowded Room’ Is a Must Watch

With its intriguing plot, talented cast, intricate character development, real-life inspiration, and exploration of themes tied to mental health, the 2023 Apple TV+ series “The Crowded Room” is a must-watch for fans.

Directed by Avika Goldsman, this series unfolds the tale of Danny Sullivan, a man whose life takes a dramatic turn after getting caught up in a web of mystery and crime in the summer of 1979 in Manhattan. Actor Tom Holland brings life to Danny.

Actress Amanda Seyfried, in her riveting role as Rya Goodwin, dives deep into the case, uncovering secrets from Danny’s past that explain the initial incident, the multiple accusations against him, and the trauma that led him to develop DID.



The series drew inspiration from Daniel Keys’s book “The Minds of Billy Mulligan,” which unfolds the extraordinary life and trial of Billy Milligan, a man diagnosed with DID and possessed 24 different personalities.

Some shows like “The Crowded Room” have consistently captivated viewers, keeping them on the edge of their seats as they attempt to unravel the mysteries behind shocking incidents within the storyline, all while trying to determine which character may be responsible.


‘Sybil’: The Complex Story That Defined DID

The 1976 miniseries “Sybil” delves into the extraordinary story of Sybil Dorsett, played by actress Sally Field. Sybil developed 16 different personalities as a result of the alleged abuse from her mother, played by Joanne Woodward.

This miniseries gained immense attention because of its connection to the true story of Shirley Ardell Mason. It’s worth noting that Mason eventually confessed that her multiple personalities were fake.

The series was based on the bestselling 1973 book bearing the same title. Despite the complexity of its story, the book became instrumental in making DID a commonly accepted diagnosis.


‘Mr. Robot’: A Tale of Cybersecurity, Conspiracy, & Complexity


Elliot is a brilliant yet highly unstable cyber-security engineer and hacker who becomes a central figure in a global power struggle against the corrupt corporation he works for alongside his mysterious allies.

What’s noteworthy is how “Mr. Robot” handles Elliot’s struggle with DID with great sensitivity and accuracy. Esmail even consulted with a psychologist to ensure that this aspect of the show was portrayed authentically.


‘United States of Tara’: Balancing Motherhood & Many Identities

Unlike other TV series tackling dark mental health themes, the 2009 show “United States of Tara” is a truly distinctive gem. It skillfully combines elements of romance, drama, and comedy.

The show follows the life of Tara Gregson, played by actress Toni Collette. Tara is an artist and mother who grapples with DID while trying to lead an everyday life with her family.

Tara embodies diverse personalities, from a flirtatious teenager named T to a seasoned Vietnam veteran named Buck. Her ever-changing identities create challenges for her family, who must adapt to her different personas in their daily lives.


‘Ratched’: A Deep Dive into Mildred’s Ward of Wickedness

In the thrilling 2020 series “Ratched,” a fusion of drama, crime, and history takes center stage. The story unfolds within the walls of Lucia State Hospital, a haven for those grappling with psychiatric challenges.


At the heart of it all is Mildred Ratched, portrayed by actress Sara Paulson. She is a nurse whose goal is to gain access to the hospital’s high-security zone to free her brother, Edmund, who is facing criminal charges.

However, Mildred’s relentless pursuit of the perfect image of a healthcare provider leads her to experiment on fellow patients, including Charlotte, who, like Danny in “The Crowded Room,” deals with DID.


‘Primal Fear’: Identity Crisis on Trial

The fictional thriller, “Primal Fear,” is reminiscent of Billy Milligan’s sensational case. This 1996 film revolves around Aaron, a young altar boy with a history of personal trauma, portrayed by actor Edward Norton.

Aaron becomes embroiled in a crime involving the death of an archbishop, and it’s suggested that he may have DID due to childhood trauma. His lawyer, Martin Vail, played by Richard Gere, goes to great lengths to defend his client and prove he’s not guilty of the crime.


‘Kill Me, Heal Me’: Inside the Twisted Mind of a Businessman

Dr. Oh Ri Jin, a skilled psychiatrist portrayed by actress Hwang Jung-eum, plays a pivotal role in helping Do Hyun conceal his condition from the public. However, there’s a twist to this tale: Her identical twin brother, a journalist, takes on a quest to unveil Do Hyun’s private life.


‘Split’: The Many Shades of Kevin

However, Kevin’s violent alter ego takes control, leading him to abduct Casey Cooke and her two friends. Casey, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, finds herself imprisoned in his basement with her pals.

Despite the film’s popularity, it has received criticism from viewers and mental health professionals for using offensive stereotypes. Therefore, those interested in watching it should approach it with a critical eye.


‘Moon Knight’: Exploring the Dark Side of Heroism

Released in 2022, the series “Moon Knight” is one of the fascinating shows under Marvel, as it has similar themes to “The Crowded Room.” Leading the Marvel show’s cast is the talented actor Oscar Isaac.


The series chronicles the complex story of Steven Grant, who works at a museum gift shop and grapples with a sleeping disorder, sleepwalking, and DID. Leading the cast is the talented actor Oscar Isaac.

Amid his struggles, he stumbles upon a revelation: he possesses the abilities of an Egyptian moon god, transforming him into the Moon Knight. Yet, he soon realizes that these newfound powers are both a blessing and a curse in his life.

Apart from the shows mentioned above, there are other movies and TV shows that focus on DID. Titles like “Fight Club,” “Shutter Island,” “Identity,” “Glass,” “Me, Myself & Irene,” and “Secret Window” are among the captivating films that await the attention of movie enthusiasts.


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