If you’ve read any of my articles, then you’d know that I’m not a particularly big fan of any kind of internet discourse. However these days, you can run but you cannot hide– especially from Trisha Paytas. In the last two weeks, Trisha Paytas has really outdone herself in her internet scheming and trolling. And it’s never been especially forgivable, but this time, especially, it’s like, really not forgivable.
For those of you too high-brow to keep up with Youtube drama, Trisha Paytas posted several videos over the last two weeks about Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) — more specifically, claiming to have it. Backtracking a little bit more, Anthony Padilla, another influential Youtuber, recently added to his “I spent the day with….” Youtube “docuseries,” spending a day with folks who have DID. DID, as some of you may know, is a renamed diagnosis of what we colloquially know as “Multiple Personality Disorder.” It was renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder in the 90s when more research was added to the psychiatric community about it. DID is in the family of Dissociative Disorders, about which you can learn more here.
Now, I’m not going to tag Trisha’s videos. For one, I don’t want to feed into her revenue stream more than I already have (considering that I watched all of the videos for this article on 2x speed because I cannot stand her). Moreover, I do not want to propagate her ability and influence to spread misinformation. Addressing my own biases against Paytas here, yes, I do not think she is believable as a person. Does that mean I get to make a judgment on whether or not she has a mental illness? Nope! I barely have a B.A. in Public Policy, let alone an MD in Psychiatry. So, let’s clear that up right away. I don’t like Trisha Paytas. However, as explained in this fairly level-headed commentary video by one of my quickly growing favorite Youtubers, not liking someone doesn’t allow you to negate their personal experiences. Frankly, we don’t know if Trisha has DID or not. And frankly, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter to this conversation, however, is everything Trisha Paytas did after the negative backlash to her original video. More specifically, regarding the misinformation about DID that Trisha spread. The internet is a large and mysterious place where mental health diagnoses go to die– no one is negating Trisha’s right to say whatever she wants on her platform. However, her original and subsequent videos are full of misinformation about DID (i.e., saying MPD and DID are “different things”). I’m not one to believe that a piece of paper diagnosing you is the only valid licensure to your mental health. However, for diagnoses such as DID, it is imperative, if you can, to seek proper diagnosis and mental health help. For someone who is as privileged and influential as Trisha Paytas, with 4.9 million subscribers on Youtube, there really is no excuse. Getting help is hard– don’t get me wrong.
It’s not just privilege that can keep a person from getting help, but also the stigma against mental health and illnesses in general. No one is disputing that such stigma could keep a person from seeking a diagnosis, and I am cautious about making claims as to why she hasn’t sought help. However, Trisha’s misrepresentation of information has deeply impacted and hurt an already traumatized community.
After Youtuber DissociaDID responded to Trisha calling her “crazy” and spreading misinformation, Trisha doubled down and called them a “bully.” Trisha made several videos doubling down on her “diagnosis,” saying she “caught her alters on camera”, and in general has generated drama– as she usually does. Again, this doesn’t discount her struggle, but I draw the line at attacking others. She went for Anthony’s neck, she went after DissociaDID, and she doubled down on her own reality– at which point, she divorced from our reality.
The thing is, I still don’t want to make the claim that Trisha isn’t suffering. She clearly has some struggles, and none of this takes away from her right to good mental health. And perhaps the one good thing that has come out of all of this is that dissociative disorders began getting more attention. I, personally, am thankful to have learned about DID from DissociaDID’s channel. However, it is so often that those who are traumatized bear the burden of further traumatization through having to explain their trauma. It’s not okay. We should protect those who have gone through extreme trauma– not let them get attacked. This community, an already marginalized community, was put on full blast. DID or not, Trisha is responsible for that.
I am protective of those with Dissociative disorders. I am protective of my own, and of people who have suffered trauma. I know firsthand that I would never attack another person who might be suffering, and I am not okay with Trisha doing so. DID or not, Trisha has crossed so many lines. She’s shown before that she is willing to do anything for attention, and she has shown now that apologies are not in her vocabulary.
People ought to be believed. So, I believe that Trisha is suffering. But people should also be held accountable. So, Trisha, do better. You have a responsibility. If you have DID, please get diagnosed and do the work to live healthily with it. Be a role model. Do better.
If you don’t have DID, just stop. You don’t get to co-opt the suffering of the traumatized for views, ever.