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The Woman with 7 Personalities (2004)

A childhood friend tries to uncover 7 personalities of Helen.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Helen Helen ... Herself
Ruth Selwyn Ruth Selwyn ... Herself
Natasha Woodley Natasha Woodley ... Young Helen
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Storyline

A childhood friend tries to uncover 7 personalities of Helen.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Official Sites:

Netflix Title

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2004 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Color
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Connections

References Teletubbies (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting But Flawed
30 March 2019 | by harleysbatmanSee all my reviews

I saw this title available on Netflix and decided to give it a go, as I am engaged to someone with DID (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder) and I like to support my fiancee by learning all I can about her disorder and fighting to erase the stigma of having a mental illness. I was interested in seeing another person with the same disorder, and how they dealt with it; and how it affected them...

The documentary, The Woman With 7 Personalities, is, at best, an interesting and fair look at a woman's life with DID, and at it's worst, shows way too many (from my experience and opinion) inaccuracies about the disorder and never builds up to the friendship between the director and Helen. It almost feels like they aren't friends at all. I certainly did not get any friendship vibe; but more of a, "Hey, I remember some girl I went to school with who had DID, I should make a documentary about her!". I don't know. The director didn't really seem like someone who was Helen's friend or cared about her too much...

Another thing I disliked was how the director seemed to be baiting Helen's alters (alternate personalities) out of her. She, again, wasn't really coming off like a long time friend, but more like a doctor talking to their specimen. I thought it was kind of disrespectful the way she was treating Helen. In my experience, you can't lure out an alter just by repeating their name, over and over, summoning them up like they're freaking Beetlejuice! In my experience, the alters come and go, rapidly. I believe that the more dominant ones will come around in longer duration but not once has repeating a name ever worked. Also, to the untrained eye, most people would never even notice a shift. I can tell when my fiancee shifts into an alter by the way she moves; by the way her voice tone changes; certain words or even phrases being used and even by what she wants to eat. Her voice can get a little higher or a little lower but it's not cartoony, baby talk. I am not sure how severe it can get with someone with DID, and maybe it's possible that a child-like alter can come off really cartoony, but I've never seen or heard of it. I don't think that the director truly cared about Helen. All I saw was Helen being exploited...

In conclusion, I think this documentary, while flawed, is still worth a viewing. I think it can positively impact people and make people understand mental illness a tiny bit better. While I do think Helen and her mental illness are exploited and exaggerated a little, I don't think it was done with malice behind it. I don't think it was meant to put fear in people. I think the director had good intentions, but just doesn't understand DID too well...


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