90210's AnnaLynne McCord Shares Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis

In an effort to help eliminate stigmas associated with dissociative identity disorder, 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord detailed her experience.

By Elyse Dupre Apr 20, 2021 12:59 PMTags
Watch: AnnaLynne McCord Reveals Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis

AnnaLynne McCord is speaking out about being with diagnosed dissociative identity disorder (DID).

In an effort to help eliminate stigmas associated with DID, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, the actress sat down for a conversation with Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics and shared her journey.

"For me, my heart is to change this narrative around the behaviors that follow trauma," the 90210 alum explained, "and not treating someone, or responding to someone or judging someone for their actions but asking, 'What happened to you? Like, how did we get here?'"

The Amen Clinics noted McCord, 33, had been diagnosed with DID before visiting Dr. Amen. During their discussion, McCord spoke about how she experienced gaps in memory, which Amen Clinics noted is "one of the most common dissociative identity disorder symptoms." At one point, she shared that being raped at age 18 triggered memories of childhood sexual abuse.

"I don't have anything until around 5," she said, "and then from 5 to 11, I recount incidents throughout. Then when I was 13, I have a singled-out memory that was one thing that I don't have the sense of anything else at that time."

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According to the Amen Clinics' website, "the existence of two or more distinct identities (know as 'splits' 'alters' or 'personality states')" can also be a common symptom.

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"My doctor—it's a massive spectrum obviously, right—but she said that I had it pretty seriously," she said. "And my splits before my memories came back, I had definitive splits. In my history, you'll see me, you know, I just show up with a black wig and a new personality and I was this tough little baddie and then I'd be the bohemian flower child. And also being an actress, my ability to split, all of my roles were splits." 

McCord said she didn't come to this realization until she worked on the 2012 movie Excision. "I played a very, like, cerebral, disturbed, strange little girl that was very close to who I feel I am on the inside," she said. "It was very exposing, very confronting, probably a bit re-traumatizing without realizing it, maybe even a bit healing as well through some of it." 

After wrapping the movie and then heading to work on 90210 just hours later, McCord said she "couldn't find" her character Naomi. "She was not accessible," she continued. "I was dark...I was very deep into this character Pauline."

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McCord said she spent a lot of her life "as the split I was when I was 13 and on."

"And she was a balls to the wall, middle fingers to the sky, anarchist from hell that will stab you with a spike ring she wears and you'll like it and she'll make you lick the blood from it," she said. "I mean, she was a nasty little creature, but I have so much gratitude to her because she got me out of the hell that I was in."

Now, McCord is hoping that sharing her experience will help change the conversation around DID. "The way this is talked about is just so much shame, and I am absolutely uninterested in shame," she said. "There is nothing about my journey that I invite shame into anymore and that's how we get to the point, where we can articulate the nature of these pervasive traumas and stuff as horrible as they are."