The Mental Disorder Behind Moon Knight’s Split

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Makayla Monreal, OwlFeed Lifestyle Reporter

What’s a Marvel character without a mental illness? Literally no superhero because they all have one. 

Marvel uses many mental illnesses throughout their universe, like PTSD, depression, and in Moon Knight’s case, DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder).

People with multiple personalities are not born with it. It usually happens when a child grows up in a traumatic or abusive setting. They usually create these altars so their real self doesn’t have to feel that pain. 

In Marc Spector’s case, he had a traumatic childhood experience. Adding on to that, he is the avatar of the God Konshu, meaning Konshu basically possesses him and gives him powers to do his missions. Konshu, the Moon God, made him do very bad things to people, which has made Marc create different personalities to cope with these experiences.

Dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, means having at least one other personality. Some people can have up to 100 or more distinct identities. These identities are known as alters which can be personalities who behave differently from their other personalities that they create and can even be a different ethnicity, gender, etc. 

This can affect their thinking and the way they function, which can result in time gaps. Steven Grant, Marc’s alter, experiences this because when the other alter takes over the other personalities don’t recall the event that took place.

We first see Steven/Marc in his bed. In this scene he puts restraints on his feet which gives the audience a sense of, “Maybe he sleepwalks?” We come to find out Steven thinks he does and that’s why he does these things.

Throughout the whole first episode we see him getting into a conflict with Harrow, who was a past avatar of Konshu, and his people who are after Marc Spector. As soon as Steven is in danger, we see him shift personalities with Marc. 

Although we don’t actually see Marc fight, we get a good sense of what his alter did because nearly all of Harrow’s men around him are beaten up. I think not showing the actual fight scenes was a pretty smart move because they didn’t want to reveal Marc just yet.

We also see Steven losing track of time and noticing things that weren’t there before because of his DID. For example, his goldfish Gus had only one fin when he got him and next thing you know Gus has two fins and Steven freaks out. We also see Steven ask his fellow co-worker at the museum on a date or at least he thinks he asked her. 

Later, when they were supposed to go eat steak together, she never came because it was actually Sunday when they were supposed to meet on Friday. He had no idea because he’s losing his sense of time.

Screen Rant journalist Chelsea Avestruz wrote, The different alters that can manifest in someone with DID are often classified into different roles. In the case of Marc Spector/Moon Knight’s system, Steven seems to act as a protector, a role designed to shield the host identity from trauma.”

She added, “Protectors focus on defense and managing feelings. By contrast, Marc himself seems to be more of a persecutor type, who acts out in ways that are often harmful, in a misguided attempt to act as a protector. Because Steven is protecting the system from the trauma Marc welcomes in, this makes him a crucial alter to explore in ‘Moon Knight‘s’ story.”

We love seeing Marvel bring more diversity into the MCU and representing different communities on the big screen. As the show progresses, we see the representation of DID getting better each episode and treating it respectfully on the show. 

My respect goes out to those that suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder. You are not the villain, but a hero.