AnnaLynne McCord is opening up about her mental health. During a conversation with Dr. Daniel Amen of Amen Clinics, the 33-year-old actress revealed she’s been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), which was previously known as multiple personality disorder.
According to Mayo Clinic, someone with DID switches to alternate identities, which can have their own names and mannerisms. DID usually develops as a reaction to trauma, and can keep difficult memories at bay, per Mayo Clinic.
McCord previously opened up about being raped when she was 18, and told Dr. Amen that she suffered from abuse as a child. The actress said that one of her split personalities, who she called “Little Anna,” got her “out of the hell” that she was in while suffering childhood abuse.
“I could be co-conscious with my little, and was very clearly defined that I was me, anchored in real time, and Little Anna was popping up. I could be very soothing and very nurturing,” she said. “But I spent a lot of my life as the split I was when I was 13 and on.”
“She was a balls to the wall, middle fingers to the sky, anarchist from hell who will stab you with the spike ring that she wears, and you’ll like it. Then she’ll make you lick the blood from it,” McCord continued. “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.”
Later in life, McCord’s characters became her splits, though that’s not something she realized at the time.
“In my history you’ll see me just show up with a black wig and a new personality. I was this tough little baddy, and then I’d be the Bohemian flower child,” she said. “And also being an actress, there was a liability to split. All of my roles were splits, but I didn’t even realize I was doing it at all until I did a project, 90210.”
During a hiatus from filming 90210, on which McCord played privileged teen Naomi Clark from 2008 to 2013, the actress shot a very different type of movie, Excision.
“I played a very cerebral, disturbed, strange little girl that was very close to who I feel I am on the inside,” McCord said of her character in the 2012 horror flick. “It was very exposing, very confronting, probably a bit retraumatizing without realizing it. Maybe even a bit healing as well, some of it.”
When it came time for McCord to go back to work on 90210, she had trouble switching gears to the teen character.
“I wrapped that film at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday and had to be happy, crazy Beverly Hills blonde bombshell on Wednesday at noon. And I couldn’t find her. She was not accessible,” she recalled. “I was dark. I was very deep into this character, Pauline, and I couldn’t get [out]. When I look back in hindsight, I’m like, ‘Oh my dear god.'”
Following her diagnosis, McCord said she is “absolutely uninterested in shame” in regards to her mental health.
“The way this is talked about is there is 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.”
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