Moon Knight Is A Series About Mental Health Struggles And 'Baggage'

We're getting closer to the next Marvel Disney+ show "Moon Knight," and we're learning more about Oscar Isaac's Steven Grant. Executive producer Grant Curtis spoke to USA Today about Grant's dilemma in the series, saying:

"It's a story about identity and finding one's true self. The journey that Marc Spector [his alternate identity] is on during our whole show is: Who am I? And how do I reconcile portions of my past, present, and potential future that I don't necessarily agree with? Coming to terms with our baggage and our learning to live with ourselves is what we all deal with on a day-to-day basis."

Since we're talking about dissociative identity disorder here (and that is in the synopsis), I spoke to psychologist Dr. Travis Langley, author of "Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight" about what that is and what we might see. (Note: I did some copy editing for the second edition of the book.)

Dr. Langley explained, "Dissociative identity disorder is the modern diagnostic term for multiple personality disorder. There's a reason for the name change, too. The old name, multiple personality disorder refers to thinking of it as different personalities within the same person. The modern name has to do with a different view. We see it more as different aspects of the same personality, different pieces of the same cells, but they're dissociated from each other."

What does this mean for the series?

Langley continued, saying this has to do with "different parts of the mind functioning at the same time without fully communicating with each other. Now, we all do this to some degree. Freud had talked about it as a defense mechanism, something to protect us from stress. And we do it for other reasons, too, though. The simplest example of just sheer dissociation is highway hypnosis. You're driving thrown the road and don't remember the last five miles. You were daydreaming and part of you was driving the car without sharing information with each other."

Someone who has dissociative identity disorder can forget what's happening to a degree with the other parts of their personality. Dr. Langley said:

"There's the host, what you think of as the main personality, and then there are the alters, the other self. And the host, typically, does not have memory or does not have full memory for what goes on with the alters. The DSM criteria has loosened up on that a little but classically, we view it as there's some degree of amnesia."

As we've seen in the trailer, Steven doesn't seem to remember what Marc has done, or why people are calling him by that name, so it appears that this part of the diagnosis will hold true.

Hello Khonshu!

In the comics, Steven Grant becomes Moon Knight and becomes imbued with the power of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. I asked Dr. Langley if there was anything he didn't want to see in the show in terms of the disorder. He said, "Since his condition may have a purely supernatural origin on the show, that he may have developed his splinter selves as a result of something supernatural, I'm not quite as worried about it blending in completely with real world examples. If it differs from real world examples, I hope the show makes it clear that those differences are because of a supernatural origin, so people don't get the idea that this is how everybody is, or that it's even particularly common."

Here is the official synopsis for "Moon Knight:"

The story follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc's enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

"Moon Knight" stars Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, and May Calamawy, and will hit Disney+ on March 30, 2022.