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April 15th, 2008
12:51 PM ET

Herschel Walker’s multiple personalities

Watch Herschel Walker's discussion with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, tonight on 360 10p ET.

Watch Herschel Walker's discussion with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, tonight on 360 10p ET.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Chief Medical Correspondent

When I first heard that former football great Herschel Walker had multiple personality disorder, I was pretty stunned. Even though, I am a doctor, I had to admit that I knew very little about this particular psychiatric disorder.

For starters, it is called DID, or dissociative identity disorder, instead of multiple personality disorder. Most people think of Sally Field’s character Sybil, but another thing I learned is neither Sybil nor Walker actually has multiple personalities, but rather the lack of one cohesive personality.

In Walker’s case, he has twelve - yes twelve - alter personalities, which are all better described as fragments of one. (Here is an article I thought was very informative)

 Sitting down with Walker, I met an extremely charismatic and likeable man who certainly didn’t overtly flip from one alter to the next. It became clear, though, throughout our conversation that these alters were just under the surface.
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Filed under: Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Herschel Walker