The Minds of Billy Milligan
Rating: ★★★★
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Purchased

Billy Milligan was a man tormented by twenty-four distinct personalities battling for supremacy - a battle that culminated when he awoke in jail, arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women. In a landmark trial, Billy was acquitted of his crimes by reason of insanity caused by multiple personality disorder - the first such court decision in history.

In The Minds of Billy Milligan, Daniel Keyes brings to light the most remarkable and harrowing case of multiple personality ever recorded.

The Minds of Billy Milligan is a book that has been released for over 40 years. However, Apple TV have just released their latest series, The Crowded Room, featuring Tom Holland, which is loosely based on this bestselling non-fiction book. I'm so hooked on the series, that I had to delve into the book mid-series. It goes without saying that this review is very much a spoiler for the TV series. 

Before I begin, this book discusses heavily: sexual abuse, rape, child abuse, suicide, and many other hard-hitting topics. It's a book that I found incredibly difficult to read, due to it's graphic nature and knowing the truth behind the biography.

The biography is written by Daniel Keyes, who extensively worked with and researched Billy Milligan, and the twenty four personalities that came with him. Keyes gives us an insight into his childhood, and why Billy's mind fragmented into as many personalities as it did. Growing up, Billy was in and out of trouble with the police; as well as mental health institutions. He was unable to receive the help he needed, which I believe led to his demise.

What's incredibly sad about this story is that it could have been unavoidable. If Billy had received the help he so desperately needed and doctors had believed in multiple personality disorder earlier, it could have saved the devastation on many lives; including his own

The reader gets an in-depth look into each of Billy's personalities, and the reasonings behind why each one was formed. For example, Arthur, who was the logical thinker and an Englishman. Ragen, an intimidating force who dealt with any physical issues. Tommy, an escape artist who could get himself out of any situation. Adalana, a female who had a softer side that held Billy's loneliness. Of course, this is just a small sample of the people inside Billy's mind.

It's a thought-provoking book that allows a rare glimpse into a misunderstood disorder. It's important to highlight that it isn't written in a way that you forgive Billy for his crimes; but more of an understanding of the events in his life that led him to commit the crimes he did. 

If you're looking for a book to take you on a roller-coaster of emotions and more knowledge of such an important moment in our history for mental heath; this is the book for you. It's worth noting that it's considerably more intense than the Apple TV series of which it inspired, The Crowded Room.

Have you read The Minds of Billy Milligan? I would love to know your thoughts.

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