Daniele Keyes “The Mind Of Billy Milligan” Is A Book That Was Way Ahead Of It’s Time

Ankita Gurung
Ankita Gurung
The Mind Of Billy Milligan

The Mind Of  Billy Milligan is one of a kind book. It is a nonfictional book and one of the best books about multiple personality disorder. The book was released in October 1981.  Written by Daniele Keyes. This book is an absolute piece of art.

It is a really controversial and interesting book that Daniele Keyes has written. It is based on the case of William Stanley Milligan. A man diagnosed with multiple disorders. He is acquitted for several violent and heinous crimes by pleading insanity as his defense. Daniele very well wrote how a person’s mind can be so extraordinary. And it can go up to great lengths. Armed with sympathetic psychologists and skilled lawyers. The strange case of Billy Milligan is chronicled in great detail by Daniel Keyes.

Because the book is nonfictional it makes it, even more, harder to digest the fact that it actually happened with someone. Our mind is really complicated and it can be very well understood by reading this book. No one can argue Billy had a difficult upbringing and endured countless horrors, but Keyes’ narrative liberties in establishing the many voices of the personalities and their names and their characters and their psychological space feels uneasy to read in retrospect, as the account goes into great detail in many places, and yet, the human being that is Milligan offers no recompense to those innocents he has hurt.

What is the Book All About?

Daniele Keyes very well wrote and introduce to people about MPD( Multiple Personality Disorder). This book was way ahead of its time when therapists and doctors also didn’t believe that this type of disorder actually exist.

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He was the host of 24 different personalities: men, women, and children. It all started when he was a kid. Not bearing his stepfather’s sexual abuse on a regular basis, Billy’s mind developed another personality to suffer his pain. And so on, whenever Billy found himself in a situation where he would need to escape, his mind develops a personality according to Billy’s needs. He ended up with 24 different ‘people’ inside of him. Each one with a purpose. Not all desirable.

In addition, he started to act weird around his friends and family, doing things and denying having done them afterward. People would call him a liar, he wasn’t even conscious of his new state. He became weaker, sank into depression, and decided to kill himself. That’s when one of his personalities showed up and ‘put him to sleep’, he was becoming a danger to all of them, threatening to kill them.

The personalities took over for almost 2 years. During which the undesirables committed crimes, the most serious one being rape. The cops arrested him.  He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
This book unveils one of the many mysteries of our brains. How little control we have over our body and mind, and sheds light on an important point: how our acts could contradict our intentions.

About The Author Of The Mind Of Billy Milligan

Daniel Keyes is an American author best known for Hugo’s award-winning short story and Nebula’s award-winning novel Flowers for Algernon. Keyes has given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000.

Keyes was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. At age 17, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service as a ship’s purser. He obtained a B.A. in psychology from Brooklyn College, and after a stint in fashion photography (partner in a photography studio), earned a Master’s Degree in English and American Literature at night while teaching English in New York City public schools during the day and writing weekends.

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