M. Night Shyamalan’s "Split" was the beginning of a powerful 2017 for film. The intense thriller came out only on January 20th and has brought in $169.4 million dollars to the box office, making $40.1 million its debut weekend. There’s nothing an audience loves more than watching a damsel (or in this case, damsels) in distress and seeing how they’ll get themselves out of a sticky situation. However, seeing somebody that seems so unrealistically insane portrayed on the big screen is something that pulls a crowd in even more.

What is 'Split'?

For those who aren’t aware of what "Split" is all about, the film is focused on a man named Kevin who battles with multiple personality disorder, living with 23 personalities overall.

With a variety of personas such as Barry, Hedwig, Patricia, and Dennis, it’s difficult for him to have any control over his physical actions – such as abducting three teenage girls. In the mix of their capture, it is discovered that a dangerous 24th personality is coming to the surface that is on the hunt for one thing – those who are not pure. Later in the movie, it is revealed that Kevin was physically abused by his mother as a child. Each personality he has stems from the abuse he suffered, such as Barry – a man who has obsessive compulsive disorder – due to his mother hitting him with a hanger for not cleaning his room properly. It is also revealed that the outside teen, Casey, has been sexually abused by her uncle since she was a young child.

Casey is often mocked by her fellow peers for being very problematic in school and anti-social, but it is revealed that she gets in trouble on purpose to avoid going home to her legal guardian.

How does this movie display mental health concerns?

While James McAvoy (Kevin) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey) did a phenomenal job portraying these roles, and the plot that Shyamalan came up with was indeed one of the craziest you might see this year, there’s one concept in this film that many viewers don’t think of to be important – and that’s the normality of mental health issues in a society.

There may not be as intense of illnesses around such as multiple personalities, but instances that occur at a young age can seriously affect your mental health later in life. Take Casey for example. After the abuse she faced as a child, it’s no wonder this girl has issues connecting to her classmates. It’s clear she has trust issues with anyone, since she couldn’t even trust her own family members.

The same goes for Kevin. This man faced a traumatic childhood as well that took more than just an emotional and physical toll on him – it made him suffer from a terrifying mental illness that has destroyed his life.

Are mental illnesses really that common?

While the focus in "Split" may not have been the severity of mental health, it was something it expressed quite thoroughly. This film portrayed how silent a mental illness can be and how invisible it is to the public eye. It also proves the point that anyone could experience a mental health issue, even people we think have it all -- such as Kanye West and Selena Gomez. The Kim Foundation estimates that around 26.2 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, which translates to around 57.7 million people.

So yes, "Split" made for an engaging and attention-grabbing thriller, but it also shows that the struggle with mental health is real in modern society. While some are not as intense as others, it does not mean that they do not exist. It’s time we bring these issues to light in a serious matter. "Split" was able to contribute to ending of the stigma against Mental Illnesses – without even realizing it.