Meet Paula, a woman who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. As a result of serious abuse and psychological trauma as a child, she now shares 15 distinctly different personalities within one body, and they can emerge without warning.

Her separate personalities - known as "alters" - are extremely varied: her most prominent is a 5 year old girl named Mariah, another is a basketball loving man named Jonathan, and another is an outspoken teenage girl. The United States of Tara may show this disorder in a relatively lighthearted way, but when Paula's alters make even a trip to the grocery store impossibly difficult, it's nothing short of tragic.