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Is Dissociative Identity Disorder The Same As Schizophrenia

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Do People With Schizophrenia Really Have Multiple Personalities

The Differences Between Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder

13 July 2016

For people with schizophrenia, it can be difficult to determine what is real and what isn’t. This chronic mental disorder is characterized by hallucinations and delusions false beliefs, hearing voices and seeing things, among other abnormal perceptions but do people with schizophrenia really have multiple personalities?

Schizophrenia actually refers to problems with hallucinations, not multiple personalities. In general, everything you see, hear, touch, smell and feel is processed by your brain. Special cells, called sensory receptors, take in information from the world around you and communicate the data to your mind, buthallucinations are sensory experiences without a stimulus the brain is essentially getting faulty data. In people with schizophrenia, these hallucinations most commonly manifest as voices originating from inside the head or from a person who isn’t there, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .

Personality, on the other hand, is a different concept. The American Psychological Association defines personality as “individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.” It can also be understood as “how the various parts of a person come together as a whole.”

Glial cell inflammation could lead to hallucinations, rechanneling of the surfaces involved in memory and cognitive deficits symptoms that can correspond with an illness like schizophrenia, Yolken said.

Original article on Live Science.

How To Recognize Dissociative Identity Disorder And Its Associated Mental Disorders

Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person’s behavior. With dissociative identity disorder, there’s also an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness. With dissociative identity disorder, there are also highly distinct memory variations, which may fluctuate.

Although not everyone experiences DID the same way, for some the “alters” or different identities have their own age, sex, or race. Each has their own postures, gestures, and distinct way of talking. Sometimes the alters are imaginary people sometimes they are animals. As each personality reveals itself and controls the individuals’ behavior and thoughts, it’s called “switching.” Switching can take seconds to minutes to days. Some seek treatment with hypnosis where the person’s different “alters” or identities may be very responsive to the therapist’s requests.

There are several main ways in which the psychological processes of dissociative identity disorder change the way a person experiences living, including the following:

Diagnostic Criteria For Dissociative Identity Disorder

Theres no DID test or quiz to identify the symptoms of the condition.

Only a trained mental health professional can make an accurate diagnosis. In general, they will follow DSM-5 criteria, which are:

  • changes or disruptions in identity or sense of self, marked by at least two separate personality states. Others might recognize these identities by changes in behavior, attitude, or speech.
  • repeated episodes of amnesia, large gaps in memory, or trouble recalling personal details, life events, or how to perform specific tasks
  • persistent emotional distress related to these symptoms

Before diagnosing DID, mental health professionals will rule out other medical and mental health conditions, including substance use, seizure disorders, and psychosis.

Children and adults can be diagnosed with DID. That said, mental health professionals will rule out imaginary friends and other age-appropriate fantasy play before diagnosing the condition in children.

DID symptoms usually make daily life challenging and may cause plenty of emotional distress.

Most, though not all, people who meet criteria for DID often live with other mental health conditions or symptoms of trauma and distress, including:

  • suicidal thoughts
  • a history of self-harm

Not all mental health professionals recognize the signs of DID and some have questioned its existence. This means that many people with DID live with the condition for years before receiving the correct diagnosis.

Still, not all press is good press.

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Further Reading & Useful Contacts


UnrealUnreal reaches out to people of lived experience of depersonalisation and derealisation disorder and their carers and families and seks to raise awareness. They provide support and to promote involvement through providing up to date information, signposting, networking, the sharing of experiences and by celebrating success. The provide information and resources and peer support groups.

Contact form on website:

Clinic for Dissociative StudiesThis organisation has lots of information on dissociative disorders on their website. They also provide care and treatment for dissociative disorders. They can accept referrals from the NHS. They offer general information about dissociative disorders but do not run a helpline.

Telephone: 020 7794 1655

What Other Dissociative Disorders Are There

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There are other dissociative disorders, all of which concern an individual’s disconnection with reality. The person who suffers dissociative amnesia, for example, has difficulty remembering who they are, where they live, and other important personal information. And the person who suffers depersonalized or derealization disorder is detached from their actions.

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Are There Times When You Feel As If You Are Two Different People

People with DID may have no idea about their split personality states. They only suspect something is wrong when someone else tells them about their atypical behavior, like memory loss, or a strange event. Other times, they are aware of the differences in the personalities and can feel distressed about it, although they may appear nonreactive.

How Are Dissociation And Dissociative Disorders Treated

Dissociation can be treated in lots of different ways. The type of treatment you get might depend on which type of disorder you have.

Can medications help?

At the moment, there are no medications for dissociative disorders themselves, although you may take medication for some symptoms.

If you have episodes of dissociation you might also have a condition such as depression or anxiety. Some medications could help with this. For example, antidepressants could be used for depressive symptoms and benzodiazepines for anxiety.

Benzodiazepines can be addictive and should be prescribed for a short period only. Benzodiazepines can make Dissociation worse.

You can find more information on:

  • Antidepressants by clicking here.
  • Benzodiazepines by clicking here.

What psychosocial treatments can help?

Talking therapies are usually recommended for dissociation. There are lots of different types of talking therapy. Different ones might be used for different dissociative disorders.

What is psychodynamic psychotherapy?If you have DID, then your doctors may think about long-term relationally psychotherapy. This is a type of therapy where you talk about your relationships and thoughts. You might talk about your past. Your therapist can link the ways you think and act with things that have happened to you.

Parts of CBT are recommended to treat DID, by helping you to change your thoughts and behaviours that come from the trauma.

What treatment should I be offered?

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Vs Schizophrenia: The Misconception

Some people believe that schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder share the same symptoms of switching between personalities. However, this is rather far from reality. People with schizophrenia do not experience multiple identities, which is common in people with DID.

Both schizophrenia and DID are complex conditions that have no cure. But, they display different symptoms and treatments.â

They Share Some Symptoms

Schizophrenia VS Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)

One of the biggest reasons why people confuse the two conditions is their overlapping symptoms.

Popular culture portrayals may lead you to believe that hallucinations are unique to schizophrenia. However, people with DID, narcolepsy, and bipolar disorder, along with those who take certain substances, may also experience hallucinations.

Symptoms that DID and schizophrenia may have in common include:

  • visual and auditory hallucinations
  • dissociation

Some of these symptoms are similar, so they may also be confused.

People with DID are typically more likely to have symptoms that overlap with positive symptoms of schizophrenia the ones that involve altered perceptions, reality, and thinking. People with DID dont often show many negative symptoms.

People with schizophrenia are less likely to experience dissociative symptoms. Those that do have them usually experienced some type of trauma.

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Bipolar Disorder Is Based On Emotions

While bipolar disorder can go hand in hand with hallucinations and delusions, what characterizes it are the alternations between very extreme moods, And that is why it falls under the category of mood disorders.

In contrast, in most cases, people with bipolar disorder they have no problem communicating consistently .

People With Dissociative Identity Disorder Also Experience An Altered Sense Of Reality

Instead of imagining external voices or visual hallucinations, when a person has DID, one alter checks out and another appears in their place.

While schizophrenics are likely to experience confusion and disorder, someone with DID can be incredibly organised, provided they are in the right personality at the time.

This phenomenon is very much on a sliding scale, with some people experiencing clear multiple personalities with their own functions and characteristics, and others effectively blanking out for a period of time.

With full-blown multiple personalities, they are there to serve different functions. Some are there for the day to day things, like going to school or getting to work. Others may be aggressive, or sexual, or shy. It’s also common for different personalities to have different memories that others cannot recall.

For those who have DID in a much more diffuse sense, they have more permeability between their different states of consciousness. They may dissociate from a situation after being triggered, and then “wake up” several hours later, in a completely different place, after having finished an activity, like going to the shops.

This is why it is referred to as dissociative identity disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , as dissociating from the outside world is what connects people with the disorder together.

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People With Did Have Been Through Terrible Psychological Trauma

Muller said in almost every case, the patient has been through severe childhood trauma.

Several studies have shown the connection with childhood trauma and dissociation, including the work of Dr Bethany Brand, who looked into police records and found that people with DID had all routinely had severe violence or abuse in their childhood.

“These individuals almost always have severe physical, sexual, or psychological abuse from the caregiver,” said Muller. “In fact, it’s almost impossible to find a case of someone with DID who hasn’t had that.”

The individual has had a profound violation of trust or betrayal, he said, “a father or mother who has raped them, or sold them into prostitution at a young age, or another of the horrific things that happen to people.”

The only way to cope with the traumatic experience is to shut off from the outside world. The individual goes into an altered state of consciousness as a way of coping a bit like an immune response. The brain knows something is incredibly difficult to deal with and shuts off its awareness of the situation as a way of protecting itself.

Multiple Identities Delusions Or Hallucinations

Difference Between Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID ...

Some people confuse the multiple identities of DID for the delusions or hallucinations of schizophrenia, but they arent the same.

To break down the difference between these symptoms, lets define them:

  • Delusions. False beliefs that are not based in reality. If you have delusions, you believe them despite evidence to the contrary, even if everyone else believes otherwise. There are many types of delusions, including grandiose, bizarre, persecutory, and somatic .
  • Hallucinations. False perceptions when someone sees, hears, or feels something thats not actually happening. These sensory experiences feel real, but theyre not.
  • Multiple identities. Also called alternate identities or alters, these occur when someone has more than one personality state. This alternate personality may appear to function separately from another. Alternate identities may have distinct behaviors, memories, expressions, languages, ages, and more. For instance, an alter of a 30-year-old female could be a 12-year-old male.

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Beware Of Biased Advice

Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

  • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
  • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
  • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
  • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
  • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

However, most purchases are unnecessary.

Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly. Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.

Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

After all,

There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular big picture, to the exclusion of the alternatives.

Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their big picture that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another big picture that ones life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

Are There Times When Experiences Seem Unreal Or Too Real

People with DID have difficulty remembering events as they occurred.

This can be depersonalization, or when a person feels detached from the feelings, thoughts, and memories of their own life or their sense of themselves. Or derealization, in which a person feels detached from the present reality.

DID can frequently co-occur with anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, and personality disorders.

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Is Dissociative Identity Disorder The Same As Schizophrenia

4.7/5schizophreniadissociative disorderdissociative identity disorderSchizophreniadissociative disordersdisorders

Beside this, how is dissociative identity disorder different from schizophrenia?

Sometimes, people confuse dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, and schizophrenia. Dissociative identity disorder, on the other hand, does cause a split or fragmented understanding of a person’s sense of themselves.

Secondly, what is the difference between schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder? In schizophreniform disorder, the symptoms must last at least 1 month but not more than 6 months, while in schizophrenia the symptoms must be present for a minimum of 6 months.

Beside above, what is the difference between borderline personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder?

DID vs. Borderline Personality Disorder. While dissociation is also a symptom of borderline personality disorder, usually the dissociation seen in BPD does not happen as frequently or as severely as in DID. That being said, someone with the symptoms of DID and BPD may receive a diagnosis of both disorders.

What is Escrisofenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive difficulties, schizophrenia can often be a lifelong struggle.

Myth: Dissociative Identity Disorder Is The Same As Schizophrenia

The 7 Differences between Hearing Voices in Schizophrenia & DID ! ( Dissociative Identity Disorder )

Fact: Dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia are not related.

The misconception regarding dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia is largely caused by focusing on a few key parts of symptoms rather than the disorder as a whole. Dissociative identity disorder refers to a condition in which multiple fully formed personality alters co-exist and shift within one person. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder in which a person experiences extreme delusions and hallucinations.

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Re: Is It Possible To Have Did And Schizophrenia Crosspost

by Johnny-Jack» Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:51 pm

diagnosed as having schizoaffective bipolar type, my psych doc has admitted that this sounds like a dissociation, but has not mentioned DID….my therapist has said that it is delusion, if so, then its very elaborate, and has gone on most of my life.

Flip Defeat Into Victory

Kutuzov managed to turn Russias defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless positive thinking. After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

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Which Treatments Work Better

The first-line treatment for schizophrenia is a second-generation antipsychotic medication. Healthcare professionals may recommend a few other types of medications as well.

Along with medication, treatments for schizophrenia often include:

  • different types of psychotherapy
  • family support
  • community-based treatment programs

On the other hand, DID doesnt have an approved medication for treatment. People with DID may take meds to treat coexisting conditions like antidepressants to improve symptoms of depression but antipsychotics are unlikely to improve symptoms.

Talk therapy is the primary treatment for DID. Talk therapy helps the person to understand their symptoms and their causes, and to learn ways to manage dissociative episodes. Types include:

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