Schizophrenia has been often mistaken as similar to another form of brain disorder, which is multiple personality disorder (also known as split personality). However, there is a huge difference between these two, which is why it is important to establish that difference to gain an understanding of what make each one different.
Aside from the difference in characteristics, each one have a varying set of symptoms and require a unique treatment approach. It is not advised to interchange one another since it does not guarantee effective results.
First off, schizophrenia is a form of chronic brain disorder that results in a distortion of one's view of reality. The patient could also manifest various symptoms including hallucinations, delusional thoughts, illogical thinking, and disorganized behavior or speech. There are several frightening thoughts that an individual develops as a result of schizophrenia, which causes them to suffer from severe agitation, social withdrawal, or fearfulness.
Three Categories of Schizophrenia Symptoms
Another method of distinguishing schizophrenia from multiple personality disorder is to identify the various symptoms that an individual experiences. These three categories of symptoms are as follows:
• Positive – These symptoms include delusions, disordered thoughts, and unusual perceptions.
• Negative – These symptoms include inability or loss of the capacity to express themselves, exhibit emotions, or function normally.
• Cognitive – These symptoms affect basic brain function such as memory, sustaining attention, or logic.
What is Multiple Personality Disorder?
This mental disorder is also referred to as Dissociative Identify Disorder (DID), which is a form of psychogenic amnesia. An individual suffering from this condition has the ability to repress memories of a tragic event for a given period of time. This results in fragmentation of the self and experiences until it alters a person's core personality.
Multiple personality disorder typically develops early on at the childhood years, especially for children suffering from severe abuse or trauma. This disorder comes as a result of an elaborate coping mechanism causing that split behavior.
Common Characteristics and Symptoms of MPD Patients
There are two basic characteristics for individuals suffering from multiple personality disorder: derealization and depersonalization. When a patient suffers from derealization, their perception of others become distorted and it is difficult to identify what is real in their world and what is not. On the other hand, depersonalization is the distortion of one's actual view of reality until s/he becomes detached from the self.
There are several common symptoms for multiple personality disorder that includes any of the following: phobias, depression, amnesia, panic attacks, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, flashbacks, suicide attempts, and physical symptoms such as body pains or severe headaches, etc.
Treatment for Multiple Personality Disorder
Multiple personality disorder is treated using various techniques or treatment approach that distinguish it from schizophrenia, although there are some similarities to some of the approaches. For example, psychotherapy is also used to treat multiple personality disorder wherein it aims to encourage proper communication with the patient to recognize and provide deeper insight into the source of problem.
Meanwhile, a patient also undergoes cognitive therapy that aims to correct dysfunctional behaviors and enable a patient to cope with the stress of their condition more effectively. In terms of medication, patients with MPD can intake the same medications as patients of schizophrenia do such as anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.