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Difference Between Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Schizophrenia
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Schizophrenia are two mental disorders that have been extensively researched and studied by psychiatrists and psychologists. Although both of these disorders can cause significant distress and impairment in an individual's life, they have some significant differences in terms of their symptoms, causes, and treatment approaches.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)?
DID (previously known as multiple personality disorder) is a complicated psychological condition that is triggered by many reasons like severe trauma during early childhood (for e.g. extreme physical abuse or extreme emotional abuse). The disorder can last for years, become chronic and in some cases, last lifelong. Treatment involves supportive care, counselling and talk therapy. Frequency is ~2% of people.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterised by thoughts or experiences which are nowhere close to real world. It includes erratic speech or behaviour and reduced participation in daily activities. Issues associated with concentration and memory can also be seen. What triggers this disorder is not known, however, scientists claim that a combination of genetics, external environment and altered brain mechanism and structure could be responsible. About 1% of all people develop schizophrenia.
Differences: DID and Schizophrenia
One of the key differences between DID and Schizophrenia is the nature of their symptoms. While DID is characterized by the presence of multiple identities or personalities, Schizophrenia is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that affect a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. While both disorders can cause significant distress and impairment, Schizophrenia is generally considered to be more severe and disabling.
Another key difference between these two disorders is their causes. DID is often linked to a history of childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma. It is thought that the dissociation that occurs in DID is a coping mechanism that helps the person escape from the trauma. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurochemical factors. It is thought that an imbalance in dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain may contribute to the development of Schizophrenia.
The treatment approaches for these two disorders are also different. DID is typically treated with psychotherapy, especially trauma-focused therapy, which aims to help the person integrate their different identities and memories into a cohesive sense of self. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Antipsychotic medication can help reduce the symptoms of Schizophrenia, while psychotherapy can help the person learn coping skills and improve their social and occupational functioning.
The following table highlights the major differences between Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia −
The full form is Dissociative Identity Disorder and is also known as Multiple Personality disorder.
The disorder is a response to any traumatic event as a way to help an individual avoid any displeasing memories.
The mental disorder is characterized by two or more distinct split identities, personality states.
Schizophrenia is a mental disease that usually appears in late adolescence or in early adulthood. The exact cause of this disorder is not known.
Some individuals are prone to this mental disorder and extreme and emotional life event might lead to a psychotic event.
Schneiderian Symptoms and Delusions
The delusions in this case are “delusions of many personalities” or of other outside changes that are representative of the several personalities (like the changes in walking style, standing posture, audio, face expressions etc.).
In this case, the delusions are bizarre, extreme anxiety delusions, or some other delusions which have nothing to do with other personalities. For e.g. “someone is out and after to get me”.
There are 3 types −
In conclusion, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Schizophrenia are two distinct mental disorders that have some significant differences in terms of their symptoms, causes, and treatment approaches.
While DID is characterized by the presence of multiple identities or personalities and is often linked to a history of childhood trauma, Schizophrenia is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that affect a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurochemical factors.
Both disorders can cause significant distress and impairment, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, many individuals can recover and lead fulfilling lives.
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