Answer Amelioration

Pam in Vashon, we hear you and couldn’t agree more. In the heat of a round sometimes points get awarded even when a definition isn’t one hundred percent. On this one we appreciate that you took the time to write:

Schizophrenia is not related to multiple personality and never was. Schizophrenia was overused as a diagnosis in the early to mid-20th century, and undoubtedly some given that diagnosis actually had multiple personality disorder (yes, dissociative identity disorder), but that is never what it meant. The basic meaning of schizophrenia is now quite similar to its original meaning.

They are quite different conditions. Schizophrenia (from the Greek for “split mind,” referring to disunity in the individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) is characterized by hallucinations and delusions. Dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as “split personality”) is characterized by fragmentation of the individual’s identity.

2 replies
  1. Linda Ferrazzara
    Linda Ferrazzara says:

    I believe that the reason the Greek for “split mind” was chosen to describe the constellation of symptoms that characterize schizophrenia was that the sufferer’s behavior and beliefs indicated a mind split from reality, i.e. from the outside world, rather than any split within the mind itself.


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