There are many stigmas and unrealistic views on mental illnesses, and oftentimes, people talk about a mental illness without using it in the correct context or misunderstanding the illness altogether. For example, bipolar disorder is often used when someone is discussing the weather – yet that mental illness is not a description, it is a medical condition that a person suffers from.

Likewise, multiple personality disorder (now referred to as dissociative personality disorder) and schizophrenia are not the same mental illness; each disorder has their own unique set of characteristics. Understanding the facts about each can help break the stigma and educate others who may be concerned that they suffer from one of these disorders:

Multiple personality disorder

  • Number of personalities – 2 or more distinctive personalities or character traits are present and take control of an individual
  • Changes in self – When the person is disrupted, there may be a change in their sense of self, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and more.
  • Gaps in memory – These occur often regarding people and places, and is different from regular forgetfulness



  • Delusions – A person may have false beliefs about what is happening to or around them, such as being harmed when nothing is really harming them
  • Hallucinations – An individual suffering from this may see or hear things that aren’t there. This is uncontrollable and involuntary.
  • Disorganized thinking – A person’s speech may become incomprehensible at times and answers to questions may be partial or unrelated
  • Extremely disorganized in motor skills – The person may have difficulty focusing on tasks because their behavior isn’t set on a goal
  • Agitation – A person may become suddenly very irritated for no apparent reason


The main distinction between these two disorders is that multiple personality disorder focuses more on separate identities or personalities taking over a person, while schizophrenia focuses more on a person’s separation from reality.

There is nothing wrong with suffering from a disorder and there are many resources available to help someone going through this. Medication, therapy, and support groups are a just a few resources available to assist someone through their journey of recovery. By seeking out help, we can understand ourselves better and overcome our challenges by developing tools to help us cope with our experiences.


New Vista Behavioral Health is a nationwide family of treatment providers, including primary mental health care. Holding our treatment programs to higher standards, we offer exceptional care along a full continuum of options to provide better outcomes for your recovery.

Call us today for information: 866-855-4202

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