Schizophrenia is a mental disorder “that [abnormally] affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves,” (National Institute of Mental Health). Many tend to confuse this with dissociative identity disorder, or DID, because of its similar symptom. However, to differentiate between the two, schizophrenia “is more likely to [cause] disorganized thoughts and behaviors [while DID is] more likely to cause feelings of detachment from the self and reality,” (Verywell Mind).
Some of the common symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations and delusions—similar to the symptoms showcased by a patient diagnosed with DID. This is because of how this disorder alters the brain functions. Specifically, “schizophrenia involves localized gray matter volume reduction of the left temporal lobe,” (National Library of Medicine). The damaged left temporal lobe will no longer be able to process, learn, or remember verbal information according to Queensland Health. Additionally, schizophrenia can cause “impaired intrinsic connectivity of the visual system [that potentially leads to] impaired visual object perception,” (Science Direct). This means that it would create hallucinations, or thoughts–situations and images–that are not real but feel realistic to that one individual.
According to Brigham Young University, there are about three different types of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia:
The first patient may experience initial symptoms of schizophrenia but could be fully and successfully treated.
The second patient has “to remain medicated with periodic changes and adjustments,” (BYU), or must still be treated to recover.
The third patient has to remain in a mental facility for their symptoms.
A psychiatrist may provide medications such as Olanzapine or Ziprasidone to help an individual with hallucinations. In hospitals, one other option a doctor may use is electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, which sends small electric currents to your brain to change it back to its normal state. With more improved technology and knowledge, more than 50% of the individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia can be successfully treated.