SchizoDID, SchizoDONT

Ok, this bugs the tar out of me, especially since I’ve seen a _lot_ of writers, both for books and for TV, who get this wrong. Schizophrenia is _NOT_ the same thing as multiple personalities. Schizophrenia involves delusions and hallucinations, among other things (see _A Beautiful Mind_ for a flick that actually gets it right). Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder before the DSM-IV revision) is what is _actually_ multiple, or split, personalities. It’s a common misconception that the two mental disorders are one and the same. Stephen King got it wrong in _The Dark Tower_ series (and should, in my opinion, have fixed it in Book 5, given the timespan between it and Book 4), and the writers of _Stargate SG-1_ got it wrong in a couple of episodes, just to name two examples. There have been plenty of others I’ve seen lately, too.

Get it right, people!

(Aren’t writers supposed to do research on these things?)

4 thoughts on “SchizoDID, SchizoDONT”

  1. My high school psychology teacher hammered this point over and over.


    I think people are just lazy. People tend to gloss over, confuse, mix up, and misrepresent all kinds of mental disorders. They just don’t seem to care which is which.

  2. That probably is the crux of it right there, Eric – people just don’t care enough to make sure they get their facts straight. And no wonder we have so many problems in our culture. But that’s a rant for another day. ;-)

  3. I never took psych, but I remember watching “A Beautiful Mind” and then going to the library to look it up . . . and ever since it is something I have been frustrated with, too – people use the term “schizo” so regularly, even in casual conversation. What I want to know is, if I could figure it out as a high school student with a quick trip to the research section of my high school library – with no help from a teacher – why do so many others have trouble figuring it out? I suppose you’re probably right and it is laziness. Kind of like the waitress at the Mexican restaurant who can’t pronounce “quesadilla” correctly.

  4. Stephen King did NOT get it wrong, the CHARACTERS got it wrong. Huge difference. Stephen King does, in fact know the difference. (For support, see “The Journey to the Dark Tower.” If that’s not it’s exact name, I apologize, but it is the companion volume published by his research assistant for the books, Bev.)

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