The Other You Might Not Be Schizophrenic

Multiple personalities can be troubling.

By Kevin RR Williams

HEALTH A baffled Richard Widmark in the 1952 film noir, “Don’t Bother to Knock” admits to Marilyn Monroe: "I can't figure you out. You're silk on one side and sandpaper on the other.” This was a classic thriller. But there’s nothing thrilling about antisocial behavior and it is not limited to theaters. In fact, there are various mental illnesses that can account for multiple personalities within someone you know. Often such illnesses go untreated until intervention by family or friends. I have pulled together some definitions to help identify behaviors that may alert those concerned of the need to assist. This list is not comprehensive and should not be used for amature diagnosis.

Schizophrenia

This chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder may cause patients to hear voices that other people don’t hear. They may believe that others are controlling their minds or plotting to harm them. People with schizophrenia may seem perfectly fine until they begin speaking with conviction but not making sense. —National Institute of Health

Schizophrenia is actually 8 diseases, study says. Interesting experiment in empathy.

Sociopath

A sociopathic individual can be described as one having Antisocial Personality Disorder (more common modern designation). This is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals. Sociopaths can be dangerous at worst or simply very difficult to deal with — committing vile acts without feeling the least bit of remorse. Such actions may include physical abuse or public humiliation of others. Sociopaths prey on weak people and often stay away from equally strong people; they look for people who are sad, insecure, or looking for a meaning in life because they know that these people are soft targets. Sociopaths can be quite intelligent, even charismatic with delusions of grandeur. —Wikihow

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder describes a mental illness where polar opposite moods periodically alternate. The severity of the moods are categorized into several subtypes. With Bipolar I disorder, manic episodes can be severe and dangerous, interfering with employment, school or relationships. Bipolar II is less severe; elevated moods may be characterized by irritability and changes in typical functioning called hypomania alternating with longer periods of depression. Cyclothymic disorder is a mild form of bipolar disorder with less severe highs and lows. —Mayo Clinic

Manic Phase of Bipolar Disorder

The Other You Might Not Be Schizophrenic

Signs and symptoms of the manic or hypomanic phase of bipolar disorder can include:

  • Euphoria
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Spending sprees or unwise financial choices
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Increased sex drive
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • Careless or dangerous use of drugs or alcohol
  • Frequent absences from work or school
  • Delusions or a break from reality (psychosis)
  • Poor performance at work or school

Depressive Phase of Bipolar Disorder

The Other You Might Not Be Schizophrenic

Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder can include:

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Low appetite or increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable
  • Problems concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain without a known cause
  • Frequent absences from work or school
  • Poor performance at work or school

Schizoaffective disorder symptoms vary from person to person. People who have the condition experience psychotic symptoms — such as hallucinations or delusions — as well as a mood disorder. If you notice troubling symptoms of a mental illness in family or friends, urge them to seek professional help for treatment. With proper care, patients can better cope with daily life. Call emergency services (911 in USA) immediately if someone expresses suicidal thoughts.

Tags: egotism, megalomania, mental health, psychosis, psychotherapy

References
  1. Schizophrenia. nimh.nih.gov
  2. How to Spot a Sociopath. wikihow.com
  3. Bipolar Disorder Symptoms. mayoclinic.org
  4. Schizoaffective Disorder. mayoclinic.org
  5. Photos by Ryan McGuire, GLady and PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay.