Thanks for confirming my input as your answer. I'll post
it here in the answer box for the sake of future readers.
Institutionalized schizophrenics are typically
carefully medicated, and provided with carefully
structured schedules, the combination of which
limits their engagement with delusions and
hallucinations, and allows them a relatively
normal degree of orientation to time, places,
The single exception to this would be the unusual
diagnosis of catatonic schizophrenia, which is
characterized by a state of withdrawal and often
immobility, though this is becoming increasingly
rare subsequent to the use of modern medications.
I recently saw Identity. The patient in that movie was
one with a diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder,
recently revised to Dissociative Identity Disorder.
A pretty thorough examination of DID, which is the
subject of considerable skepticism, even amongst
psychiatric professionals, despite the official
recognition of the diagnosis in the DSM IV, the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
is given on this page at the Skeptic's Dictionary:
Dissociative Identity Disorder has a diagnostic
reference number of 300.14. BehaveNet provides a
capsule description of the diagnostic criteria:
Two of the criteria exclude the kind of total withdrawal
and absorption in unreality which you seem to be looking
"A. The presence of two or more distinct identities or
personality states (each with its own relatively enduring
pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about
the environment and self).
B. At least two of these identities or personality states
recurrently take control of the person's behavior."
In simple terms, this means that 2 or more of the identities
rotate in taking control of the body. When one is in control,
the other identities may or may not be aware of the actions
of the one in control. Quite often, they are completely
unaware of each other. These are not separate entities, as
might be thought of in the cases of alleged possessions,
but are fragments of the person's divided primary consciousness.
Such fragmentation is said to occur as the result of severe
trauma, such as sexual and/or physical abuse in the very young.
At least one of the identities is typically quite functional,
and is oriented to external reality quite well. There may be
more than one that is equally well oriented. The main problem
which occurs is that the primary identity may experience what
amount to blackouts when another identity holds sway in the
conscious realm, and exhibit behaviors that are antithetical
to the other(s).
The scenario presented in the movie is not realistic and does
not accurately portray either schizophrenia or MPD/DID. To my
knowledge, there is no real-life disorder in which a person's
consciousness is submerged into internal fragments with no
connection with external reality. I worked in the field of
mental health for 25+ years. I don't believe you can refute
the "illusions and hallucinations" theory on the basis of
I think you'd be better off refuting this theory by focusing
on the fact that hallucinations are seldom shared to the
extent that we seem to share our common experience of what
we call external reality. The argument against this would
be that we have been indoctrinated since childhood to see
and experience the world in the same way as our elders, so
that the shared reality we experience is not so much a
hallucination as tunnel vision amounting to hypnosis, which
blinds us to a narrow bandwidth of the infinite possibilities
of perception which are available to us at birth.
Many philosophers and mystics, such as Gurdjieff, Ouspensky,
and Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan Mateus have asserted that
this is, indeed, the case, and use this to explain the
capacity of some psychics, shamans and seers to access subtle
realities which are every bit as consistent as our own view
of the physical world. Such visionaries consider the average
man to be sleeping, even while they think they're awake.
Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.
Searches done, via Google:
"Dissociative Identity Disorder" 300.14
"multiple personality disorder"