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I've heard voices for about twelve years now. There are three male voices which I hear as coming from outside of my head. They are always there although the content of what they say can be determined by my mood. If it's low they're critical and aggressive. If it's normal they will just comment on what I'm doing (a type of running commentary). I was diagnosed with schizophrenia about ten years ago and put on a variety of medications. Clozapine was the only one that stopped the voices completely but I found the side effects of it to be intolerable and so stopped taking it.
About five years ago I moved home and changed psychiatric care team. Since that time my diagnosis has been changed to avoidant and borderline personality disorder. This seems to be based on the fact I self harm a lot (although this is always when I become distressed by the voices) and am rather withdrawn. I do find being around people rather difficult but I've always put this down to the voices as they can make interacting difficult, if they're loud or if they're telling me people hate me or are plotting against me. I don't feel I'm emotionally unstable. In fact I seem to feel numb most of the time. I'm currently undergoing group therapy for personality disorder and today in the session I mentioned that the voices are constant and have responded to meds in the past after my therapist told me that the voices are not 'properly psychotic'. She seemed surprised by this.
My question is how do I tell the difference between schizophrenia and a personality disorder? Which diagnosis (if either) seems to be the correct one? I know that diagnosing someone is not an exact science (especially online!) but I wonder if the treatment I am being offered would differ with the diagnosis and if my current diagnosis is really correct.
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