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The self is an individual person as the object of his or her own reflective consciousness. This reference is necessarily subjective, thus self is a reference by a subject to the same subject. The sense of having a self – or self-hood – should, however, not be confused with subjectivity itself. Ostensibly, there is a directedness outward from the subject that refers inward, back to its "self". Examples of psychiatric conditions where such 'sameness' is broken include depersonalization, which sometimes occur in schizophrenia: the self appears different to the subject.
The first-person perspective distinguishes self-hood from personal identity. Whereas "identity" is sameness, self-hood implies a first-person perspective. Conversely, we use "person" as a third-person reference. Personal identity can be impaired in late stage Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, the self is distinguishable from "others". Including the distinction between sameness and otherness, the self versus other is a research topic in contemporary philosophy) and contemporary phenomenology, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience.
Although subjective experience is central to self-hood, the privacy of this experience is only one of many problems in the philosophical and scientific study of consciousness.