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What Is The Difference Between Bipolar And Schizophrenia

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What Is Bipolar Disorder What Is Schizophrenia

What is the difference between schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that involves severe mood swings, at least one episode of mania and may include repeated episodes of depression. It is a mood disorder that afflicts up to as many as 4 million people. Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness that involves psychotic symptoms, meaning that one is out of touch with reality. People with either illness are at a higher risk of suicide, substance abuse, and other mental health problems.

Borderline Personality Disorder Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia: Whats The Difference

More than 11 million Americans experience a serious mental illness in a given year. While the terms borderline personality disorder , bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are often used interchangeably, Dr. Bella Schanzer, a psychiatrist with Baylor College of Medicine, says its important to know the differences between these conditions.

Borderline personality disorder

BPD is a personality disorder in which a person experiences many mood fluctuations.

One of the core elements of the disorder is seeing the world in black and white, so everything is an extreme. Often, people with this disorder have dysfunctional relationships.

Symptoms of BPD include:

  • Engaging in maladaptive and harmful behaviors
  • Emotional instability
  • Having rigid views of people and the world
  • Chronic suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide

Although this is a lifelong disorder, there are ways to manage, control and treat some of the behaviors.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder composed of altering mood states with periods of time where a person is manic or depressed.

Being manic means that for a sustained period of time, usually four to five days, a person is either extremely happy or irritable. In this state, the mind is racing, there is little sleep, and oftentimes a person will exhibit pressured speech.

Symptoms of a major depression in the context of bipolar disorder include:


Difference Between Schizophrenia And Alzheimers

June 13, 2018 Posted by Ranidu

The key difference between Schizophrenia and Alzheimers is that the Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness, but Alzheimers is a neurological disorder.

Schizophrenia and Alzheimers disease are chronic debilitating diseases that severely hinder the patients ability to maintain a normal life. Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder, involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions, and feelings, withdrawal from reality into fantasy and delusions and a sense of mental fragmentation. Alzheimers, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the commonest cause of dementia.

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What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative

What support can I get?

You can get support if you care for someone with schizoaffective disorder. These are some options for you:

  • Family Intervention through the NHS
  • Join a carers service
  • Join a carers support group
  • Ask your local authority for a carers assessment
  • Read about the condition
  • Apply for welfare benefits for carers

Rethink Mental Illness run carers support groups in some areas. You can also search for groups on the Carers Trust website:

Rethink Mental Illness: www.rethink.org/about-us/our-support-groupsCarers Trustwww.carers.org/search/network-partners

How can I support the person I care for?

You might find it easier to support someone with schizoaffective disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills.

You should be aware of what you can do if you are worried about their mental state or risk of self-harm. It can be helpful to know contact information for their mental health team or GP.

You could find out from your relative if they have a crisis plan. You could help your relative to make a crisis plan if they dont have one.

You can find out more information about:

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How To Know Whether Psychotic Symptoms Are Schizoaffective Or Bipolar

DID VERSUS Schizophrenia

Because psychotic symptoms can underlie a diagnosis of either bipolar or schizoaffective disorder, its important to take note of when the psychotic symptoms occur, for how long they occur, and when they go awayif at all. These criteria, when considered together, probably hold the most sway in distinguishing schizoaffective from bipolar disorder.

With bipolar disorder, psychotic symptoms can manifest when youre depressed or when youre manic. A key difference is that these symptoms tend to occur only when a person is having that mood episode, and once that mood episode has been controlled with the help of medication, the psychotic symptoms dissipate. For example, you can be manic for seven days, during which time you can be convinced youre a celebrity, but once you get treatment and the episode remits, those delusions of grandeur will pass.

In contrast, with schizoaffective disorder, the psychotic symptoms can occur seemingly out of the blue, are unattached to mood changes, and must occur for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed as schizoaffective.

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Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of intense emotions. These include three main types of episodes:

  • Manic episodes are times of increased activity and energy. A manic episode can make you feel extremely happy or elated.
  • Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes, but theyre less intense.
  • Depressive episodes are similar to those of people with major depression. A person having a depressive episode will feel severely depressed and lose interest in activities that they used to enjoy.

To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you have to have at least one episode of depression that meets the criteria for a major depressive episode. You must also have at least one episode that meets the criteria for a manic or hypomanic episode.

Other behavioral changes that may be symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

  • restlessness
  • extreme self-confidence and impulsivity, in the case of a manic episode
  • suicidal thoughts, in the case of a depressive episode

People with bipolar disorder can also experience psychotic symptoms during a manic or depressive episode. These can include hallucinations or delusions. Because of this, people may mistake their symptoms of bipolar disorder for those of schizophrenia.

Main Differences Between Bipolar And Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar is a type of mood disorder that causes frequent changes in the mood of a person, a person may feel the happiest, but in the next few minutes, he may feel angry and complete opposite of his personality, whereas Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that means in this a person suffers from abnormal thinking and have unacceptable perception.
  • Both of them are pretty similar, but both of them include different types of similarities, bipolar in comparison has less severe symptoms such as a shift in mood and energy, whereas Schizophrenia has relatively more severe symptoms that include hallucination and delusional, etc.
  • Studies show that maybe both of the disorders are in genes, but people suffering from Schizophrenia have proved to be having gray matter in their brain, but in the case of bipolar disorder, no such gray matter has been found.
  • Both of the diseases are common in teens and adults, but bipolar is also found in children, whereas disorder such as Schizophrenia is not found in children but only people above the age of 15.
  • Both of the diseases also differ in terms of ordinary. Bipolar is a disorder that can easily be found and is more common among people, whereas Schizophrenia is not common as compared to bipolar.
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    A Difference In Treatment Styles

    Why is it so important to know the differences between schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia? One reason is that both disorders require different approaches to treatment. Treating people for one condition when they suffer from the other does little to help.

    For schizophrenia, most treatment revolves around antipsychotic medications, such as chlorpromazine and haloperidol. Schizoaffective disorder treatment also relies on antipsychotics, but the most common one that doctors prescribe is Paliperidone. In fact, its the only FDA-approved drug for this disorder.

    With that said, there are some similarities in treatment as well. For example, attending therapy while taking appropriate medication is essential. Therapy can help people work through other issues that accompany these disorders. However, it isnt enough on its own, so they still have to take medication.

    How Are Schizophrenia And Bipolar The Same

    Difference between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder? – Dr. Kiran Kumar K | Doctors’ Circle

    Despite the differences of symptoms for the disorders, there are some overlapping symptoms, as indicated by Medical News Today. These are:

    Psychotic episodes: Individuals with bipolar disorder will have hallucinations or delusions during manic or depressive episodes.

    Disorganized thinking: Individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can experience disorganized thinking. Those with bipolar may experience this during manic episodes or may have difficulty concentrating on a single task at a time.

    Depression symptoms: Individuals with either disorder might display a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities, or feel like they are unable to experience pleasure, or may have trouble concentrating or making decisions.

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    What Causes These Disorders

    After years of research, doctors still dont know what causes schizophrenia. They think that chemical imbalances of dopamine and glutamate might play a role. Also, they know that people with schizophrenia often have physically different brains than those who dont. This might indicate that it happens during the development of the brain itself.

    Doctors havent studied schizoaffective disorder for nearly as long. However, theyve made more breakthroughs. For example, doctors believe that the genes that control the bodys natural sleep and wake cycle contribute to this disorder.

    What Is The Difference Between Bipolar With Psychosis And Sza

    I have realized that I am often hypomanic/manic and I have been like this for a long time.

    Whats the difference between sza bipolar type and bipolar w/ psychotic features?

    Im very delusional and psychotic at times but I honestly dont know the difference between the two.

    I believe its when psychotic symptoms present themselves: outside of a mood episode would be sza and only during a mood episode would be bipolar with psychotic features

    Its interesting that the psychiatrist in this video states that sza is more of a schizophrenic disorder than a mood disorder.

    Still trying to understand it more myself seems to be the diagnosis my docs are leaning towards now

    Bipolar is a mood disorder. Sza is more of a schizophrenic thought disorder. Although it has a mood component.

    From what I understood its like a hybrid of sz and bi polar. In other words, it has symptoms of both so they dont know what to call it. Just goes to show that its all labels anyways, no two sz or sza are just alike anyways

    I see. The psychosis is here and there, also with the hypomania/depression. Ive been depressed and then this week Im super irritated and elatedI honestly dont know what the heck is going on.

    Sometimes there is very little difference between the two, but with bipolar, the psychosis occurs during mania or depressive episodes.With SZA the psychosis can occur outside of a mood episode.

    i know that sounds confusing but im not articulate enough to explain it

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    What Are Causes And Risk Factors For Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia

    Like most mental disorders, neither bipolar disorder nor schizophrenia is directly passed down genetically. Rather, each is the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. These two illnesses share a number of the same risk genes but also have some unique genetic risk factors. Stress has been found to be a significant contributor to the development of most mental health conditions, including both of these disorders.

    Bipolar Vs Schizophrenia Whats Different


    The primary difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is the prevalence and severity of different symptoms. These symptoms are the way in which each disorder is separately diagnosed. For example, bipolar disorder is diagnosed primarily by the presence of periods of both mania and bipolar depression, whereas schizophrenia is diagnosed largely based on symptoms of psychosis.

    Other ways in which schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differ include:3,4

    • People with schizophrenia may appear to have a flattened mood , whereas people with bipolar often appear moody
    • People with bipolar disorder may have psychotic symptoms that are related to mood such as being Jesus when happy whereas people with schizophrenia tend to have psychotic symptoms that arent related to mood
    • People with schizophrenia may have trouble understanding information and using it to make decisions
    • People with schizophrenia may stop talking in the middle of a sentence and feel the words were just taken out of their head
    • People with schizophrenia have a greater tendency to be suspicious and paranoid

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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Mood Disorder

    Bipolar disorder affects a persons ability to regulate moods. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder only and not a psychotic disorder because everything involved with bipolar disorder must be attached to a mood. To put it simply- people with bipolar disorder have psychotic symptoms at the same time as mania or depression.

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    Did Is Sometimes Misdiagnosed

    Healthcare professionals sometimes misdiagnose DID as schizophrenia.

    It can be incredibly difficult to get a correct diagnosis of DID. According to research from 2016, of U.S. clinicians were able to accurately diagnose DID in an individual.

    The clinicians misdiagnosed the condition as:

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    Mood Disorders Vs Psychotic Disorders

    Bipolar disorder is whats known as a mood disorder, or an affective disorder. The primary symptom in mood disorders, as the name suggests, is a disturbance in mood. In bipolar disorder, the symptoms surround mood swings wherein a bipolar episode can be either of a very low mood or a very high mood . While schizophrenia can affect mood, mood disturbance is not its primary symptom.1

    Schizophrenia is known as a psychotic disorder. The primary symptom in psychotic disorders is psychosis or the inability to tell reality from fantasy. Delusions and hallucinations are common in schizophrenia. While psychosis may be part of a manic or depressed episode in bipolar disorder, those are not the primary symptoms.2

    What Are The Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder

    Mania, Bipolar, Schizoaffective, Schizophrenia: What Are The Differences? What Is The Overlap?

    Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are:

    What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the way you think. Symptoms can effect how you cope with day to day life. Symptoms include.

    • Hallucinations. You may hear, see, or feel things that arent there.
    • Delusions. You may believe things that arent true.
    • Disorganised speech. You may begin to talk quickly or slowly, and the things you say might not make sense to other people. You may switch topics without any obvious link.
    • Disorganised behaviour. You might struggle to organise your life, or stick to appointments, for example.
    • Catatonic behaviour. You may feel unable to move or appear to be in daze.
    • Negative symptoms. These are symptoms that involve loss of ability and enjoyment in life. They can include the following things.
    • Lack of motivation

    You can find more information about Schizophrenia by clicking here.

    What are the symptoms of mania?

    You may experience the following if you have mania.

    Mania is associated with bipolar disorder.

    You can find more information about Bipolar disorder by clicking here.

    What are the symptoms of depression?

    You may feel the following if you have depressive symptoms.

    • Low mood,
    • Sleep too much, not being able to sleep or have disturbed sleep,
    • More or less hungry than usual or have a weight change, or
    • Thoughts of death or suicide or attempt suicide.

    You can find more information about Depression by clicking here.

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    What Is Bipolar Disorder And Its Symptoms

    First, it is essential to know there are different types of bipolar disorders. These may include symptoms like mania, hypomania, and depression. The symptoms can produce unpredictable changes in mood and behavior, which results in extreme distress and difficulty in life. Below are the different bipolar types and some of their symptoms.

    Bipolar I disorder: The individual may have had at least one manic episode that might have preceded or was followed by a major depressive episode or being hypomanic. There may have been a break in reality.

    Bipolar II disorder: The individual had at least one major depressive episode and one hypomanic episode but has never had a manic episode. The difference between these two is that hypomania is a milder form of mania where the energy level is higher than normal but not as extreme as in mania.

    Cyclothymic disorder: The individual has had at least two years, one year as a child and one as a teenager, of having hypomania symptoms and depressive symptoms, though the depressive symptoms are less severe than major depression.

    How Are Bipolar And Schizophrenia Related

    Although bipolar and schizophrenia are still, for the most part, thought to be two distinct psychiatric diseases, they are related in many ways. Both diseases usually develop in late adolescence or early adulthood. The genetic causal factors have been found to be highly similar in the two brain diseases both disorders often appear in the same families. Some people are diagnosed with symptoms of both diseases. Schizophrenia and bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder also share common symptoms and treatments.

    Some medications prescribed for both bipolar and schizophrenia lower levels of protein kinase C in the brain. High levels of this brain protein are thought to increase the severity of symptoms related to both diseases such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, having racing thoughts and experiencing grandiose, or false beliefs, relating to one’s personal power. In what is called the dysphoric mood in schizophrenia, schizophrenics often experience severe irritability, anxiety and depression similar to what bipolars, or manic-depressives, tend to have in their depressive periods. If not treated, both bipolars and schizophrenics are extremely likely to abuse drugs or alcohol as a way of “self medicating.”

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