Some mental illnesses share identical symptoms, such as mood swings and depression. Such overlaps occur in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, sometimes making it difficult to differentiate between the two. However, these conditions are distinct from one another, and they do not always co-occur.
While bipolar disorder cannot develop into schizophrenia, it’s possible to experience symptoms of both. Before you consult a mental health professional, here are a few things you should know about the two conditions.
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are both mental health disorders characterized by manic episodes, depression, psychosis, and hallucinations – it can be challenging to distinguish one from the other. Although both can occur because of a variety of genetic and biological factors, these two disorders are diagnosed and treated very differently.
Many schizophrenia patients lose touch with reality, experiencing psychotic delusions, auditory hallucinations, and disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia symptoms also include unusual body movements, social withdrawals, and develop poor decision-making skills.
While symptoms of bipolar disorder may appear nearly identical, the condition is more characterized by mood swings and mania. There are two types of bipolar disorder:
A psychiatrist will diagnose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
To get diagnosed with schizophrenia, a patient must exhibit at least two of the following symptoms in a significant capacity for at least a month:
On the other hand, a diagnosis for bipolar disorder requires:
Both illnesses are incurable although they are manageable throughout a patient’s lifetime.
Treatment for bipolar disorder includes:
Treatment for schizophrenia includes:
Despite the differences between these two conditions, symptoms can overlap. If you are suffering from either of these mental health disorders, you might experience the following.
It’s common for one mood disorder to share overlapping symptoms with another. This is especially true for individuals with substance use disorders. Because of this, it’s also possible to become diagnosed with something rarer, such as schizoaffective disorder.
People with schizoaffective disorder experience the same symptoms as schizophrenic patients and those with mood-related illnesses such as Bipolar Type I or II. In the United States, only 0.3% of people demonstrate these traits. While schizoaffective occurs equally in men and women, men are more likely to develop the illness in childhood or adolescence.
Some individuals with this disorder are depressive, while some are manic. Symptoms can either be mild or severe, with patients experiencing a mood episode several times a week. A person might also have disorganized speech, behavior, and thoughts.
Despite advanced symptom tracking technologies and data collection, there is no apparent cause of schizoaffective disorder. Despite this, professionals have come up with successful treatment plans that improve patients’ quality of life.
The following methods can help alleviate symptoms:
Both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are mental diagnoses that can affect how you think, act, and function. However, overlapping symptoms don’t necessarily mean the two illnesses are co-occurring. Fortunately, there are many online resources, health information, and professionals who can help you distinguish between the two.
If you or a loved one suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, consult a doctor from Transformations Treatment Center. We offer residential and outpatient programs for patients suffering from all types of mood disorders and addictions.