The Differences and Similarities Between Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are indeed different psychological disorders but they share many similarities. Granted, there is a marked difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, however these similarities can sometimes blur the lines between the two that a different diagnosis is necessary. This diagnosis is that of schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is one of the psychological disorders that falls into the schizophrenic spectrum but early on can be mistaken for bipolar disorder or a more severe form of psychosis. To properly understand schizoaffective disorder one must be able to compare and contrast the symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Similarities
Again, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are very different but early symptoms of the two can be similar enough that misdiagnosis of schizophrenia rather than bipolar disorder and vice versa are relatively common. These similarities include things like moderate to severe psychosis, paranoia, mood swings and delusions. The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder tend to be mostly centered around the extremes of emotion, i.e. extreme depression or extreme happiness characterized by mania. Delusions and paranoia are also common in both disorders though usually relating to different subjects. Since both disorders have symptoms are a quite similar it is easy for psychiatrists to mistake one for the other when symptoms first begin to appear.
Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Differences
The main differences between the psychosis exhibited by a person with bipolar disorder and a person with schizophrenia have to do with the nature of the mood swings and delusions associated with the disorders. A person with bipolar disorder will have mood swings and delusions centered around emotion such as feeling that people are talking about them behind their back or being delusional about their abilities to do certain things. Schizophrenia on the other hand is characterized more by violent mood swings and extreme paranoia relating to subjects that seems very strange such as feeling that they are constantly being watched or under surveillance. Since bipolar disorder tends to be less severe people experiencing bipolar are more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric clinic than a psychiatric hospital, where schizophrenics are likely to end up.
The point of convergence between these two psychological disorders is known as schizoaffective disorder. This disorder is part of the schizophrenic spectrum. Schizoaffective disorder is usually characterized by the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder with the strange delusional thinking and paranoia associated with schizophrenia. Typically, schizoaffective disorder’s mood swings are not as related to emotion as they are with bipolar disorder. That is to say that episodes of extreme happiness or sadness do not manifest themselves. Instead the mood swings are more related to anger and aggression stemming from the delusional thinking and paranoia associated with schizophrenia. In this way, schizoaffective disorder relates more to schizophrenia than bipolar disorder, hence its classification as a disorder in the schizophrenic spectrum. Understanding the differences and similarities between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can help distinguish which a person is suffering from or if they are in fact afflicted with schizoaffective disorder.
Tons of medical professionals for years and years were under the impression that schizophrenia bipolar disorder were things that belonged together instead of two, separate illnesses. It has been found that for years, schizophrenia bipolar disorder was thought to be combine, however German psychiatrist Eric Kraepelin was the doctor that studied the two illnesses and determined that they are two very different mental illnesses. The separation of schizophrenia bipolar disorder is thanks to Kraepelin and below we will detail exactly what the differences are.
Differences Between Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
There are many medical reasons why schizophrenia bipolar disorder would make sense, as many people with bipolar disorder and other psychological disorders can have symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions and may even commit suicide because of these delusions. However, there are differences in a person that has something liken to schizophrenia bipolar disorder and one of the major differences between bipolar and schizophrenia is that bipolar disorder is constant and actually chronic in most cases.
Diagnosing Schizophrenia Bipolar Disorder
Because schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both include a lot of the same similarities and paranoia tendencies, it can be difficult for a medical professional or even a non-medical professional to make a distinction between the two psychological disorders, however researchers have found that genetics can actually play a major role, in both diseases, so this is something that can play a part in the diagnosing stages for a medical professional and they will be able to determine which the patient has.
However, there have been cases where psychiatrists and doctors have been wrong, there have been cases where bipolar disorder has been diagnosed as schizophrenia and schizophrenia has been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. The reason is because both have highs and extreme lows, both involve manic-depressive states and forms of highness, however when a doctor studies the patients genetics, links can be found to one or the other mental illness. Something as simple as a bipolar mother can lead to a diagnoses of one way or the other.
Treatment Options for Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia
There are many different treatment options available for both of these mental illnesses that will help manage them. Psychotherapy is one of them coupled with medications that change the overall chemical history in the brain can go a very long way in treating these two psychological disorders. Medications paired with talk therapy sessions truly help stabilize the patient and can even help them function as somewhat normal function persons as long as they keep up the treatments.
While these two mental disorders are severe if left untreated, if they are treated the right way, a human will have a somewhat normal life and will be able to work out their mental problems. There are many drugs out there and many medications that help keep the chemistry in the brain normal and the talking is certainly something that every mental ill patient needs to be doing.
Diagnosing schizophrenia bipolar disorder is not impossible, but it is difficult and sometimes, the only lead that the medical professionals have to go on is the background and genetic research that they do.