- Bipolar disorder vs. schizophrenia facts
- What is bipolar disorder? What is schizophrenia?
- What are causes and risk factors for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?
- What are signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder and of schizophrenia?
- What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?
- What are treatments and medications for bipolar disorder and for schizophrenia?
- What is the prognosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?
What are signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder and of schizophrenia?
To qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a person must experience at least one manic episode. Symptoms of mania include
- elevated, expansive, or irritable mood;
- racing thoughts;
- pressured speech (rapid, excessive, and frenzied speaking);
- decreased need for sleep;
- grandiose ideas (for example, false beliefs of superiority or failures);
- tangential speech (repeatedly changing topics to topics that are hardly related);
- restlessness/increased goal-directed activity; and
- impulsivity, poor judgment, or engaging in risky activity (like spending sprees, promiscuity, or excess desire for sex).
While a major depressive episode is not required for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, depression often alternates with manic episodes and tends to occur more often than mania in many people.
Symptoms of schizophrenia may include
- delusions (beliefs not at all based in reality),
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting something that is not really there),
- negative symptoms, like not talking (mutism, low motivation, and movement), and
- disorganized speech or behavior.
What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?
Since there is no one test that determines that someone has bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, health care professionals diagnose these conditions by gathering medical, family, and mental health information. The mental health professional will also either perform a physical examination or request that the individual's primary care doctor do so, including lab tests to assess the person's general health and whether he or she has mental health symptoms that are due to a physical condition.