Bipolar disorder vs. schizophrenia facts
- Bipolar disorder is an illness that involves mood swings with at least one episode of mania and may also involve repeated episodes of depression.
- Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness characterized by psychotic symptoms, meaning that one is out of touch with reality.
- Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are not directly inherited genetically but are likely due to complex genetic, psychological, and environmental risk factors.
- Since there is no one test that determines the presence of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, health care professionals diagnose these illnesses by gathering medical, family, and mental health information and performing physical and mental assessments.
- Medication treatment of bipolar disorder tends to relieve already existing symptoms of mania or depression and prevent symptoms from returning. Antipsychotic medications are most effective in decreasing the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Psychosocial interventions help treat both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.