How Does Bipolar Schizophrenia Differ From Other Schizophrenia Disorders?


Quick Answer

The medical term for bipolar schizophrenia is bipolar type schizoaffective disorder, which differs from other types of schizophrenia because of the presence of a mood disorder in addition to the psychotic symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Examples of the psychotic symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include delusional thinking, sensory hallucinations and paranoia. In the bipolar component of schizoaffective disorder, people cycle between depressed and manic moods, explains WebMD.

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During depressive mood states, people with schizoaffective disorder may display symptoms such as poor appetite, low energy levels, changes in weight, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, or loss of interest in hobbies or activities, notes WebMD. In the most severe depressed state, people with this mental illness may express that they experience thoughts of death or suicide; these thoughts require treatment as a medical emergency.

In schizoaffective disorder, during manic mood states, symptoms may include an increase in social or sexual activity, rapid speech, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, inflated self-esteem, and feelings of euphoria, reports WebMD. Manic people are at increased risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors such as unprotected sex or reckless driving.

Because bipolar type schizoaffective disorder is a combination of two mental illnesses, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, clinicians often misdiagnose it, meaning the exact prevalence of this illness is unknown, explains WebMD.

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