Schizophrenia Awareness Day: Difference Between Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia | Health

While bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two mental health disorders, people can mistake the symptoms of one for the other. Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme highs and lows in a person’s mood, energy and ability to work. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is a disorder where people perceive reality abnormally and symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking and behavior. In the case of bipolar disorder, a person alternates between mania and depression, and has a normal mood in between. During a manic episode, a person may experience elevated mood, increased energy levels, impulsive and risky behavior, or difficulty concentrating during the depressive phase, where the person may lack energy, become socially withdrawn, sad and depressed. (Also Read: Schizophrenia Sleep Disturbance, Waking Tendencies Increase Patients’ Symptoms? Here’s What The Study Says)

Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two different mental health disorders with different symptomatology.  (Pixabay)
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two different mental health disorders with different symptomatology. (Pixabay)

World Schizophrenia Awareness Day is observed every year on May 24 to raise awareness about the condition and educate people about its symptoms and treatment.

Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia: What Are the Symptoms?

“Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two different mental health disorders with different symptomatology. But there may be some overlap between their symptoms. Bipolar disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of mood swings, alternating between periods of mania and depression. During a manic episode, individuals have high or Experiences irritable mood, increased energy levels, racing thoughts, impulsivity, and reduced need for sleep. They may engage in risky behaviors and have difficulty concentrating or maintaining coherent conversations. Depressive episodes include persistent sadness, hopelessness, low energy levels, Symptoms include changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in activities, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. A key feature of bipolar disorder is cycling between these manic and depressive states,” Dr Rituparna Ghosh, Consultant, Psychology, Apollo Hospital, Navi Mumbai says.

“On the other hand, schizophrenia is a chronic and serious mental disorder that affects a person’s thinking, perception, emotions and behavior. It is characterized by positive symptoms such as hallucinations (perceiving things that are not there) and delusions (fixed false beliefs), as well as disorganized thinking. and speech. Negative symptoms, including reduced emotional expression, social withdrawal, and lack of motivation, are also present. Unlike bipolar disorder, where mood fluctuations are central, schizophrenia primarily involves disturbances in thought processes and perception, with psychosis being the main feature. ” says Dr. Ghosh.

Differences between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

“An important difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is the presence of mood symptoms. Bipolar disorder is characterized primarily by specific episodes of manic and depressive states, where mood swings are central to the disorder. In contrast, schizophrenia is characterized by disturbances in thinking, perception, And behavior, psychosis (delusions and delusions) is a central feature. In addition, the age of onset differs between the two disorders. Bipolar disorder often appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. Schizophrenia is generally more common in men,” the expert adds.

“On World Schizophrenia Day, it is important to dispel misconceptions about mental health disorders. Two commonly misunderstood conditions are bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Although they both cause suffering, it is important to recognize their distinct symptoms and characteristics. While both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia . may interfere with daily life, different factors distinguish them. An important difference lies in the major symptoms. Bipolar disorder focuses on mood swings, while schizophrenia centers around distorted perceptions of reality, such as hallucinations and delusions. Furthermore, the timing and duration of symptoms varies. Bipolar disorder shows distinct mood episodes with periods of stability in between. In contrast, schizophrenia is often chronic, with symptoms remaining for a significant part of a person’s life,” says Dr Pankaj B Borade, Consultant Psychiatrist, Ruby Hall Clinic.

Management of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

“Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are both chronic and severe psychiatric disorders with a familial tendency. To an untrained eye, some overlapping symptoms between them can lead to confusion and mismanagement. Bipolar disorder is primarily managed with the help of mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Psychiatry also has good results. can be used for. Primary management of schizophrenia is with antipsychotics, and somatic treatment methods such as MECT (Modified Electroconvulsive Therapy) can also be used. With adequate management, patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can lead. Community Life, Dr. Meenakshi Jain, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad says.

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