Bipolar and Schizophrenia: Are Both Disorders the Same?


For years, psychiatrists and medical professionals have said that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two very distinct mental illnesses. This idea came from a world-renowned German psychiatrist named Emil Kraepelin. Eric Kraepelin has said that bipolar disease and schizophrenia are two very different mental disorders. Up until today, the separation of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is still being practiced by psychiatrists.

However, you have to consider that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is very difficult to distinguish from each other. Both have the same signs and symptoms and psychiatrist often makes mistakes when diagnosing a patient with one of the disorders.

Today, there are certain methods developed to clearly distinguish both diseases. Psychiatrists and brain specialists all over the world have determined that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have distinct signs and symptoms where they can base their diagnosis from.

The first thing you have to consider is that patients with bipolar disorder can experience a schizophrenia-like delusions and hallucinations. However, bipolar disorder has a chronic form of the illness. However, it is still very difficult to distinguish both diseases from one another.

Schizophrenia disorder has been found that it also contains signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, which includes depressive episodes and sometimes manic episodes. As you can see, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is very hard to distinguish from one another.

In fact, there have been several cases where psychiatrists and specialists have made a mistake in diagnosing their patients. There are some cases where severe schizophrenia disorders have the same signs and symptoms of bipolar disorders and even the same frequency of manic and depressive episodes.

Further studies and research have found that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is a form of genetic illness. So, this means that finding out about the genetics of the person, psychiatrists and brain specialists can find a significant distinction of both disorders.

Today, there are now available treatments for both disorders that can effectively help you in managing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The treatment for both disorders can be in a form of psychotherapy and is usually combined with medications that can change the brain's biochemistry.

The medications combined with the psychotherapy sessions can help in stabilizing the brain functions and lessen the effect of the signs and symptoms in your life. It is important to remember that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed.

This will also mean that the patient can be given the wrong medication for their illness. You have to consider the fact that there are different medications for bipolar disorder and in schizophrenia.

Today, one of the most popular medications given to schizophrenic is called Clorazil. This medication is specially made for schizophrenics in order for them to control their brain functions. On the other hand, people suffering from bipolar illness are usually prescribed with a medication called Lithium.

Lithium is a very effective medicine that can prevent manic episodes from recurring. For fast cycling bipolar illness, the medicine usually prescribed by specialists is called Valproic acid. This is also a great medication for regular cycling bipolar illness.

It is often very hard to distinguish bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This is why it is very important for you to choose a doctor, a psychiatrist or a specialist that is reputable in the field of mental diseases.

By choosing the right doctor, you can be sure that you will be treated with the right treatment and medications with your illness. It is very important that both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia should be detected as early as possible in order for the treatment to be more effective.

You have to consider that both illnesses can mentally cripple you and make you an unproductive member of the society. By letting the mental illness develop without getting it treated, it will worsen in time and can significantly affect your way of life.

So, if you or a member of your family is showing early signs of manic or depressive symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor about it. They will be able to refer you to a reputable specialist in brain disorders. The specialists will be able to determine if it is either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and administer the proper treatment for the disorder.

Going Nuts or Just Normally Moody? (Bipolar Tests)

Bipolar disorder is an illness that is illustrated by extreme mood changes, from being manically euphoric to the very depressed and vice versa. This disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. Changes in the mood to the extremes are constantly occurring, this can happen within hours, days, or months.

Bipolar disorder typically appears in the late teenage years and continues until death. There are also cases wherein the illness starts as early as childhood or as delayed as late adult years.

Although a lot of people experience mood swings every now and then, only a small group really experience radical changes in their moods which are highly characteristic of bipolar disorder. This illness can heavily affect everyday living of the sufferer. It can have a huge impact on their relationships with significant others, occupation, academics, and their day to day interaction with other people.

Are you quite curious if you're afflicted with this unlucky pestilence of a disease? Here are some of the signs and symptoms that you can check yourself with:

Signs and symptoms of depressive phase
? pessimistic, have long moments of crying
? a feeling of hopelessness
? low self-esteem
? diminished libido
? progressive decrease in energy and activities of daily living
? apathetic
? antisocial
? cognitive difficulties
? always anxious and irritable
? changes in weight (weight loss or gain)
? either insomnia or oversleeping
? abuse of drugs or alcoholic substances
? suicidal ideations

Signs and symptoms of manic phase
? extremely euphoric
? aggressive
? impulsive, irresponsibly wild
? excessively adventurous and involved in activities that are life threatening (sex, drugs, violence, excessive spending)
? insomniac
? flight of ideas, exceedingly talkative
? very outgoing
? self-centered; sometimes with hallucinations or delusions
? easily distracted, restless
? no idea that the their behavior is causing problems

If you have any of these symptoms and these odd behaviors are causing disruptions in your normal life, it is best for you to seek professional help.

There may be numerous tests out there that are used to differentiate a bipolar sufferer from the run-of-the-mill sad and/or energetic individuals, but there is no exact specific test. This is because the signs and symptoms of this illness are very similar to other mental aberrations like ADHD, borderline personally disorder, schizophrenia, or substance abuse disorders.

To diagnose the disorder, physicians provide a battery of tests to potential patients. The following are the basic tests that these professionals use:

? Medical examinations. This is used to assess the patient for other probable grounds of the mood swings he or she experiences.
? Oral and written psychiatric questionnaire or evaluations
? Family history. Bipolar disorder have a tendency to run in families
? Medical history. There may be medications that the patient is using or has used that could have triggered the mood swings.
? Interview family members and significant others regarding the patient's behavior. These people are usually the first witnesses of the disorder unfolding in the patient.

Although the doctor may be armed with these tests to help him diagnose a patient, it is quite difficult for the doctor if the patient him or herself doesn’t recognize the problem. It is therefore imperative for the doctor to have an absolute and careful history of the patient's mood swing episodes.

Compared to normal happiness, a person suffering the mania stage is extremely happy for four consecutive days at the very least. These patients are also easily distracted, very talkative, and has a flight of ideas.

The disorder is suspected to individuals who have previously suffered from a depression and had a quick and excellent response to the treatment, but had frequent relapses which are followed by a disintegration to respond to antidepressant treatment.

But with early diagnosis, the disorder can be easily controlled. A combination of psychopharmacologic medications and psychotherapy may just do the trick. A strong emotional support from family and friends is also imperative for the patient who's suffering from this disorder.

Just make sure you choose the right medical professional to help you or a friend in need. You may find the best help even from only searching through the net as some institutions have websites of their own.

Just remember, anybody who is suspect to any mental disorder is innocent until examined and diagnosed by a legitimate doctor.

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