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What is the Difference between Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia?

A global pandemic like coronavirus has caused a lot of damage to the whole world. A large number of people recovering after being affected by Covid-19 have also fallen victim to post-covid depression. But these mental problems have most affected the condition of those who were already in the grip of these problems.

Among these mental illnesses, the first name is schizophrenia while the second name comes for bipolar disorder. These are both mental disorders, which people often mistake to understanding it

Whereas schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are very different from each other in many ways. These are two completely different serious mental conditions. But before getting treatment, it is very important to know that after all what is the problem with you?

To know the difference between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, I talked to a well-known psychiatrist Dr From Ashwini Bhave. Dr Bhave has given me research-based information about the difference between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Also check out: Bipolar Disorder – Symptoms, Types, Treatment.

Bipolar Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia

Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two completely different mental problems. But despite this, people often misunderstand the symptoms of bipolar disorder as symptoms of schizophrenia.

However, there are also similarities between the two in many respects. But there are also some subtle differences between the two, like:


Bipolar disorder causes rapid changes in energy, mood, and activity. A person with bipolar disorder suddenly gets a lot of excitement and suddenly he goes into depression. This excitement sometimes goes to the level of mania or insanity. Your daily routine may be affected due to this change. In some cases, patients with bipolar disorder may also experience the problem of delusions or hallucinations. The symptoms of schizophrenia are in many ways more severe than those of bipolar disorder.

Patients with schizophrenia may also experience shadow delusions or hallucinations. Shadow illusion is said to see or hear things that are not there. Whereas hallucinations are said to be the belief of things that are not really happening. Schizophrenia patients’ thinking becomes disorganized, due to which they are not able to take care of themselves.

Also check out: Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Frequency And Ages Affected

About 2.2 percent of India’s population is affected by bipolar disorder. Teenage children and young people are most affected by this. In some cases, symptoms of bipolar disorder can also be seen in children. Schizophrenia is not a common problem like bipolar disorder. About 1.1 per cent of the people in India are affected by this problem. Most of the people affected by this problem are between the ages of 16 to 30. Schizophrenia usually does not show up in children.

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder People with bipolar disorder may experience deeply entrenched feelings. These experiences can be broadly divided into three parts: Activity and energy increase greatly when a manic seizure occurs. There can also be a feeling of great joy or energy when having a seizure.

Hypomanic seizures are similar to normal seizures. But their intensity is not that high. Depressive seizures are more common in people who have had severe depression in the past. The patient feels more depressed than before when he has a depressive seizure. He loses interest in the things he used to enjoy earlier.

Also check out: How is Bipolar disorder and depression different? – Know all about its Symptoms and causes


To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is necessary to have had at least one depressive attack. So that the intensity and severity of depressive seizures can be ascertained. At the same time, it is also necessary to have at least one hypomanic attack so that any conclusion can be reached after completing the investigation. Some behavioural changes can also be symptoms of bipolar disorder. These include:

  • to be restless
  • increased activity
  • to be tired
  • having trouble maintaining focus
  • sudden increase in irritability
  • be overconfident
  • get too excited while on tour
  • having suicidal thoughts

Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia can be mainly divided into two groups. These are commonly called ‘positive symptoms’ and ‘negative symptoms’. It is not based on whether a trait is good or bad, but whether the trait includes whether a new behaviour can be described as ‘addition’ or ‘removal’. Understanding positive symptoms involve the initiation of new behaviour, such as hallucinations or hallucinations. On the other hand, negative symptoms include the behaviour of moving away from certain things. For example, a symptom of social isolation also includes cutting off contact with society. Some early signs of schizophrenia may include, social solitude
lack of interest in activities.

  • get moody
  • lack of any emotion
  • to say irrational things
  • surprising or unusual behavior
  • sleep schedule change
  • getting too much or too little sleep
  • inability to express feelings
  • false and sudden laughter
  • act violently
  • Violence towards oneself, such as attempting to take a vein
  • become sensitive to smell, touch, taste, and sounds
  • To hallucinate
  • hear voices of intimidation or self-condemnation
  • Hearing sounds provoking violent behavior.
  • To be delusional

Causes for Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia

No one knows what causes bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, genetically, if this disease is present in the family of the mother or the father, then the chances of it being passed on to the next generation also increases. This does not mean that if your parents or siblings have the disorder, you will definitely have inherited it. Certainly, if many family members have this problem then its risk increases. But in such a situation, investigation and treatment should be done at the initial stage itself. In some cases, environmental factors also increase the risk of these disorders. But this connection is not yet fully understood.

Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia

There are no blood tests to check for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. But instead, doctors perform physical and psychological tests. During the test, they may ask you about any family history of mental disorders and your symptoms. However, the doctor may recommend a CBC test to check for other problems. In special circumstances, an MRI or CT scan may also be advised. Drug and alcohol screening may also be asked if the results are not clear. One may have to visit the doctor several times to check for any disorder. During this time the doctor is able to help you by understanding your symptoms completely. They may also ask you to write down your complete mood and sleep patterns.

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