Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?

Sometimes people mistake bipolar disorder for schizophrenia symptoms. Because the two conditions have some aspects in common. For example, they both impact daily life: relationships, work and home life. However, actually they are two different chronic mental health disorders.

The following are some main differences:

  1. Schizophrenia causes symptoms that are more severe than the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
    Bipolar disorder causes strong shifts in energy, mood, and activity levels. A person with bipolar disorder will switch between extreme excitement, or mania, and depression.
    People with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions, as well as disorganized thinking. So they are unable to care for themselves.
  2. Schizophrenia isn’t as common as bipolar disorder.
    Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.2 percent of people in the United States. Children can also show signs of bipolar disorder.
    Schizophrenia affects 1.1 percent of the U.S. population. Children are much less likely to get it.
  3. People with schizophrenia may have trouble understanding information. While people with bipolar often appear moody.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may have either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Early diagnosis is an important first step toward returning to a symptom-free life.


Keywords: bipolar disorder vs. schizophrenia

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